For the very observant of you out there you will see a new title squeezed in between the usual options at the top of the page. Along with ‘A little bit of history …’, ‘Contact me …’ and ‘Home’ you’ll see the sparkly new heading of ‘Rustico Renovation …’
This is a new venture that Marcus is undertaking (in and amongst designing and digging and explaining everything we’re doing on the house to me), a Blog more specific to the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ and ‘wish we’d knowns’ of renovating a rustic farmhouse in Liguria. Whereas I get the task of reporting our day to day lives to you – pickles, plum jerky and snowfall – Marcus is going to be a lot more detailed in his Posts including not only the work we need to do and how we set about doing it, but also alternative solutions (there is such a big difference between renovating a house in the UK and doing exactly the same job in Italy). And more importantly … he’s going to be providing the costs.
And why …?
This information is impossible to find on the Internet … anywhere … and it’s not through lack of trying on our part!
Sure there are the sites that list law after law when buying a house here which are useful to the point where you’ve signed on the dotted line, but do they cover everything you need for a rural property with parcels of land and a private road, or are they engineered towards new-build apartment blocks with a balcony and a communal stairwell?
There are a few forums with the occasional discussion on finding reliable workmen in Italy which are great if you find someone who lives near you, who has found a workman they are happy with and who hasn’t then gone off topic when someone else on the forum makes a silly comment about their profile picture or the fact that they’ve used the wrong message board to voice their opinions.
And finally you may even be able to find a few helpful vocabulary lists with useful words such as ‘muratore’ (builder), ‘falegname’ (carpenter) and ‘conto’ (bill) whereas we needed full phrases such as ‘quanto in alto sono i soffitti?’ (what height do we need from floor to ceiling?), ‘che cosa dimensioni sono i pozzetti avete disponibile?’ (what size concrete inspection boxes do you have for underground drainage systems) and ‘tu pensi che la tua camion riesce salire il nostro vialetto ‘ (do you think that your lorry will fit up our driveway?) *
The costs remain a complete mystery, and if you are doing the work yourself the mystery deepens … advice for this niche (no that’s not a spelling error) couple was very limited! So we’ve decided to change all that and provide other like-minded people, with a dream to turn an Italian wreck into a future home, some on-the-ground, no-holds-barred, what-the-hell-do-we-do-now advice. It’s all in one place so no more spending hours trawling hundreds of websites for that one elusive piece of information, when you could be much better spending that time sorting out your ancient wiring or installing the correct size septic tank with a corresponding length trench!
So if you want a warts and all, nuts and bolts read of how we are spending our time here as we construct our home in our beautiful piece of Italy, then click on the title ‘Rustico Renovation …’ at the top of the page. But don’t forget to keep yourselves up to date with my Blog … you need to know what we get up to when we down tools every now and again!
*Please note where I create these phrases in Italian they may not be grammatically correct but they are phrases that our wonderful builders’ merchant and ‘geometra’ are happy to understand … plus it probably keeps them amused for the rest of the day!