sunnuntai 3. toukokuuta 2015

Forwards and backwards and forwards again

On 1 March I was having a great adrenaline rush because we would be moving in two months - out of our house but not knowing where to. There were a few question marks and scheduling issues hanging in the air. We would have to empty our Home of nine years in eight weeks, and before that find a place to live in for somewhere between three and twelve months until our new Home-to-be would be ready enough, and not only live in but also store our stuff in, preferably for an affordable rent that would not completely break our renovation budget. And the location would have to be close enough to where we live now so that taking Veera to preschool wouldn't become a huge everyday challenge.

It all worked out quite nicely, in retrospect, but it didn't seem that way on 12 March, when the couple who had offered to buy our house came in to hear what the house condition inspector would have to say about the building. Which was built in the mid 1950s, represents a certain building type with certain widely-known structural problems concerning the angle of the tin roof and the moisture that condenses under the roof in the winter time. And which has three storeys, of which two are original and above the ground and one has been dug underground in the 1980s. Of which facts none were hidden or kept secret at the time of the first showing. Neither did anyone try to claim that the conditions under the ground would be absolutely free of moisture, albeit precautions, like using only stone constructions below the ground and installing a heating system under the floor, had been taken at the time of the extension project. Yet these features did surprise the buyers, who at the time of the inspection realised they should never have come to even see the house, let alone make an offer. For the fear that moisture would automatically turn into mould.

This is where you enter the basement.
These matters are not to be played with and have to be taken seriously, but I hold the view that in a country with a climate like ours it is very difficult to completely remove moisture from buildings, and much easier to accept it's there to some extent and to do your best to keep it at a healthy minimum. So for people with no previous exposure to mould buying a 60-year-old house with a basement and a tin roof should cause no problems. It hasn't for us anyway.

But the sale was off. The showings were on again - not fun, because to let you in on a secret, we don't always put everything immediately back to its place and won't even hoover daily. The emotional roller coaster ride was immense.

A good two weeks on we got an offer again. This time the pace was slower and the timing quite near perfect. The deal was closed last Monday, and we have until 31 May to empty this house.

This is where the new sewage system was dug.
When we anticipated the move the first time around we had to take immediate action in order to minimise the time we would have to rent. Before we would be able to move in the new house, which at the present is my mother-in-law's house, we would have to fix the little house at the back of the garden for her. For a variety of reasons, some of which have to do with scheduling difficulties and professional house builders, Husband has taken main responsibility of the progress of the project. I am in awe. And jealous. I'd love to get my hands dirty and physically do something and see myself contributing to things, but as there are only a limited amount of things to be measured, cut or painted - which are the things I'm most capable of doing without continuous need to be supervised - am more useful taking care of the children and the household routines. Where you rarely see any advancement but very much just repeat the same moves again and again.

Oh, and we bought a new kitchen, that could only be fitted in April or in late June. We choose April so we could have something ready when we move in. Of course we had to take down Granny's old kitchen first, and leave her kitchenless for a few days while the new stuff was delivered and fitted and the electrician and plumber had finished their bits. I didn't feel overjoyed about that, but hey. The new kitchen is n-i-c-e.
This is Husband getting his hands dirty.

Granny will hopefully be able to move into her pretty little house in a week or two. We have rented a garage close by to store stuff in temporarily (we'll see about that), but it's only the things we won't need before the winter. Whatever we need to get our hands on during the summer will have to wait to be moved until Granny has moved. So in a week or two things will get quite hysterical, I presume.

Also in a week or two we'll get our building permit, at which we'll fire the starting pistol for the renovation project at our new house. In which we'll live during all the construction work. Four slash six people in 90 square metres with one bathroom.

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The boxes where the Finnish babies sleep in also make wonderful moving boxes, as well as general storage boxes. Thank you, Kela - The Social Insurance Institution of Finland!

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