Peter's Blog

Iberianspices spicesiberia

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The walls are now secure

My friend who has just got herself a house in my village, well house may be wrong it was actually four wall's. The first job was to make the walls secure and now with no roof if the rains got into the walls then further damage may have happened.

Part of the walls had to be removed to create new window opening and also a new door opening to what will be the main entrance on the first floor. All the old stone that was taken down and the old roof beams had to be removed and that took over 10 trips to the tip.

 Internally there is still one wall to be removed but some of the stone will be reused on the gable end that was in a dangerous condition. The internal dimensions measure just 18ft X 15.5 ft not a huge size but enough for a bedroom, kitchen diner and bathroom.

At present the roof is being raised to the room feel bigger, the lounge will be upstairs as there will be three windows for light. The roof i am told is going to have more windows of the type made by Velux.

The walls all round apart from the gable end in the picture above have now been secured.

The walls are now being rebuilt ready for a new roof.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Desolute landscape

I received an email from a really special friend who has been offline for a while. After the savage fires we have just had I had decided to go over to his property to check it was OK. In the wake of the recent storms we had an inch and a half of rain over nigh the night after the fire. The next night we had an inch of rain, I have a big plastic container outside so I could see the amount of rainfall.

My friend owns a whole valley a really private secluded valley that has had in the last couple of years  almost 300 mostly fruit trees planted. This year was the first full year and everything was coming on a real treat.

Because of the rain I decided to walk over to the house in case the track had been washed away. As I left my van I could see the extent of the fire I knew what to expect total devastation. As I got close I could see everything burnt to a cinder every oak, pine and other trees I can't remember there names on one side of the valley gone.

How glad I was to see his house was totally unscathed not a mark the fire did no damage to the house not even a cracked window. My friend has about a hundred metres away a kitchen, toilet block and this also was unmarked so I was pleased to send him a reply to his email to let him know his house was OK.

Walking along to the valley i came across a wire fence that was the boundary to a Bee keepers piece of land. The fence post was burnt away from the bottom I also saw on the main road a telegraph pole that was burnt away just like this post.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

In August there was water

During August my daughter and family came to stay with me. During the days they went to the river near to Serpins not to far from my home to swim and sunbath. Every day there was plenty of water in the river to swim in and this was a local swimming spot.

Previous years this was so deep that there was a diving board on the left of the picture. Locals say they have never in living memory seen the river so low. Some of the locals are in there late 90's so it's been a long time since it was so bad.

Now you can see just how low the water is in the river. The rains normally come soon after Christmas, This Christmas everybody will be waiting eager for the rain to arrive.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Progress is being made

After getting my friend the house they wanted it's great to see already that progress is being made to the what was a ruin. It's not long ago that the roof and first floor collapsed due to the house had not been used since at least 1979.

It's good to see that my scaffolding is being put to good use. 

The first job is to secure the tops of the walls and then build up to roof level.
This picture is of the gable end that was taken down about 2 metres as it was seriously insecure so it had to come down and then rebuilt.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The TV room wall panel

I have made one of the two downstairs bedrooms into part of the lounge and now it's my TV room. On one side of the opening I have tried with some parquet flooring to make a panel instead of what I had original decided to do was use a plank of Chestnut.

If you can imagine this from the top of the opening to the floor. lots of hard work and sanding to be done but i will do it.

It may look easy but remember i am not a joiner but little more than a novice.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Price agreed

After finding the owner of a property my friend fell in love with she has now started work. Well that sounds grand but all that is  being  is getting all the old roof, floors, stones and  broken roof tiles out of the house.

It's all being cleared so that plans can be drawn and be submitted for the works to be done but first it all has to be cleared.

We now know that the last time someone lived in the house was before 1979 that's over 38 years ago. No wonder the roof collapsed  early this year.

It really does look dangerous and all timbers are well rotten.

On the left is something growing amongst the ruin.

It took a while before i saw what i now know to be a window seat. Just look close at below the widow frame It would be a shame if this feature was to be lost and also the other window is the same. A truley beautiful old feature.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

How it's done

I was asked by a friend how to find out the owner of a ruin in a village outside of Gois.
I first went onto Googleearth and took a picture of the village to identify the house. Along with this picture I went to the Financas " tax office ". Then of to the conservatoriea a department where house records are kept. At the Financas we identified the location of the house and the name of the owner. Then with this information we went to the conservatoriea and here we found the date the current owner brought the house it was 2005 and then the price paid for the house.

As the owner has two Christian names it was a little easier to use It was lucky that only one person in the UK has the same names but as someone had started a family tree to get any further information you need to contact the person who has started the family tree. This I did but got nowhere no reply to my enquiry for further information. Dead end hell no.

Back to the Financas and conservatoriea when we found out the spouse of the present owner. Sadly the owner was not listed on so a look on good old Facebook and guess what we found the spruce. All it took was a message to the spouse and not long later we had a reply. It turns out the spouse was at the village in question only last week and saw the damage caused by the roof falling in.

After a couple of weeks my friend and the owner agreed a price  and shortly the ruin will be sold to my friend and that's a good end to a lengthy process.

If you are a resourceful kind of person and you find the house you want just by looking around the local towns or villages then why go to an estate agent. You may not pay his fees but in reality you do because the owner has to pay the fees but he just puts the price of the property up to cover the fees. So find the house of your dreams and find the owner you could get a bargain because by selling direct the owner doesn't have to pay estate agent fees so you could get the house for less. Remember estate agents fees here in Portugal are about 5 to 6%  and that can add up to a lot.

So like I did with my car I didn't listen to others I did it myself. When you are retired you have the time so if this post helps you great it was worth me recalling how I did it.