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Fri, 12/31/2010 - 12:54

Best wishes to all!   (OK long time no speak I know)..... Phil

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 08:15

A question left hanging was about fiberglass pools.  We looked at these and decided against on the grounds of (a) accessibility (could not get the unit to us easily), (b) concerns over longevity and how to repair if damaged.  Without doubt the projected costs looked smaller than for a concrete cassette and liner solution. Our pool project was probably not typical (I wrote about it in the old forum some years ago), as we did some substantial ground works, walls and gates as part of the project and unless and until we came to sell the place I don't suppose there is a sensible RoI case even though we are convinced that bookings and achieved rates are higher with a pool than without. Pool pics here http://www.stayinpiedmont.com/pages/tosee/relax_by_the_pool.html On an average installation I would say double the estimate you get from the pool company to reach the likely final cost (typically their quote does not include excavation, legal fees and taxes, pool surround or fitting the border stones or the construction of the below surface level technical room for pump and filter etc.  Additional plumbing and electrical work to wherever you site the pool may also be required.  Also consider where the water is coming from to fill the pool, some locations may prohibit filling it from your domestic supply or ban topping it up when there is a drought. Looking after the pool has not proved too much (we put in the computer controlled salt pool system which we find to be excellent) but as said on this thread it does need closing up before winter and opening in spring.  I spend one to a couple of hours per week "vacuuming" the pool floor (depends on wind etc.).  More of a pain is that the extremes of summer/winter do terrible things to the large amount of rendered walls that surround out pool, requiring annual work to patch cracks and holes and scraping off and repainting peeling surfaces. Pool liners to discolour a little over time (or in the case of some friends of ours with a small hotel - a lot).  We find a scrubbing brush and some barkeepers friend works quite well, this is a couple of hours work best done when the pool is warm and you can do it whilst in the pool.   Talking of our friends, their pool lined was punctured and they have taken it out this winter, I think to be replaced, but as their pool gets a much more commercial pounding it is probably unfair to say that is normal.  We do insist that our guests do not take glass anywhere near the pool and provide plastic wine glasses etc. Phil 

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 07:45

Coming late to this (and have been missing for a long time I know).... The other thing that is of advantage to registered farmers is to have as much land as possible, or at least certain types of land and thresholds to receive EU grant for land farmed.  The actual EU payment is quite small and is always paid late (I know, being a CD), but nontheless not to be sniffed at.  So it is also worth checking if person using or wishing to use your land is also going to add it to their declaration of land worked.  If they are then it is worth reaching an agreement for more than the notional 1 Euro?   Phil

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 07:35

I agree that passing through means you are not liable to the import taxes.  In theory they could list your wine and make you hand over the documentation on exit from Switzerland - happened to us once. Phil

Fri, 06/26/2009 - 15:59

I am here - just not very often.  If you need something I guess I am subscribed to this thread now (have not had time to come to terms with the new community yet). Otherwise send me a PM Best PP

Fri, 06/26/2009 - 15:46

Also greetings from Piedmont. Missing the luxury of time that I had last year - so have not had a chance to look into the new community pages much. Past moderator for the Piemonte side of life when we were a "forum" and resident expert in vineyards and winemaking.  Happy to offer the same level of help here - but I have taken on a lot of real world activities this year, which means I will only dip into the internet occasionally.Hi to allpiedmont_phil