We have lived in this same spot for around 30 years now. One of the reasons we bought this house was because it was cheap and had a big garden, ideal for our children who were 5 and 2½ years old. It was a wooden house, built in the 1930s, with a verandah facing south and overlooking fields. It had been extended just after the war, not very well, presumably as building materials would have been difficult to obtain then. We also had a small extension built to increase the bedrooms from two to three.
However, come the Millenium, it was beginning to show its age. The roof leaked and because there were no foundations, the carpet billowed when the wind blew. No foundations also meant no mortgage was available to improve it. I was always fearful when the wind blew, convinced that one day we would float off like Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
I was fortunate enough to inherit some money from the sale of a property and this enabled us to seriously think of rebuilding. After thoroughly investigating our options, the solution, which also matched our pockets, appeared to be a kit house.
It was a long drawn-out affair. My other half, an experienced draughtsman and engineer drew up the plans, several times. I kept asking for additions and alterations! Then there was the planning process to go through, finding a builder, organising the insurance, etc. etc. The list was endless. We had initially thought to demolish the old house first and build in the same spot but when we decided we would like an upstairs instead of a single storey, we had to rethink the position to keep in line with planning regulations. So the new house would be slap bang in the middle of the plot, facing more or less to the west which meant we could stay in the old house, admittedly in reduced circumstances, until the new house was built. Not a problem as our young had left the nest.
Initially, it all started enthusiastically but our builder had problems with his cash flow (so what’s new!) and couldn’t pay the contractor who was laying the foundations, so he left. We then had to find another contractor to finish pouring the concrete. So, not a good start. This was June. In July nothing happened. Nothing happened in August either, or in September. We were beginning to think nothing would happen.
Then one sunny October day, the house kit, ordered to our specification, finally arrived.
To be continued ……..