The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

a new roof

A house in the small square behind the market hall, place Louis XIII, has just had its roof restored with the installation of two period gabled dormer windows - lucarnes - with stone surrounds.

When an owner wants to carry out such a project, he/she and his/her builder must have a Permis de Construire before the work starts. Getting this permission with a Déclaration de Travaux entails the preparation of proposals, drawings, a quotation, and then some bureaucratic work at the Mairie. The entire town of Richelieu within the walls + 500m in every direction is protected Un secteur sauvegardé avec un Plan de Sauvegarde et de Mise en Valeur (abrev. - PSMV); from the loi Malraux of 4th August 1962 - and many of the grander houses are in addition specifically - inscrit - protected. The builder or the town hall gets in the conservation architect from the Service Départemental de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine (abrev. - SDAP 37) - Bâtiments de France located in Tours. This specialist architect comes to the town once a month and checks out the list of small project applications that have been submitted at the town hall.  The application process takes about three months in all, so long as there is not a dispute.  The application's progress can be followed on the town hall notice-board and on a site notice.

The Bâtiments de France (abrev. BdF) architect will tell you what can be accepted, and for small projects, Mme. Adrienne Barthelemy's word is the law. Materials, dimensions and style included.  They seem generally to be both straightforward and pragmatic on small projects that are done 'in style' in authentic materials.

In this particular case the dormers have been constructed to match the 19th century façade of the building.  Cut stone surrounds with fronton - pediment, and mouldings, zinc gutters and flashings, ardoises - slates (Spanish? Chinese? French?), all-hardwood double-glazed windows, 

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