Above the upstairs bathrooms and just before entering the large attic room, there is a small space I like to call the Kids’ corner. In order for this space to be safely used by kids, proper railing needed to be installed. Now it’s done and it looks great. My dad, again, came forward and offered to build this part. After all, soldering is one of the first trades he trained in.
Along with the railing, he made and installed the last finishing metal bands along the floor edges of the landing and Kid’s corner areas. This is to cover the different floor layers (supporting wood planks, wood fiber soundproofing and laminate).
The last level of the house can now be safely accessed and used by all.
Here are some of the latest pics of the house.
After almost 6 years in the making, we finally got to live and sleep in the house. It was short, less than a week, but it was amazing and kind of surreal. It has this incredible feel one can find in most ‘eco-houses’ i.e. houses built with natural materials and energy-efficiency in mind. The house is super quiet, bright and very comfy. Even though, we are still missing a lot of furniture and decoration, the space in itself and the views are enough to entertain one for hours simply by sitting on the window ledge looking out to the valley or mountains.
We had our first dinner party with family and neigbours and filled the 18-people dining table. It was such a joy for us and my parents (who’ve followed and supported us through this journey) to see this space finally being enjoyed and coming ‘alive’ with people, conversations, laugthers, food and drinks.
Over the next few months, we’ll finish the furnishing and decorating of the house and will start accepting bookings. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in staying in our house and exploring its surroundings.
The stairs and railings are finally done and it looks amazing! Thanks to everyone who took part in building and installing these pieces with a special note for my dad who supervised most of it and took care of installing the wooden hand rail which was no easy task. Now, we just need to apply a last coat of linseed-based natural hard oil and clean the glass panes; just one more item to add to our ‘to-do’ list next time we visit…
Another important milestone was reached today with the installation of the mezzanine glass and metal railing. It took us months to decide on a design for this railing and even longer to finalize its assembly and installation. We worked very closely with the contractor to source the appropriate materials and ensure the railing would meet all safety regulations. We wanted something that would not block the view from the large bay windows which explains the use of glass and no vertical posts. The challenge was to find appropriate railing in the same black metal as the staircases (no stainless steel or aluminium) to hold the glass panels in place. We love the result and can’t wait until the wooden hand-rail is fully installed – in our opinion, it adds that warm touch so often missing in glass and metal works.
The house entrance is located 2/3 up from the ground floor and facing the village road. The original house that was built on this land more than 150 years ago was positioned right against the road. Over the years and as the house became a ruin, the wall that was aligned to the road got partly covered up by road repairs and improvements. The new house was positioned away from the road (mainly for safety reasons) thus creating a 3.5 to 4-meter gap between the old house wall and the new one. Rather than filling this gap, we used it to place a 20 000 litre rainwater cistern (situated under the garage) and a cellar for the mechanical and laundry rooms. It is the concrete slab that’s above the cellar that we have just finished paving.
The paving was made as follows:
- Landscaping cloth
- EPDM membrane (waterproof membrane used for flat roofs or swimming pools)
- Metallic grid (used by tilers for strengthening tiling work)
- Concrete mix
- Slates (leftover from the roof work)
- Ciment grouting
The landscaping cloth is a bit of an experiment on our part. We think it will help maintain the EPDM membrane in place (even though the terrace slope is minimal) and prevent and/or absorb any condensation that may occur between the concrete slab and the membrane. The membrane was placed so it would go up by 4 to 5cm on each wall surrounding the terrace just like when waterproofing an italian shower base. We added a waterproofing agent to the grouting mix.
The kitchen cabinets are being installed on a cold and frosty winter day… Thankfully, the roads are clear and the house is nice and warm with the in-floor radiant heating keeping an even temperature throughout.
We ended up choosing a local carpenter who was recommended by our window and door carpenter. The cabinet boxes are made of the usual laminated particulate board material and the doors and drawers are made of local solid ash wood. We decided to keep the wood’s natural colour and asked to have only a clear varnish applied as a protective coat.