Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

Work at building #II, week II

A ton has been done already. Walls have been stripped, then insulated, then covered in plasterboard. And the walls that had to be moved have been moved. I don’t have pictures of the after yet, but here’s the during in the garden-side one bedroom (middle level).

We want to get it done asap because the tenant we inherited is currently living in the street side one bedroom which is really not fit for purpose- so we want to move him across the hall into this one before the cold arrives. The views are acceptable.

gferret (5)

After the three apartments on the middle level are done, we’re moving to the floor above which has just two larger apartments. They’re in pretty decent condition, so the work inside the apartments is mostly aesthetic. The outer walls do need to be insulated as does the attic space, but that’s just a couple of days of work.

We’ve chosen all of the tiles for bathrooms and kitchens. They’re from a Spanish company called Grupo Halcón, price/quality, they’re best on the European market by far. They’ve developed some really fantastic techniques, one of which is making a machine made tile look hand painted. Plus, as the Spanish border is only two and a half hours away, delivery charges are reasonable.

This next week I’m going to start doodling ideas for the ground floor garden flat (street side is a studio, the entrance hall and two small storage rooms). It’s currently just a big empty space that opens up to a little abandoned walled garden.

Built area is approx. 125m2. The garden is 300m2. The ceilings are a good height, around 3.6 metres. My instinct is to make it into a loft-style space. No walls except for the bathroom. Big glass doors facing the garden. A town-centre property with a garden isn’t easy to find around here- so I’ve been considering doing it up as a luxury flat (to sell rather than being just another rental in the building. It would have it’s own private entrance from the street.) That would boost our property investment kitty.

I mentioned the idea to Mike and his eyes widened with horror. He wants a peaceful, relaxed lifestyle from now on. That played a big role in our decision to leave Spain (rather than build another house there.) I’m reasonable, though. I’m willing to set a limit. We’ve already agreed I can do one more project/building of three to five flats. So I just want to do one more after that of another 3 to 5 flats. So I’ll propose an absolute total number of 20 individual properties. At the moment we’ve got 11, so that still leaves me 9 to find, buy and do up 🙂 That’ll keep me busy for two years, and then I turn 40, and at that point I’ll stop and work exclusively in fine arts and at home.

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16 comments on “Work at building #II, week II

  1. Helen Devries
    November 22, 2015

    Grupo Halcon are superb…our house in Spain is in the Castellon province and, preparing to sort the house out from top to bottom, we are aiming to use their tiles.

    How will you stand for tax if you sell off the ground floor flat?
    That garden tempts me…terribly…

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 22, 2015

      It’ll come under the the regular impot sur le revenu which means it’ll be an expensive year…
      How long have you had the place in Valencia?

      Like

      • Helen Devries
        November 22, 2015

        For three years..we swapped the place in France for it. Totally different sort of house and surroundings but much more convenient for meeting up with the family from Belgium.
        However, the last owners had the taste of something which is no longer politically correct to say and cut a lot of corners, so we’ve had the electrician the builder, the heating engineer and the plumber in to do the basics…when that is all done we can start making the house Spanish again…thus the tiles.
        It’s a lovely area, inland of Castellon – perched villages, eagles, architecture, history, gold from the Americas…and, for me, special, as I think that my father might have passed that way after the later battle of Teruel.

        Like

    • acflory
      November 22, 2015

      Me too, Helen. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Cara
    November 22, 2015

    I move the couch from one side of the room to the other and I say I remodeled. But you’re actually doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. acflory
    November 22, 2015

    “…then I turn 40, and at that point I’ll stop and work exclusively in fine arts and at home.” ROFL! Pinky you’ll never stop, and why should you? 40 is just the beginning. Seriously, you haven’t even hit your stride yet. 🙂 Oh and I’d love to retire into that garden-side, downstairs apartment. Just the right size with everything I need. I may move to Mazamet in 20 years time when I’m in my 80’s…and want to slow down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 22, 2015

      I doubt I’ll make it to my 80’s, so I have to work on a much tighter timeframe 🙂 If I make it past 50, I’m a freak of nature. I’ve abused my body to an extraordinary degree (still do)- at some point it’s going to say enough is enough…

      Like

      • acflory
        November 22, 2015

        I’m all for making every minute count, but in terms of longevity, we could all get hit by a bus tomorrow. No point anticipating /that/ particular moment. 🙂

        Like

  4. makagutu
    November 22, 2015

    You my friend, have the perfect retirement plan. When I grow up….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidprosser
    November 22, 2015

    You’re doing a fantastic job and I’m jealous, that bedroom looks very roomy. I think your current and future tenants are going to be very lucky. The way you’re progressing your portfolio is going to be very impressive.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  6. roughseasinthemed
    November 22, 2015

    Perfect dados in those first photos. Got rid of those? 😦 Peasant.

    Tiles that don’t look computerised? I want them. Now. Right now. Are you sure, really, really sure? I hate those pixels on tiles.

    Loving the way the luxury flat snuggles in with the right-on property rentals. Nice one.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      November 23, 2015

      The walls HAD to be insulated, so dados are gone or hidden.
      I knew someone who worked at the tile place. They designed a machine that works sort of like silk-screen. I’ll put some pictures up this week, the effect is fantastic.

      Like

      • roughseasinthemed
        November 23, 2015

        Shame. If it had been mine, not for rental I wouldn’t have done.

        The problem with being short-sighted is that I can see the difference close-up. We’re looking at doing up casa chica for rental, so will need to tile the kitchen/sitting room to dado height, and maybe the patio too, so I’ll be really interested to see your tiles. There was a good place near us started up a few years ago with some decent looking rustic/artisan tiles (our finca is very rustic so that might be an option too.

        Like

  7. I’m interested in specifically how you insulated the walls.
    Step by step & what products were used.
    I looked at the tile company, they look good.
    One tile that really caught my eye was the floor tiles that look like old wood floors. OLD wood floors.
    I’ve never seen that before and it was so interesting.

    I musta missed a blog article, when did you buy more apartments? I thought you just had this one block, was it 3 apartments and 2 studios (?) in Mazmat, (did I spell your city right?)

    40 is still young, plan on keeping working full steam until you are around age 55. At 55 you may find you want to still work, but just a little less, fewer hours per day.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      December 9, 2015

      The insulation material we’re using is one that looks like grey styrofoam. It’s 10cm thick + 2 cm for the plasterboard which comes attached to it. We’re told it’s the most efficient on the market.
      These days Spain is the tile capital of Europe. Quality, design and prices are just amazing. The faux-wood tiles are a huge hit. They’re beautiful and really low maintenance.
      We bought the first block in April, it’s got large apartments with private gardens, but they’re all rented, so there’s nothing to do until someone moves out 🙂 And the town’s name is Mazamet (pronounced Maza-may)
      The second block which is the one you’ve seen has 4 apartments, 2 studios and the atelier which is going to be the biggest of the flats (+ it has a nice garden.)

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2015 by in life and tagged , , .
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