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Discussion Starter #21
Hi Lynda
Good to hear from you again.
We are not going out to Ofena until March next year, we are not allowed to stay at the house and although there is plenty of work to do in the garden as soon as we leave it just returns to its Jungle state again.
We have had some good news today from our Architect. The Comune have now agreed to let us go ahead, independantly of our neighbours ,with the repairs to the property. The architect has up until December 31st to re submit the new plans and then we have to wait for the Comune to give us permission to start the work.
We will now be moving in October next year, rather than April, although we are still prepared to take a caravan across if we have to. We are also now considering taking my car across because we will not be allowed to buy a car in Italy until we have been granted residency, so it would prove very expensive if we had to rent a car for several months.
Hope tha wedding went well and that you have a good time in Italy.
Judy.
Hi again Lynda

Has Barry set up another thread or is it an expats group in Carrufo?
Judy.
 

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Hi Pleased to hear that you have no regrets.
We have heard from one of our Architects and she is hoping to have some more information for us this week.
It would be great if we could meet up some time,where do you live?
Judy
Hi Judy

Great to see everyone still on the forum. we have now bitten the bullet and got a lawyer to act on our behalf. Sick if being fobbed off by the Comune. There was a meeting last Thursday to discuss the plans for our area of the town and as a) we couldn't go and b) we wouldn't understand most of what was going on - it just seemed the most sensible thing to do. We have at least found out that the repair work for all the properties in our street will be carried out in one go at no cost to us and an architect has been appointed by the Comune. The only thing we don't know is when! And as we all know, this is the million euro question.

Julie x
 

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Hi Barry, I finally booked our tickets. we will be in Ofena 24th Oct to 3rd Nov
Happy to meet new people. Rod's sister and her husband are coming to stay with us should be fun.

Rod can't wait to get back to Ofena.... He is trying to get a job back in Dubai... that much closer ! I won't be back until it warms up . Trying to get to the Chelsea flower show 2011. So May/June
Lucky you.......We have decided to stay away from the house now - maybe go and stay with Gianni for B&B - just heard from the architect that they are about ready to put a project in and that theoretically I am classed as an Ofena resident. Practically I just have my fingers crossed!!!

Gianni has the builders in and his place should be ready by Christmas with a bit of luck.

Would you be interested in renting your place out for a week? We Would take good care of it. No offence, no problem if not. Tony might be out for a week on his own.
Pam
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Hi Judy

Great to see everyone still on the forum. we have now bitten the bullet and got a lawyer to act on our behalf. Sick if being fobbed off by the Comune. There was a meeting last Thursday to discuss the plans for our area of the town and as a) we couldn't go and b) we wouldn't understand most of what was going on - it just seemed the most sensible thing to do. We have at least found out that the repair work for all the properties in our street will be carried out in one go at no cost to us and an architect has been appointed by the Comune. The only thing we don't know is when! And as we all know, this is the million euro question.

Julie x
Hi Julie
Good to hear from you again.
I understand your frustration with the Comune. We have now got two architects working on our project and our new Architect, Christina, has said that it is like dealing with nursery children when she tries to get our original architect, Alessandro and the Comune to communicate with each other properly.
We have now been told that our work can go ahead independently of our neighbours so we have got to wait for the plans to be submitted and passed so that the work can start. We have been told that we will get 80% towards the cost of the repairs.
John and I are going out again in March as we need to go to the Comune to see about applying for residency and the plan is then to move there permanently next October(even if we have to take a caravan across to sleep in).We will be putting our house in England up for sale in the new Year and will mov einto rented accomodation over here if we sell before October.
Judy.
 

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ofena

Hi
My husband and I are planning to re-locate to Abruzzo next year, hopefully towards the end of April.
We bought our house, as a renovation project, in Ofena in 2007 and had originally planned to move this year. However, our house was damaged in the earthquake and we are still waiting to receive authorisation from the authorities to start the repairs.
Regardless of whether the work has started by April next year we still plan to make the move then even if it means taking a caravan across with us to sleep in.
We have a garden of over 600sq.m which is full of olive trees, vines and fig trees to we will have plenty of work to keep us occupied until we can start on the house again.
If anyone has any constructive advice to offer it would be gratefully welcomed.
Judy
Hello Judy: My wife Vee and I just acquired a house in Ofena too! We are staying there -again- the next four weeks. Very sorry to read that your house got damaged. We met some very good Ofena people; and am sure they would want to extend their help too. So let's stay in touch! Joseph and Vee DeMeyer
 

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Hello Judy: My wife Vee and I just acquired a house in Ofena too! We are staying there -again- the next four weeks. Very sorry to read that your house got damaged. We met some very good Ofena people; and am sure they would want to extend their help too. So let's stay in touch! Joseph and Vee DeMeyer
You must have central heat! Are you using natural gas? Wondering on the cost. We've been told it is 800 euro to put a meter in and that it is very expensive to use but no one has given us any figures. The gas line is stubbed off just below our electric meter so hooking it up shouldn't be a problem.
Speaking of electricity we still haven't had a bill since the earthquake.

Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
You must have central heat! Are you using natural gas? Wondering on the cost. We've been told it is 800 euro to put a meter in and that it is very expensive to use but no one has given us any figures. The gas line is stubbed off just below our electric meter so hooking it up shouldn't be a problem.
Speaking of electricity we still haven't had a bill since the earthquake.

Barry
Hi Barry
We had our gas meter installed two years ago and it cost 550 Euros(the pipework was already in place like yours)
As the mains gas lines have only been installed over the past few years to the village they are trying to re coup some of the cost by charging a higher than normal rate for the meter.
We still have still not received a utility bill but I believe that the gas and electric companies are going to start billing people shortly.
Judy.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hello Judy: My wife Vee and I just acquired a house in Ofena too! We are staying there -again- the next four weeks. Very sorry to read that your house got damaged. We met some very good Ofena people; and am sure they would want to extend their help too. So let's stay in touch! Joseph and Vee DeMeyer
Hi Joseph and Vee
Lovely to hear from you.
We are planning to go out to Ofena in March as we need to get some details sorted out with the Comune prior to our final move next October.
Our Architects are meeting with the Comune again tomorrow to discuss our plans and once they have been sent to us to sign and returned they will be finally submitted.
We have also got some lovely neighbours who are really helpful as my Italian is still pretty poor, but improving.
I would certainly like to keep in touch.
Judy.
 

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heating...

You must have central heat! Are you using natural gas? Wondering on the cost. We've been told it is 800 euro to put a meter in and that it is very expensive to use but no one has given us any figures. The gas line is stubbed off just below our electric meter so hooking it up shouldn't be a problem.
Speaking of electricity we still haven't had a bill since the earthquake.

Barry
Hello Barry!...no we do not have gas..and this is our first stay in the -colder-season (maybe we are a little naif in believing Ofena will live up to its name...). We have the same gas line situation as you; and have looked into the options. It all depends on how LONG and WHEN you are staying in the house...Vee and are not not full timers ..so therefor no gas line yet (installation of central heating is quite expensive; but ultimately the best option when you stay all year round; forget those wood stoves: still too cumbersome and messy).
This time we will first try a couple of individual mobile gas heaters; one for each room; if necessary rolling them around a little... If you see us in the bar uptown, you know its not working....
 

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Hello Barry!...no we do not have gas..and this is our first stay in the -colder-season (maybe we are a little naif in believing Ofena will live up to its name...). We have the same gas line situation as you; and have looked into the options. It all depends on how LONG and WHEN you are staying in the house...Vee and are not not full timers ..so therefor no gas line yet (installation of central heating is quite expensive; but ultimately the best option when you stay all year round; forget those wood stoves: still too cumbersome and messy).
This time we will first try a couple of individual mobile gas heaters; one for each room; if necessary rolling them around a little... If you see us in the bar uptown, you know its not working....
We have 3 kerosene heaters plus an electric one and staying in late October we were using them all. Mind you our fireplace is useless, it only works if the window is open which kind of defeats the purpose! Everyone seems to get by with one of those high efficiency wood stoves which I think will be the way we go. My wife wants to come for christmas one year so we will need to do something.
 

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We have 3 kerosene heaters plus an electric one and staying in late October we were using them all. Mind you our fireplace is useless, it only works if the window is open which kind of defeats the purpose! Everyone seems to get by with one of those high efficiency wood stoves which I think will be the way we go. My wife wants to come for christmas one year so we will need to do something.
Yeah....we hear that about those woodstoves also (and you can smell them too!). The problem in our house is that we have several rooms and floors, all separated by very thick walls and floors....so if you do not have one of those stoves that also feeds a central heating system (i.e.. radiators in practically every room) the heat from a "central" woodstove (or for that matter a fireplace) is not going to warm you up that much and soon....Also: even when you install a central heating woodstove, the cumbersomeness (schlepping bags of wood pellets; cleaning out the ash...and depositing it), if not also the environmental hazards (this is here in the US a real issue: neighbors complain of smell and carbo MONO oxide emissions!!!) as well as depleting the already rare wood supply in Europe (no wonder the wooden plank prices are so high there, in comparison to my US Home depot) we certainly will go with gas. There are still tremendous gas reservoirs under the Mediterranean sea; with the new extraction techniques (admittedly not advisable in earthquake prone Abruzzo....) the price of gas will be relatively low...and it is the cleanest energy source.
We are looking forward to meeting you all soon!! Joseph and Vee
 

