The paths are about the only thing that are straight and are not (presently) causing problems. At the moment I am only worried about:
(a) finding somewhere to live whilst work is going on; and
(b) finding somewhere to store an extra three rooms worth of stuff for the duration; and
(c) working out how to reduce the anticipated tender price by a sum that is enough to buy an entirely new house elsewhere in the country.
The drains don't run straight. They are wonky, old, leaking and need to be repaired. Another cost to add to the refurb...
Next week the tenders come in, and then I go through them with as much hard-heartedness as I can muster to reduce the costs. Having had this great vision for the house (a sad, aged place at the moment) it is difficult to let go of the dream 'just because of money'. But, of course, there are always compromises and I refuse to be ridiculously in debt just because of our wonderful aspirations.
What saddens me most is that it is the 'green' things that are likely to be dropped. The render won't be insulating render, just ordinary stuff. The windows will only be replaced if falling apart, so we will continue to lose bucketloads of heat through the poor glazing. The plan for an air-source heat pump, which will save us money on bills in the long term, will be abandoned for an ordinary gas condensing boiler.
Instead of all these glorious, eco-friendly things, we will replace aged drains and the roof.
It is such a shame that it costs so much to be green. As the world gradually accepts how much damage we are doing to ourselves, what a shame that simple remedies are mind-bogglingly expensive. Our government (and opposition) all speak the green talk, but there is scant support for projects like ours that would actually be helping their carbon targets. At some point they will have to support the renovation and upgrade of our aging housing stock. Campaign groups like the Great British Refurb Campaign are battling to get more support. Sadly, I fear it is too late for us.
Meanwhile, please forgive me if there is a bit of blogger silence as I resolve all the housing issues. I plan to keep you updated with pictures of progress when we finally get going. Keep your fingers crossed for no more unexpected surprises.... really, I'd like a straight path - please?