Sunday, 16 August 2009

Doing up the house part 764

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.

One day I will look back on this and laugh.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

I will, won't I?


Maggie May said...

You have come so far and completion must surely be in sight.
Married to a retired builder, I look back on my forty odd years of marriage & realize that much of it was spent living among the devastation of half finished jobs. I still haven't got my kitchen finished, though I don't have rodents now :-)
I feel at the point of getting someone else in!!!!!!
I really AM reaching the end of my tether too so you have my sympathy.

Catharine Withenay said...

Oh heck - I've got much of this to come! Keep positive, thinking of how great it will be when finished. That's what I tell myself every time I look at the non-existent kitchen we currently camp in.

But if your joiner is any good, I'd love to get his number. A kitchen, miles of bookshelves and wardrobes are just the beginning of his list!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I think you need to look back over these posts and then youll see how far youve come..

Working Mum said...

Maggie - thank you for letting me know you are in the same boat. I think you may need to get someone in to get some sanity back!

Catharine - I'm sure this is just a phase, I will be ecstatic when it's finished. If you are serious about wanting the joiner's name and number (and any other recommendations of tradesmen) just e-mail me (my e-mail address is on my profile). Good luck with your kitchen; trying to feed my family from a toaster, kettle and microwave in the dining room was a memory I'd rather not dredge up!

FFF - I have before and after pictures of each room up in the study and I go and look at them to remind myself how far we've come. I'm sure it will all be sorted in a few weeks; going back to work will take my mind off it all.

Insomniac Mummy said...

It will all be worth it in the end!

We've been in our house 10 years and are still working on it......slowly.


rosiero said...

It will look nice when it's finished, but (dare I say it) then it will probably need redecorating all over again! Sorry, I'm ducking while you throw something at me!

Working Mum said...

Insomniac Mummy - I know we will still be working on the outside in ten years time, I'm under no illusions!

Rosiero - You are so right. We have already noticed that daughter's room will need redecorating soon (it was the first room we did here), but at least it will only need painting and a new carpet this time.

Anonymous said...

I guess if you want the best you have to work for it and it sounds like you're certainly doing that!

I've done up rooms in this house and it's cost a lot too but when you look at them, remembering what they looked like previously, it makes you wonder why you took so long!!

CJ xx

Kelloggsville said...

Don't try to undermine how rotten you feel about it at the moment by comparing it to other peoples problems. Wallow in it for a while. Then look at the fun (I know you've enjoyed it sometimes!), the enormous sense of achievement so far and the massive satisfaction the finished parts have given you. You'll suddenly find a renewed energy to get going at it again.

But sometimes you just gotta feel the misery and annoyance to appreciate the happiness and the joy.

Stick with the quality plan if you can, times I'll cheap skated things and regret it later.

Onward and upward - you can do it


(Ps it's only a few months since my office ceiling give in to weight of water from an upstairs shower!!!!)

Working Mum said...

Crystal Jigsaw - I do love the rooms we've done and I can't wait until the hall is similar. It will be worth it in the end!

Kelloggsville - thank you for that. I feel a little more vindicated now. I felt terrible for being down about the house when others are suffering with bigger problems, but I'll just accept that this is a lousy phase and then move on. At least we pulled down the hall ceiling on purpose to discover the source of the trickle!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Oh wow! What a lot of headache and frustration. But at least you're doing it right and it will be so nice and YOURS when you're done!

Claire said...

OMG, we have just done up our first apartment having done more work than ppl in our position would normally do. I thought we were gonna poke each others eyes out with screwdrivers at various points and I don't want to see the inside of a diy shop for quite sometime. However, my experience is a very storytale walk in the park compared to what you have described. My hat off to you - it will come to the end and then you'll be so happy when its done :)

Iota said...

Yes, you will. And I love you're positive "no-one's ill, no-one's dying" philosophy.

The word verification is PAITO - which is like patio gone wrong. I hope it isn't prophetic!

scrappysue said...

but it IS a major headache doing up a house - i don't know anyone who hasn't had the same stresses.

thanks for sharing - it's going to be AMAZING when it's done for sure!

Casdok said...

Phew Im worn out just reading this! But sounds as though you are doing a fab job :)

Working Mum said...

Thank you, my bloggy friends, I am feeling much better now. Just a few words saying "It's okay to feel like that" and "It will be great in the end" make such a difference. I love this blogging lark.

Anonymous said...

All this, and work, and children and housework and cooking and having a life!!!!!!! Good grief woman, of course you are feeling a bit crazed. but the longest mile is the last mile home and you are nearly there. What a great Christmas you will have.

Working Mum said...

Moannie - I'm not convinced it will be done by Christmas!

Suburbia said...

Oh you poor thing. Keep going, you'll get there in the end and it will all be worth it. Hall stair and landing are the worst I think , because the mess is on all floors and escapes into every room.

Good luck, you'll have lots of years where you can just sit back, take stock, and enjoy it :)

Polly said...

Maybe, but I know how you feel. Old houses are lovely but boy do they require some work.

Jill Tradespeople said...

I can only speak from experience but stick at it. The renovation of a building whether it be in conjuction with tradesmen or builders is very rewarding when completed. Good work.