I’d be grateful for anyone’s advice or experience relating to the following situation. Please bear with me if this is a bit long winded - just want to give as much background detail as poss.
One of the boundary walls of our garden was once the wall of a mediaeval house. It’s made of schist and compacted earth, and is about 6m high and the upper part is covered in a thick mixture of vines and ivy (which may well be holding it together!). On the other side of the wall is the site of another old house that is now largely overgrown with brambles*.
Last autumn the retired carpenter still has a workshop below the wall, but lives about half an hour away told me the wall was starting to move in the direction of his atelier and he’d put a couple of short lengths of oak in place stop this.
My wife and I then asked the advice of the maire and when the cadastre was consulted, it turned out that our carpenter actually owned the plot on the other side of the wall and according to the mayor, was therefore jointly responsible for its maintenance! The mayor also gave us the contact details of a local artisan, who could stabilise the wall.
We then returned to our carpenter (with whom we’ve had good relations for several years) relayed what the mayor had told us and that we’d contact said artisan and get a price for the job. There wasn’t an explanation as to why our carpenter hadn’t previously mentioned that he owned the adjoining plot and subsequently there was a similar lack of response from the mayor’s recommended artisan. However down here in the Aveyron, artisans seem to avoid working with traditional masonry beteen October and March because the temps may be too low .
Fast forward to the present. We’ve had a lot of rain over the winter, presumably more earth has been washed from the wall and its stability is unlikely to increase. I’ll need to address the issue in the coming months and need to make a plan (extermely common Afrikaans phrase, “Die boer maak 'n plan.”).
- find traditional artisan/s and get quote/s
- Have conversation with carpenter about the cost - difficult 'cos his accent is impentrable.
- Point out that although his plot is essentially uselss to him, he’s legally responsible for shared maintenance of the wall and it collapses not only will it demolish his workshop, but his insurance claim might be affected if he’s failed to maintain the wall.
- Suggest that if he legally transferred his plot to me I’d pay for the whole job, as it would enable us to extend our garden.