White walls, tiles, and roof access


Since the last entry, the apartment is really, finally, beginning to look habitable. The grey cemented intonaco walls have been covered in a thin white layer of velo paint. The new steel beam has been encased in drywall (which is actually rarely used in Italy). The bedroom doorway was relocated slightly to the left and enlarged for a wider door recycled from a different residence of a similar era. The bathtub has now been installed.

After clarifying the tile layout, the porcelain tiles have been applied in the bathroom and kitchen areas, including new terracotto for the kitchen floor with new pietra serena (locally quarried grey stone) step, and antique terracotto tiles to patch in areas of the original floor in the living room and bedroom. A trek in the rain to Empoli with a GPS that could not easily locate this rural address, antique floor tiles similar to the original ones were found, originally salvaged from the San Casciano Val di Pesa (Tuscany) area. Where some of the terracotto was too thick, a thin layer had to be chipped off using a score and pick technique.

In addition, the work on the roof was completed with the help of a cestello crane rented from the local auto-transport cooperative, due to the fact that the condo does not yet have all safety precautions (ganci) soon to be installed on the roof, but not in time for our urgency. All parking spaces in front of the building also had to be reserved through the road services department. This was a substantial extra cost including the machine rental for 5 hours, hiring the operators, and paying the Comune fees and taxes. Exhaust tubes and wiring was fed through the chimney and the satellite TV cable was attached to the existing satellite dish (parabola).


The next steps will be the treatment of the terracotto flooring (cleaning and waxing), painting of the walls and ceiling, installation of the sanitary elements (sink and toilet), radiators, and the kitchen. The new window order has been gravely delayed due to the necessity to reduce the height of the kitchen window sill after the floor level had to be raised to accommodate tubing and give the floor more depth. The prattica of the architectural works (the paperwork that gets filed at the Comune) is in the process of being concluded, after changes to the plan has been finalized.



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