End of an Epic Journey

Renovating, only for the foolish. Amazingly, everything got finished on time, but we are just shattered. We are so too old to be doing this.

Here is our downstairs living room a day before the carpet went in. Tile glue still wet, the grout hasn't gone on yet, and two doors being painted. There is the window ledge I sat on and got wet paint on my pants. This room has been built into the side of the hill, which gives it marvellous thermal properties - it is always cool in Summer, and warms up well in the cold, but it was also very wet, and its foundations were resting on damp clay. When we moved in, and for years afterwards, everything in this room (and the three rooms next to it) was damp and mouldy all the time, and it was practically unusable. So we stored junk in it and left it alone until we could afford to have it all ripped out, drains dug underneath, and lots of concrete poured, not only on the floor, but up the walls to ground height outside. The wall behind this photo has a concrete ledge up to shoulder height. So all of downstairs is sort of like a reverse swimming pool, with sides to keep the water out. It is a lot of unsustainable concrete, but hopefully it means that the house will last for at least another eighty years, and it will also be a handy bunker in a tsunami! The ledges make it architecturally interesting, and this one under the window makes a very handy bench seat.

This photo I took about half an hour ago, so it's a bit dark, but all the salient features are there. The infamous tiles. Our new wool carpet. The door, which Needs To Be Painted. Aaaargh. We are filled with enormous relief that we finally have two floors of living space to use. Yay. We are a bit overwhelmed because there are eight more doors to be stripped and painted. But essentially, we have finished. It has only taken twelve years.

I needed to do something small and calming to recover. So I picked some flowers.


Only twelve years? I'm impressed! We've been in our house for five years, and it amazes me what we haven't done yet. And there's so much to do! You are a brave and courageous woman, and I salute you.

Jo said…
Thankyou for your kind words Frances . I don't feel courageous so much as limp and wrung out like an old dish rag. I am thinking I may go into a decline like someone in a Victorian novel, and need to recline on the couch all week and have people bring me tea and toast at short intervals.
Jen's Busy Days said…
Ah, but now you can retire knowing all is well. You wouldn't want to move anywhere else after all the effort you have put into this house. It looks fantastic!

Best wishes
Jen in NSW
Jo said…
Thanks Jen. Renovation retirement looking good. I'm sure you can remember when it looked like a slum tenement!

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