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A taste of France property section

Part Restored House for sale LIGNAC, Indre department 36 Centre Val-de-Loire France

by Dave MALLEY
(Halifax, United Kingdom)

Part Restored French House with adjoining land.

Location: Department 36 Indre, close to the village of Lignac. Post Code 36370.
Specifics: The semi-detatched house is set in a very rural location, which comprises four other properties, located in the South West corner of the Brenne Parc Naturel famous for it’s thousand lakes and carp fishing.
Lignac is a village with a boulangerie and bar and mini shop is situated about 5 kilometres away. The nearest large supermarket (SuperU) and fuel station is situated in the historic town of Saint Benoit-du-Sault about 18 kilometres away. The town also has a boulangerie, pharmacy, bank, restaurant and bars. They also have regular markets.
This is typical rural France.

Property Details: The house was purchased about seven years ago. It had not been lived in for a few years and the roof was beginning to come in, many tiles were missing and some purlins and many of the chevrons were split and needed replacement. It had a shower room and toilet in the corner of the kitchen and the living room had been split in two giving two small rooms one accessed through the other. The Grenier, or hay loft, was just that and still had the loosely laid floorboards covered in about 10 to 15 cm of clay and straw. Access was only possible through the dormer.
Back downstairs the ceilings had been tiled across and in the gap up to the grenier floor the cavity had been completely filled with a grain like filling. This obviously attracted rats who at various points had bitten through the floor boards and nested in this readily available food source.
The house has attached land to the rear approximating 1860 square metres with vehicle access from the road. At the front there is a small enclosed terrace and in front of that is a grassed area of about 40 square metres with access to the road for convenient parking. Also it has a small lean-to split into two, one half of which has a bread oven, the other will make useful outside storage.

Upon completion of the purchase of the property everything was photographed and all dimensions measured. From that a full set of Autocad drawings were produced. These were used to submit a full planning application to convert the Grenier into two en-suite bedrooms, add additional windows to the rear, five Veluxe in the rear roof and two extra dormers in the front of the roof. Through the subsequent restoration a full photographic record has been kept.
Originally drainage from the property was to a septic tank. Now illegal this had to be replaced within one year of the purchase.
So what’s been done: A full planning application was submitted to the Mairie detailing the restoration to include additional windows and to make the grenier into two ensuite bedrooms giving a total of 140 square meters of floor space across two floors to include a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and two en-suites. An application was also made for him to grant discharge permission to the roadside gulley when the new fosse septic was installed. Both were granted as requested.
Once the permissions were granted work started. This is what has been completed to date:
All electrical cables have been stripped back to the first socket after the distribution board.
All plumbing has been stripped back to the water meter.
The dividing wall between the two rooms in the living room demolished and removed from site.
The toilet and shower room in the kitchen demolished and removed from site.
Downstairs ceilings all demolished, grain collected and all removed from site. Major unpleasant task.
All clay and straw removed from the grenier and removed from site.
All floor boards removed from grenier and retained along with some floor tiles, tomettes and chevrons.
Rear wall of living room stripped of plaster and joints between stones picked ready to repoint.
All joists removed, sanded down, wood worm treated, waxed and replaced in position.
Main beams in both kitchen and living room sanded back, wood worm treated and waxed.

All ground floor windows and metal shutters at the front of the house removed, brought back to the UK, stripped, shot blasted, repaired, re-glazed and painted and two out of three windows currently refitted. The other one ready to be fitted about a day’s work.
Opening made in the back kitchen wall. Oak lintels fitted and opening sides made up and a new oak double glazed window fitted.
Opening made in rear living room wall. Oak lintels fitted and opening sides made up and a set of oak double glazed French windows fitted. Step made up into and out of garden. Permission could be sought to extend to make a conservatory accessible internally by these French windows and externally from the rear field.

Roof, including lean to building roof completely removed. All rafters (chevrons) removed and cracked perlins removed and replaced. Waterproof membrane fitted on entire roof and new tile lathes fitted. Five Velux added to rear of the property and two new dormers to the front to match existing one. All original tiles graded and the best ones fitted to the front of the property and new matched in tiles to the rear. All damaged tiles removed from site and also any unsalvageable wood. All new ridge tiles matched in to the tiles.
All new galvanised gutters and downpipes fitted front and rear.
Field surveyed for suitability of new high quality fosse septic. Field excavated and new micro fosse septic fitted. This has additional capacity to proposed development in the house. Discharge piped to roadside gulley. Outflow pump fitted and wired in. System tested and approved by Saur. Certificate issued, the first system of its type in the area and the inspector was very impressed.
External soil pipes, waste water and fosse septic breathing pipes fitted including extensions through roof tiles. All completed.
Half of master bedroom floor laid and levelled up, 22mm high density chipboard.
Master bedroom shower room studding, plaster boarding and tiling in place. Sink unit and toilet fitted and first fix plumbing for entire room in place including shower.
Master bedroom shower room ceiling fitted on Montanton rails. Seventeen layer insulation applied across rafters behind plasterboard.
Ceiling cladding applied and ceiling halogen downlighters fitted.
First fix electrics to shower room.
First fix electrics to living room and Master Bedroom.
Upcycled sturdy, period mahogany staircase assembled, moved into place and resting on acro props to enable access to first floor by the staircase. Just waiting second coat of treatment and waxing main beam and then it can be fixed in place. Less than a day’s work.
High density chipboard for space above kitchen loosely laid to cover half the area enabling access from the stairs across the first floor.
Electricity and water currently connected to the property. New electric smart meter connected and water usage meter recently renewed.

So why is it worth euro 50,000:

Yes you’ve been searching the internet and yes you can buy a house for euro 15 to 30,000. However, they will be in the same condition and even worse condition, than the house we bought. You’ll have to do exactly the same work and maybe even more than I have done to get to this stage. You’ll almost certainly have to fit a fosse septic and certainly have to make a planning application. This has all been done.
The work we have completed has taken all the dirty, unpleasant, work out of it, made the planning applications, gained the permissions, obtained all the certificates, removed all the unwanted debris from site. You’d have to do it or pay for it anyway.
What you additionally have gained is a state of the art fosse septic micro system and a fabulous roof job. The roof contractor also does work on the local Chateau roof.
Yes there is work to do to complete it. However it’s currently a few weeks away from having the master bedroom en-suite shower room and toilet completed.
It is at a stage where all the big jobs are done and apart from sandblasting the fireplaces all the dirty work is done. It’s at the stage where there is ample opportunity for putting your own stamp on it.
That’s why the price is euro 50,000 with no wriggle room. I have a lot more than that invested in cash not to mention all the goodwill of friends and family adding labour.
Additionally, there will be legal costs and I can recommend a Notaire, a good family friend, familiar with the property.
If this is your first purchase in France it can be a bit daunting but if needed I can offer a range of project management options at a very reasonable cost or some free of charge. I could help advise on contractors you could use if that’s what you want to do and ones you shouldn’t use to managing the contractors for specific pieces of work.

Reason for sale: My health has deteriorated unfortunately and I have repeat illnesses. I have done most of the work myself apart from the roof and the fosse but I am now unable physically to complete the work. Sadly I have no choice but to sell.

For further Information please Contact Dave MALLEY


0044 7889 150821

The cheapest way to Normandy at the moment

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