Big news… we have a date for the renovations to start: April 1st. April Fool’s Day. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
It’s taken almost a year of planning, quoting, discussing, replanning and trying to actually speak to our Geometra to get to this point, and there’s still quite a lot to do before we can get going, but the fact that the builder and Geometra are both happy to commit to a date is a big step forward.
Unfortunately, we’ve changed the design of the roof, so now we have to go back to the planning office with the new look. It should just be an amendment but there’s a chance it may have to go through the whole planning process again. We hope not, but this whole area is a candidate to become a UNESCO zone, so they are incredibly tight when it comes to planning.
Once we’re allowed to get started, the whole roof is going to come off. Where we currently have rather fetching asbestos sheeting, this will be replaced by some slightly more traditional-looking tiles. The wood that we remove will be used elsewhere in the house. We want to keep as much original material in the house as possible.
At the same time, the diggers will be moving in to dig a driveway along the back of the house, as well as a very deep hole the length of the back wall. Currently, this wall is more of an exterior supporting wall with a roof over it than an internal wall. After heavy rain, water pours through it. We’re going to fit a waterproof membrane, a drainage system and a lot of insulation and then we should hopefully be able to make more use of the whole rear section of the house.
At the western end, the hayloft is going to become our master bedroom. Huge windows will give us a view of Novello and the mountains to the south, while smaller picture windows will frame the view of Monviso.
Downstairs, what is currently a storage room will become our living area and kitchen. The floor needs to be dug up so that an ‘igloo’ can be installed. This allows air to circulate under the floor and stops damp.
Elsewhere, the hayloft at the other end of the building is going to become a guest room, also with big, south-facing windows and an exposed ceiling. It’s going to look cool.
We’ve got lots of details to work out… kitchens, bathrooms, floors, radiators… but it’s exciting. We’re working closely with our architects to figure out a ‘look’ that we want to go for. Think modern rustic, country meets cool, with a touch of industrial as a nod to the building’s former life as a working farmhouse.
Finally, I might actually be able to start blogging about renovating!