Another Nasty Surprise

After narrowly escaping going up in flames thanks to the previous owners bad wiring we have learned of yet another example of his workmanship this evening.

It concerns the fireplace which has never been efficient although it looks quite attractive. Friends of ours showed us a wood stove that they were having installed because they were convinced it would be much more economical and straightforward to run.

Bear immediately decided that we should enquire about the possibility of having one in our living room so yesterday we went to ask at a local shop.

The helpful lady took down the details, gave us a brochure and said the boss would be in touch to come and have a look. At 10 to 6 this evening he phoned to ask if it would be OK to arrive in five minutes!

He looked at the fireplace, tut tutted a few times and then smiled.

“I’ve been here before, to deliver this fireplace but it’s been installed wrongly. It wasn’t me who put it in.” he hastily added.

It seems we are not getting much heat because it’s all going up the chimney instead of into the room.

We had noticed that you can stand right in front of the fre and not feel hot and the various vents in the walls don’t produce any warm air at all.

However, the (probably) good news is that it should cost less than a new wood stove to put it right while the (definitely) bad news is that it means making a  hole in the wall and a big mess.

He’s promised to give us an estimate but he didn’t say how long that might take.

So far the previous owner’s catalogue of errors has cost us rather dearly:

  • The spotlights upstairs which could have caused a major fire.
  • The conservatory which flooded every time it rained because he hadn’t sorted out the drainage. (Pascal claimed it would be an afternoon’s work but his  son managed to take the best part of a week to dig out a ditch and put a drain in  – at 10 euros an hour!)
  • The chimney for the gas boiler which wasn’t the right material. (That cost over 2000 euros to replace!)
  • The leaky chimney which had to be condemned. (We therefore lost a place to support the TV aerial which is now in the attic.)

No wonder the notaire stressed “You realise you are buying the house ‘as seen’ “,  when we signed the papers.


7 Responses to “Another Nasty Surprise”

  1. BearNaked Says:

    I guess it doen’t matter which continent houses are on, they all seem to be money pits.
    At least yours and mine anyway.

    ((( )))

    You’re right, there’s always something to improve!

  2. canisfamiliaris Says:

    Caveat emptor, Sandy! Caveat emptor!

    derek x

    Indeed Derek, my daughter won’t let me forget that we didn’t have a survey done. Mind you, apart from the obligatory check for asbestos, lead and woodworm I don’t think many French people ask for an expert opinion.

  3. Z Says:

    I hope you got it at a bargain price at any rate. And you’ll be warmer this winter.

    Well, I suppose it was a bargain compared to house prices in England but the neighbours seemed to think it was overpriced.

  4. Keith Says:

    I just got my roof space insulated for free! There is a Govt Scheme here that states if you are over 70 and live alone they will provide the material and do if for nothing.

    Well, it took a year of phone calls, letters, begging and pleading before they came. As the workman left they said “There you are, that will make your house warmer.” That is amazing, considering that I can no longer afford to turn on the heating thanks to the Govts latest “Bung-up-the-price-of-gas-to-freeze-the-old-buggers-to-death” scheme!

    It really is time you moved to the south of France by the sound of things! If your daughter is willing to help you what are you waiting for?

  5. tillylil Says:

    Lovely house despite the previous bodgers.
    Keith is right.
    Praying for a sunny winter cos’ the conservatory which is south facing creates free heat for downstairs and I can’t afford to heat my house all day just to sit in one room.

    We have a conservatory which never has direct sunlight. However, it does help to insulate us from the cold in Winter and in the Summer (huh – what Summer?) it doesn’t get too hot.

  6. guyana gyal Says:

    Mm-hm, as BearNaked says.

    In warmer climes like here, I guess we should be grateful, any li’l home provides shelter.

    Then there are the bandits who break down simple doors.

    It’s such a shame that breaking in has become such a problem nowadays. When I was a child people usually felt safe leaving their doors unlocked all day.

  7. Little old me Says:

    here you can’t buy without a survey, they cost a fair bit, but not as much as you have paid out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: