Outbuilding induced insomnia


I slept terribly last night. I think the realisation of the size of the project I’ve taken on finally hit home; I also don’t think caffeine hit from the two Diet Cokes earlier in the day helped either.

There is a lot to do in the new house – damp course, heating, flooring, kitchens, bathrooms, new flat roof, turning windows into patio doors, kitchens into shower rooms, and lounges into kitchens…in all enough work to keep various trades busy over the coming weeks. But its not the house which has put my brain in overdrive, Oh no, it’s actually outbuildings that are keeping me awake.

The house comes with outbuildings, an extensive range of outbuildings, some useful, some so random they make you question how they ever came to be in existence in the first place, and others with enough asbestos to ensure the local council have a surplus of funds thanks to the amount they’re charging to dispose of it.

They’re not all random and insomnia causing, one is quite fabulous and I’m hoping will become (subject to planning and budget) a couple of holiday lets. The other is perfect for a small gym, and another has ‘sound-proofed music room’ written all over it for my dad and his guitars (again all subject to finding enough pennies in the rather anorexic looking piggy bank). It’s the other monstrosities causing the concern. There’s the 17m x 6m cowshed, and the adjoining stables that look great but on closer inspection are completely unsuitable for my boys. Then there’s the giant asbestos thing (probably a similar dimension to the ground floor of a two bed starter home) that’s hidden away behind the cowshed, and manages to block access to the paddock whilst looking hideously ugly. And lets not forget the garage that’s on such a weird angle you’d need exceptional driving skills, and a very small car, to realistically use.

I know this is textbook ‘First World Problems’, and the sort of thing you’d read about on “Overheard in Waitrose’ but the issue is very real. Trying to workout how to reconfigure the buildings so they meet our needs, ensure they’re tidy and can be kept well maintained, and do all this within budget has been so much harder than planning the house. And it goes without saying the subject has meant a number of ‘discussions’ with The Parents, often ones where we violently agree but fail to realise we are. Thankfully due to the peacekeeping and plan drawing skills of our dear family friends Christina & Brian, I think we are close to a plan that will not only work, and be within budget, but that we may all be able to agree on. Miracles really do happen, and I may be able to sleep tonight!


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