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frexpt

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Everything posted by frexpt

  1. A question easily answered, I hope...............

    We have just sold our original house here and received a cheque for the balance of the TF from the purchaser.

    I have since found the 2011 TF bill for that house on the doormat of our UK property when I was back there last week.  This is overdue for payment, but I am not sure whether this is chargeable in arrears or in advance.  In other words, is it our bill and was what we received at completion pro rata on that amount or is this bill for the present owner for the year ahead?

  2. Thanks for all of the replies.  I'll try the various suggestions over the next few days........
  3. Anyone know anything about chainsaws?

    My Stihl saw is about 8 years old and worked pretty reliably during that time.

    It has just started playing up and won't run properly. It will start okay, but as soon as the throttle trigger is depressed, it stalls.

    I don't think it's a matter of adjustment, perhaps a blockage somewhere. Just wondering if any ideas out there before I take it into the repairers?
  4. Here the object in question......

    [IMG]http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee448/frexpt/wonkychimney.jpg[/IMG]

     

  5. We are taking down a chimney stack on our house tomorrow, as it is leaning precariously.  We are having it rebuilt to a lower height, which will then actually match the one on the other side of the house.  I have been told that we need to buy zinc for the base of the stack, rather than lead flashing that is common in the UK.  I tried tralking to the local Point P today, but am totally confused by what they have told me.[8-)] 

    Can somebody please suggest what I should be asking for?  The horizontal dimensions of the chimney are roughly 1m x 0.5m and it is located on the "front" pitch of our slate roof, rather than straddling the apex.  If I can find a picture, I'll post it.

  6. I may wake up later to find this has all been a dream, but can it really be that simple.............??

    Quite seriously, many thanks for all the suggestions.  The wife is favouring the emulsion route as we have a can of something left over that she particularly likes.[:)]

  7. [quote user="Anton Redman"]At 25 cms with a woodburner I think you will be OK. We used exterior stone paint on ours but mainly because we had some left and liked the colour.[/quote]

    Thanks for the suggestion.........not a bad idea, at all!  We have some of that stuff tucked away from when we painted the garage and that would be pretty similar in colour to what we are aiming for......thumbup

  8. [IMG]http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee448/frexpt/fireplace.jpg[/IMG]

    Just want to resurrect the mantle and pillars, all faces, but not the rear wall of the fireplace, which actually looks much better because that has been cleaned up and repointed, since this photo.

  9. I have posted previously about the sorry state of our smoke-blackened fire surround, which has resisted all attempts to clean up.  We have made the decision to paint it, but a friend has raised the question of fire-resistence of paint.

    The fireplace will house a freestanding 12kw woodburner with 25 cms clearance each side and significantly more above.

    I had planned to use a base coat of general purpose primer, a couple of coats of (Crown) matt emulsion, topped off with a couple of coats of Ronseal diamond hard floor varnish, all water based.  Perhaps we do need something more heat resistant, in which case, we are open to suggestions............

  10. Thank you all so much for what you have suggested.  I don't know some of the stores mentioned, but I'll see what is around here and also on the internet and take it from there.  I'll post my findings in due course.

    Thanks again.........[B][B]

  11. We are just about to re-fit the electrical goods in the kitchen of the house we have bought....ceramic hob, combination oven, warming drawer, integral dishwasher and built in fridge.  The present units are quality brands, Siemens & Neff, probably about £3,500 - £4,000 worth, but are 11 years old now and haven't been maintained very well.  We'd like to replace with similar quality, but I was wondering whether better to source in France or via the UK.  I'm presuming a worldwide or European warranty would be offered.

    I've just started researching, but was wondering if anyone had experiences to share.  To be honest, I am not sure where to start looking in France for more quality stuff, as what I see on offer from the French "High Street" appears to be of the more (not very) cheap and cheerful variety. 
  12. [quote user="AnOther"]

    An adverse report clearly opens the door for negotiation between buyer and seller.

    [/quote]

    Of course it might, but if the non-conforming state is reflected in the "starting" asking price, that should circumvent the arguement somewhat........not always, as we have learned after the better part of 25 viewings over the past 12 months.

    However, following our SPANC visit, my understanding that upgrading is mandatory where a property is being sold and there is no fosse toutes-eaux, or no separate "fat trap" or no soakaway / filter arrangements as described by PPP above.  Our report doesn't make any specific recommendations, but I guess the purchaser will get those in due course.

    The periodic inspections have to be done anyway and although your fosse is fine for your use, it will almost certainly need to be upgraded should you sell on.

