Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spent several days repairing the gates

Oh what fun I had taking apart, replacing cross-spars and uprights, repainting and repairing the gates to our Breton holiday home.

It started out as a good idea, taking down the old gates that were starting to go rotten in places, replacing the few bad bits, then quick lick of paint and put then back up again.

The reality is it took me most of the first week to do this "simple little" job!

Fast forwarding the story through there was
  • Taking the gates down and removing the screws from the rotten pieces
  • Cutting new pieces of wood to fit
  • Realising I had insufficient wood to finish the job
  • Next day going out and buying undercoat paint and more wood. With each piece of wood being 4m long they didn't fit in the car so it was a careful drive home with them sticking out of the rear window ...
  • Undercoating the wood on the first side
  • Next day turning over and undercoating the second side, then running out of undercoat paint
  • Next day going and buying more paint and finishing the job
  • Next day gloss painting the first side
  • Next day turning over and gloss painting the second side
  • Next day starting to reassemble the gates finding sections I hadn't painted so having to stop and gloss paint them
  • Next day continuing the assembly and finding more bits I had missed painting (twice) so painting them
  • Finish assembling and paint over where the screws went in to stop the rot getting in
  • Realise some of the screws used were too long and now stick out the other side of the gate so have to take them out, replace them, then touch up the holes
  • Start putting the gates up. First one goes OK, second one doesn't fit so have to partly disassemble it, move the uprights up a bit so that they don't scrape on the ground, then reassemble the gate again
  • Get the masonry drill out to re-drill the holes in the ground where the central bolt goes and find that one of the pins on the plug has come off at some stage. Find out I don't have any more spare French two-pin plugs so have to lash up a cable using a spare light fitting cable that had a plug on the end
  • Finish the job, put the last gate up and admire all my hard work. On the face of it, the rebuilt white gates look exactly the same as the original gates. I don't think anyone will even notice the difference

  • Next day when I'm in Lapere (a large builders merchant) I pointedly ignore the white plastic gates that they have on special offer ....

Maybe it would have been easier to just buy new gates and have done with it.

Wouldn't of course have been so satisfying(ish) ...

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