Friday, 10 June 2011

House in France (My French Folly) - plans have arrived and ........

Need some shutters just like these......
Great anticipation. A twinge of disappointment. Two months past the due date, the plans for the renovations to make the My French Folly habitable, have finally arrived. All I can say is my husband and I  will have to change our names to Bonny and Clyde, as the current financial horizon is looking very bleak.   
The floor plan of the house now resembles a Chinese checkers game. The 18th century oak stair case with its beautiful, hand-woven willow banister is to be 
The proposed site of the 2 windows
on the right side of the wall
moved sideways. The original kitchen is now a proposed bathroom. The salon is to be a kitchen-dinning area into which a washing machine (clothes washing, not dish washing) is to be placed - a sight that would put me off the most tempting French cuisine. The sejour has morphed into a double bedroom; temporarily until the second storey is refurbished.  The library is now a single guest room for my elderly father who can't climb stairs - a practical solution. One doorway is to be blocked off and another inserted. Two large windows are to appear in a solid wall, and the plumbing is not centralised. The proposed  windows are to capture the view of the old church on the adjoining hill - in theory, an excellent idea. However,  after renovating three 19th century houses I am concerned that inserting windows in an 18th century dwelling will create additional unforeseen work which could add substantial costs to a strained budget.
......and a window similar this
one in Chateau de Bournand...
There will be another bathroom up stairs (more euros) to service the additional 3 bedrooms, but the grenier for which so many grand designs have been mooted, doesn't even appear on the  floor plan - apparently because of our minuscule budget, yet we have the plans for the first storey which won't be renovated for a few years! 
It is at times like this I: 
a) want to release a primal scream,
b)  recall some words of  'wisdom' from my Year 11 English teacher: 'girls, if you are going to fall in love, make sure it is with a rich man'.  She married another teacher.
We have kept emphasizing to the designer that once the major works have been completed (power sewage, plumbing, roof and floor repairs) the remainder of our budget will be extremely small. Additional bathrooms, moving stairs unnecessarily and having metres of plumbing zig-zagging under the house is an extravagance and perhaps unnecessary. 
At the moment, I feel that I have 'bitten off more than I can chew', financially, physically and emotionally! Or as my French girlfriend says............ je suis dans le caca.