A budget kept, a thorough reflection on the choice of techniques and materials, a perfect organization and a will of iron allowed Blandine and Claude Anquetil to build this vast house.
Blandine and Claude Anquetil cultivate wisdom. "Life is made of dreams, challenges and obstacles - it's up to us to know what we want to do with it." And our readers know what they want, when they embark on this project of second home, nestled in a village in the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. Initially, a pitiful barn they decide to demolish. On arrival, a large family home that does not deny its Norman origins.
Throughout this project well thought out, the budget of € 100,000 defined at the base is held, tight, since only "a little overflow of € 3,000" is recorded. "We have negotiated a lot with the resellers of materials to obtain competitive rates", says Claude Anquetil.
After the realization of the plans - "the architect was a great help" - and the filing of the building permit, the adventure starts logically by the excavations and the realization of crawl space... It will last several years.
Demanding technical choices
To carry out their project, our readers left nothing to chance. "In order to make the right choices and order good products, we have made a lot of documentation from manufacturers' fact sheets, specialized magazines and websites, and we have been following and reinforcing our choices in System D." Thus, the walls are mounted in concrete blocks of 20 cm to which is added a classic insulation from the inside. The traditional solid wood frame has facilitated the development of the attic.
As a savvy handyman, Blandine and Claude Anquetil used prefabricated products such as floors made of concrete beams and polystyrene slabs. As for the facade, it reproduces the Norman style thanks to economical techniques and materials: the basement is made up of blocks covered with a projected plaster imitating stone; the studs are shaped with a mineral coating ready to spoil.
After this experience, the couple acquired real skills in structural work and finishing work.
The work begins with the demolition of the barn. A step that requires heavy handling efforts. Some of the materials will be reused, the other resold to keep the budget.
Elbow oil is essential for earthworks and digging. Even if our readers call on a digger.
The foundations are made with ready-mixed concrete dosed at 350 kg / m³. The floor of the crawl space is composed of prestressed beams and interstices made of polystyrene.
General mobilization of the family for the pouring of the slab. It's hot: it's about not hanging out before the concrete "pulls".
Designed according to the principles of bioclimatic architecture, which takes advantage of the climate to ensure the comfort of its inhabitants, the house is equipped with large windows to the south. She revisits the traditional style.
"To take the time to think and avoid exhaustion, we have imposed a rule: work every other Saturday and half of our holidays... for seven years!"
Blandine Anquetil discovers the joys of masonry! The house is already well advanced. No big difficulty, if not the fatigue and the need to constantly check your feet and levels.
Masonry is over, it's time to change jobs to become a carpenter.
"This is one of the most difficult stages of the job, we asked ourselves a lot of questions, it was scary..."
Finally, things are going pretty well, "it's just a building game." Construction that is not available to everyone. After the completion of the drawing according to the plans, it is necessary to raise the elements, to mount the crossbowmen and the tie-rods to constitute the farms, to pose and assemble the purlins, then to cut and fix the chevrons...
The main difficulty of self-construction is the lack of professional equipment, especially construction equipment to facilitate the transport of tiles. Particularity of the cover: the choice of owners to mix tiles of different shades (red and red flamed), fixed with hooks. Result, a unique layout and visual effect.
"Self-construction, you have to dare, but when you take on such a challenge, you have to know how to surround yourself, we have been two students attentive to the school of professionals who have informed us, documented..."
Layout and finishes of self-construction
Inside and out, the furnishings, finishes and amenities of the house are carefully chosen.
One of the main objectives of our readers being to "hold the budget", they are looking for the best quality / price ratio. Which implies some compromises: "We opted for an electric boiler because of its low cost of purchase and installation."
A choice that is justified in a second home, occupied punctually. "We will eventually invest in more economical and environmentally friendly equipment." As for earthworks and sanitation, the couple uses professionals to install the electrical networks and heating: "a must-have option for compliance and security reasons".
As regards the implementation of the insulation, the assembly of the partitions and the arrangement of the attic, the choice of materials is most classic: expanded polystyrene insulation, mineral wool and plasterboard. Centerpiece of the interior, the staircase is made of concrete. Old boards made it possible to manufacture the formwork and a ramp was ingeniously recovered and adapted to its new environment...
A work of high-end ravaleur! Our readers have used the technique of the stamped plaster, which allows to realize a real decoration of half-timberings...
... Even alternative (economic) for the base that mimics the natural stone: the plaster is projected, then the joints are drawn and fine-tuned by hand.
South-facing, the house is equipped with skylights and large bay windows that let in light.
After the structural work, then come the remediation work with the installation of a pit all waters and the realization of trenches spreading (80 m drainage).
In converted attics, cutting plasterboards and making joints requires patience and precision.
Helped by a friend, Blandine and Claude made a 2/4 turn staircase to access the floor and the attic. Concrete (dosed at 350 kg / m3) is poured into a formwork made with planks of recovery.
Blandine and her husband never chose the facility. The double-sided installation of large format tiles does not tolerate unevenness.
The interior is warm and the bright colors of the walls contrast with the sobriety of the furniture.
Very aesthetic, the banister of the staircase was recovered in an old building. "It took us a big day to drop it."
License to demolish: to know
The permit to demolish is not obligatory in all the communes of France. It is required in the following cases:
• in municipalities that have instituted this type of permit (R.421-27 of the Town Planning Code);
• in a safeguarded area with a defined perimeter or within a property restoration perimeter;
• in a classified or registered site (registration is the minimum guarantee of protection under the control of the State);
• when the building is listed as Historic Monuments or backed by a listed building.
Before starting any work, inquire at the urban planning department of your town hall