Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Knock-on effects

As pretty much everyone who knows me knows, my fiancee Ian and I have been renovating our house ever since we bought it in summer 2007. Some of the renovations have been minor, others major. Some jobs have involved help from various workmen, others we have done ourselves.

We are both of the opinion that if we're going to do something on the house or garden then we want it done right. Unfortunately that usually means that whenever we do something it takes a long time. I think that we do accept that more than most people would - for example most people would probably consider having wallpaper behind your head instead of bare plaster when you're reading in bed to be a necessity rather than a luxury, but we are pretty used to such things. However there comes a point when things do get frustrating. The trouble is that everything we do has a knock on effect.

For example, in December we began major renovations on our kitchen / dining room. Of course, not wanting to do things by halves we decided to have all the plumbing redone. Not wanting to do that by halves we decided to use this as an oppurtunity to replace the lead water supply to the house with a plastic pipe. Had I realised how much chaos that would cause I'm not sure that I would do it again. First the dining room floor had to come up for a couple of weeks - it would have been just a couple of days, but then once the floor was up it seemed a shame not to put insulation under it. Then the dining room floor went back down and the lounge floor came back up. This was less disruptive, but did cause the television to be moved from the corner of the room and in 6 months it has not found its way back (just move it you say... well we would except that since we moved the television Ian has removed the fireplace so it's now hiding a big hole in the wall!) Once the indoor stages had been completed came the outdoor stretch which involved Ian digging a 38 foot long, 2 foot deep tunnel from the pavement to the house wall. Of course this slightly upset the front garden and I'm afraid it has yet to recover.

A month ago we completely rearranged the study to provide access under the floor for an electrician working on the kitchen. Although luckily we didn't have to empty the shelves which take up one entire wall of the study we did have to disassemble and move both our desks and empty a large cupboard full of my photo albums. Since then we've been sharing my desk that we had moved to the other side of the room. The electrician finished his work yesterday and we were left with the decision as to whether to keep the chaos and do more work on the study (save having to move everything again sometime in the future) including having a new window put in and redoing the electrics (there's currently a single socket in the study which has to cater for all our computing needs) or whether to put everything back to normal. Until very recently I think we would have opted to keep the chaos, but the chaos is now all around is and so last night we began to put the study back to rights. What a relief!


  1. That's probably another 20 sq ft or so of excavations. Given what I recall of the photos when you did it I think every inch would be precious.

    Chaos becomes a way of life if one isn't careful and that can be quite insidiously stressful.

  2. I fully agree with GB about chaos being insidiously stressful. It doesn't seem to matter what I do it surrounds me!