Ahhhh!!! The sweet sound of a power tool as it rents the morning air! Normally an irritation, now because it’s been so long coming, it is music to my ears
Seven years ago we moved into this house and as you do when you buy a house you discuss all the things about it that you want to change so you can stamp your personality on your new home. This was only the second house we had bought, and as the first one was 35 years before, the idea of renovating was exciting. We have done many small renovations, the most extensive was downstairs in my clinic where we put in new floor and walls, new window surrounds, then painted all the walls and timberwork and put in new front doors. Upstairs we took out archways, ripped up carpet, painted all the timberwork white, polished the floorboards and laid new carpet in the bedrooms, changed light fittings and door knobs. We dug out and replanted the entire front garden and now have an amazing looking hedge. This was not done in a linear process, it was done in a stop start rhythm usually in time with our savings
Early on we discussed extending the front balcony to make it large enough to accommodate a table and seating so that we would have an entertaining area, something the house was sadly lacking. A balcony would also improve the street appeal of the house, as currently the balcony has Corinthian columns coupled with Victorian lacework railings which are both white and don’t do much to complement the brickwork. We have discussed at length how it could be configured with everyone who came to stay.
There was not the gold in the coffers to fund such a renovation so it was put on hold until last year when plans were made, drawn up, scrutinised, drawn up again, sent to the council, rejigged by an engineer (who wanted a steel beam to be inserted into the roof which would require a crane and mega dollars, we would then have been able to build a three storey house on top, but as we were not changing the roof we (and the builder) felt as if this was over engineering to the max! We paid his exorbitant fee and then engaged another engineer who was more than happy with a timber beam, which would not require a crane to put it in place. Then some issues with the building alignment, so we waited until a new building code was passed by council. Had letters signed by neighbours on either side to say that their view would not be impeded by our balcony being extended 2 metres. Finally, the letter from the council saying it was approved. But of course in the meantime the builder had another project!
We had hoped when we started the process last year to have a completed balcony to entertain our family on at Christmas. Obviously we didn’t meet that target and consequently we entertained 10 adults and 9 children inside for the Christmas festivities.
Christmas came and went and we (foolishly) assumed that building would commence in the new year, but alas no, the builder was busy with a big contract and couldn’t start until later in the year. He did say he could start in June, and then last Monday and finally they came yesterday! Now here we are the middle of July wondering indeed if we will be having Christmas lunch out on the new balcony this year.