  13. [quote user="AnOther"]

    [quote user="frexpt"]It is the original intallation from 30 years ago, so we know that it is non-conforming,[/quote]Just for the record that is not necessarily a true statement. My property was built in 1976 and has it's original fosse which passed it's inspection last year with neither adverse comment nor any need for remedial work so within reason age, in and of itself, need not be an automatic cause for concern.

    [/quote]

    So far as I understand it, there is no longer a requirement for an existing owner to "update" an installation. That has been tried and failed miserably.  The onus now falls on a purchaser to carry out the recommended works within 12 months of buying.  There is a clause in our compromis referring to the non-conforming nature of the fosse, followed by "L’acquéreur en fera son affaire personnelle."

     

  14. [quote user="Jon 1"][quote user="frexpt"][quote user="frexpt"]

    Well, we've kicked it a  round for a few days and decided to take the hit.  Compromis signed by everyone this afternoon, with target date at beginning of October.  As we have already bought the new place, coming up for two years ago and looking at the combined outgoings for the two houses, plus the continuing cr*p exchange rate, we'll just go for it.........and you watch "M et Mme Perfect Buyer" turn up at the front door tomorrow........

    [/quote]

     

    Oh, s*d it.......we never even got to tomorrow morning.  Another of our agents has just rung to say that he has four couples interested at our new price..........London Buses etc.......[:'(][:'(][:'(]

    [/quote] What a shame! Are you sure it is not just sour grapes from the immobillier who has lost out?[/quote]

    Not on this occasion, the agent rang to make appointments to view.........

  15. [quote user="frexpt"]

    Well, we've kicked it a  round for a few days and decided to take the hit.  Compromis signed by everyone this afternoon, with target date at beginning of October.  As we have already bought the new place, coming up for two years ago and looking at the combined outgoings for the two houses, plus the continuing cr*p exchange rate, we'll just go for it.........and you watch "M et Mme Perfect Buyer" turn up at the front door tomorrow........shrug

    [/quote]

     

    Oh, s*d it.......we never even got to tomorrow morning.  Another of our agents has just rung to say that he has four couples interested at our new price..........London Buses etc.......[:'(][:'(][:'(]

  16. [quote user="Jon 1"]This is the problem when you reduce your price to a base price. The reduction is ignored and potential buyers then make an offer below your absolute comfort zone. We were subsequently offered 32% below our initial price, which at the time we felt was a reduction too far. However, like you we now feel that perhaps we should have taken the extra hit. With the very recent announcement of possible detrimental changes to CGT for second home owners, by the end of the summer, we may not be any better off by holding out for our base price. C'est la vie[/quote]

    Well, we've kicked it a  round for a few days and decided to take the hit.  Compromis signed by everyone this afternoon, with target date at beginning of October.  As we have already bought the new place, coming up for two years ago and looking at the combined outgoings for the two houses, plus the continuing cr*p exchange rate, we'll just go for it.........and you watch "M et Mme Perfect Buyer" turn up at the front door tomorrow........

  17. [quote user="pachapapa"]

    Assuming you are talking about a "tranchée de épandage" then a length of 60 linear metres would correspond to a subsoil permeability of 30-50 mm/h, where a length of 50 metres would correspond to a dwelling of 5 principal rooms, in your case you have an extra 10 linear metres for an extra i.e. 6 principal rooms ( presumably 4 bedrooms ).

    The installation is for the infiltration of pretreated effluent from the fosse septique it does not constitute a system of purification but a system of even distribution of the effluent into the subsoil where bacteria will naturally effect the purification process.

    The trench does not have to be one 60 metre trench and often 3 separate trenches will be installed paralell to each other. The width of the trench is conventionally accepted at 0.5 metres.

    If you were doing a new installation the SPANC inspector would require a non drained sand filter bed which would cost less than a drained vertical sand filter bed due to the lower layer of collection pipes and the sealing of the bottom of the filter bed. This is of course is associated with a complete installation including a fosse septique toutes eaux. In Deux Sèvres this would cost  around € 5000-4000. with the sand filter part at around € 3000-2500.

    I am a stingy individual and for 3 x 20 metre trenches with associated pipe, gravel,sand and geotextile, I would blanch if I was not negotiating around € 1500.

    [/quote]

    Thanks again.  Yes we have four bedrooms.

    I asked the inspector about the permitted configurations for the 60m filter and, quite interestingly, he drew out something that resembled a Xmas tree, i.e. a single central trench, with a series of branches running off at 45 - 60°.  Presumably a bit of flexibility allowed to fit everything into the available space and shape..........this can't be France[Www]

  18. We have been in exactly the same position.  Quite frankly the market is dire and purchasers are having a field day.  Unless you have a really stunning property than everyone wants, then I think you have to expect to sell cheaply.

