Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Construction à la française...and living under 2 roofs

I've always mocked the way public works are carried out in France. A typical scenario for pipi repairs would be: remove cobbles, dig hole, put cobbles back, cover with makeshift paving, replace cobbles. Wait two months. Redig hole, re-remove cobbles, install pipes, replace cobbles.

I've always wondered just how difficult it is to coordinate 2 different companies (the masons and the pipe people)...and now I'm finding out first hand.

Here we are in almost mid-August. We were supposed to be moved into our house before the summer, or at least be able to do the final touches in August while my parents watched Suzanne. And yet ...Pictures speak louder than words.

wall extension

old and new roof

my future bedroom window and floor (and sexy workmen)

The one-handed half-blind electrician is in Portugal for a month and we've had no word from him. And, oops, we just realized that our chef de chantier never paid his first installment. So, the dry wall can't go up because the wiring can't be done. The plumber is MIA too so we have one functioning toilet which actually belongs to the plumber since he brings it to all his chantier so his men can pee. Of course, one of the roofers still hasn't understood this and continues to pee in my future mini-garden which remains a heap of dead soil and rubble. So much for tilling the soil while the weather's nice! Meanwhile, the roofer is almost done but not quite as it turns out they misjudged the amount of work needed to build our new roof (and the price too! haha).

The good news is that only 2 of our 3 workmen are currently on vacation and that we have temporarily hired my Jake Gyllenhaal look alike brother-in-law to do some work (let's hope it stays hot so I will see some rippling biceps).

The bad news is that we won't be in the house until October (if we are hopeful) or December (if we are realistic) which puts quite a damper on our December trip to the US which I desperately need.

This is France so I shouldn't have gotten my hopes so high when it comes to timeliness or efficiency. Looks like my 4th of July BBQ turned Halloween party will be more of a New Year's Eve party....2009!


Deb said...

Looks like it's coming along. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for ya!

Reb said...

don't hold your breath!

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