Well, I don’t have too much on the roof update to report about. We’ve been lucky that every day the workers have actually shown up and put in a full day’s work (maybe Peter Mayle should have contracted with these guys)! The only day this past week that there seemed to be a rough patch was on Wednesday when it got super windy and the guys left about an hour earlier than usual. The funny thing is that I wish they would have left sooner! I was really worried about them working so high up in such strong winds and gusts, especially cuz they don’t wear any safety harnesses. They muddled through, but I think that day set them back a bit cuz they weren’t able to work as fast as usual.
The rest of the week went well, though, and they are now about half way done with the east side of the roof.
We happen to have a window in the roof on the east side and Dude and I very much needed to change the existing one. So after the workers left on Friday, Dude climbed up on the roof and tore out the old window. It was a spaceship looking dome kind of thing and was actually kind of cool cuz it had this bubble hatch that was really easy to open and gave great access to the roof. It had a holder on it and you could prop the hatch open either a little or a lot depending on how much air flow you wanted that day. It was really a neat design, but it was old and leaking and just needed to be taken out.
The roof window happens to be in the bathroom so once it was removed we had to put in the new window right away. Here is the hole that was left when we removed the old one.
Fortunately for us, we found a window that happened to be the perfect fit at Point P. It isn’t the top of the line or anything, but it is double-paned (the only double-paned window in the house) and since we bought it right off the shelf at the store it was fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately all the other windows in the house are single-paned and were custom made so we are just going to leave them for now.
Dude managed to chisel out a bit of the roof and ceiling, cut some wood to fit around the chassis of the window and screw that into the roof and place the window in pretty quickly. Now when the workers come back on Monday they can just tile around it and we should be all good. This new window actually gives us some really great light. We hadn’t realized how dark the bathroom was when the other window was in. This window makes everything all light and bright. It’s a big improvement!
The other thing Dude did is cut a hole in the ceiling of the closet on the third story so we can put in a whole house ventilation system. We bought the tuile (the one that looks like it has a little house on top) a week ago in anticipation of getting the system set up. It was easier to have the tuile for the ventilation put on at the same time the rest of the tuiles are going in so we took the opportunity to give it to the workers to set it in place.
We decided to put in a ventilation system since we live in an area that has about 78% or higher humidity for at least 8 months of the year. The second and first story of the house has fairly good air circulation, but the third story is awful and that is where the mildew problems are the worst. This is the main reason why the façade is being done, as well. Right now the outside of the house on the back and east facing side has never been stucco’d. It is just rock and it soaks up the water when it rains and it permeates through the walls causing mold and mildew. That along with no proper ventilation has been really bad. When the façade and new ventilation system are both done, it should be a big help to combat this problem.
It seems that the workers have at least two more days before the roof is finished. It could be three, but in any case, if the weather remains good then they should be totally finished before the week is out. Every day gets us a day closer to getting her done. We might be a little farther away than 9 and 3/4, but I like the way that sounds (being a Harry Potter fan and all). Plus, I figure I should go with the power of positive thinking 🙂
Today when I got up, I wasn’t sure what I would be working on. I asked Dude and he said that he wanted to do some more touch ups with the dry wall (no thanks) and finish. Two of the walls that we drywalled are getting really close to being finished and ready for primer. The problem is that those same two walls developed a crack in one of the seams and now Dude had to go scrape them out, put more dry wall tape on it and re-drywall. No he’s going to have to go back over it a few more times before it’s ready. A small but painful set back, none the less. He also said he wanted to paint the wood in the garage.
Each day we start on the house Dude proceeds to tell me what he wants to accomplish for the day. Mind you, this is a list that could be done lickity-split if we were in The States, only we’re not. We’re in France. Nothing runs like clockwork here and you would have thought we would have gotten that by now. In the back of our minds we know it, we just don’t want to accept it. So each “work on the house” day that comes our way, he tries to make a list of what he wants to accomplish and then we see at the end of the day how much of it DIDN’T get done. At first we were really disappointed, but now we’re just use to it. Even so, the frustration level in our house is getting really high.
Well today was another, “we tried, but failed” day.
Dude said that while he was fixing the drywall, I needed to go to Point P to get some paint for the garage. It’s all cleaned up now and the little buggies are gone, dead, or whatever happens to them when they get sprayed. Dude said we needed to paint the beams for added protection. They were never even coated with sealer or anything to protect them. Since he was doing all this work to get things right, we might as well go that extra mile.
