Anyone who has been to our house knows that its old. Sure we have made some minor improvements to make it livable but mostly if you scratch just a little beneath the surface (and in some areas there is no scratching required) you can see we are living in an unrenovated extremely old house. The main indicators of this are:
- our toilet is outside
- at last count we have 9 separate leaks
- we have no insulation making upstairs hot in summer and downstairs cold in winter
- we have a bathroom with an unsealed brick floor which comes in handy seeing that there is no drainage so when the bath/shower leaks (which it does every time you use it) it just seeps into the bricks over the next few hours.
- the skirting boards don't meet the floor, which makes for an easy pathway for slugs and other crawlies to enter the house
- our front veranda is barely managing to stay attached to the house so we are not allowed to stand on it
- we have cracked floorboards and holes in the ceiling and walls
- there is no where near enough space for two adults two growing boys and two large dogs
And trust me I could continue ...
Recently we got some plans back from our architect. They are beautiful:
- a large open plan kitchen, lounge, dining (seeing we have no dining table this is a huge improvement).
- not one but two toilets. Both inside! one of which is in a lovely bathroom that has drainage and a shower that overlooks the tops of the trees and opens onto a secluded (tiny) courtyard so I can finally have my dream indoor/outdoor shower
- an extra bedroom, so we have a boys room, adults room, play room, and study (at the moment playroom and study are both the same room, not really working for anyone)
- one wall dedicated to bookshelves
- most importantly unless we have picked shonky builders it should be leak free, partially bug resistant and all together more comfortable
The funny thing is as much as I love a good whinge about the state of our house it is still our home. All of the things that get up my nose are still, even after 8 years, just minor irritations. Most of the time I can still even laugh about it.
We have been here before. Five years ago we also had beautiful plans that made me move from thinking and wishing for a nicer home to more specific thoughts about living here while it is done, what sort of flooring/sink/cupboards/cornice we would pick and generally wondering how we would live in a more streamlined house. The last plans were far more swish and far less us ... these new ones are 'family' plans.
Ask me again in two years and we may still be living in our house the way that it is and truly I would be Ok with that (maybe a little disappointed). As long as it keeps most of the rain out, has fresh running water, enough gas to heat it, enough power points to run enough fans to cool it then it is still home. Still sometimes I like to wonder and dream and imagine what if ...