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, November 3, 2009

Casa Broken

I've mentioned once or twice that our house is in a state of, well, sad disrepair. To be fair, it's not like it's totally falling apart. It's just that various bits of it are in various...well, bits. So a couple of months ago DH and I refinanced our mortgage (read: admitted we got it wrong when we fixed at 8%, as it's now about 4%). We took an extra chunk of money from the bank (hey, thanks guys) and decided to fix up some of the house.

I've been project managing this house fix up. I'm calling it a renovation but it's more like a long overdue clean up - things which should have been done eons ago which we avoided for reasons financial or lazy or otherwise. We're doing this on a real shoestring budget - because while I appreciate the bank's generosity, I don't want to die still owing them my first-borns. So I've got a whole spreadsheet thing going, and I'm logging all the receipts and being uber-anal retentive about it.

Here, then are the top five things which the mini-renovation has taught me:

1. Every single man you have come to quote on something will be hot. Total eye candy. If they aren't, it's a guarantee that their quote will be HUGE and therefore you can't use their services anyway.

2. What you think is "moving a bit of dirt around" in the garden will cost from 5K to 20K and everything in between.

3. Three fence builder-people will have 6 opinions on your fence. All 3 of them will agree, however, that it's fallen down and needs replacing...and that wasn't in your fancy spread sheet.

4. Whatever you budgeted for this project will be woefully small. Not because you had an unrealistic idea of cost, but because once you fix something, everything else in your house suddenly looks like shit.

5. No matter how hard you ignore it, stuff does not fix itself. Even if you try very hard not to look at it, think about it, talk about it... it knows you're there, and it's quietly becoming more broken.

Anyone else learn some 'home truths' about fixing up a tired house? I'm sure by the end of this process I'll have a few more...


the baker's wife said...

I agree, the guys who come to do quotes are always hot.
I agree, whatever you think something will cost to fix, treble it.

I need a verandah/front porch fixing guy. And a gutter cleaning guy (I know that guy is supposed to be the husband guy too, but he's 'busy' and in the last two deluges we got flooded).

Any leads?

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

I don't want to think about this, la la la la la.

Our new (to us) home is about as old as me, and needs things like the floors to be sanded and polished, and the deck rebuilt. Not to mention the canvas awnings it needs or the woodwork outside that needs painting.

All of it will have to wait, we don't have any money, cause we just bought a new house :-)

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

TBW: I can highly recommend calling the nearest "Hire A Hubby" franchise...and no, I'm not kidding! We used our local (and totally hot) HAH guy to do a heap of stuff. He was quick, cheap, professional and we adore him (not just because he's hot, LOL.)

Claire: We were the same 8 years ago when we first bought this place. It's taken this long to realise that the magical money pot was not buried in the back garden (although I'd rather hoped for some sort of treasure in all that trash!)


Christine said...

When we recently fixed up our house to sell it, it seemed like every time we went to repair something either something else got broken in the process or the project revealed a new problem that needed to be dealt with. For example, stripping the ugly 80s wallpaper in the bathroom revealed a big hole in the drywall behind the toilet that had just been papered over. (WHY?) The guys who replaced the flooring in our kitchen managed to break the oven door when they moved it. A month after we replaced some damaged shingles on the roof we had a major hailstorm and had to replace the entire roof AND the siding on 2 sides of the house. Etc.

I hope your renovations go more smoothly!

melissa said...

We just replaced the floor in our master bath, and now the carpet in the bedroom looks (even more) horrible. Sigh. And I don't even want to think about what's becoming quietly more broken as I type this.

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

You guys are making me feel better, somehow... I guess renovation misery loves company! In our case the only thing (and I say that like it's minor, right?) we've discovered so far is that our boundary fence has fallen down... to the replacement tune of $2300!!

I'm sure there are more broken things quietly lurking in the dark just waiting for me to discover them...