Monday, August 9, 2010

La grange toit

Our recent trip in May was a planned reconnaissance. We took hundreds of photos of Montegut, inside and out, each wall/floor/ceiling in each room and close-ups of window ledges, ceiling joists, door frames - and on and on and on.

Don't you love this photo of the steel plate used to hold the tips of the floor planks together.

There is so much to do, everywhere. Once at home we were able to make a list, a very extensive list, and then prioritize the repair lists. Our intent is not to remodel or Americanize anything, but to restore as much as we can to make it liveable in a day to day and season to season plan. We would like to be able to travel during any season and have family and friends join us, too.

No matter how we looked at it the roof over the hay loft always tops the list. There is a section of roofing that has never been replaced, original tiles from who knows when. Well, we do have a pretty good idea of when, but it is hard to believe the tiles have been up there for two centuries.

This photo shows the corner of the "L"... home to the right and barn to the left, the corner that creates the "L" is the hay loft. You can see how much darker the roof tiles are, those are the original tiles and they just happen to be twice as heavy as the new tiles.

This is good news and bad news.

Bad news; because each and every tile has to be removed to reinforce the basic structure of that inside corner, prior to new tiles being placed.

Good news; the tiles are quite sought after for renovating period homes in the area. They will have to be handled a bit more gingerly, but in the end perhaps we will sell them.

I would prefer to use them to top the new chicken coop I have planned. The chickens run free, all 30+ of them, that's a LOT of chickens walking, pecking and doing what chickens do... around the house. The original free range chickens. There is plenty of room for me and the chickens, I just prefer the chickens stick to their own space.

Needless to say B will be the captain of the Projet la Toit (roof project). I will be trying my hand at plastering! Take another look at the photo, you'll see an area that appears to have been newly patched? The term NEW is relative with a house as old as Montegut. That patch was probably done when repairs were made in the 1960's! I figure by the time I finish the side of la entable (this is Barn for animals, Grange is Barn for crops)my skills will have improved so as to look at least acceptable. Ochre has always been the color of Montegut, no one can remember it ever being anything but ochre colored. It will remain ochre on our watch. The pigment is mixed into the plaster, pretty efficient.

La toit projet will take at least two weeks. Plastering the east side of la entable should take me only a few days. The second project I have in mind is to build a new gate to replace the rickety one (same photo). I am pretty excited about these jobs, and can hardly wait to get started.