Myself and my wife (Mark & Gill) are new to the site and about to embark on renovation of a small cottage and conversion of a large barn (cow shed) near Beaumont in the Dordogne that we became proud owners of in December 2018. Are we mad? Time will tell lol.
Not a builder but come from an operation and project/contract management background and have built a few extensions over the years including 2 in the last 4 years on our current home, each time undertaking more of the work ourselves.
First phase is to try the impossible and renovate/extend & a loft conversion to the cottage during regular visits whilst still living in the UK. Plan is to do as much as possible ourselves and pull in specialist artisans as we need them. Still have a lot to learn re: French building techniques and building materials. Looking forward to learning from others experiences both good & bad.
Hoping to agree plans with the architect in the next couple of weeks so that he can apply for the appropriate permissions. In the mean time we are just preparing the property internally. Managed to find the buried water meter and stop tap on our last visit, so we now have water. Next visit have EDF hopefully turning on the electrics so we can have hot water and then start to stay at the property. Albeit just a step up from camping.
Have 1001 questions, at least, particularly around sourcing all the materials required at reasonable prices, along with finding trusted tradesmen.
Having just had our first quote for made to measure replacement windows (ouch) it will be important, if possible, to use standard sized off the shelf windows & doors for the new openings. Any suggestions on the best place/s to obtain these.