Back to sleep, my beauty…

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 6.19.33 PMWe’ve had the worst kind of building report on the house.

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.


31 thoughts on “Back to sleep, my beauty…

  1. Oh Im so sorry, I live by the mantra that nothing is ever by chance, something special will appear. I hear you with age = energy and a money pit. Dry the tears and begin the look over again, that gem is just waiting to be discovered 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Perhaps you’re right, but just now it feels as if I’m abandoning the poor house to fall into ruins for lack of love and attention. Even a big bowl of chocolate icecream hasn’t helped…

  2. rutigt says:

    So sorry to hear about the house! But it´s better you found out now, before you started your houseproject. Hope you´ll find your dreamhouse one day 🙂
    Hugs, Gun, Sweden

  3. EllaDee says:

    Oh. Bugger. Best to pick battles you can win. Old houses are money-time pits to some extent at the best of times. You brought to life some great ideas that will wait for the right house to come along.

    • katechiconi says:

      I wasn’t worried by the work upstairs, but the horrors that unfolded downstairs were just too much to deal with. And the news that the roof was held on with nails was the last straw. But we’re dusting ourselves off and climbing back on; we badly need more space and a move is the only way.

  4. lovelucie1 says:

    I can appreciate your disappointment but six months from now this’ll be a mere blip. Good luck in your such.

  5. Commiserations on the disaster. On the up side, you will have the fun of searching for something better. Even modern need not be bland! Reclaimed materials and good design can work wonders.

  6. Kirsten says:

    No, no! How disappointing. That’s such a shame. No doubt the right decision because you would have had to pull her down and build her from scratch again, but still . . . devastating when you have your heart set on something. You never know what is around the corner though . . .

    • katechiconi says:

      We’ve both been so miserable yesterday. Still, got a couple of houses to look at today, one with a large garden and chicken run and a rather nice kitchen…

      • Kirsten says:

        Oo, you’d get to keep chooks!

        They say the kitchen is the one room of the house that will make or break a sale, which I think is true. Admittedly you can always strip it and put in a new one, but if it’s in a silly place or it’s pokey with no scope for a bit of wall removal then . . . no, no. Fingers crossed.

      • katechiconi says:

        We’ve seen it, we love it, we’re offering for it. The kitchen is small but adequate, and opens onto the dining area, so I can always migrate onto the dining table. Dishwasher, tick. Large fridge space, tick. 5 burner gas cooker, tick. Beautiful wooden benchtop with natural wavy edge, tick…. And yes, nearly half an acre and space for chooks to range freely, so delicious eggs too.

  7. I am so sorry to hear this but it probably wasn’t ment to be, perhaps a more spectacular place is waiting for you !!!

  8. claire93 says:

    on the bright side – at least you discovered all of this before buying!
    Chin up, and back to the house-searching, I’m sure you’ll find something else that will make you forget and move on.

    • katechiconi says:

      Quite. But the colour work has been useful; it’s highly unlikely that whatever we buy will suit our tastes completely, so some sort of design twiddling will be called for. The worst blow is the totally immoral cost of insuring an old wooden house, which means that anything we buy has to be made of something else, or be a lot newer. Still, we WILL live in a tropical flood- and cyclone-prone area…

  9. wombatquilts says:

    Kate I am so sorry. I love old Queenslanders, there is nothing like them. But they are a money pit. Good luck with the search. I am sure your home is out there.

  10. Kaja says:

    What a shame. It’s hard to lose something you’ve started to fall in love with, even if it does turn out to be a wreck. I hope you find a new house before too long and one that has enough charm or potential or light or space to make you start feeling excited again.

    • katechiconi says:

      The crazy thing is, it was in pretty good shape upstairs. Anyway, we’ve moved on, looked at a whole lot of other places yesterday, and may have found the next best thing…

  11. tialys says:

    Coming late to this news as I just arrived back from the U.K. yesterday and had no access to my emails but, I agree, better to find all the faults before rather than after and it sounds like you’ve already moved on so let’s hope the next one hasn’t got any skeletons in the cupboard.

  12. Oh, I see… doesn’t seem so bad when you are reading it from the future, so to speak!

    • katechiconi says:

      I agree, but it was pretty miserable at the time. I was very down in the mouth for a few days: I’d had such a clear vision in my head of what could be done there…

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