Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


belu's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. Yes, I think this may be our only solution (hopefully for the short term) unless anyone else knows differently!  Thanks Miss Babs.
  2. We had a new tiled floor laid throughout in our holiday home in March this year - the heating was left on until May so that it could dry out.  We furnished the house in June and have visited 3 times since.  However, on each occasion, all the soft furnishings: chairs, sofa, curtains, cushions etc. are covered in a white mould and the fabrics feel damp to the touch.  The mould brushes off fairly easily and once the doors/windows have been left open for a while, the dampness disappears on the fabrics.  Because the house is quite new it is very well insulated and we are unable to leave the windows on "vent lock" as in the UK.  However, we do have 3 electric air vents. Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution?  Obviously the summer is now behind us and the weather will become damper and colder again - I am now envisaging several more months of this and our furniture will eventually be ruined.  We only visit every six weeks or so and although we do have neighbours who could "open the house up" for us, it is not reasonable to expect them to sit around for a couple of hours a day while the house "airs"!!  I do intend to leave the heating on low over the winter but this doesn't seem to help.
  3. Thanks all for your most helpful and reassuring replies.  The other (French) builder we got the quote from has done work for us before and turns up when he says he will (how surprising is that!) but regretably we decided not to use him because, as explained, he would only quote for the whole job which is beyond our budget.  I will give the English guy an ultimatum (yes he is registered in France) and if nothing, I will then approach the French builder again and beg for a lower quote!  He is a reasonable and very nice chap so don't envisage any problems with him.  He is also partial to a small brandy and homemade sausage roll!!  Thanks again everyone and good luck George with your ongoing problem.
  4. After 6 weeks I managed to get quotes for a small amount of building work from 2 different builders (one French, one English). I decided to go with the English builder as he was prepared to give us 2 prices (one of which would involve us doing the finishing off and thereby saving us a few euros)!!  I signed the quote and sent this back to him at the beginning of July with a note asking him when he could start the job - he replied "in a week or so".  By the end of July I still had not heard from him and emailed asking whether he was still interested in doing the work - after another 4 weeks had passed I got an short email back saying "yes, but he had been away".  It is now mid September and still no sign of the builder.  Am I within my rights to cancel my instruction for him to carry out the work and if so, should I send a recorded delivery letter or would another email be sufficient? 
  5. I have now managed to sort this out in fact, as you say Annie, SAUR have proved to be very efficient and helpful.  I finally got through to a nice lady in the office who spoke English and she arranged for me to pay the outstanding invoice immediately by direct debit - this was taken a few days later. 
  6. Hi Les Thanks for this prompt response.  Unfortunately I sent them 2 emails via the website last week and also gave them all my bank details via this so they could take the payment direct.  However, according to my account the amount is still outstanding and they haven't replied to either of my emails.  Couldn't see a link for English clients.  Will have to keep trying by phone. 
  7. I sent a cheque to Saur in June for payment of the water bill - 3 weeks ago I received a duplicate bill saying they had not received payment.  I sent another cheque immediately having noticed that the first one had not been cashed.  Today I have received another bill which now includes a penalty for non-payment.  The second cheque has not been received either.  The payments were returned in the pre-addressed envelopes supplied to us but in addition, our address appeared incorrectly on the first invoice so I included a note with the first payment amending the address.  The address has now been amended so I cannot understand how they received this letter but not the cheque which was enclosed with it? Although I do not speak very good French I did intend to try to speak to them but I have been telephoning Saur continuously today since they opened at 8.00 a.m. but no-one answers.  Does anyone know if there is an English speaking helpline as obviously we do not want our water cut off!  Thanks in advance.
  8. Am I right (or wrong) in thinking that you can buy a concrete mix whereby the sand and cement are already combined?  Just add water?  Our builder left a large heap of some grey (but not too fine) powder which I'm sure he used for constructing the walls - doesn't appear to be any sand in evidence, and where it has got wet it has set solid!
  9. Proxima Thank you so much for this helpful email.  I must admit we did think that 1 metre of concrete was exceptionally thick therefore we will do as you suggest and speak to another builder and/or builders merchant.  The wall hasn't been constructed yet but will be made out of block, probably the open type so we could reinforce them as you suggest.  Am I right in thinking therefore that we could fill the void with hardcore (reinforcing with the steel rods mentioned) and then just put a layer of cement of between six and twelve inches on top?  If so, this would reduce the amount of cement required to between 4 and 6 cubic metres - quite a cost saving. We can't use the underneath as a store as its right at the front of the property and it will need to have the same wall finish as the house itself.  Good idea though!  
  10. We are planning to extend our small terrace; the size of the new part, including two steps, will be 20 square metres.  Because the site is sloping our French builder will need to construct a supporting wall along the longest edge which will be rendered once finished. He estimates that we will need 18 cubic metres of cement to fill in the void.  The price for this cement alone has come in at over 1600 euros.  Can anyone tell us if there is a cheaper way of doing this (except hand mixing please!) - maybe it would be possible to use more hardcore (we think the depth of the concrete at its deepest point will be about 1 metre)?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
  11. Thanks very much to everyone who responded - I did get mixed up with aluminium and zinc!  I would definitely prefer to use the zinc version rather than upvc so shall have to give the matter some more thought; at least I have a few months to brush up on my soldering skills!
  12. Sorry to sound naive but I haven't a clue on anything technical either in the UK or (especially) France!  We would like at some point to connect our TV to receive UK channels but there seems to be some confusion at our local TV store in France. What actually would be available to us in South Western France (Sky, Free to Air, Freeview?) and do all of these require a phone line? Any advice, greatly appreciated.
  13. Hi there We are hoping to install new guttering to our house in Loudeac.  The local Brico says that the guttering should be soldered; however, when reading up on this product in the UK via a very reputable, established manufacturer it says that sealant is sufficient.  Because our soldering skills are non-existent does anyone have any advice as to whether the sealant option is viable.  I appreciate we should probably have the guttering installed by a professional but we are skint and the cheapest quote we have had is 3,000 euros.  Materials for the same project at Brico will cost 420 euros.  All advice appreciated. Mark
  14. Just thought it might be nice.
  15. Hi all We are taking possession of our new build in a few weeks time and had decided long ago on a name for our house - the land itself had been known locally by this name for many decades so we chose to keep it.  However, we have noticed that another property (new build) in the next street has adopted this name so unfortunately we need to think up another.  I think we were fairly safe permission wise on our original choice but can anyone tell us if we need to get permission to name a house.  Obviously we are not going to call it anything along the lines of La Pondarosa or Thistledome but maybe there are guidelines/rules?  It is very rural with only 2 other houses in the street so don't think just a number will be practical.  Thanks all.
  • Create New...