DIY in France: ladders and scaffolding

Mistakes and ladders... building a new life as a budding artisan. Some buyers fear renovation but others welcome it... our writer Nick Inman has a foot in both camps, as he tells in this first of a series of articles

There is a vast difference between repairing a two-and-a-half-bed inter-war terrace house in north London and renovating a farm in Gascony. But while it may be obvious to many, I only realised what I had let myself in for when I arrived 16 years ago, bridges burned and with grand visions of what I was going to do to the new place.

Everything was unfamiliar – not least the language and the DIY shops – but there were two other major differences.

Scale of farm renovation was a shock... as were the techniques used

One was the architecture: the materials of ...

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