Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Renovation project - Replacing old lead pipes

Renovation project - Replacing old lead pipes

The stain on the stairs is so nice we have decided to use it on more wood; the next item to get treated is the front door.

Restoring an old wooden front door

Restoring an old wooden front doorRestoring an old wooden front door

And once again this looks fantastic, I had stripped the door previously and we hadn’t decided what to do with it, the original wood colour was really nice but unfortunately it had a lot of black spots from where the rain had got to it. By staining it the colour is more solid but still looks like real wood.

Where we live you have to have planning permission to change anything on the outside of the house and yes this does include the colour of the front door! But because we have kept the original wood and not actually changed the colour as such, we did not need to wait for planning permission (which is lucky as the door may have rotted away before permission came back!)

John is back on plumbing duty, we had discovered a small length of lead pipe which we didn’t know was there, as you strip back a house these little surprises jump out at you regularly.

The lead pipe is from the water meter and has to be changed, we were lucky in that this was the only piece of lead left in the house. It’s amazing at what you consider to be lucky finds, we had first been hoping to find treasures, or fantastic original features, now we are happy to find only small disaster areas.

This is one of those jobs that can be so quick, whip it out, put a new one in place, seal it, job done! Or it can take forever because you find a leak. We thought we had been on the first one until we noticed a damp patch, some more soldering and the leak is gone. It didn’t help that this piece of pipe was a different diameter and even the shop didn’t sell the right size and had no idea where this diameter of pipe had come from, at first they asked if we had brought it from the UK. But no, it is just another of those lovely little surprises to hold you back.

removing lead pipesremoving lead pipes

Top tips 
  • When buying an old house in France you have to be careful of lead in the house, we have already scraped the lead paint from the windows and as soon as our planning permission comes back we can replace them completely. Be very careful when buying and make sure any visible lead is reported to you and look at your old water pipes!

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