16. Ciao a tutti!
For the first time I am writing this blog post in Italy. It has been a short and very busy trip that is coming to an end in quite intense early summer heat. Lots has been happening and even more will be happening the next weeks. The questions have been coming in thick and fast for all the electrics and heating and cooling for the house. Further the design for the kitchen has been finalized.
The roof of the house is all but finished now. The reclaimed tiles from the old house are now on the new and are looking great. So much better than the new tiles. The originals have the beautiful patina that only time can give. With the tiles on, the photovoltaics can be finished, and the scaffolding can be dismantled, probably next week. I wish I could be there for that. It is always a bit special to see the house for the first time without having to peer through the mesh of steel. The copper roof gutter is looking great and adds a touch of classic class, which is often deemed too expensive in modern commercial projects.
The windows are now in production in Austria. As many of you will know, having an interest in renovating in Italy, that the cost of materials and products have exploded in Italy. This in part has to do with an unprecedented demand, the unfortunate and unnecessary war in Ukraine and the continuing supply problems due to Covid. An almost perfect storm, some would say. In my case, I am buying the windows, shutters and doors for the same price as I would have gotten the windows and shutters for in Italy, even though I had to bear a 14% rise in prices in Austria during the process, but still worth it. The windows should arrive at the end of July, meaning that the house will be entirely enclosed before the holidays in August.
I had a meeting with the interior architect who is designing our kitchen to finalize all the details. It is very positive experience having a professionally qualified person and not just a salesperson working with you to find the best solution. The kitchen is in contrast to the rest of the house, modern and dominated by the 3m long island. It is a kitchen by Scavolini, a large Italian kitchen manufacturer and it is the model “La Linea”.
Apart from a meeting with the kitchen designer, there have been various meetings with both the electrician and the plumber/heating engineer. At first, I didn’t make myself popular, as I rejected all their plans for placement of the heating distribution center. This is similar to an electrical fuse box in many ways. They wanted to put it in the hallway, but who wants to see that when then enter the door? Further, they would have had to build the wall out with a further drywall casing up the wall to the first floor! I knew that this was basically for their convenience and not a necessity. At the end I said, not in the hallway, not in the living room and not in the kitchen, basta! Where does that leave? The WC/Laundry that we have on the ground floor. So they realized that there was no sense arguing about it and agreed begrudgingly. The pipes will be connected to the floor above via the external technical room which is built onto the side of the house. Now I am happy, even if they are not 100%. However, the solution works even though it will be a bit more work and much more pleasing aesthetically. Remember, when you are the client, you’re the boss. When you are the client and the architect, they ought to have known better!
All the tracking of the walls has to be done as the next piece of work inside. Thankfully, I had already made some plans. However, when you are standing there, you realise there are options. Together with the electrician, we went from room to room placing all the sockets, switches, points for the light fixtures, where to include USB’s and planning for the Wi-Fi. I have tried to include a few feature lights to highlight the beautiful beams, without going overboard. The budget is feeling the strain already.
So the plan for the next few weeks is to track all the walls, lay the conduits and pipes that will be plastered over. The plastering will make a huge change to the house, and I hope this will all be complete before we return as a family in July. Further, the contractor has to prepare for the drainage and electrical connections outside and generally begin to clean up and relevel the site. The ground has to be raised by about a meter on the west side and that is why we have retained a lot of the old material. As you can see from the fotos, the site will benefit greatly from a good clear up.
Now, lastly, the Superbonus. For many it has turned into a bit of a nightmare. There are a lot of companies that have done a lot of work and been paid in tax credits, which have not been realized by the banks as of yet. One of the largest banks, Unicredit has stopped the purchase entirely at the moment. We are also waiting patiently and impatiently at the same time. We have a contract with the bank, but they have not given us a definite date for the payment. I will feel a lot better when the payments begin to come. I really hope it all will be resolved soon for all involved.
I never tire of the view and soon the landscape will be covered by sunflowers and the golden hue of wheat.
Don't just leave it as a dream. Just remember, dreams do come true, but seldom without a little proaction.
Stay safe everybody and best wishes to you all!
I hope you are enjoying the posts. Tell me what you like and/or dislike about them. I know a lot of you are Norwegian (my home), is there anything I can explain better or needs translating? Do any of you dream of a place in Italy? Can I help you begin to realise your dream?