The Little Sunday Project

Since we are pretty much dead in the water right now on this roof/façade thing, Dude and I have moved on to some small projects that need to be tackled (and believe me there are thousands in this house) that don’t have any bearing on the roof or façade to be finished.

This weekend was really windy (gusts up to 95 km/hr) in our neck of the woods which makes for an awful day outdoors so on Saturday afternoon we just chilled. Dude was busy making his nifty, new computer he just got all personalized and stuff and me, well I decided to relax and watch some of my favorite French TV shows. I was in luck that day cuz I got to see two episodes of Tous Ensemble and an episode of Maison a Vendre (both of these shows happen to be ones I watch every chance I get) and then I topped it off with an episode of Ghost Whisperer. I was thoroughly addicted to that show in the states and cried my eyes out when it was canceled. Thanks to the French love affair of all things American, I get to watch it here. It’s in French, but hey, what could be better than watching one of your favorite shows and learning French au meme temps?

When Sunday rolled around and the wind was still blowing with the continuously strong gusts, Dude suggested we work on a small project that wouldn’t take all day plus forever like our other projects. One of the things that needed to be done was getting an electrical run into our living room. I think I’ve mentioned before that our living room was, for the previous owners, an indoor terrace. This room was most likely used only in the spring and summer months, hence no insulation, not heat, and no plugs or switches for electricity. Well, this happens to be my favorite room in the house and Dude and I have been arguing over whether to keep it a living room to use all year around or live like the previous owners and only use it half the year. Folks, I’m not going down without a fight on this one. I am determined to get this room in order to be able to use it whenever I darn well please and it looks like I’m on the winning team so far.

So today was the day that Dude suggested we make an electrical run from the electrical box that will be in our room (which is the main box for all the new electrical runs we are doing in the house) to the living room. Since the walls in our house are about 50 meters plus thick, we decided it would be better to run tracking through a window in our room that leads to the terrace. It would be a bit invasive to drill a hole in the wall to run the electrical and neither one of us wanted to make any more large holes in the house, especially one that was going to be through a wall that used to be an exterior wall. We had already dealt with that this past summer when running the iron rod through the house and we didn’t really want to experience that again.

You’re probably wondering why we have a window in the house that looks out onto another room of the house and why it has bars on it. The reason is that our bedroom used to be the end of the house. The terrace/living room was added later on. If they would have sealed up the window there would be no natural light into the bedroom since that is the only window. Also, the bars were decorative (no we don’t live in a bad area) so we left them cuz I think they are super cool.

So back to the electrical. Dude decided that he was going to change the electrical box in our room, as well. He had put in this orange one back when we were doing the drywall and flex runs but he was never happy with it since it is too small.

He was up in the air about what he wanted to do with it, but in the end just decided on going with this one that is bigger and also a nicer color. I much prefer blue over orange.

So we changed out the box and viola. That was easy enough. Now onto the electrical run. The only invasive holes we had to make were two small ones just under the window so the wires could go through. With that done, we were able to run tracking from the wall in our room to the wall in the living room and put in a plug for any electrical we will need in the beginning and also a jack for the internet/cable box/phone. This is just to start us out so we have some power in this room and can start getting rid of all the cords that are running across the doorway and are somewhat of a hazard.

We started by manually cutting the track with a hand saw, but that wasn’t working too well and was taking too much time so Dude decided to bust out his new Christmas present that he hadn’t had a chance to use, yet.

So here it is, kabaam! A new Metabo saw. You should have seen the look of joy on this man’s face when he took that thing out of the box and was hookin’ it up (insert kid in candy store look here).

So away he went cutting the angles on the tracking so we could just get busy with getting it on the wall. So far so good. Things were going pretty well today. The stars must be aligned right or something.

During this process we had no connection to the internet and no phones as we had to unhook everything and run the lines through the tracking and re-hook them up. This process took a bit of time and Tinki wasn’t happy about itl but what teenager is jumpin’ for joy when you take away their connection to the outside world??!!

Once all the tracking and right angles and flat angles were up, the wires were run and the plugs installed, all that was left was the cover for the tracking. I told Dude that it was getting late so I was going to leave him to finishing the work and go make dinner. I figured that since this was the last part, it was going to be alright. Well, it turned out that cutting and fitting the cover on the tracking was the hardest part. It seemed that the cover didn’t want to fit very well and he had a hard time making it all come together.

About half way through making dinner I started to hear unhappiness coming from the living room. It just wasn’t happening at the end all nice and neat like the rest of the job. After several attempts and cuts and re-cuts, he finally was able to finish it up and here is what we have now.

It’s not pretty, but we didn’t have to go messing up any walls so I’m ok with it.

Besides, more than likely when we get to putting furniture in the room and fixing it up, there will be some kind of bookcase or something to cover it up anyway and all will be good.

Also, it wouldn’t be a real French house without tracking running up and down the walls, now would it?

PS- Dude told me to let everyone know out there that he hates French electrical 🙂


About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on January 23, 2012, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Our house is full of projects to be done too, most of which end up taking much longer and being more complicated than at first thought. ps I love Maison a Vendre too!

    • Hey Jacqui, Welcome to home projects in France! I’m sure in the UK just like in America if you can dream it, it will be reality. Unfortunately, it’s not the case here or else the reality ends up taking too long! Do you get burnt out on the projects because they take so long? I’m finding that I do 😦

  2. At least something has gone right for once. I had a rough idea from earlier write-ups of yours that Dude wasn’t fond of French electrics. It does sound as if things are turning for the better for you though. But I am sure that you still have a long way to go before you can chill out with a glass of wine and think to yourselves. “It’s done, all finished” 🙂

    • You got that right, Stephen. Dude thinks that French electrical is no bueno and has since day one. He simply can’t stand it cuz it really doesn’t make sense. I remember you saying the same thing some time ago. I think the Uk’ers and the Americans really know what’s going on. I guess we’ll just have to wait about 20 years for the French to catch up. Although, when our new panel is in and we show off those pictures, I think these French guys are gonna be so jealous! We’ll have the nicest residential electrical panel here 🙂
      As far as chillin’ with a glass of wine and it being all done, I can’t even imagine in my wildest dreams that will happen. I guess that’s what you get when you want an old French house!

  3. The phone of homes in France. They are made so backassward aren’t they?!
    And the wind! The freaking wind! The mistral is currently howling outside like a banshee and has been keeping me up at night shaking my house!
    But to think in the positive… at least the sky is super blue and cloudless 🙂

    • Hey Sara, The wind is always a bummer. I swear I feel like it blows here all the darn time. If it weren’t for my allergies I probably wouldn’t mind so much. I do agree with you on those lovely blue and cloudless days, though. Double edge sword, isn’t it. Think positive… think positive…I’m trying!

  4. Congratulations on completing your Sunday project. I get tired thinking about all of your projects and I am sure you are too. But courage; one project down. Check!

    • Hi Michel, I also get tired thinking of my thousands of projects! The funny thing is that once the roof and facade are done, we have about 3 more large projects in the works and then after that are the bazillions of little ones. Oh the joy of owning an old French house. No mater how long I live in it, there will always be something to do.

  1. Pingback: Livingroom Minor Improvement « First Home Diva

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