The next big task on our list is finding a contractor who is charging a fair price for a good job. After all, we cannot do everything on our own as we do not have the required skills yet to rebuild a roof and stone walls.
What needs to be done now is the following:
- take down the old and broken roof
- lower the back walls
- rebuild the front wall (ideally with stone arches which are temporarily closed with a thin wall)
- rebuild the roof with a north slope
We got a few recommendations for potential contractors already, but we also researched a few more that work in the same region. After half a day of research, we got a list of 25 candidates, sorted by distance. We then called them one by one to make the first contact and find out whether they are available or not.
Many of them were already retired, unfortunately. Others didn’t pick up or the number did not exist. In the end, we made out a date with 6 to meet at the property to show what needs to be done.
Time to go to our new home again
On Thursday, we woke up early in the morning to be there as early as possible. We had a tight schedule.
First, we went to the town hall to register as citizens. We are now officially residents of the Lleida province!
Right after that, we met our first guy and led him to our property. It was the first time we seriously discussed what we want to do. We were a little afraid that the things we have in mind are not feasible, too expensive or not in line with regulations in this region. But our first man took in our ideas without expressing concerns. He made one suggestion though about the beams. Shall they be wooden or made of concrete? He seems competent, too. But the fact that he said yes to everything could be a red flag. Because…
…all the others we met after, expressed some concerns, about price and feasibility. I think it’s important that a contractor also plays a consulting role and makes good points on where to save money or points out things that are not according to regulations.
At the end of the day
We kind of ended up with receiving quotes for different yet similar builds. One for a gravel roof, others for a terrace style roof. Some will calculate with concrete beams, others with wooden beams.
In fact, we are left with some open questions, concerning the beams and the roof style. While we romanticise wooden beams, we are also considering concrete beams with wood imitation. We know it’s not the most environmentally friendly option, but we want to build a house that can last. Concrete is also more affordable.
The roof is a bit tricky. We are aiming for a metal roof. Metal has the highest efficiency in collecting water and is affordable. But regulations might play against us here. We have to clarify that.
While we are waiting for the quotes
We are cleaning up the house. Amazing how much trash there was, left behind by people who sought shelter. Empty beer bottles, cans, jars, a mattress, and blanket.
The pine tree behind the house did also good damage to the old roof. Its branches are pushing onto it, breaking it. On top of that, the tree sheds a lot of foliage. The room in the back is full of that, creating a fungal compost. It smells like a forest in there.
Then there is the debris of the broken roof. Some shingles are still intact and we are planning to sell them if somebody is interested. The broken ones we will keep and maybe use as a sort of tiny fencing in the future garden.
And after giving the rest a good sweep, it looks more like home already!
Look who was sleeping in our house
When we lifted up the headboard of an old bed, 4 little buggers surprised us – mice! Probably, we surprised them more than they surprised us, as we robbed them of their little hiding place. As soon as we discovered them, they rapidly climbed up the back wall to escape.
We find them really cute, but how will our cats Crispy and Pita react?