Le Priou, or how we started another holiday home – Part II

Le Priou

So I can continue my story about how Chéri and I created a gîte in Le Priou near Saint-Chinian, here’s a second post. Although we still haven’t completely finished the holiday home, writing this article forces me to get on with it. So, this second part will explain how we transformed a 50m2 little house into a more comfortable place to stay when you come for a vacation to the South of France.

Five years

After the dreadful COVID period, which seemed to last forever, it was time to start thinking about our sweet little place in Le Priou again. We halfheartedly started some work on it when we bought it in 2019. But besides the concrete foundation to support the extension and get the bricks to our holiday home, we didn’t get far. So, by 2023, it was time to get the job done. Also, we needed to finish the work by the end of 2023 according to our ‘permission de construire’. Five years seems a long time to finish a small extension to a house. However, somehow, they flew by. Nowadays, the planning permission is valid for three years (see here). This means the permission expires if you haven’t started the work within these three years or if you interrupt the work for more than one year.


Bad luck

As Chéri and I both aren’t exactly Bob the Builders, the key was finding an experienced builder who could finish the extension within the required time. Finally, I found a good builder (via Facebook, of all places) who wanted to take on the job where we had left off. So, gradually, we saw walls being built. A wooden structure was built, supported by concrete beams to pour the concrete for the ceiling. And that’s when things got a little stressful… The guy who was supposed to lay the concrete onto the ceiling-to-be didn’t mix it well. So, first, a flush of water came out of the tube, followed by a big blob of concrete. It was too much at once, and one of the beams snapped, creating a big hole in the ceiling. I guess bad luck is an inevitable part of renovating…

Le Priou

Windows and doors

Time caught up with us again, and before we knew it, it was December 2023. By this time, the builders had managed to finish the ceiling. Also, the second bedroom had arisen, including the roof, and the terrace on the first floor took form. The windows and doors were a minor setback, though, as they took longer to arrive than expected. Luckily, I could get extra time when filling out our tax declaration. And by the end of January 2024, a bit more than five years later, the windows and doors were installed. This was the last work that needed to be done on the exterior for the French government to accept the extension of the house. Now all that was left was finishing off the house… To be continued in Part III!

Le Priou
TO SLEEP - Gites
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