It’s 3:47am and I’ve been up out of bed for roughly an hour now. Before that, I was tossing and turning and unable to sleep. Yesterday (yeah, I guess it’s yesterday already) after work we went to the house for the engineers inspection. Nothing too major turned up. There is a some dodgy wood work and some of the exterior paint needs to be redone. We’ll probably have to suck that up ourselves, which is a pity because the engineer estimated $1500 for that. There were a couple of places the house wasn’t up to code – missing hand rails on stair ways and missing or faulty GFIs in bathrooms, etc. Hopefully we can get them to take care of those before we move in, but if not it’s not going to kill us to do it ourselves. The engineers also noted a few open junction boxes in the basement – it seems to me that’s only a problem if you have inquisitive people sticking fingers into them, right? In which case, not a problem down in the basement, where it’s very unlikely we’ll have any 7 foot tall children sticking fingers where they don’t belong.
While the engineers were poking around, I took the time to measure all the rooms. I then started drawing up a floor plan, only to realize that it wasn’t working out because the interior walls are quite thick – I measured a few in doorways and they’re over 7 inches thick. Also, there are many, many little nooks and crannies that complicated the measuring business.
One of the reasons I’m not sleeping is that I’ve been going over in my head what we’d put where. The current owners aren’t very media and technology oriented, whereas we’re the opposite, so trying to figure where to put the “public” TV set, TiVo and DVD player, where to put the stereo (and even if we need a stereo with all the iPods and computers we get 99% of our musical entertainment from), etc. I did notice a set of what I think were speakers in the dining room, so I presume the current owners have music on when they’re entertaining – that makes sense, I guess we’ll probably want to do that.
Now that we’ve got the measurements for the “blue room”, the room that’s mostly glass that we’re going to put the birds in, we can sort of mark out what size that is here and figure out how much other room we’d have once the bird cages are in it. The problem is that the birds give off so much fluff and cockatiel dust that we probably don’t want to put computers or TVs or entertainment centers in with them. Or maybe we do, as long as we put the HEPA filter in there and change the filter a lot.
One project that’s probably going to be not too low on the priority list is the basement. It’s very dark down there. Vicki wants to get in an electrician to put up fluorescent lights to brighten it up some. And ideally she’d like to put up partition walls to separate the laundry area from the rest of it. My dad has done that in both their current house and the one they had before in Brampton, so hopefully he’ll have some advice. That might be something I can do myself, although I don’t fancy hanging doors.
It’s funny, but the house had “grown” in our minds, and once we had this time to get another look at it it doesn’t seem quite so dauntingly huge. I’m a little concerned how much it’s going to cost to heat, cool and maintain it, though. It’s a big old house, and it has all characteristics of an old house, like beautiful but not very air-tight windows, probably very little or no insulation in the walls, and a high maintenance painted wood exterior. Because the house has character, and it’s in a neighbourhood that has character, we can’t do stuff like replacing the windows with double glazed modern ones or putting up siding. Not least because members of the planning board would come over and stab us in the face if we tried.
Even taking a closer look at the faults, though, it’s still remarkable how beautiful it is. I can’t wait until it’s ours so we can put up some more pictures.