Wednesday, 30 January 2013

About our new house

We moved into this house on 27th Nov 2012 (two months ago). Its a pretty large house at 270m2 (2,906 square feet) for just the two of us and our ex-racing greyhound (Milo) who we adopted 6 months ago. The land size is 1390m2 (a bit over a third of acre), located near the beach so we have a sunny climate with sandy soil. Its the middle of summer now (January and February are the hottest months) and our poor veggie garden is getting scorched from the sun. The lawn is brown and crispy from lack of rain.

One strange thing about this house is that despite the large size of it, it only has three bedrooms. Oddly it was built to have three living areas and three bedrooms, plus a loft area. Judging by the flowery wallpaper that we found behind the toilet cistern when we replaced the downstairs toilet, I'm thinking that the couple who had this house built were retired people who wanted a large place for their hobbies but didn't need many bedrooms. In the future we'll turn it into a four or five bedroom house.

The weirdest thing about this house is that its only 14 years old, but it wasn't maintained well or finished properly in the first place, so its going to be a big project for us over the next few years. Here is some evidence:

Laundry room
Rotten laundry room skirting boards
The laundry is one of the worst rooms in this house. I secretly suspect it may be one of the worst laundry rooms in the world even. I did a Google search for "ugliest laundry rooms" and I'm pretty sure ours was up there in the top three. I often see laundry rooms with signs hanging up saying "wash" or "laundry". I'm thinking of making a sign that says "world's worst laundry room". The photos above don't do it justice since I haven't taken a close-up photo of the DIY tile job above the laundry tub. They've taken (very) old '60s tiles and instead of using tile adhesive and grout, I think builder's fill was used because its as hard as concrete. Each tile has been added separately (and unevenly) so it must have taken them ages. Its going to take me ages to get each of those back off.

The previous owners had let their washing machine leak so the skirting boards in the laundry are completely rotten. They had conveniently covered this up by placing things in front of the wall, so we didn't know about the damage when we bought this house. Pretty bad for a house that is only 14 years old, right? We've decided that we'll have to leave the laundry room until last, because we need to use the laundry tub to clean our paint brushes from painting the rest of the house.  

The garage was so full of the previous owners' possessions that in some places items were piled up to the ceiling. When we moved in, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the garage actually has two windows, but one was just completely covered up by junk. Its actually a sunny area rather than the dark, scary garage we thought it was when we viewed the house. The plasterboard in the garage looks like a DIY job because there are some large gaps in many places. These weren't plastered or painted, and the plasterboard has become grimy and stained.

The downstairs bathroom was pretty bad so we started tackling that room shortly after moving in. Mainly because the toilet was leaking, and partly because the bathroom was dirty which is never a good look for a bathroom. The kitchen is rough but has four pantries, so there is plenty of storage space. We'll leave that room for now.

There is a loft room above the garage that is completely unfinished. It doesn't even have plasterboard walls, just exposed timber framing. We want to get onto that pretty soon. When our offer on the house was accepted, we hired a building inspector to check over everything to make sure the house was safe. He took me aside and said "You do realise that this house is a little...unfinished?". I laughed and said I did notice the timber framing with no plasterboard on it, so we know what we're getting into.

The third acre section was massively overgrown so we spent our Xmas break sawing and cutting so that we actually had access to the area that we wanted to put our pet hens in. It took hours of cutting branches and digging up roots. We've taken several car loads of branches to the landfill, but we still have another large pile looming there waiting for us.

Next door there is an abandoned house with long grass growing on the front lawn. The house looks about 80 years old and we refer to it as 'The Haunted House'. Apparently some nutcase relocated it there 10 years ago after getting permission from the neighbours to put a relocatable home on the empty section (the neighbours agreed thinking it was a new relocatable home). Its odd because all the other houses on this side of the street are modern (built within the last 15-20 years), and then there is this haunted looking abandoned house there amongst the modern houses. I've planted two flowering cherry trees on our property so that when they reach their full height (5m), they'll mostly hide the ugly house with beautiful cherry blossoms. They'll take 2 years to get to that stage though.

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