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Yeah....we hear that about those woodstoves also (and you can smell them too!). The problem in our house is that we have several rooms and floors, all separated by very thick walls and floors....so if you do not have one of those stoves that also feeds a central heating system (i.e.. radiators in practically every room) the heat from a "central" woodstove (or for that matter a fireplace) is not going to warm you up that much and soon....Also: even when you install a central heating woodstove, the cumbersomeness (schlepping bags of wood pellets; cleaning out the ash...and depositing it), if not also the environmental hazards (this is here in the US a real issue: neighbors complain of smell and carbo MONO oxide emissions!!!) as well as depleting the already rare wood supply in Europe (no wonder the wooden plank prices are so high there, in comparison to my US Home depot) we certainly will go with gas. There are still tremendous gas reservoirs under the Mediterranean sea; with the new extraction techniques (admittedly not advisable in earthquake prone Abruzzo....) the price of gas will be relatively low...and it is the cleanest energy source.
We are looking forward to meeting you all soon!! Joseph and Vee
Having talked to some of the quake survivors from L'Aquila - I wouldnt want gas in my house - a friend of a friend tore his fingers to the bone and didnt notice in his attempts getting out before the gas killed him. People in ofena dont worry about smell from log burners. The wood comes in the most part from either pruning their trees or I believe there is a special part of the woods above Ofena which is set aside just for the purpose of getting firewood - each village having its own area.

Several people have pellet stoves and there is a move to buy in bulk to cut down on the costs. They are not cheap though.

We were thinking of using a combination of log stoves with back boilers and system developed in Sweden/japan of air echange heaters - to be efficient they need cold outdoor temperatures and either big radiators or underfloor heating. With solar panels from the sun to harvest electricity and off set the costs.

I would like to be as self sufficient as possible when it comes to fuel. When you are on a pension - fuel hikes can mean real financial harship and I would rather invest in solar panels/wind energy - heat exchangers etc now when I am earing than worry in my old age.
 

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before heat the first thing to consider is how you retain it.. ie pouring heat into a building which does not keep it inside is an expensive option for anyone..

so make sure you buy the best double glazing and insulate the roof.. entrances and exits.. should have good sealing doors.. ok many of you will have to compromise these efforts because of costs ..however do as much as you can..

the other point is that if it is an old building then if you seal it as described above you will have damp problems.... so make sure to have air vents drilled and allow some controlled circulation.. damp is a real problem that makes a place feel far colder in any case and destroys so much with mold...

we have had mains gas.. wood fires and pellets..

mains gas is a disaster... leaving aside safety issues in the L'Aquila area.. huge monthly cost before you even use it.. so a very bad idea for holiday homes and as mentioned above costs are too high to leave it on... even worse if your house does not retain heat... so you never feel warm in any case..

wood fires... the best are the enclosed types..you can get inserts for a fireplace which stops all the heat going up the chimney.. many of these have simple fan systems which allow hot air to be blown into a room or rooms .. providing you have a good place to store wood and a good supplier they are a cheap option and provide a quick fix...

i would suggest that you have a stainless steel sleeve fitted as a chimney too.. in fact it will be insisted upon often to aid draw so no smoke inside.. they also keep the ash behind a closed door and so a bit cleaner..wood burns slower although an avaergae amount of wood that is consumed here in teramo for winter is around 60 quintales.. thats 60 x 100 kgs... sorry not sure what that is in lbs... but 6 tonnes of wood.. cost if split and dry.. you need dry.. around 10-15 euro a quintale .. you can get them delivered by pallet loads of 1 tonne split and dry cost about 140 euro ...

more elaborate fires also have a back boiler system which warms water as well and can service radiators... however to maintain a good amount of heat to make it function to a reasonable level you might well need to add more to your wood costs..

in fact most people that use wood as a source of heating aside from just having a cheerful look and a warm, front room have their own supplies of wood... otherwise it just costs too much

Pellets ... there are stand alone versions which sit in a room ..blow hot air and can heat water and radiators... however they are ok for small places.. a 15 kg bag costs from 3.00 euro to 5.00 euro.. and will last between 1 and 2 days.. advantages,...no ash virtually... clean.. easy to transport and store.. disadvantages... they have fans which are noisy if in a room... a room sized simple one costs around 600 - 700 euro and you need to have an outside wall for the chimney... or an old fireplace..

