Catch Up Time

Originally blogged September 30, 2012

Look up, waaaaaay up!

It has been about seven weeks since Nick and I got back from Sicily.  We hit the ground running here and this is the first chance I have had to really do any writing for the blog.  So, those of you waiting for updates on our Sicilian home, my apologies.
August 24th, after we arrived back in Canada we got the email we were waiting for.  Joe, our terrifically helpful realtor, sent us the word:
I was going to write to you this morning to tell you the good news that we signed the deeds on Thursday afternoon…  Congratulations!   Joe
And then September 6th we got word from Scott, our equally terrific contractor/renovator saying that the work was underway.  Of course, the path of renovation never runs completely smoothly.
…there has been a small glitch in that it has rained this week quite heavily and has unveiled that the terrace in front of the kitchen has some severe leaks through to the room below…
… we have been having some problems with the neighbour who is complaining that damp rising from the wall between your garage and his kitchen is ruining his kitchen. He would like to put the problem right between you…
Fortunately, the solutions to the problems have proven to be fairly easy and not too expensive – certainly not compared to the glitches we had when we renovated our Canadian house!  The leak was fixed by removing the tiles from the terrazza, laying a waterproof membrane and re-tiling with new tiles.  About 800 euros well spent.
As for the neighbour’s kitchen…our ground floor walls had been covered with a horrible vinyl wall covering that we had wanted to get rid of anyhow.


Scott removed all the wall covering and then the render (probably plaster) on top of the stone walls.  What will most likely happen next is to let the walls dry over time and see if this improves the situation with the neighbour’s kitchen.  If not, then there is some treatment that can be done to the stone that will help take care of the damp.  I must say that when Scott emailed us with a “damp problem”, I was a bit terrified.  In Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, “damp” is associated with “leaky condo syndrome”, which frequently costs the owners tens of thousands of dollars.  But the removal of the rendering added only 150 euros to our bill.  With luck, that’s all we will have to do and we will be left with a ground floor that has beautiful exposed stone.
In the meantime, Scott sent us pictures of how the kitchen will look…

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…and today we heard that he is removing the asbestos roof from the storage room on the terrazza and replacing it with a new and non-cancer causing roof.

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We picked a new colour and new tiles for the outside of the house.  Before we left Cianciana, we walked around the town and looked at colours and tiles that other people had used.  The house is on a narrow street so we thought a bright colour would be better.
All in all, work is progressing well and we are counting the days until we land in Sicily again in 274 days (but who’s counting!)


2 thoughts on “Catch Up Time

    • Well, the timing was just right for us. In fact it was a perfect storm of rightness. Our retirement was approaching, the Canadian dollar was high, the Euro was low, my daughter was 19 and was going to be off working for the summer and I got Nick looking at properties in Cianciana. The housing prices are probably amongst the cheapest in Italy – maybe in Europe. Everything came together for us to fly to Sicily and take a look. Once we got there, we were so impressed by the town that there wasn’t much deciding to do other than which house we wanted. I hope such a perfect storm happens for you to find yourself and your GLW in the Algarve!

      Okay, I just looked at pictures of the Algarve…I can see why you want to be there. Stunning!!!

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