Friday, 24 August 2012

Renovation project - buying supplies - Thursday 16th August 2012

Renovation project - buying supplies - Thursday 16th August                                      
Today I went on the shopping trip with John, we tried Carhaix as it was closer, to find out that it does not have a Brico Depot, just a Mr Bricolage (the prices are almost double on some things, so decided we would have to make the trip to Morlaix anyway).
But we did find a furniture shop with a cheap fridge/freezer, washing machine and settee bed. The actual beds are extortionate in France as you buy them in 3 pieces. The bed Frame is one piece the bed slats to put the mattress on are a separate purchase!!!!! And then the mattress. All 3 cost approx 700 Euros’ for the cheapest one, yet on the other side of the store you can buy a bed settee (which is exactly the same size as a double bed) with the same slats and mattress for 150 euro’s. Confused? Just think how we felt. When buying in France do look around (even around the corner in the same shop). The shop is Called BUT, we decided this was because you can have this one, but you can have this one or but you can take this one.
Delivery would’ve taken 2 weeks or you can hire their van for an hour for 26 euro’s, but if you take out a loyalty card (similar to Tesco club card) you can have the van for 2 hours for free!!!! As it was approaching 12 o’clock we had to come back at 2pm (everything has a 2 hour lunch in France). Went back after lunch and realised we did not save the address in our Sat Nav so spent an extra half an hour trying to find a shop that we had only found by chance in the first place, starting to get a little stressed, found the shop and drove the furniture home. The first time in a left hand drive van, sitting in the passenger seat is very scary as I could see how close we were to the edge of the road, which is usually a big drop with no safety barriers (health and safety is very different in France, it doesn’t exist!).
We now have a working fridge, here’s a photo of our new kitchen, we have got all mod cons now!
Kitchen renovation

Took the van back and went to get in the car but couldn’t find the car key, I was sure I had given it to John and he was sure I hadn’t. Asked where the spare was and it was in the glove compartment!!!!! Then thought we had left it at home and with no phone at home we couldn’t check, finally found it in the van, it had fell out of my pocket and slipped into the seats, phew panic over. Drove to Morlaix and came face to face with a speeding juggernaught on a bend and now wished I was back at the other scary side of the car, can’t believe we stayed on the road in one piece. Back home with everything we need but it’s too late to start work; luckily Andy had done lots with the electrics.
renovation project electrical rewiring

Oh and did I say it has rained again today?
Top tips
1.       Always know where your car key is
2.       Do not keep your spare car key in the glove compartment
3.       Do look around when shopping, you can spend a fortune or can find a bargain.


  1. Other things to watch for are products labelled 'PRIX CHOC' typically several items packaged together at a given price, check around the same store and it is possible to find the same number of items packaged separately for less, certainly a 'prix choc'. We priced a kitchen at Conforama after their designer let me actually do the design as he had idea of what CAD entailed, told us it was eye wateringly expensive and the lead time was 6 months. We hired a van, drove to B&Q, picked everything off the shelf, all for a quarter of the quoted price. OUr friends bought storage heaters from UK and found that 3 heaters with delivery is cheaper than one heater here. With all that said, I would rather be here.

    1. Hi Steve thanks for the tip about the PRIX CHOC we will definitely be checking them in the future. Luckily we have built our own kitchen so the cost was minimal. Lots of recycled wood.
      We have used the small electric heaters as the walls are so thick in the house they keep the heat in, we found these to be very inexpensive in France so luckily have not had to bring very much from the UK apart from paint, French Paint is not the same quality, and as the temperature/climate is very similar to the UK we have no problem using UK paint internally or externally.