So now that you’ve seen the scary before pictures of our little retreat, here are some of the after photographs. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I never took any official after shots of the house! Most of these pictures I still see work that needed to be done. So please excuse the messes in these photos… you weren’t supposed to see that 😉 Next time we return there, I’ll have to retake these photos so you can see what it truly looks like now. There are two bedrooms upstairs – one is ours, and the other was for the kids to share (it is huge). The two bedrooms downstairs are our offices.
We spent about 10,000 euros on renovations. This included re-tiling the entire downstairs, knocking out the fireplace to install a wood burning stove, plastering and waxing all walls for a traditional look, repainting ceilings, remodeling the kitchen, converting the veranda into a dining room, re-fencing in the yard, small fixes to the electric, small fixes to plumbing, painting exterior and shutters, and installing electric heaters as backup heating. Also included are new appliances and furniture. All furniture was purchased used on leboncoin.fr and appliances were on sale (June is a great time of year for appliance shopping!).
Also, I did much of the work myself to reduce our costs, for instance, I tiled the floors, plastered and waxed the walls, refinished and installed kitchen cabinets, and put up new fencing. I also painted the second story of the house because the handyman we hired was terrible. Did I mention, I did all this work from May until October… I gave birth to my son in June. When he was a month old, I had him in his Baby Bjorn while I was plastering walls with a trowel. Some people may ask where my husband was during this time… he was working full-time to earn money for me to renovate this house, hahaha. We were a team. While he worked, I worked on the house. This way, we were able to get it all done faster than him working on it nights and weekends. Not to mention, I LOVE doing this stuff!!!!
So in all, our investment into this house was 100,000 euros and annual taxes are roughly only 1,000 euros. All we need to do now is add a reinforcing beam to another beam under my husband’s office for 300 euros and we’ll replace the wood deck with one in cement for about 4,000 euros. Otherwise, the house is solid! Each time we return, I’ll hunt for decorations. We were so focused on the renovations and basic needs, that we never got around to adding things like curtains and paintings.
On my next post, I’ll give you some tips on buying a house in France. Now that we’ve gone through the process twice, I have some good tips for you.
Return to the previous page to see the before shots of our paradise.
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