Living France - - LIFESTYLE -

For any­one think­ing about tak­ing on a ren­o­va­tion task as tough or lon­glast­ing as Jauber­ria, Dave has the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

“Pace your­self with the tim­ing and the money, be­cause both are go­ing to take at least dou­ble – twice the time and prob­a­bly twice the money, even if you’re on a tight bud­get. If you pace your­self, you have the chance to pull in some of that money you’re go­ing to need fur­ther along.”

Be or­gan­ised with ma­te­ri­als and plan­ning, and that will help keep costs trim. “I order more sand, gravel or blocks than we need for the job that we’re do­ing be­cause I’ve al­ready looked ahead at what would be hap­pen­ing in the next six months, which is also a sav­ing in the long-term as well.”

Keep an eye out for any­thing that can be re­cy­cled. “We’ve still got the wood that formed the orig­i­nal barn roof. We’ve used a lot of it in the cot­tage and some of it is back in the barn. It’s re­ally sat­is­fy­ing treat­ing this wood and get­ting it back to how it would have looked when it was put in new, in­stead of burn­ing it.”

Learn French, ei­ther be­fore or soon af­ter you make the move. “You can get by with­out know­ing it, but you’ve got to em­brace it once you’re here. If you re­ally want to feel at home or start to feel that it’s your new home, it’s the only way to tackle it.”

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