March 23, 2008

A New View

A small project:

We have a huge grenier, or attic, on top of our house. It serves as a playground for Oscar and a rainy day workshop for Daniel as well as storage for the amazing amount of extra stuff we have already accumulated. It is an amazing place, incredibly open, the roofing system typical in a medieval town like ours is 100's years old beams, called charpentes (the root of the English word carpenter I suppose) and thousands of terra cotta tiles that simply hang onto the structure by grace of their weight and form. The tiles overlap like any shingle system, but their uneven forms creates spaces between each tile where the light leaks in, along with the wind and occasional wind driven snow. The daytime effect is like a starry night sky with spots of light everywhere, it's amazing, and dark. One of the strangest things has been these dark winter evenings when the kids play in the attic on a rainy evening and due to the open eaves and porous tile system, their giggling voices carry into the streets making the Martelaise wonder what kind of parents we Americans must be to let our children play outdoors in the rain. While all the time they are safe from the rain creating mazes of forts in the limits of the attic with only the sound betraying their presence.

Two years ago I bought a cast iron and glass skylight at an antique sale and have spent the intervening time thinking about how to install such a simple beast. This week, with the spare half a day and warming sunny skies waiting to get in, I started removing tiles, from the inside! After half an hour I had 20 tiles on the floor and a 2x3 foot hole in the roof. The rest was easier than could be expected and soon the new roof window was in and done.

No leaks!

Here's the view.... the added few meters of height let me look over the neighbors roof and see an uninterrupted countryside. It all makes me certain that I need to find a way to build out a room up there and maybe even construct a dormer to capitalize on the view. The church is on the left and the view is due South.

Please note that you can click on most of the photos in this blog and open them much larger.

Further, since I have started blogging instead of journaling, I am only periodically sending alerts to new material, so scroll down and click through to the older posts and see if you have missed anything. And try to subscribe so you get notified instantly to any new posts.

BY the way, our newly restored guest room is empty the month of August!

in fact September and October too!
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Anonymous said...

Hey ! must have missed a few blogs - wow, what a view and no, you did not waste your youth!

Anonymous said...

PS That's your mother's opinion, any way. How can you possibly say you wasted a moment? Look at those blogs - the view from the attic alone - not to mention my Grandson!

Gayle said...

restored guestroom, restored how?
August, September & October are very tempting! We love these! G & C