my choice of heating is the pellet fired boiler.... expensive.. 3000 euro... serves hot water and radiators.. they have huge hoppers to hold pellets so will run for a week without any bother ...you buy pellets in bulk or any other bio mass material they burn it all...

with a liquid gas tank buried in the garden for summer use.. via its own boiler.. i believe that is the best traditional system... for a well insulated and efficient home... however Offena has a much lower average winter temp than teramo where we live.. so am sure my figures will be a bit on the low side ..but i should think the systems will still be good and maybe even more benefit...

solar vacuum tubes for water heating are virtually useless.. cost against gain is not worth looking at... very expensive to install..

electric photo voltaic systems.. now if you have the capital and have the right sort of outside space with loans and systems that allow you to connect into the main grid are about the best option of alternative energy... and should after 15 years break even .. so hat you have zero cost energy after that..
 

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Hi Lynda
Good to hear from you again.
We are not going out to Ofena until March next year, we are not allowed to stay at the house and although there is plenty of work to do in the garden as soon as we leave it just returns to its Jungle state again.
We have had some good news today from our Architect. The Comune have now agreed to let us go ahead, independantly of our neighbours ,with the repairs to the property. The architect has up until December 31st to re submit the new plans and then we have to wait for the Comune to give us permission to start the work.
We will now be moving in October next year, rather than April, although we are still prepared to take a caravan across if we have to. We are also now considering taking my car across because we will not be allowed to buy a car in Italy until we have been granted residency, so it would prove very expensive if we had to rent a car for several months.
Hope tha wedding went well and that you have a good time in Italy.
Judy.
Hi Judy,

We are back. The weather was fair in Italy, some lovely days but some cold and rainy too. It was so hard to get the washing dry ! It was lovely to have Rods Sister and her husband stay. We showed them around a bit, to Capestrano, the lake, Bussi Popoli and Sulmona as well as a trip to LAquila and a night in Pescara.
Rod got bronchial pneumonia though, a week in to our holiday and was very sick. in the end we had to go to Popoli hospital. They were very good, the service was faultless, so much better than here in Aus. They put him on a drip, ran a whole heap of tests and gave him an antibiotic injection. Next day he went back for another one, and he wasn't feeling too bad, but the drive to Rome and journey through the airport did him in and he was very unwell again by the time we got to Dubai. We ended up staying a week while he had more tests and rested.
Thankfully he is much better now.
Apps wedding isn't until the 27th of Dec. I have been gardening every day to have things ship shape. I tried to grow her some sunflowers but they are a dismal failure !
Giannis project is under way, and we enjoyed a tour of the house. The builders have really strengthened everything, it is going really well. They had the roof off and were doing reinforcements. It had a cost of around 150,000. Gianni and Mira are looking forward to being back in their home in the new year. Gianni was pressing his grapes for this years vintage while we were there which was fun. Im so glad your project is finally going ahead. As soon as you get your funding you will be underway too. It has been such a huge setback for you.

Sounds like a good idea to get your car over there. Rod's job in Dubai didn't come off, so we are still a long way from moving over. i might have a go next year at doing my residency depending on what happens here at home. Hard to be so far away from each other for so long.
Still hoping to catch up with you one day! Lynda
 

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You must have central heat! Are you using natural gas? Wondering on the cost. We've been told it is 800 euro to put a meter in and that it is very expensive to use but no one has given us any figures. The gas line is stubbed off just below our electric meter so hooking it up shouldn't be a problem.
Speaking of electricity we still haven't had a bill since the earthquake.

Barry
Hey Barry, It was a bit cold in Ofena, The snow came on the mountains above while we were there. During the day not too bad, I have determined not to go back when it's is cold next time though !

We really like our deodorized kero heater in the kitchen. It kicks into gear quickly to warm the kitchen is thermostatically controlled and warms the kitchen easily. We are also running two of the portable gas heaters on wheels and they are great. They take a 20 -25 Euro bottle which last well. You turn them off at the bottle so safe too in earthquake.

Must admit I am rethinking putting the gas on considering how expensive it is to install and run.

Sorry didn't see your friend while we were there. Busy with relo's and then Rod got sick so we were laying low. Hoping to get out next year for a while.
 