So he sent me off to Point P with two instructions: 1) get paint that is brown 2) get about 2 gallons. Now I like Point P for some things. Really big material things. The problem with the small stuff is that they don’t have enough and they are super, ridiculous on their prices. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but I figured that since he was calculating and always talking about prices (he knows them really well now) that he was just biting the bullet on this one cuz he wanted it done now and cuz Point P is the only DIYer store within miles of us.
I set off to the store. When I got there I made a bee line for paint (because every time I go in there I’m the only woman in that dang place and there’s always a bunch of construction guys hanging around). Talk about uncomfortable! So I went over to the paint and even though they didn’t have much to choose from, I was thoroughly confused. I stood there looking at what they had and eventually decided on one that was for wood and was called “Bruin”. If I’m not mistaken that’s pretty much brown, which Dude wanted, and the color on the top of the can looked all right to me. The problem was that they only had two cans and I needed a bit more. Dude said that about 3,8L was close to a gallon and their stupid cans were only 2,5L and there were only 2 of them! That’s the other thing I hate about getting materials here, the stupid “outta stocks”. These guys should be shot. A store should never be outta stock of anything. Dummies. Since all I could get was two containers, that’s what I did. I figured I would just come back another day since the project wouldn’t be finished today any way (if we were keeping to the norm).
So, I paid my exorbitant, ridiculous, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious price for it and left. When I got home I put the two cans in the garage and went upstairs to make some lunch. Just as my food was about ready, Dude comes up and asked if everything was fine and if they had water-based paint. What the heck?? Where did this water-based paint stuff come in at?? I was told 2 gallons and brown, baby.
I said I didn’t know if it was water based on not and that when he sent me off it wasn’t part of the criteria. Dude said that was what he needed. So downstairs I went to grab one of the containers. He took a look at it and said that it was oil based cuz you had to clean the brushes with white spirit. What the heck is white spirit? He was like, it’s a chemical to clean your brushes with. If it was water based then you would just clean your brushes with water. Well, I had never heard of white spirit or the fact that I had to get water based paint. Now he tells me!? I got acetone and paint thinner upstairs. Wouldn’t that do?
He also said he wanted water based cuz he just sprayed/injected the beams with a water based insecticide. Good grief. I wish he would have told me this before I went. I am not a construction guru. Then we had to argue about it for like 30 minutes.
I said I would take the paint back, get my money back and go elsewhere for what we needed and for the amount we needed. I grabbed the containers and the receipt and off I went to Point P.
When I got to the store the same guy was there that rang me up an hour before that. I told him that the paint I bought wasn’t what we needed and I wanted to return it and get my money back. He looked at his computer and then proceeded to tell me that he could not reimburse me my money. I was not in good mood before this and I certainly wasn’t arriving at a better one right about then. I ask him why not and he said that if you spend over a certain amount, the computer doesn’t allow for reimbursements. I would just have to go and get the product I wanted. I told him that I wanted to speak the manager cuz this was ridiculous! I was just here 1 hour ago and paid cash for it! His manager came over and said it was a “no go” that I had to go get another product. Great. Now I have to add another store to my list of “I am not going there anymore”. I was disappointed since all the other times I was at Point P they were so helpful. They’re always helpful when taking your money. Forget it when they gotta give it back.
I told the guy to show me the same thing I bought but in water base. He took me over to the products and gave me what I wanted. Guess what?? They only had 2 containers of that, as well! Is that like the going number or something?! I asked him when there were going to get more in and if it would be this year (I really did say that cuz by now my hormones had taken over). He said they would have more next week.
Sure they would. I didn’t believe it for one minute.
They guy at the desk did the exchange and since the new paint I bought was a bit cheaper (not by much and certainly nothing to write home about), I was entitled to an ‘avoir’ which in French means a credit. I didn’t want a credit cuz that meant that I had to come back to this stupid place and use it! “That’s all we can do, Madame”, is what I got as I left. Yeah, bite me buddy and thanks for rien de tout!
I took my two itty, bitty, expensive cans of water-based, brown paint home to Dude and told him what happened. He just looked at me with that, “Why does everything have to be such a hassle in France” look. I said, “Cuz it’s France, that’s why”. That seems to be the only explanation I can give. If I find a new one, I’ll be sure to tell him.
Lastly, for the icing on the cake, he says to me as he is painting the garage, “This isn’t really brown. This is ugly. It looks stupid”. Ahhhhh! Just paint, Dude!
For the record, the paint looks just fine. I actually like it. Besides, he’s going to re stucco the garage and he can use a nice tint to complement the color. I think it’s fine so he’s just going to have to live with it. Period.
Oh yeah, we had to argue about that one for another 30 minutes.