Pros and cons of major building work


As we approach the final (I’m assured) stretch of our mammoth building work I find myself thinking about why we did it and whether it’s been worth it. Why did we think it was a good idea to buy a house far too small for us and smash it to pieces? Why put ourselves and the children through such upheaval and stress? If anyone is misguided enough to think about doing the same please see my list below of the pros and cons.

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  • Financial Armageddon – I don’t really want to dwell on this too much but let’s just say we have rather more debt than we did this time last year. We have a plan though: students! We’ve created a spare bedroom so will welcome the patter of foreign speaking feet (and mouths) for as long as it takes!
  • Mess – I cannot begin to stress how much mess is generated from knocking down a few walls, it’s quite unbelievable how much brick-dust is generated! That stuff gets into places I forgot I even had! Every time I walk (hobble) down the corridor I’m followed by a small cloud of dust, every time I sit down on the sofa results in a coughing fit and much waving of hands and gesticulating! I look in despair at the surfaces all over the house and wonder if anything will be clean ever again! Even the soles of my feet are covered in a constant, white, powdery mess that gets in my eyes and up my nose and makes me want to itch and sneeze! As I write this there’s a duvet in the bath, a microwave in the lounge and who knows where most of my clothes are! Also, why is it that whenever a new tradesman enters the house he messes it up even more, leaving a tidal wave of brick-dust in his wake plus some newly created mess you never thought possible? Grouting, shaves of wood, plaster, little bits of cut up carpet….. And, why do workmen insist on working all day with every door open, do they not feel the cold or is it some weird, macho test of endurance?
  • Upheaval – Where to start? Well, moving out for 3 weeks at the start of the new school year could have been timed better! It could have been worse though and we all survived the experience, especially my parents who escaped on a cruise the moment we moved out (was it something we said? Have yet to see if the locks have been changed!) It’s the little things that get you down most though. I long for a time when I don’t need to take my wash bag into my own (en-suite) bathroom! Why is there nowhere to put the toilet rolls? Where can I hang my flannel and put my shampoo? Where’s the kettle? When can I park outside my house without a skip/pile of bricks/bits of timber/workmen having lunch being in the way? Endless cups of tea! The Husband announced this morning, “every mug we own is now in play” after making the third round of tea for us, the tiler and 3 carpet fitters, obviously no washing up had been done as the bowl is in the shower room! I also find myself fantasising about apples, cabbage, salad and generally healthy food as we’ve been unable to cook a decent meal for 6 weeks! Yesterday my daughter and I had McDonald’s for lunch and pizza for tea! This is not good for lots of reasons and the novelty is wearing off.
  • Stress – I’m passed caring now and have entered the realm of hysteria but I’m seriously worried about The Husbands heart and blood pressure! Enough said about that the better but I’m hoping he will have an enormous sense of smug achievement once it’s all over!

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  • Newness – Everything is new! Bi-fold doors, internal doors, door “furniture”, walls, skirting boards, dining table, tiles etc, etc, etc….
  • Lifestyle – This sounds so cheesy but the whole point of moving was to have a “kitchen/diner” where we could all be together and it feels so nice to be sat doing homework with my son whilst The Husband cooks dinner.
  • Spare room – Income, income, income….
  • Added Value – I can’t wait to have the house valued again but must NOT even think about moving again!
  • Accessibility – I have a disability so living on one level is so much easier! I can hobble up and down the corridor without using my sticks and it makes me feel so much more “able” which is a breath of fresh air! Our new family bathroom is so “compact” that I can sit on the loo and bathe the children with no dramas at all! I no longer fear toppling over whilst grappling with a wet 2 year old! The en-suits is also marvellous! It’s 2 steps from my bed to the toilet so getting out of bed takes longer than getting to the loo! I will also be able to park 2 steps from my front door and ope plan living means grabbing onto the sofa to the dining chairs a fairly easy manoeuver!


When it really is all over I will post some photo’s!


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