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Pam , I can't find your post. When was Tony thinking of going? Rod wasn't keen to let the place as our dodgy toilet has gotten worse. We can't turn the water off to it because the plumber didn't oput the tap in we asked for. The new cistern is leaking and so does the pipework to the bowl, so there is constantly water on the floor.It is a real nuisance and I wanted to rip it all out and redo it next time we are there. Upstairs toilet ok but can't turn water off anywhere except kitchen so then no supply to rear of house. Maybe I could get Gianni to get the plumber there?

email me to let me know what you are up to anyway , Lyn
 

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Hey Barry, It was a bit cold in Ofena, The snow came on the mountains above while we were there. During the day not too bad, I have determined not to go back when it's is cold next time though !

We really like our deodorized kero heater in the kitchen. It kicks into gear quickly to warm the kitchen is thermostatically controlled and warms the kitchen easily. We are also running two of the portable gas heaters on wheels and they are great. They take a 20 -25 Euro bottle which last well. You turn them off at the bottle so safe too in earthquake.

Must admit I am rethinking putting the gas on considering how expensive it is to install and run.

Sorry didn't see your friend while we were there. Busy with relo's and then Rod got sick so we were laying low. Hoping to get out next year for a while.
We bought one of those heaters a couple of years ago and they are good but expensive. I think we will get a couple more as they are electronically controlled so other than filling the tank every couple of days don't need any maintenance.
 

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Pam , I can't find your post. When was Tony thinking of going? Rod wasn't keen to let the place as our dodgy toilet has gotten worse. We can't turn the water off to it because the plumber didn't oput the tap in we asked for. The new cistern is leaking and so does the pipework to the bowl, so there is constantly water on the floor.It is a real nuisance and I wanted to rip it all out and redo it next time we are there. Upstairs toilet ok but can't turn water off anywhere except kitchen so then no supply to rear of house. Maybe I could get Gianni to get the plumber there?

email me to let me know what you are up to anyway , Lyn
No Worries - we decided to go up north and visit my grandchildren. Good luck on getting the water fixed. How was ofena - sick as a parrot at not being able to go. Seems that the architect is going to get a project submitted - just waiting to see what they are going to do. might be able to get it done by spring she says - so might be able to go next summer - will try to get bathrooms done at same time as hopefully will get sensible price for the work if they are getting a big project out of it....
Love to hear from you
Pam
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Hi Judy,

We are back. The weather was fair in Italy, some lovely days but some cold and rainy too. It was so hard to get the washing dry ! It was lovely to have Rods Sister and her husband stay. We showed them around a bit, to Capestrano, the lake, Bussi Popoli and Sulmona as well as a trip to LAquila and a night in Pescara.
Rod got bronchial pneumonia though, a week in to our holiday and was very sick. in the end we had to go to Popoli hospital. They were very good, the service was faultless, so much better than here in Aus. They put him on a drip, ran a whole heap of tests and gave him an antibiotic injection. Next day he went back for another one, and he wasn't feeling too bad, but the drive to Rome and journey through the airport did him in and he was very unwell again by the time we got to Dubai. We ended up staying a week while he had more tests and rested.
Thankfully he is much better now.
Apps wedding isn't until the 27th of Dec. I have been gardening every day to have things ship shape. I tried to grow her some sunflowers but they are a dismal failure !
Giannis project is under way, and we enjoyed a tour of the house. The builders have really strengthened everything, it is going really well. They had the roof off and were doing reinforcements. It had a cost of around 150,000. Gianni and Mira are looking forward to being back in their home in the new year. Gianni was pressing his grapes for this years vintage while we were there which was fun. Im so glad your project is finally going ahead. As soon as you get your funding you will be underway too. It has been such a huge setback for you.

Sounds like a good idea to get your car over there. Rod's job in Dubai didn't come off, so we are still a long way from moving over. i might have a go next year at doing my residency depending on what happens here at home. Hard to be so far away from each other for so long.
Still hoping to catch up with you one day! Lynda
Hi Lynda
Hope that you a lovely Christmas.

So sorry to hear that Rob has been so poorly, it makes it much worse when you are away from home doesn't it?We have got so many flu viruses flying around here at the moment, which is stretching our hospitals to capacity.
I hope that the wedding went to plan and that everyone had a wonderful day.
Our plans have finally been submitted to the Comune, they are predicting that it will take up to six months to complete the work.
We are going over in March to meet with the Architects again and also go to the Comune to see how our application is progressing and also to start the residency process.
We went and chose our kitchen and appliances last week at one of our local stores. They will keep it for us for the next few months and then all I have to do is to arrange delivery of it to our removals firm. The move is starting to feel very real now.
John has notified his employers of when he intends to retire so we have just got to hope that we can get some work started on the house otherwise it will be a caravan for the winter.
Happy New Year to you all.
 
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