The kind that makes you feel dizzy, go pale and need a lengthy sit-down. The kind that makes it very, very clear that this particular Sleeping Beauty isn’t waking up, just turning over in her sleep.
The house had been restumped onto steel posts, but when they did it, they didn’t reinforce all the bearers under the house with I-beams, so there’s a large amount of movement and loadbearing walls are floating. And the steel posts aren’t properly connected to the bearers that aren’t properly reinforced. And the roof isn’t properly fixed down, it’s just nailed onto the tops of the vj panelling. One fairly strong wind, one cyclone, and things will start to come adrift in a big way.
Add to that termite damage in wall panelling and floors, frankly scary wiring in the roofspace, and partition walls downstairs which will need to be torn out and re-done. Nothing is up to code or cyclone safe.
We’re not young any more. We don’t have endless energy. We don’t have an endless pit of money, and we can’t take on a project of this magnitude. We’re both gutted.
So we’ve wiped our eyes, terminated the contract, and started searching over again. One other thing we have to bear in mind in our new search: an old weatherboard Queenslander in an area of the city that has previously flooded is virtually impossible to insure without a second mortgage. So whatever we buy will probably be rather devoid of character, period features, high ceilings and beautiful floorboards. But if I can’t have all that, I will by God have space, or a good garden, or a sensational view, or SOME thing to make up for bland.
Trying to look on the bright side: now I can do some more work on Amistad… And I’ve had a second order for GF baked goods.