I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Sky is Falling

So, did you vote? Best go do that now, doncha think?

Here at Casa de Verde we've come to the conclusion that our house is too small, and for added fun and games it's falling apart. When we moved here the kids were 10 months old, and it was a great house for little kids. The plan then was to stay here maybe 5-7 years, and then move to the big ol' McMansion in the next suburb over. Then people in Melbourne started to go absolutely mental, and house prices went through the roof. The house two doors down sold a few months ago for 1.2 MILLION dollars, which means that the McMansion would now be somewhere in the region of 1.5 million, maybe more.

So let's do the math. One cake = $100 (let's just take a round number) and I need to find 1.5 million bucks, plus some money to pay for moving, plus taxes and stuff, plus some furniture or whatever, plus all the therapy bills...so, THAT'S A FUCK LOTTA CAKES. Not going to happen. DH and I swapped to Plan B, which was to modify the manor enough to fit in our pre-pre-teens and all their stuff, not to mention fix things like the hole in the ceiling (skylight?) the tiles falling off the showers (deocrative finish?) and the carpet (vintage?) We didn't want some huge Tudor style gothic-columned 6 bedroom 14 bathroom with putting green and helipad place. We just want our house to fit all of us in, and have working showers. Not exactly demanding, are we?

It should be said that I HATE construction, renovation, home improvement and anything at all to do with making changes like these. Intellectually I know it's a necessary thing. Emotionally? Thanks but no thanks. Both DH and I have families which were completely devastated by crooked builders during renovations, so that's probably part of the issue. Furthermore I can think of nothing more boring than spending hours upon hours looking at metre after metre of tiles and shower screens and sinks and taps. AS IF the tap I pick will somehow change the world, right? Tiles? A life-changing choice, definitely.

Since FEBRURARY this year we've been trying to get this work started. Actually you can add two years to that, since that's how long it took me to convince DH that we could no longer live with tiles duct-taped to the floor (no, I'm not kidding.) I've had meetings with builder upon builder upon builder, and this is what I have learned:

1. Each person who comes in the door will contradict everything the guy before him said.

2. Each person will scratch their chin and say, "Hmmm..it's a bit of a challenge, isn't it?"

3. Each person will tell me their life story, which I couldn't give a shit about. So far I've had stories about wayward teenage daughters, wives suffering empty nest syndrome, and 41 year old heroin addicts.

4. Nobody will be able to tell me if they can do what I want with the budget I have. They will, however, tell me about all the things they DON'T do (which funnily enough are all on our list of "must do.")

5. Nobody will answer my phone calls or emails once they leave the house, unless I say, "Hello, I'm leaving this message because I've just sold my first born to afford the price you have quoted, so let's go ahead and sign that contract!"

6."...in a couple of days/weeks..." is builder talk for - sometime in the next century.

7. Most of them will not listen, so the ones who do come back with some sort of info will be a) way above the budget I specified or b) will have made changes I specifically requested would not happen or c) will hound me endlessly but not actually come up with a cost (even a ballpark) unless I agree to spending 2.5 grand with them in the first place or d) all of the above.

Not a single brick has moved, and I am already finding myself bloody sick and tired of this entire venture. I haven't even stepped foot in a tile store and I am dreading it. I know renovating is up there with the Top Ten most stressful activities in a person's life, and it's not hard to see why that is. This whole process just sucks from beginning to end. Sure, we're saving ourselves a fortune (theoretically) on renovating rather than moving, but at this point I'm about ready to sell the place and just move into the nearest Motel Six.

At least there they have showers which work.


the baker's wife said...

This, on top of the pirate chest episode leads me to believe that you have got the s**ts. Hope you're still at the gym- endorphins really help.

I wish there was a great, simple solution for you. Take a break from thinking about it and ignore the duct-taped tiles for a bit longer...

Cameron said...

Living in a 100 year old house...I feel your pain. Good luck with the contractors. We always just choose the cheapest stuff we can live with unless we really care about it (like countertops) because it's all made in China to the same level of quality anyways.

I voted for you a few more times. Hope you win!

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

TBW: Still at the gym, faithfully 5 times a week plus one Bollywood class. So endorphins are abound! Don't have ths irits at all, just busy with projects I don't like much (eg pirate chests and house fixing!)

Cam: Thanks for the support on the home front and the Best of Blogs front! I'm something like 15 % behind that guy so I don't think I'm going to win anything, but it's still nice to know I have friends out there busily deleting cookies (LOL!)