A new project – A summer house

Before I start babbling on about the ‘next project’, we’ve arrived safely in Perth, and we’re freezing. Spring is normally here by now, but the abnormally wet winter Perth has been experiencing is continuing into spring. Everyone told me to make sure I brought my winter woolies with me, but as our intention is to follow warm weather, winter woolies are something I no longer carry around with me. With the heater on in the caravan, and keeping busy, I’m getting by – just!!

We’ve caught up with Alice, Paul and the grandees, a very warm welcome – and all well and as gorgeous as ever. It’s funny how long can pass between face to face meetings, yet how it can seem like only yesterday that we were last sharing a cuppa and a chat.

And we’ve only just begun to catch up with friends. We had planned to only be staying in Perth for a week before we headed down to Busselton, but the weeks almost gone, and we have so many people still to catch up with, so we’re extending our time here for a second week.

And now the weather report, and the friend and family report’s out of the way, I’d better let you all know how things have turned out with our latest purchase and project – ‘the summer house’.

Today, we had our final inspection. Usually the final inspection is the last of many inspections prior to the changeover. In this case the final inspection was also our first inspection. So, what did we find:

Firstly, no surprises, the house was as we expected.

The house is a small three bedroom, two bathroom house on a 465 square metre block. The most important things are that there’s room to park our caravan, it’s a short walk to Geographe Bay beach (around 3 minutes), and it’s not part of a strata – so no neighbours telling us what we can or can’t do (it has what’s called a green title). The only covenant is that we had to be over 50 to purchase it, and the same applies if we decide to sell it on, or rent it out in the future – only to people over 50.

When I say the house is small, it really is small. We have a challenge to decorate and furnish it suitably so as to make the most of it without having it feel or look cramped. As we both thrive on such challenges though it’s exciting rather than  daunting.

The storage in the house is good. A reasonably sized kitchen pantry and pot cupboards, reasonable cupboards in the separate laundry, a good sized linen cupboard, and built in wardrobes in the three bedrooms. It has a large single lock up garage with parking for a second car in a carport in front of the garage. It also has a second driveway on the other side of the house suitable for our caravan, even though the caravan won’t be kept under cover.

The master bedroom is a small to average sized queen bedroom, and the other two bedrooms will each fit a double bed and bedside cabinets adequately. The ensuite bathroom is reasonable, and the 2nd bathroom is just a shower, loo and small hand basin off the laundry.

The kitchen is a pleasant size with a good work triangle between stove, sink and fridge. The dining room will adequately hold a small six seater table, and the lounge when furnished properly will seat both us and guests comfortably.

It was only build in 2001 but the decor looks more like 1980’s. So, we have a project to bring both the inside and the outside into the 21st century. Firstly, a good light coat of paint throughout and new carpets in the bedrooms. We should get that done in the first week after we take possession on the 10th of October. Then we’ll be able to actually move in. Until that much is completed we’ll remain in our caravan, but will park it in the driveway.

After we move in we’ll tackle the garden and exterior painting. It has a verandah around three sides of the house, supported by heritage green wooden posts, lots of them. The green just has to go…. There’s a huge very ugly shade house in which the previous owner used to tend his prized orchids. Once we demolish that we’ll have some lovely garden space, which we’re just dying to get stuck into.

I shouldn’t think it’ll take us long to get the basics well under way. The kitchen also will need a re-vamp, but that won’t be part of this years project – next year perhaps.

This week has been busy. We’ve been looking for furniture, both new and second hand. So far we’ve bought a second hand double bedroom suite in need of a shabby chic transformation (that’s my job, while Paul deals with post painting). And we’ve bought a new dining suite and second hand lounge suite. We’ve started to check out the replacement curtains in the shops, and we’ve marked things like fridges, washing machines and the other bedroom furniture on gumtree. By the time we move down to Busselton on the 10th we expect to have bought most of the basics and will have them stored up here in Perth until we have the house sufficiently ready for them.

It’s quite a project for such a little house, but what would life be without a project. We’re thoroughly enjoying the planning stages, and I’m sure we’ll also enjoy the work involved, and we’ll definitely enjoy seeing the transformation.

Of all the houses we’ve ever purchased, we’ve only ever bought one that’s been perfect at the time we moved in. It was boring with everything already done. We’d so much rather have to work to make it our own.

We’ll post the before and after photos as soon as we get a chance to get going on it all. This little house is going to be a real pleasure to work on, so keep watching this space.

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