It’s the little things

We’ve been granted the world’s longest mortgage to extend and renovate Harry’s Money Pit! Huzzah. Now there’s a whole lotta money in the bank burning the world’s biggest hole in my pocket while we plan our big renovations. In the meantime, we’re getting a few “little things” done around the house to make our lives just that little bit easier.

Firstly: I’ve ordered a new automated garage tilt door and automated gate opener. These are from Doors Direct, and we’ve ordered a timber-batten version like the image below, because we’ve decided we can’t afford, nor really need, to build under the house:

garage door timber-battens-1200x900

Once painted it will look a treat, although I haven’t yet received the quote (but they were totally on it! Might only take a week to make and install, given their speed of service thus far). For the last 5 years we’ve been getting out of our cars, opening the front gate and garage door by hand, driving in or reversing out of the garage, then doing it all again. Time to save a bit of time. We live on a busy street and need privacy, security and dog protection, hence the fence and gate and garage door ballet that is our life (sometimes we just park our car round the corner because doing this 3 times a day gets old fast).

The other thing we’re doing right now is ordering plantation shutters for the bedroom and front room. I’m not a fan of curtains in our hot, humid climate, where material smells/fades/gets mouldy. And this is a thing we’d promised ourselves once I’d finished painting the bedroom. Well, I haven’t finished painting the bedroom, but this sure as hell will put the boot in my butt to get this done! They’re coming over next week, and it’ll be fun working out how many we’ll need, as we have banks of windows in each room. Are these counted as singular or grouped?

plantation shutters the blind space

We’re also getting quotes on the house painting of the exterior: the guys doing the job next door (who are doing a BEAUTIFUL job), are coming over tomorrow to chat. Of course, they can’t do much until we get the various outside bits done that need doing.

OH! And we’re ordering air-con for the bedroom and studio. I’ve had it with humid summers. And I don’t think I can get through another summer without some kind of night-time drying system. (I’ve found out that instead of using the “cool” setting, if I use the “dry” setting on the air con, the temperature setting can be higher and still feel just as cool as the “cool” setting, saving us moolah.) So of course we’re putting in solar. What with these dry winters and hotter-than-average-temperature summers, it makes sense to take pressure off the grid, and reduce our bills at the same time, while still enjoying some cool inside air.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll order some new ceiling fans and inset ceiling lights for the bedrooms and lounge. Maybe.

It’s the little things…

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.

Argh!

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.