I seem to have given the impression in my last post that I am sweetness personified whilst doing all these jobs on the house. Well, I'm not, I'm fed up. It it feels like we've been 'doing up the house' for ever. This house is a big factor in how down I feel at the moment so I thought I would blog about it and get it off my chest:
When we bought this place we did the sums, we made lists, we got quotes. We estimated two years and £50,000. Even though we knew it would be a lot of work, it was the only way we could afford a family home in a nice area and at least we'd have our choices and not someone else's. It's now been nearly three years and I am not going to admit how much over budget it has gone.
It's taking such a long time, so much money and all my energy and enthusiasm to turn this neglected 1950s detached house into a beautiful family home. We started by getting the whole place rewired which created mess in every room as the electricians channelled up walls, pulled up floorboards and cut holes in ceilings. We replaced the rotting windows, the inoperable kitchen and two condemned bathrooms and have worked our way round the house having every room gutted and replastered before decorating and having new radiators, carpets and light fittings put in. A lot of the work we have done ourselves to save money, but specialist work required many tradesmen with whom we are now on Christmas card exchanging terms!
We are, however, getting closer to the end (0f the inside, at least). We've destroyed and rebuilt all of the rooms and we are on the last indoor part; the hall, stairs and landing. Now this involves a lot of work, tradesmen, coordination, time, money and effort and I'm not sure I can keep going.
Firstly we've stripped it all and got the plumber to remove the radiator. We've had a new front door and frame fitted and the old one and the old porch door taken away, but now the old silcone needs removing from the bricks in the porch and that will take some time. We've had a disaster with the shower leaking into the hall and have had to pull part of the hall ceiling down. The plasterers are booked to replaster the whole place in two weeks, but they can't do that until the bathroom company fix the shower. The bathroom company are refusing to do it under the warranty even though our plumber, Keith, has looked at it and said that the shower screen was not fitted correctly in the first place. I can no longer speak to the bathroom company without being near to tears, husband has taken this job on.
Our joiner (who, btw, is my fabulous childminder's husband) is going to cut out the plywood from the staircase and replace it with spindles, but, to save costs, I am stripping the fifty year old paint from the newel posts and handrails and this is taking forever. And I can only do it when daughter is out of the house because I'm not sure if the paint contains lead and I have to wear a mask while I do it. I've also been out looking for interior doors and having to replace ten doors plus a fire door for the garage is going to cost us £1000 before fitting costs. I'm sorely tempted to compromise and buy cheaper doors and handles, but we agreed to renovate this house with good quality fixtures and fittings and I would spend years wishing I had done if I don't. (We intend staying here until we retire)
I know doing up a house is not a major headache, it's not life and death, there are worse problems in life. I know I'm very lucky to have such a house and that we both have jobs to pay the horrendous mortgage and to pay for the renovations, especially in these times where people are losing jobs and homes. My motto for the past three years has been "No-one's ill, no-one's dying" to try to put it all in persepective, but I just feel so fed up with the whole place at the moment.