From 1992 to ...
La Grez, it's a name that sounds good, isn't it ?
and its barn, have you seen this beautiful construction, unusable as such for modern farming
These walls are also not made to welcome pigs or other animals, they are too beautiful !
Touch these brick walls with rounded corners, take a look at these stone walls and see this valley overlooking the river "Semnon" with its meanders lined by poplar trees, isn't it magnificient and relaxing ?
We need to make this beautiful building into something warm for people seeking total tranquility. What about creating a reception hall for family gatherings ?
The idea is launched and is strengthened day by day.
Now, the project is born : it will be a reception gite, families can rent it for the weekend. They can party without worrying about potential alcohol abuse, as they can stay overnight and leave the next day.
Very proud, I announce the creation of our "reception gite". Alas, this name doesn't exist. There is only "group gite" or "holiday gite". Therefore, it will be necessary to link it to one of these families. Whatever, now, we will have to get to work.
Saturday, February 8th 1992
It's the day of the opening of the Olympic games in Albertville (France) but also the opening of the construction site of "La Grez".
We can start working inside while waiting for the building permit. Let's start with the walls. That is all very well, however, to make a large room, two walls must come down without the attic coming down. First, we must support the attic. Promises are made to be kept ! Now, we can break down the walls. Five days are enough to deal with them. By now, all we have to do is to remove the stone and to set it aside because we will probably need to reuse a little for the masonry work of the windows.
June 15th 1992
We tackle the coverage by the south side. This is assembly line work : one removes slates, the second piles recovered slates, the third cuts them to the required dimensions and the fourth piles them to be reused. With both sides, we hope to remake the north side. 10000 slates will be revised.
Here come the wind and the rain. We must work inside, it's not worth staying under water. Let's take advantage to start preparing the openings.
During December and January, we install doors and small windows on the northern side, eastern and western.
Saturday, February 06th 1993
At the end of January, we can install the rails for the insulation on the northern side. Now, the electrician and the plumber can install drainage pipes and electrical cables.
We start hitting on the south facing walls with a hammer.
Whoops ! The wall doesn't hold out. We just want to remove some stones but they fall apart. Well, we have to support the wall firmly. We don't want everything to collapse... Finally, it took one week to install a window. So, with 4 windows, not counting the small permanent bay windows, it will certainly take more than 2 months to get through it.
Tuesday, April 06th 1993
The workers of the company Lenoir finally come. They install hoses for restrooms and kitchen, also those of the attic. We need to cover all the bases before putting up the restroom ceiling, because, after that, I don't know where the second floor pipes will go down. In the hall room, it would be embarrasing ! Workers also install the mechanical ventilation system and all electrical wirings.
Monday, April 19th 1993
The tiler just arrived. He will start with the restrooms, then the kitchen and the scullery. After, he has to lay the backsplash. A minimum of 2 weeks should be scheduled for this work.
Next day, fixtures and water heaters are delivered. We no longer know where to put our feet. Yet, the hall is big but they are all over the place. We'll be glad when they will be placed because, we don't want to break them.
June will be the period of supplies :
appliances, dishes, chairs. The main staircase is installed on June 10th. It was barely installed then it was stained immediately.
July 05th 1993
Now, we need to mark the entry by something, otherwise guests will not know which door to enter. We decide to build a small wall of about 60 cm and install a small awning.
How about preparing the terrace as the weather is nice ?
Here is the delivery of plasterboard, fiberglass and rails for the second floor. Everything must put into the attic. That's a work out ! Well now, we have a lot on our plate ! We will start off by the playroom and the bedroom above the kitchen.
My Goodness, the finish is still so far away getting closer. We have the impression that we haven't made much progress, especially as we start all over and we don't finish anything !
The hall is finished, we need to clean the windows. Oh what a chore ! Remove the glue, cement, the varnish...we worked several days to do this.
The lights are installed, what is missing is the sound system area, and all will be ready to welcome the public.
So now, let's start on the second floor : we start with restrooms in brick because humidity and plasterboard don't go together it seems. Then, let's continue with the plasterboard for the ceiling and the different sides.
There you go, the first bedroom is well advanced. We do the same thing for the playroom. Then we sand the wall, we lay tiles in the bathroom and after, the electrician and the plumber can come. Afterwards, we can paint,perfect some areas, lay the linoleum and there you have it ! The first bedroom is ready.
05 September 5th 1993
A first group of people wish to book the gite, they want to organize a rally. Hurry up, we need to make tables for 60 persons and to clean all of the rooms so that the premises are ready. The first impression is excellent which reassures us for the future. We can continue, it seems to appeal to guests.
Phew ! The regional subsidy couldn't come at a better time to relieve us momentarily. It would be too stupid to stop the work so close to the goal.
Now, we need to work twice as hard to arrange the rooms because we need to be ready in spring for the summer season, especially since we have a reservation for a wedding in early July. We promised so it'll be ready !
Already February. Got it, the ceiling of the rooms is ready and the sides also. Now, the electrician must pass his wires before closing the partitions. Meanwhile, we'll start the restrooms and build the partitions in brick. That's done. The plumber installs all its pipes and we can plaster.
Making the plaster strips on the plasterboard is not the easiest but the habit begins to come. As we say "we learn by doing". Quickly, we sand the wall and now, 4 bedrooms are ready to paint, where we'll start from now on.
June 1994, 9th
Authorization for the gite by " Gîtes de France "
June 1994, 10th
Authorization for the gite by "Jeunesse et Sport" (the ministry of Youth and Sports) and "La Direction Départementale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales" (Departemental Direction of the Medical and Social Businesses).
Approval for children from 4 years old
July 1994, 2nd
July 1994, 07th
After 2 and a half years of work, we can finally take a breather, but we can still be proud of our achievement.
It's a beautiful family achievement, just look at the photo album (on the site).
Thanks again to all those who helped us in this project.
Now, I leave you, I go near the phone and the datebook.
Thank you for having the patience to read this summary to the end.
For more information, come and see on site...