Um. In which I confess our house is too noisy.

I think I’ve finally cracked it. I love love love our crazy house. I love its weird nooks and crannies, its period charm. I especially love my WIR and new ensuite bathroom. However, I reached the end of my rope recently when I returned home from an extended stay in my home state, where I had been sleeping in quiet bedrooms like a very happy baby. The traffic noise on our busy street just got to me.

DH and I are having trouble getting enough deep sleep, as our house, on a busy road, is made of wood and tin and has air cracks everywhere. Typical of a stilt home. We can’t get our bedroom quiet enough for a good sleep. So on the weekend I started looking in earnest at houses on quieter streets, with the requisite number of box rooms for our myriad children. I think I found one. It’s a mostly unrenovated Queenslander in very good condition, with a near-new (albeit dog ugly) kitchen, good sized back deck and three separate living spaces. Less backyard, but that’s not a drama. So this week is VERY OVERDUE TAX week. I have to do this to see how much I have earned, so that banks won’t look at me funny when I say, no, I’ve not done my tax in three years! (This is a distressing but typical thing that I do). Also, given that I have a company, I will be compiling SIX tax returns. Bad, bad me. But it must be done.

Because Harry’s Money Pit, beautiful and quirky that it is, is suddenly getting too noisy to manage. And a home needs to be a nest, a place of rest, and a sanctuary. With traffic roaring up and down the hill all day, this ol’ house is not the oasis of calm I need it to be.

If the banks (plural because we will schlepp, I can promise you) give us their blessing and their money, we will spruce up the exterior with a new paint job in that white and black thing I was talking about. We will replace all the window hoods with fresh new tin, and repair the back deck cover and put on a new UV rated perspex canopy, and fix one of the unrenovated side exterior walls. We will spruce up the interior with a fresh paint job on the ceilings and woodwork where needed, and insert a new wall in the Oh Jesus room.

In the garden we will get a proper gardener to come in and trim the two trees of overhang, and repair the turf at the rear, as well as clear the yard of detritus. We will pave both walkways down the sides of the house with cheap concrete pavers so the walkways are easy to access.

In the downstairs we will clear out most of the stuff and put it into a storage facility, or, if new house happens first, into the new house.

If we don’t move I’m tempted to do all this stuff anyway, blow the budget! It’s all needed.



The Perfect Home

I am of the not unexpected opinion that the home you renovate/redecorate is the perfect home. Why, I hear you say? Well, because the feeling one gets when one has lavished time, money and energy on a successful house project is such an awesome feeling that it’s almost better than sex. Well, longer lasting, anyway. Annnnnd… I grew up in a house that was ALWAYS being renovated. I grew to love the smell of freshly sawn timber and paint. I blame my mother. Who is a renovating junkie.

So the house that DH (darling husband) and I bought is the perfect home – a renovator’s delight. Luckily, it has good bones and a lovely feel. We bought it on 31 July 2011, the VERY LAST DAY before stamp duty jumped up by $5000, which was like a little birthday present at the same time as the very best gift I could possibly imagine: our own home.

Well, I’ve blogged before about the craziness that accompanied the purchase of our very first house together. My main memory of the ghastly hunt that followed the exciting ambit offer made on the house was the lack of sleep that accompanied our bank application. For a month. And the lack of concentration that accompanied it. Anyhoo!
Here is a photo of the house once finance had been approved:

We bought a house!

Happy face! As you can see by the image, the house is in a totally unrenovated state, not substantially changed since about the 1950s. Some internal rooms have been changed since its construction in the 1920s and there is a dinky little entry landing that has been added to the side, but otherwise the house, which has a recently replaced roof, is pretty much original. Which I was stoked about.

We did the usual house inspection and found a series of small but not insurmountable problems. The first was that many of the house stumps needed replacing due to termite destruction:


Also, there was a whole section of house that needed more stumps as the span was too wide to support the beams. It had been like that for years. So we replaced lots of the stumps with the usual metal stumps, and even raised one poorly placed stump to reset the floor level in the main bedroom. The blokes below did the stumping. Hilarious fellas, regaling us with tales about shonky dealers and poor workmanship. We replaced 6 stumps and added 3, and the house now feels much more secure (purely psychosomatic, I know!)


I project managed the whole thing, and as we only had 2 1/2 weeks to do the whole house before we moved in, there was a sense of urgency about what needed doing.

Next blog: FLOORS and PAINT.