A year in our new home

Just a quickie of an update before the epic that will be the Badger Moot update sits proudly on the splash page.  As you can probably guess we have owned our new home for one year.  The actual completion date was the 1st November 2013 but due to being a Friday and the fact that I was working that weekend – sport never stops, even for house moves – we did not actually move in until the 5th November 2013.

As some of you may remember and if not, you can read all about it here, the purchase of our house, as can be in many cases, was a bit of a saga but that seems like a distant memory and we are settled into our new home as our tenants are in our old one.

The house felt homely when we moved in and rooms were allocated almost on our first viewing and they haven’t changed.  Our furniture, however felt dwarfed in the bigger living space and although we didn’t want to clutter the space with furniture for the sake of it we have acquired a few new pieces including a very large extending table that will come in handy at Christmas.

I suppose to the house we have only made three major changes so far.

  • The installation of photovoltaic panels
  • Painting of the exterior
  • New French doors

The installation of the photovoltaic panels was never a definite plan but something I was interested in, especially when I realised how much bigger the fuel bills were for a larger, older house.  When we investigated the various methods to acquire them and how much it would cost to buy an array we decided that there was no better time than the present and went for it.  They seem to be paying for themselves and should pay for themselves (at the current rate) in 6-7 years, notwithstanding energy increases.

The first thing that we noticed about the house when we came for our initial viewing was the colour.  The house is pebbledashed (something I am not too keen on) and the original mortar colour.  Not very exciting, it was a good job that the rest of the house was so good.  We decided as we stood in the driveway in those first minutes that if we  purchase the house that we would like to paint it.

After moving in, it seemed that painting the house was an unnecessary extravagance and we should just live with the colour.  Then the wettest winter in many a year hit and the one thing that we noticed (apart from the fact that we were not flooded and many roads around the area were) was that there were an awful amount of pebbles on the driveway.  The mortar was absorbing the rain and crumbling.  This then pushed us back to the idea of painting the house.  It would serve two purposes, the first brighten the exterior of the house but secondly and more importantly it would bond the mortar and pebbles and add an extra layer of protection against the elements.

It was about this time that Lucinda was made redundant as Air Canada outsourced ground operations at Heathrow Airport to the handling agency ASIG.  With a nice little bonus in the bank it seemed to be the right thing to do to invest some of it into looking after the house.

The third improvement has been the replacement of the old patio doors to some modern French doors.  This gives us a bigger opening, bringing the outdoors in, as the architects are fond of saying but also additional security and additional insulation.

Not a bad haul for the first year in our new home.  There is still plenty of things to be done, the most pressing in the heating system.  Last year we had a power flush to try to make the system more efficient and allow the radiators to actually output the heat that they are rated for.  The fact that last Winter was so mild (damp and windy but mild) it has sort of fallen to the back of our minds.  However the first cold spell this Autumn and the heating failed to work completely.  Therefore, it has become a level one priority.  It has been patched up, hopefully to last us through this Winter but the system needs to be looked at.  We will at the same time use the engineers to move some of the radiators to more sensible locations.  This will most likely be in the Spring.

To help retain the heat in the house we will also be looking at underfloor insulation but that is going to be a big job and probably involve new carpets (or floor covering of some sort).  That can possibly wait another year.

So, now I have bored you with boiler talk, I will take my leave of you and end this unusual of posts.  I deem it unusual because it is not centred on Éowyn, Amélie or Ezra, the primary reasons for the existence of this website and neither is it about a person, whether they are part of our family or not.  Despite this and despite the fact that none of the children were born while we lived in this house, without doubt all of them will regard this as home.

Peace and Love