Day to Day

The Perils of Buying a Second Hand House

So it’s the middle of the night, the hottest day of the year and in fact it’s Summer Solstice, yes that’s right the longest day of the year and I’m lying here hot, tired, sweaty praying for some sleep before the morning routine starts again.  Just as I start to drift off for the 23rd time tonight my dream comes true, you know that inbuilt sprinkler system you wished you had above your bed that gently sprays cold water over you to cool you down in this sweltering heat.

Oh HELL NO!!!  Sitting bolt upright I suddenly realise that I haven’t fallen back into the land of nod, I do in fact have water splattering in my face from my ceiling above my bed, soaking my duvet that has casually been pushed to the bottom of the bed throughout the night in my bid to cool down.  Until the droplets appeared on my face I hadn’t concluded what was going on lower down my bed and the main trail of water appears to be coming through scarily close to the chandelier light fitting in the centre of my bedroom leaving my duvet pretty much drenched!

Rushing to my feet in utter horror, I run up the attic stairs and see that the loft conversion bathroom floor is swimming in water and spreading a couple of feet across the main room carpet. Help!!  At this point my 9yr old comes running up and I yell at her to grab some towels, find the mop, just anything and she starts telling me about her tooth fairy visit that happened in the night (well about 10am – shhhh!) and is trying to read me the note the fairy has left her!

Next mission is to find the cause of my middle of the night rain shower, bearing in mind it now feels like I’m in 100 degrees heat, the attic should be reincarnated as a sauna in its next life I tell you, the sweat is now dripping off my face faster than the water dissipating through the floor!

Bingo!!  Mummy struck gold – well not literally – but I have single-handedly resolved my current predicament and discovered that due to the sink tap being left on with a very slight drip and a missing aerator under the bottom of the sink tap, the water didn’t actually drip into the sink but came back on itself under the tap and went over the edge of the sink causing the sea of mayhem I’m in right now.

Quite frankly, this is the story of my life with my recently purchased second hand house.  At first glance it looks ok, nice area, great layout, large extended space downstairs, amazing garden,  just a little modernising required here and there, a touch of tlc and a fresh lick of paint and you’d think it would be a lovely family home.  But no, once you move in you find out that a previous owner who carried out the loft conversion, downstairs extension and all the other botched DIY jobs that we come across quite literally bungled his way through fixing things up, ditching official tradesmen along the way to add his cheap mismatched fittings, and scrapyard finds, leaving doors hanging askew, unfinished jobs and to put it bluntly extremely shoddy workmanship in every aspect of our house.  So of course with this attitude, who would care if a little thing like a tap aerator fell out – you wouldn’t bother putting it back in or buying a replacement would you – well not if you were my previous owner!!!

It just goes to show how little things left undone can escalate into substantial issues for the future.  Running through my head I wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to work for the day….   Please fix any problems as you find them, don’t leave them.  Not only does a slapdash attitude send a house into a downward spiral of DIY disarray, the jobs seem harder and costlier to fix in the long run ultimately devaluing your home.  Houses are a huge investment and one I want to continue to grow for my future.  The events of the early hours of this morning are proof of that – with some love and care I WILL turn this house into a home!

P.S. My 6yr old slept through the commotion – oh to be young again!

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  1. Tina Mansfield says:

    Wow well done for finding the problem we bought a house that had been botched so I feel your pain. I’m sure you will get there and let’s face it it’s nice having thongs the way you want.

    1. Fiona Martin says:

      Thanks Tina, I know it will be good when we get things the way we want but even though we’ve started, nothing is complete. E.g. we’ve painted the upstairs bedrooms but haven’t changed carpets until the bathroom is done! Also I have my mums 30 yr old lounge curtains in my bedroom but I’d rather wait and pick a pair that match the carpet!

  2. Oh crikey- what a nightmare! Surprise water is never a good thing. I hope it hasn’t done any major damage. Such a simple thing to fix and well down for realising what caused the tap to do that.
    Still laughing at the ‘second hand house though 😀 x

    1. Fiona Martin says:

      It was a nightmare at the time particularly as you don’t know the extent of it when you find it and aren’t sure when it’s going to end! Fortunately my bedroom ceiling is intact bar a bit of yellow staining and hopefully the upstairs will dry out so not too bad. I guess it was lucky that a) we were home and b) that it fell on my body (lol). Had it been further away from the bed we could have had a bit of a disaster!

  3. Oh Fiona what a nightmare! Thank god it woke you up when it did x
    Mary @ Over 40 and a Mum to One recently posted…When Dress Up Day goes wrongMy Profile

    1. Fiona Martin says:

      Indeed Mary, I’m so grateful it fell on my bed otherwise I could have slept through it until a hole was made in my ceiling! Fingers crossed all will be ok.

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