Sunday, August 24, 2014


My brothers arrival was imminent and he was due to help erect a wooden cabin that I had ordered before my departure to England.  I was ill prepared on my arrival back, though had taken the time, en route, to order wood, gravel and cement in order to construct the foundations.

To minimise expenditure and environmental impact I decided to support a wooden subframe on several concrete filled tyres as a foundation for my build.  I obtained used tyres, for free, at a local garage, and filled them with a mixture of large stones gathered on site and a hand mixed concrete.  The wooden frame would sit on top and match the footprint of the building on order.  I had dimensions and a plan, but it was all a bit of a guess.

Additionally I decided to dig some drainage channels under the site as it was rather boggy, even in mid summer, to minimise the dampness during the winter and hopefully keep the chalet as dry as possible.   I reused some of the broken roof tiles in the drainage channels and they cost nothing apart from a bit of muscle power to install.  A couple of additional pipes were added as drains for a possible shower and kitchen sink, but that is for the future.

The chalet duly arrived.  Two huge parcels wrapped on white polythene, measuring 5 plus metres in length and weighing just shy or 2000Kg.  I had been assured that delivery onto the site would be no problem, but one look at my driveway access and the truck driver decided that it was a definite NO!!  He left the huge packages on the side of the road and I braced myself for an arduous day of moving the whole lot by hand.  The access was too steep, not wide enough and totally inadequate for the 4x4 all terrain forklift that I had been promised by the guy in the sales office.  

Lady Luck was looking on, my neighbouring farmer passed me as I as surveying the delivery and promised to return with his tractor and forks the following morning to see if he could help.  He could, and within half an hour the the materials were in position, ready for construction when my brother arrived.

In the mean time I was hastily preparing for his arrival.  Peter, for those of you who don’t know my family, was due to arrive at Toulouse airport a couple of days later.  I had erected a tent and in one end installed his room complete with proper bed, bedside table and reading lamp (courtesy of a solar model from IKEA)  The rest of the tent became tool store, kitchen and dining area. (I really must take photos of this before it is disbanded.) and my life changed for the better overnight.  Percy became a tranquil retreat, comfortable, warm and cosy.  A place to relax and sleep after a hard day’s work without having to cope with cooking meals and dealing with wet and dirty clothes when the weather was inclement.  He was much happier and so was I.
delivery, not exactly where I had imagined........

I love my new neighbours

drainage under the foundations

pillar supports for the new chalet

all in place and ready to construct

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow……you are making such progress!! xx Just checked your Blog to find all these posts!! But where is the one of you doing 'the challenge' !! xx