Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Housey Mess- Part 1

Fixing the damp.

This was definitely a foreign problem for me; "Rising Damp" it's called-- where moisture literally is pulled from the ground, up the wall creating big, wet spots on the wall (up to about 3 feet high). I don't have before photos, but here's the work in progress to fix it-- basically pulling off all the walls back to the brick, and then replastering it. It was a mess... and just the beginning, I'm afraid...

Monday, November 24, 2008

hello, home improvement

So, since the last update, nothing much has changed; no wonderful new cottage; no moving (saving for the wedding) and fully immersed into making the best of the not so best circumstances. All that to say, we should have left be what was. It wasn't until we started peeling away the layers (literally) that we found out that there were a plethora of problems. All I have to say is thank goodness for Mark. Not only is he allowing me to totally gut his house (that he's been perfectly happy living in for a year until I got here), but he's in constant good spirits and not at all phased by the amount of work I'm making him do (ummm... mix and pour concrete to build a shed base in the below freezing rain? No problem. Tear out a brick wall and demolish a kitchen? not even a blink of an eye).

Unfortunately, as we (or, he) tore out the kitchen, we only found more issues that the previous owner / shady builder covered up. Granted, this house is 150 years (give or take) old... so there was bound to be some essential updates that we had to do (central heating, anyone?) but i think the dishtowel-stuffed holes in the wall, and expanding foam over the electrical is a modern day quick-fix. So now, it's not just the new kitchen we planned to install ourselves, but it's the filling of holes (to the OUTSIDE of the house-- mystery as to why it's so cold in this house solved) and replastering of virtually every wall of the house (well, the walls that aren't shared, since it's a 'terraced,' aka town-house-- for you New Yorkers). Oh joy. I won't even get into the horribly old and smelly wall-to-wall carpet and vinyl without any underlay... that's getting fixed (wood floors!!) on Thursday...

But, for those who want to join in on the renovation fun, I've decided to post before and afters. I mean, it's all about schadenfreude, isn't it?? Uggghhhhh....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Drat! When it rains, it pours. Once again, we didn't get the house. The owner had a change of heart and has decided not to rent it, or sell it, or anything. Uggggggghhhhh. Can't a girl catch a break? So now the lovely surprise weekend away is spoiled because we have to figure out what we're going to do about a place to live-- or making this place livable. This sucks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Update! Home Sweet Home

After a few weeks of angst, and lots and lots of phone calls, spreadsheets and heart to hearts, I am moving to the little house I posted about earlier. Yay! No, the UK banks did not have a change of heart and decide to lend me the money-- they still think that due to my limited work permit arrangement that I'm a bad risk; BUT, my genius fiance talked the real estate agent and owner of the house into renting it to us! Since the market is so terrible and she can't sell it, but needs to get out, we get to rent it! Of course, it means finding a renter for Mark's current house, and still needing to do a ton of work to get this place in shape to rent (central heating, anyone?), but if all goes well with credit checks and all, we will get to move in December 1, just in time for all of my earthly belongings that have been in storage since February to arrive.

So, cross your fingers that there are no further hiccups and I will finally no longer be homeless!!