Hating the waiting!

DH hates the way our house doesn’t work. He wants to come home and put his feet up and suck down a beer on the back deck, proudly surveying our patch of paradise and admiring our pretty little cottage, all decked out in a fresh coat of paint, and garnished with a pretty, easy-care garden.

We don’t have a back deck. But my architect who is coming over this afternoon has some ideas about that.

The long times between decisions feels like this process is taking forever. Not a bad plan when we don’t have enough funds for all the jobs we want to do round the house.

But we’re both quietly screaming with frustration. We’ve been here more than three years now, and neither of us are coping with the Hades summer conditions or the insects or the traffic noise. DH wants the house to look good on the outside while I want the inside to be more functional.

While we get a good amount of breeze through cross drafts we can’t really manage the heat or noise pollution. We have no sound privacy and noise comes up through the floor. Our West Wing is mostly unliveable. It needs gutting, rewiring, insulation and reorganising. DH and I have no ensuite or wardrobes and crap window furnishings in our bedroom. Our single family bathroom is unfit for use due to black mould. Our plumbing needs a complete refit due to leaking pipes and we need a new electrical board and new fittings.

Our daughter’s room is too small in the long term and our kitchen is tragic. Pretty but tragic.

We can’t do anything about the garden until the building plans are finalised. So every few weeks DH gets out there with whipper snippers and the lawn mower and attempts to beat the weeds into submission, while the diggingest dog puts ankle-breaking holes in strategic spots.

Our entryway is too small, the back stairs are on their last legs and there is no ceiling insulation in the verandahs.


But as I explained to DH, my income has been bound by PhD studies, with little chance to improve my position until it was finished. Now that it is done, we have a much better chance of improving the house because the dissertation is out of the way. I can work more hours. Also, it’s the last year of 2 lots of school fees. Phew!

But the waiting….. Ugh.

Sourcing the architect

Studio oil painting Toni BI always knew it would come to this. In the end, given my preference for using Dylan McPherson’s company to build our home, we’re going with an architect who has worked with him before and who trusts Dylan’s excellent product. This architect was coincidentally a sound engineer in a former life so knows and gets musicians and understands my need for a sound proofed room that still resonates on the inside.

He’s not afraid to put together some new ideas for us too, seeing as I want a complete renovation plan prior to building the first stage. There is (as he put it) so much potential for our house, and if we plan carefully we should have a wonderful end result.

His fees are reasonable and he works by the hour. This is good for us as once those plans are in place he can step back and our designer Lisa can step in as liaison between the relevant parties.

This whole process is very crazy but not as far as I can tell unusual. And renovating our home is STILL preferable financially to buying elsewhere. Sigh.

In other news the new art is now in the house and for Xmas my mum gave me a rather gorgeous oil painting by Toni Bucknell of a studio I have always liked. I was surprised when she asked what I wanted from her house, but it appears she’s divesting herself of some stuff. When I said I liked that picture she thought for a moment and then said: yes. None of the other siblings wanted it. It’s not worth much I think but I love it as a reminder of my childhood. So it’s in our kitchen, bright and cheerful and we’re nearly done with all my own paintings (done in high school!). The last remaining similarly cheerful print of a kitchen table is about to go to another happier place in the undercroft.