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house update

June 20, 2007

Bicycle.jpgThere hasn’t been much renovation going on in my little corner of the Poitou-Charentes lately, as regular readers - presumptuous of me, I know, to assume that there are any - might have noticed. This is partly because I have been busy with other projects but also because I have been waiting for the green light from the mairie. I live in a protected architectural zone, which means I am not allowed to make any changes to the exterior – not even paint the shutters - without official permission.

Given that French bureacracy generally gets a bad rap, I was braced for a prolonged struggle. But I am happy to report that my application to smarten up the exterior was surprisingly painless. There was just one very simple form to fill in, one photo of the current facade (ugly grey pebbledash) to attach. Et voila. Today I was given the go-ahead, less than two months after dropping my form off at the mairie. I must stick to a prescribed formula: lime plastering with the old stones still visible; while the facade must be painted ‘ton de pierre’ (the colour of old stone) and the shutters pale grey. This is what I was planning to do anyway, so it's reassuring to know that this is the traditional style for the area.

comments (6)

1. Posted by Noel on June 21, 2007 11:54 AM

Great you've got your permission. I'm sure funds will arrive in equally surprising and hassle-free manner! :-)

2. Posted by Miu Miu on June 21, 2007 1:16 PM

And which grey will you be choosing my dear? Surely an F&B reference should have been included along with your application and at the very least this latest post!


3. Posted by Dave B on June 23, 2007 8:14 PM


what about your book? Did you finish it to your deadline?

4. Posted by Lavender Sprig on June 24, 2007 12:08 AM

What 'other projects'? Do tell! Did you finish your book ?

5. Posted by peter kilpatrick on June 27, 2007 11:46 AM

Glad to hear it. I must say we haven't had any problems with artisans or building permission either.

6. Posted by Chris on July 3, 2007 1:19 PM

Ahhh...the thrill of choosing a paint colour once again...

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