|The view through our roof|
|Goodbye swirly mustard carpet|
While I had a soft spot for the bar, the rest was an eyesore itching to be ripped out. Which is exactly what has happened over the past four months. We bought a house with four solid walls and ended up with a shell full of rubble and builders. It was the most expensive three walls I had ever seen.
There have been tears, hysterics and much screaming and rowing between myself and Mr FDMTG. Most memorable is the humdinger caused by the use of white plastic plug sockets instead of stainless steel ones. That one almost broke us. It's amazing how worked up you can get about the minutia that you will never notice once you are moved in and living there.
Though there were plenty of proper stomach hitting the floor moments of panic. Having stretched ourselves to the limit to both buy and do up our house, imagine our horror when our builder revealed that the extension we had been assured was sound, actually had no foundations and had to be demolished and rebuilt? There were plenty of tense conversations about that as we juggled meagre funds try to meet that rather vast hidden cost.
|The most expensive three walls|
I have lost days of my life poring over lighting websites, trying to find the perfect mix of cool, affordable and not-so-fashionable-that-they-will-instantly-date fittings. Only to have the electrician bugger off on holiday for four weeks leaving nothing but bare grey wires hanging from the ceiling.
We have dealt with kitchen fitters who dematerialised, leaving our budget bustingly expensive kitchen a half fitted mess. We have had stand up rows with window companies where they held the key to our bifold doors to ransom as we attempted to get them to finish fitting them properly. We have been presented for bills for tens of thousands of 'extras' by our builder who saved this treat for so near to the end of the job that all our contingency funds had well and truly run dry.
That's not to mention living for months with my four children in the spare rooms of my in-laws house. Admittedly we were incredibly lucky to be able to benefit from free accommodation during our build, or we simply wouldn't have been able to do it. But with the best will in the world a family of six invading my husband's childhood home has not been a barrel of laughs.
We have squished daily life into three rooms, a single fridge and a drawer in the freezer. We have coped, but living out of boxes has lost any appeal that it might once have had. And it's questionable that it ever did appeal.
Whenever the children ask where something is, the rest of the family choruses 'In a box' as that's where all our worldly possessions have languished for the past few months. We have had to buy new clothes, toys, swimming trunks, lunch boxes, uniform, drinking cups all of which we already own, but they are all beyond reach mysterious box whose location remains unknown.
However, the end looks as if it could be nigh. We have a tentative, I-will-believe-it-when-it-happens, moving in plan for this weekend. Of course everything is far from finished, but we have bathrooms, bedrooms and, fingers-crossed, a kitchen, and that is all you need to sustain life. I am just hoping that my dear friend over at From the Valley to the Palais is right and it really is more fun unpacking!