January 2017

I want to give you an idea of the scale of project we have taken on – not a huge project by many standards, but there is certainly enough work required to cover all areas of a house renovation short of demolishing and rebuilding.

Our house is a two bedroom, two storey stone farmhouse with no bathroom, a kitchen (cucina) which is really just a bare room with a cast iron wood burning stove connected to a partially demolished chimney, an outside store room (cantina), two wood stores (legnaia) attached to the house, a detached hay barn (fienile) and a wood fired outside bread oven (forno di legna) – all in all around 160m2 of potential.

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We don’t really have any idea of how long the project will take. Unlike all our other projects in the UK where projects were planned to the day and to the pound, this project as I have said elsewhere, is for us. We know what we want to do and what we are capable of, we probably don’t have enough money at the moment to do all the work, so we will just make a start, and one day it will be finished! I think it would be all too easy to talk ourselves out of renovating the house exactly as we want if we were to think about the job in detail – so far better to bury our heads in the sand and pretend we have all the money and time in the world, and just go for it! And anyway, we want to ‘enjoy’ the renovation without putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure … so it will be done when it is done!

My posts will be published when I have something to write about – when a particular job is done, rather than a weekly/monthly update. In the long term, I think it will become a better read than trying to add content when really there is not much to say, so please be patient – this is a real life renovation that is happening right now!

To keep more up to date on our daily/weekly comings and goings, please keep reading Helen’s blog at midlifeitaly.com where you should get an idea of the progress (or lack of it) we are making on the project. Where possible, Helen will let you know at the end of her blogs when I post a new entry for the renovation.

However, I do urge you to register for my blog separately and I will email you each time I post so you don’t miss anything (click on the ‘OTHER STUFF’ menu above and select ‘REGISTER’) – this will also give you access to the ‘Project Costs’ info, so you can keep track of how skint we are getting!

Ok, so let’s get started … I love it when a plan comes together!

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Before we really get into the renovation work itself and in order to give you a full idea of what is involved in living the dream of buying abroad, I want to explain what is actually involved in buying the dream home and hopefully open your eyes to some potential pitfalls.

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We have owned our dilapidated Italian farmhouse in Liguria for just over a year now and lived in our caravan for 9 months in the garden just staring at it! Well that’s not quite true…we have begun to tame the land around the house, tried our hands at a vegetable garden (well Helen has), and more importantly for me, we have taken our time to decide exactly how we want to renovate our new home. Something we have never had the luxury of before as our previous homes were also always projects to sell on, so time was always of the essence. This time it is different…this time it is for us!

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