Peter’s renovation in Montlaur – read part 1
by Peter Stubbings
Well here we are in Montlaur in our house, jet lagged after 31 hours of travel and ready to get stuck into our first task, assembling our Ikea beds.
Yes we had the foresight to order beds and other stuff from Ikea prior to Helen’s visit in May but unfortunately for Helen every thing but the beds arrived for her May stay in Montlaur. She survived by sleeping on a palliasse made up of a single duvet cover stuffed with pillows. Me? I wouldn’t have survived one night. She deserved her week in Paris after 3 weeks on the floor!
Getting back to the assembly task all I had at hand to assemble them
were a screwdriver, pliers and a hammer compliments of Steve our friend
in the Aude. The bed assembly failed and the mattress’s were plonked
on the floor. The next day required a tool run to Bricomarche in
That night the beds were assembled in no time with the assistance of my
battery drill which cost all of 25 euros. Well this encounter with
Bricomarche was the start of my obsession for tools, tools and more
I could not believe how inexpensive the power tools were and bought up
accordingly. Compound saw for 85 euros, 225mm angle grinder for 27
euros, electric hammer drill and planer, 25 euros each and the list
On the other hand though good quality hand tools were not cheap that is
if you could find them in the hardware store! Yes, they are all there
but when you go looking you need a hound dog to sniff em out.
Yes the hardware stores are big with stores like Weldom, Tridome, and Brico Depot
to choose from and not a great distance from
Montlaur, but they did not carry everything I would normally expect and
like items are not necessarily all together as they are here in
Australia. The likes of the above stores do not carry a large range of
building materials so for those you need to find the likes of Chausson
Materiaux. "Mais monsieur, c’est La France!"
Now don’t get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy French Bricolage stores just
as much as I do Bunnings and Mitre 10 here in Oz. Life as a renovator
is a real joy in France.
A must though when buying materials and tools in France is knowing in
French what you are looking for and keeping a little book in which you
record details of products and brands and where you bought them so it
is easier next time round.
I found the list contained at French Property useful and it got me started
but my little green book went with me everywhere.