The Whellem family from Essex has created homes in the French countryside through a series of DIY projects.
In 2001, John Whellem, his mother and sister started to look at houses in Angouleme in south-western France.
His mother remembers feeling that "it was very rural after Essex".
They found Le Marquisat, a series of buildings set around a courtyard.
Just one of the three houses was habitable, with a number of further barns and outbuildings ready for a refit, reports the Times.
The family eventually transformed the run-down barns and outbuildings into houses without any professional help, restoring beamed ceilings and installing new kitchens and bathrooms in a series of ambitious DIY projects.
Other relatives have since joined them, with a total of 16 family members now living in the French village.
Back in the UK, the wet weather has led to an increase in DIY sales.
Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium show UK retail sales values rising 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis and 3.6 per cent compared to July 2008.