Monday, October 27, 2014

A recipe for disaster #1

Transforming the ugly house!

I have embarked on a new adventure into a very strange landscape indeed! 
 We viewed a very ugly house over a year ago now. Hubby was very excited when we got back to the car and asked how much we should offer to secure ownership of this monstrosity!
‘Offer?’ I said. ‘I’m not living there’. Six months later we had moved in to an extremely ugly money pit which hubby declared would be fun to renovate and extend. He works away a lot.  I now have the builders in. Every Day! This is like having the decorators in only it’s 10 times worse. Messier and a whole lot stressier! 

A recipe for disaster!!!

Recipe for Transforming the Ugly House!
1 hideous house (c1950 with décor c1970)
1 architect (very hard to find the right one. Try several but this can be expensive)
Sprinkle of fairies (and their associated fairy debris)
1 obstructive county council planning office (full of special people who are proof that there is no god!)
1 structural engineer (failed/wannabe architects are best avoided but that’s impossible)
1 building firm (local so that if it goes pear-shaped you can throw dog poo into the owner’s swimming pool)
1 full builders yard of stuff
Successive skips (not the bunny hop type)
Limitless cash
Absolutely no bats
Batty woman
Bacon, eggs and Sausages
Tons of coffee

Stage 1 - Design
1)   Firstly instruct an architect
2)   When that fails, ask them very nicely instead
3)   Add cash
4)   Add fairies
5)   Leave to one side for several months
6)   Discard sloppy mess
7)   Appoint another architect
8)   Leave to one side with any available fairy debris and a generous sprinkling of cash
9)   Be sure to remove any cubes, glass, oak and wood cladding from mix
10)                  Throw baby out with bath water
11)                  Appoint another architect. Add heat and stir!  Watch carefully and continually to avoid spillage
12)                  Draw the bloody plans yourself and give to architect
13)                  Inject cash into architect
14)                  Remind architect it is not a footballers house with footballers budget and remove glass and oak from drawings and hope some house remains
15)                  Lose will to live
16)                  Withhold cash from architect
17)                  Submit half finished drawings for planning out of desperation

Stage 2 - Planning
1)   Wait
2)   Wait some more
3)   Wait a shit load more
4)   Meet officious planning officer who arrives unannounced at your home and treads mud all through the house whilst displaying a builders crack most builders could only dream of
5)   Do not ask her where she gets her back, sack and crack wax from, or if they charge extra for orange.
6)   Add lots of smiles
7)    Add cash (not bribes… yet… just fees)
8)   Follow all planning officer instructions, however mental, demeaning or expensive.
9)   Appoint bat woman to carry out bat survey (friend of planning officer who cant find meaningful employ with a bat degree)
10)                  Don’t ask her if she is related to the wild woman of Borneo
11)                  Add copious amounts of cash
12)                  Make bat pie while Bat Woman isn’t looking (not to be confused with Bat Man who fights organized crime and evil for the good of mankind. Bat Woman just sits in the garden at dawn and dusk with some sonar equipment then sends a massive invoice to tell you that while there is bat activity in the area, none of them are stupid enough to reside in the ugly house …maybe that’s a whole story in itself!)
13)                  Proceed, bat free
14)                  Wait
15)                  Wait even longer
16)                  Wait some more
17) Rejoice in planning permission subject to bat boxes, oak gables and shit loads of glass… oh and a weird little architectural cube on the back that the architect managed to slip in. (don’t dwell on what else the architect may have slipped in to get planning permission)
18)                  Curse architect with voodoo doll

To be continued…


  1. Being at the back end of just such a project myself, albeit not an ugly house to start with, I can sympathise with you all the way through what can be several nightmare scenarios. I bet it looks like a f*****g building site :D

    Still...........................................It'll be lovely when its finished :)

  2. You have been to hell and back but I am glad to say that you are managing really well. Sometimes I do not know how you have carried on . The mess, dust and at times the defacing noise is enough to send anyone crackers . The ugly house is slowly disappearing and abeautiful one is emerging. It will be amazing