House Horrors

Also known as the ‘Why you should get a survey done’ or ‘invest in rubber gloves if you’re buying a house’

My last post was a cheery little jaunt around the house focusing on lots of the positives. And there are lots- don’t get me wrong! There’s just a lot of things that have to be fixed to make the house, um, safe to live in. So, in no particular order, The dangerous, the depressing, the disgusting and the downright ugly.

The dangerous

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This is the back wall, the bane of my existence. This is why you should always get a survey, because I completely missed this- turns out when they put the cavity wall inside the house they decided to only put it UPSTAIRS, and just pinned the downstairs with a single wall.

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Over time these rusted, and the wall started to bend out. It’s not on the brink of collapse but you can see it once you know what to look for. Estimated cost of rebuilding this wall is 3 grand.

Every cloud has a silver lining though- I was going to put a new window in that wall any way so that means less wall to build!

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First thing I spotted when I viewed the house was some issues with the facia board on the roof, which needs some spot repairs. Also the only access to the roof to check its condition is this tiny hole which I wouldn’t even fit through- one of the first port of calls is to get two roof hatches put in so we can get up there and find out what lurks within.

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This is a problem that is HALF fixed- there’s evidence of past leaks in the bay window at the front of the house. The survey said the leak is fixed, now it’s just cleaning up the damage from the leak. This means fixing the ceiling AND fixing the floor joists which have rotted away at the bay.

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The house is generally a bit damp, which is reasonable for a property this age which has been kept unused for so long! This is the peeling wallpaper and damp in the sitting room, with another bout of wrecked joists. Wheeeee gonna contact me a damp expert.

Silver lining- if I replace the window with a door there’s less wall to get mould on it.

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See those kitchen ceiling tiles? Probably asbestos. Brilliant.

To be honest, I’m probably going to just dampen them down, pva over them and glue more (safer) tiles over the top.

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The electrics haven’t been touched in a couple of years so it’s time to put a new shiny consumer unit on there. Here’s hoping I don’t break a fuse before that happens…

The depressing

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This is the garage, which is also probably filled with asbestos. BONUS- the garage is owned by the council, not me, so if it has to be taken down it’s THEIR problem.

There’s a fine bit of spray paint on there, and round the corner is a little hovel where local kids like to hang out on their bikes. This is the kind of thing you don’t find out about until you move in- fortunately they seem all right which is why it’s depressing that they don’t have any where to hang out except my shitty back lane.

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The bedroom on the end has wallpaper in the worst condition and damp in the ceiling-which I thought was the roof but survey said it was just that the chimney has been capped without a vent and all it needs is an airbrick. WIN!

This is in ‘depressing’ because the commode, ripped wallpaper and lock that we found outside the door all points to an older person who suffered dementia and would be locked up at night to stop them from hurting themselves.

I’m choosing to believe that instead of ‘the crazy haunted room’, because I like sleep at night, ta very much.

The disgusting

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Here’s the bathroom complete with comode and power assist bath entry. There was also a dead Shelob in the bath but I couldn’t take a decent picture- why is it spiders always look bigger in person?

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On my first night in the house I found a dead bee in the sink, which prompted this post of horrors. I’m ashamed to say I just spat my toothpaste over it like ‘fuckit, I’ll deal with it tomorrow.’

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The bathroom had this pegboard cupboard that used to hold the water tank- ripping it down I made the discovery that it’s actually an original cupboard that’s been hacked to bits- probably when the bathroom was first put in.

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Lucky me- a second comode!

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This is the outside toilet to the side. It’s actually not that bad- the flush is pretty good all things considered. The other room is the utility room which if I’m lucky I’ll be able to knock through, put a cavity wall up and make all of this into a nice bathroom.

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Under the stairs, which has a step down but is actually not a basement? Lots of lovely white mould in here and I have no idea what the hell to do with it except maybe board it off and make a cupboard…

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Outside needs some tlc, a sweep and the bins emptied as they were full to the top. The passage around the side is a dumping ground, which I will probably use as my own dumping ground during building works.

The downright ugly.

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There are two Simple Fetching gas fireplaces in the house, which will be capped off and ripped out as soon as I can. This whole house has the feeling of being updated in the 70s to something ultra modern from the time, ripping out and covering as much original as possible. It makes me wonder how much people will be cursing what I’ve done in years to come…

That’s it folks- I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me, the main problems being the back wall, the joists and how to tackle the damp. Unfortunately most of those rely on workmen so half the challenge will be finding decent people do do the work. Next post is the story of the first weekend in the house!

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