    We have reduced our selling price by 30% and have immediately received two even lower offers.  We have to decide this afternoon whether to sign a compromis with one of those purchasers.  Although it goes against the grain, I think, after more than a year, this is a case of a bird in hand...........

  19. [quote user="pachapapa"]

    The answer is yes.

    In principle an older installation should have complied with the regulations at that earlier point in time. There will therefore be an attempt by the inspection to verify if compliance with modern regs can be achieved by modification rather than a completely new installation.

    Earlier regs were often based on the separation of grey and black water; the grey water from sink and bath often being combined with rain water from the roof and allowed to run off to a rather basic soakaway. Modern practice requires a fosse toutes eaux so a modification will result in the installation of a degreasing bac  before the grey water joins the sewage flow to the existing fosse. There may also be additional vent requirements recommended but possibly less strict than for a new installation; depends on which side of the bed the inspector gets out of bed. The filter bed if it presents problems is probably simpler to forget about it and install a new sand filter. A vertical undrained sand filter will have more chance of  inspection survival than vertical drained sand filter.

    [/quote]

    Pretty much spot, thanks!

    The SPANC  inspector has been today.  He was happy with the present arrangement for toilet waste, as the fosse is clearly working.  However, he has suggested the grease trap and also a new (linear?) 60m filter bed, as we don't know where the present soakaway is.  Hopefully, our purchasers will not be put off by this, but I've no idea of cost involved......any thoughts.......anyone???

  20. Thanks for that...I'll get my shovel out in the morning.......

    We are sure that the grey water drains right to left from the mid point of the rear wall, which would be in the opposite direction from where I imagine the soakaway for the fosse should be.  There is a vertical vent on the right hand corner of the house, which I am guessing is "in line" between the fosse and soakaway (left to right from the mid point of the house) , although my logic there may be flawed. 

  21. I am sure that this question will have been asked on here somewhere, so if anyone has a link to a  previous thread, that would be great help.

    We have finally, finally recived a realistic offer on our residence secondaire [:D]

    The compromis is being drawn up and should be signed by all parties on Wednesday.  The agent has arranged for an inspection of our fosse septique on Tuesday, as this has not been done previously.  It is the original intallation from 30 years ago, so we know that it is non-conforming, as does the agent and the purchaser.

    Do we need to arrange access to the chamber for this inspection, or will the inspector just write it up as non-conforming?  We have previously had the tank emptied by a local farmer, so we know that the lid of the chamber is topped by a layer of concrete and buried beneath the lawn to the rear of the property.  So far as we know there is a soakaway in the front garden, although there are no plans of the layout.

    Having waited this long for an offer, we don't want to delay things by not being properly prepared.  Being the holiday weekend, the agent has disappeared until Tuesday............

     

  22. [quote user="NormanH"]Even down here it hasn't been too hot since the beginning of the month.  I recently posted a site on which you can see all sort of details month by month in the different towns
    http://www.meteociel.com/climatologie/climato.php?mois=6&annee=2011
    [/quote]

    Really useful and interesting site.............thumbup

  23. [quote user="JK"]It better warm up soon - it's costing us a small fortune as the guests are using the sauna more often! And we lit the woodburner last night![/quote]

     

    I think we'll be lighting ours tonight, as it was really miserable yesterday evening, watching tv wrapped in throws.....  Unfortunately, looking at the 10 day forecast for this area on Orange.fr, it doesn't look very different. 

  24. We've been back and forth to France for holidays since 1995 and this is our third summer here more permanently.  We are well used to appalling summers in the UK, but we can't remember a previous July in France as disappointing as this one from a weather point of view.......pretty cool and wet here since the beginning of the month[:(][:(]

    Is this unusual?

  25. [quote user="sid"]

    I've used the large, expensive (21€) sprays; there's one by Caussade http://tinyurl.com/2cagpun

    Expensive but very effective; it has a range of up to 6 metres, quite devastatingly powerful! Nests are destroyed in minutes. I've always waited until the next day to remove the remains though. I've had TWO asian hornets nests in the roofspace. The pompiers here don't remove them them so it's either get a specialist company  or do it yourself! From the loft trapdoor I've been able to reach the nest in the angle of the eaves and then quickly slam the trap before they realise what's happened! Not a very pleasant job removing a large nest and the smell was pretty awful. A postbox should be somewhat easier.

    I've got a new aerosol sat on my workshop shelf just in case!!!

    [/quote]

    Those are a couple of scary looking nests, for sure!  Cleared our old postbox out today, so hopefully Monsieur La Poste can carry out his duites without fear for his safety.

    Many thanks for all the helpful suggestions, as always.........[B][B]

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