The living room 

When we moved into the property in March 2016, the downstairs area that was to become the living room, was derelict. The previous owner had used 6 inch nails to secure hundreds of wooden batons to the ceiling in order to hold a cork type covering for some really bad insulation. This all had to be removed before we could clean the place, or see the state of the massive support beams. So with some scaffolding, a crow bar and loads of hi-carb food, we went to it!   BACK TO RUE DES MITONS PAGE.

Making a start on ripping out the cork covering. We could not figure out how practical this covering could have been?.

Then to get rid of all the wooden batons and their 6" bloody nails.

Then we could get an idea as to the state of the beams.


So we did quite a bt of prep work to seal all the holes, old render etc, then a priming paint.

It was a bit of a race as we had to get this space ready as a temp bedroom, while we put in the en-suite upstairs as well as the spiral staircase to the pigeonnier. At this stage the only way into this room was via the doors here and the stone stairs outside. Once this was done, we could start on the access stairs.

He used a metal spine over which he created steps from an old very large wine vat. We think the effect is just right. We decided to put a false wall at the rear in case of damp from the rock and earth wall behind it.

The final product completed

But after drilling about 10mm into them, the drill stopped, so still very solid. I scrapped off all the soft wood and that was about it. So we figured there was no damp problem down here.

Finally  after two to three coats, we had the surface we wanted. We felt it best to incorporate all the pipework etc that was there rather than move or replace it.

So we had to rip out the temporary wall I had put in tho minimise the area to heat. Behind this was where the stairs were to be built. A large cavity had to be made in the ceiling at the far left in this image, this meant a new support beam had to be erected. We hired local staircase builder John Dean to do this. His design was amazing.

John and his mate erecting the vertical beam.

Next job is to redo the doors and put a balustrade around the patio outside.