The progress on our new build has been steady, although somewhat slower than we hoped when we set out last year. One reason for this is that Frank suffers from dizziness and head pains after a work accident. Not being afraid of heights before, he can suddenly experience acute dizziness, something that unfortunately prohibits him from working high above ground.
Above all, Frank’s health issue is the reason the roof on our new build has stood bare all through the winter. We have not been able to mount the solar panels albeit we received them in September last year. Neither could we could mount the roof windows nor the roof tiles. That was until we received help from our friends.
Receiving Help from Friends and Neighbours
Luckily, we have friends and neighbours willing to lend us a hand. Despite a fresh blast of snow, most of the solar panels came up in time for Christmas.
It was the second weekend in Advent some friends from Norway came to visit. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t had much snow until then, but the weekend coincided with the coming of the first snow. The temperatures, that had been comfortable all through the Autumn, suddenly dropped.
Yet, despite the freezing weather, we almost completed mounting the solar panels in a single day.
We have purchased 40 solar panels through Frank’s employer, who gave us a fair price. 39 panels went on the roof, while one is meant for other use. The panels are of a French design that is integrated within the roof. This means we avoid using roof tiles in that area. The completed roof now looks very sleek and nice.
See the video on our YouTube channel
While the men were busy working on the roof, we girls worked inside insulating the loft that eventually will be two holiday apartments for rent. Although the temperature wasn’t particularly friendly, just slightly above the freezing point, it was cosier than on the outside.
Although inexperienced in carpentry, our two female friends were not afraid to use heavy power tools. They measured and cut and helped build the staircase and landing for both apartments. Moreover, they balanced elegantly on the loft beams while insulating the loft against future winter cold. Together, we were maybe the most unlikely carpenters, but we got the job done.
Slow Progress Towards a Complete Roof
Accordingly, Frank and I have tried to do as much as possible inside the building through the winter months, whereas the roof has remained incomplete. The view from our kitchen window was a constant reminder of the lack of roof windows and roof tiles.
All of a sudden, Frank met another neighbour who said he would be happy to help install the roof windows. As a result, we had four windows on the roof a few days later.
Then, one day in March, one of Frank’s sons turned up and suggested he’d help lay the roof tiles. Eager to complete the task, Frank rented a lift, and before Easter, the roof was finally complete, with windows, tiles, and solar panels. Hallelujah!
The Way Forward
With the building finally complete on the outside, we can now concentrate fully working on the interior. Our focus will be the two holiday lets, although I’m afraid we’ll not be ready to let out anything this summer, which we initially had hoped to do. Yet, we are almost done with the plasterboards, and I have applied the first layer of trowel on most surfaces.
But a lot remains. Apart from more trowelling, sanding, and finally painting, there are floors to sand and stain, beams to sand and paint, not to mention two bathrooms and two small kitchens to install. Furthermore, there is the electricity, heating, plumbing, and decorating to do.o
By the way, I have bought and is still hunting for used furniture and other items we can reuse. The restoration of used furniture as well as sowing of all the soft furnishing is another task that I will return to in another blog post. I hope to attend to these tasks during my summer break.
Hopefully, we’ll be done with the apartments by October, when I am going to retire and stay here full time.