Episode 86-Some thoughts on dust, squalor, chaos & the psychological phenomenon that is “project syndrome”

cave ground  floorRenovation, restoration, indoctrination

I am recognising a syndrome that may affect those of us undertaking major builds, renovation and restoration property projects.
We have been living in our “every room a half finished building site ” French hovel for so long now we have got very blase (can’t find my accents) about housekeeping and are bumbling along in a sort of sub-student house squalor situation and now accept this as the norm.
It is very disheartening when you scrub the shower room and come back a few weeks later to a light dusting of antique debris dropped from the asyetunfinishedceiling and bits of old wasps nest on your towels, but at least we have a shower room and a working toilet and nearly a bathroom too!

The builder’s dust has just about settled on the first & second floors.

Let me tell you, just in case you virgin renovators are under any illusions,

IT TAKES AT LEAST TWO YEARS FOR THE DUST TO SETTLE PROPERLY !!! The last major building work on the ground floor was done last year and I still can’t even put a darkish coat or anything dry clean only down ANYWHERE on that level without it picking up muck.
I decided last month that we were going to try and tidy up and clean the bits we could more often and get in training for the “b****y hell, we’ve finished” stage we hope to reach next year.sept13 134
Sadly Trevor (who never had the whole student experience) is now utterly ingrained with the whole “why pick up that peanut, you can’t tell I dropped it anyway?” & “why can’t I just drop everything on the kitchen table or down one of the many gaping holes? “ habit.
I see some retraining is in order, as I am also guilty of same syndrome to a degree. Maybe you recognise this?
I am determined to keep the light at the end of the tunnel switched on….We have got used to camping out in chaos and that attitude stops now. Things HAVE moved on, and apart from the imminent reintroduction or reinstatement of a few ceilings and floors, the big changes are completed and the rest is mainly cosmetic.sept13 101
When I stop for a second and look around me, we have achieved so much on our mini-budget and are only a few month’s work and about twelve thousand GBP short of a completely finished house, outside and inside, and we haven’t borrowed anything yet.

left terrace bedroom “before” & right “after!”DSC00071

I will buy a lottery ticket next week..

From Camping out in Chaos to Chic,Cheerful and Cosy here we come


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Episode 86-Some thoughts on dust, squalor, chaos & the psychological phenomenon that is “project syndrome”

  1. Project sydrome!! At last, a diagnosis of my condition!
    Thank you.


  2. bizzyella says:

    Tidy? What’s that? My puppy loves this kind of chaos. So much to rip up, so little time before I notice what he’s up to now. There is actually some kind of dust-free cement out there but I’ve never seen it in action. Apart from the dust, there is the simple fact that if the whole house needs doing, you can’t really do it one room at a time. So, yeah, you have to resign yourself to sort of mess for as long as it takes. 12K doesn’t sound like much until you have to figure out how to claw it out of your already deficient budget. Sucks, doesn’t it?


    • I was thinking of a ruder phrase, but “it sucks ” is pretty succinct

      The dust issue is less about cement and more about demolishing bizarrely positioned mid 20thc partition walls and making doorways through two feet thick walls made of local stone and giant pebbles from the river! The house never made sense as it was two buildings cobbled together with the odd hole punched through for access, but in the wrong place to facilitate any kind of “flow”.

      Our original “new life in France” budget was 55,000 GBP and the house cost 33,000 GBP, and we guesstimated that the work we weren’t prepared to undertake ourselves would actually come out at 34k (12k more than we have-hahaha!)
      We were only 3k out in what will be the end total of 70k GBP (37k for the work) – not bad.
      I did say this was the Bargain Basement Budget Blog


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