House Update

Build week 19: Starting the roof

What a difference a month makes! Over the past few weeks we have watched the walls go up, been able to walk around upstairs and enjoy the view from our windows, and now the roof is going on.

Build week 19: Inside
Build week 19: Inside

Remember those wildflower seeds we scattered on bare earth? Now it’s a sea of green punctuated by bright poppies.

And the fruit trees? Cherries. We ate the first ones off the tree last week.

Pretty poppy in our wildflower garden
Pretty poppy in our wildflower garden

The only problem has been the transport. The train strikes got so bad that we had to abandon a planned visit. We found an alternative route by bus, only to have problems with the car hire. The trains are supposedly back up and running again. Oh, I hope so! I want to be able to focus on the house, not how we’re going to make it to our next meeting.

Suddenly a Ceiling Appears (video)
An Enclosed Space
First Time Upstairs (video)
Up, Up, Up
Misdirection (video)
Transport Troubles
We Made It
The Roof Begins (video)
Starting the Roof

We’re up-to-date with the progress videos. These short updates show the changes between each visit.

Progress week 2
Progress week 4
Progress week 8
Progress week 12
Progress week 14
Progress week 16

Build week 19: Starting the roof
Build week 19: Starting the roof

Visit Love Allier for more, or sign up to the mailing list to find out first.

House Update

Week 12: basement walls

Another round of train strikes made getting to Vichy difficult for the second site meeting in a row. We had a beautiful sunny day for our visit, and took the opportunity to scatter some wildflower seeds in our future garden.

Another Visit, Another Strike
Denied Dessert (video)
The Basement is Done
Happy for Rain

Graham’s been adding some short progress update videos, which focus solely on the house. If you just want to see the changes to the house between each of our visits, these are for you.

Progress Day 3
Progress Day 5

Visit Love Allier for more, or sign up to the mailing list to find out first.

Week 12: basement walls
Week 12: basement walls

Stained Glass Metro

Stained Glass in the Metro

One of Lyon’s metro stations, Place Guichard, has a stained glass wall. It is only really visible from inside the station, behind the ticket barriers. Just like the windows in a cathedral, it is dark from the outside. You need to see it from inside where the sunlight can illuminate it from behind.

Place Guichard Metro Stop, Lyon
Place Guichard Metro Stop, Lyon

I pass through Place Guichard regularly, but rarely have need to get off there. When I absent-mindedly got on the metro heading in the wrong direction the other day, it was a great opportunity to take some photos while I waited for the right train.

House Update

The walls are being built

We had our third site visit last week. More of the utilities are going in, and the builders have started the walls. We’ve also been working on the bathroom design recently.

Kink in the Bathroom (video): Graham talks about the changes to the bathroom wall, and why it was so upsetting.
Designing Bathroom Tile Layouts (video): I talk about how we are approaching our bathroom tile design.
Going Up: A national strike made getting to Vichy complicated, but we made it, and got to see the walls for the first time.
First Steps Inside (video): Our latest site visit.

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House Update

We are in the middle of a longer-than-usual gap between site visits. Part of me is itching to go and see the house, and another part of me is glad to have some time to catch up.

No site visit doesn’t mean nothing is happening though:

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A sea of daffodils

As we sat on the early morning train between Lyon and Vichy last week, I wondered if it was getting light a bit earlier in the journey than the previous weeks.

We took that early train frequently around this time two years ago when we were looking at land in the area, and then when we were choosing the builder and designing the house. The train is at just the right time to observe the lengthening days as the seasons change. In winter, most of the journey is in darkness. By summer, the sun is already up as we wait on the station platform in Lyon.

My other marker for the lengthening days is my morning runs, and on Monday my suspicions were confirmed. I witnessed my first pink sky sunrise of the year. I’m always a little disappointed not to have my camera for those moments, so I don’t have a picture for you. But, I do have these happy daffodils from a recent evening walk to offer instead.

A sea of daffodils
A sea of daffodils

House Update

house foundations

Things are progressing quickly with the house at the moment. We’ve had our second site meeting and reached the first building milestone – foundations.

house foundations
We have foundations

Here’s what’s been happening:

Dealing with Language Difficulties: refining our language coping strategy to make sure we don’t miss any important details.
Foundations: Our second site meeting, and the foundations are in.
We have foundations (video).

You can follow the house build over at Love Allier.

House Update

Excavations complete

The excavations are done, the driveway is in, and string lines mark the outline of the house. We have visited suppliers to choose tiles, bathroom fittings, windows, and doors. It’s exciting, and exhausting, and all-consuming.

You can follow the house build over at Love Allier. In case you missed it, here’s what’s happened so far in order:

A Change of Pace: finding momentum again after months of waiting
A Kick-Start: it begins
Building a Home in Allier, France (video): an introduction and some back story
Massive Hole Dug on Our Beautiful Plot (video): we see the land for the first time since buying it
Tiles, Toilets, and Taps: we have to choose them all
First Meeting on Site (video)
At First Sight: my thoughts on seeing our land for the first time since buying it
Are French Snakes Dangerous (video): we choose doors and windows, and meet the wildlife
More Choices: the above-mentioned doors and windows
Pink String and Blue Pipe: more progress on site, including a water connection

New House, New Project

Our land after excavation

We spent over a year buying our plot of land in the French countryside. Now that it is ours, and the builders have started work, things are moving fast.

Our land before
Our land before…
Our land after excavation
… and after starting excavation

We wanted to document the build process, as a future record for ourselves, and to share it with family and friends far away. You are more than welcome to join us.

All of our posts and videos about the house build will live over at Love Allier. Come and have a look.