Tag Archives: renovation

2714. The first guest

Julie and Julian were about to begin their dream. Their recent wedding had been fabulous. Everything had gone perfectly. In their speech at the wedding the two rich fathers/fathers-in-law announced that they had purchased an old psychiatric hospital. It was Julie and Julian’s dream to renovate it and run it as a hotel.

The honeymoon in the Bahamas was great. Not quite what the tourist brochures had made it out to be, but exciting enough; especially with the prospect of returning to begin the wonderful renovation project.

The psychiatric hospital was old and derelict. It was pre the days when people were more understanding and enlightened. Back then it was referred to as “the looney bin”. The interior rooms were often bolted and locked; not unlike a prison. The hospital had closed years earlier when it had been discovered that medical personnel were using the patients for surgical experiments and many had died there.

It took Julie and Julian eighteen months to turn their building and grounds into a welcoming hotel. They succeeded! They advertised! They got their first guest booking! The guest arrived! He said he knew the place quite well.

That night…

Oh dear! Oh goodness me!

2336. A home improvement partnership

Sharlene’s mother had imbued certain practical skills into her. For example, Sharlene was a wonderful seamstress. (It’s not that Sharlene’s mother hadn’t taught the boys how to sew, it’s just that Sharlene was better at it).

Clyde’s father had imbued certain practical skills into him. For example, Clyde was a wonderful cabinet maker. (It’s not that Clyde’s father hadn’t taught the girls how to do carpentry, it’s just that Clyde was better at it).

Anyway, Sharlene and Clyde met, fell in love, and got married. Together they bought an old house and thought they would “do it up”. Not too much at once – they weren’t exactly made of money – but a bit here and a bit there according to what the pocket could afford. They started with making and installing a large window in the sitting room that overlooked a lake and a spectacular chain of mountains. Such a view!

This was where Clyde’s carpentry skills came in handy. Nothing was to be rushed. Everything was to be perfect. And how perfect it was! The window was exact. The workmanship was meticulous. To be honest, when installed it looked to be flawlessness itself!

Sharlene quickly sewed some drapes to soften and hide the window’s “straight, cold, masculine lines” that Clyde had taken such care to make.

2317. Building conversion

I worked in a hardware store. One afternoon the boss called me to his office. I thought I was going to get the sack but it wasn’t that at all. It was sort of a promotion.

He said he had three sons and a daughter and two of the sons and the daughter had done okay. The third son had done enormously well. He was the richest in the family by far. What he did was buy an old barn or an old milking shed or an old church or something. He would live on the property in an old caravan and convert and renovate the building to perfection. Thus far he had renovated six buildings and sold each for millions. He loved his work but never took time off. It was an obsessive twelve hour day seven days a week.

To be perfectly honest, said the boss, my son needs a hand. You would live on the property (in your own comfortable caravan of course) and be put on a huge wage and given a vehicle.  Would I be interested? It was several hours drive away.

Would I be interested? It’s something I’d absolutely love to do; although it would depend on whether I got along okay with the boss’s son. And provided of course he didn’t have a raging misogynistic attitude like many do against female carpenters. And try, added the boss, to get Kevin (that was the son’s name) to take a bit of time off.

Well that was several months ago. Kevin and I have decided to live in the latest place we’ve just finished and call it home.

“That was the plan,” said the boss.

1920. The fulfilment of a dream

Willoughby was getting on in life. He was in his seventy-fourth year. He had led an interesting enough life; fairly bland, but with the occasion moment of excitement. He dreamt of having his life over and doing things better the second time around.

He would like to take an old building – such as a barn or a rundown church or even a small factory – and turn it into a lovely home. He’d seen people doing that on television. Of course he would need plenty of money because he would work on his renovation and building preservation every day; all day if he had half a chance.

And when the house was finished he would start on the garden. Perhaps a small lake. Certainly at least a fish pond. And he would keep chickens, not for eggs but for an interest. If he bred rare varieties of fowl he could enter competitions with his perfect poultry at various fairs.

Naturally there would be an extensive orchard. Not only would it supply fresh fruit in season, but he could make and freeze fruit pies for the cold winter months, as well as canning fruit and creating tasty pickles and chutneys. In fact, in his renovated dwelling he had a special room for storing all these preserves.

There would be ambient lighting in the garden, and a large patio for barbeques. And a triple garage – one for his regular car, one for his pick-up truck (how else could he gather firewood off his ten acre woodland?), and a third garage for his classic 1930’s car. There was a workshop as well; quite large, where he could potter away with wood. With a lathe he could turn wooden bowls. Oh! and a potter’s wheel and kiln!

God heard Willoughby’s earnest desire. He was granted a second life; a reincarnation. He was rich. He had everything he ever dreamed of. He hated it.

1784. House renovation

Molly had always wanted a sort of “do-it-yourself” house where she could “do things” like painting rooms. No big hammering stuff. Just arranging this and that, and sanding this and that. In fact, the first thing she did once she had moved in and settled was to sand off the old paint on the staircase bannister and stain it. What a transformation! Now to transform the whole house!

As time went by, she became a little more daring. A little window frame change around here and there. She even bought a skill saw! Hammering nails in and pulling nails out was ho-hum. In fact she almost became convinced that in another life she must have been a carpenter.

It was no use wallpapering the passageway, for example, until the physical renovations were complete. In fact, Molly was practically rearranging the whole house. Once all the physical changes had been made she would begin the decorations. The original staircase bannister had already been removed, which goes to show that one can be over enthusiastic when it came to “doing things” too soon.

Because all the changes were not outside the house, no one had the slightest clue that there was such activity going on inside. No permits or the like had been obtained from whatever branch of government demanded such things. Who would know? And indeed, Molly was right.

There was just one more thing that Molly wanted to do before beginning the decorating stage of her project; she wanted to make a wide opening between the dining room and the sitting room. That way it would become an expansive area, an area of vision and visage! But it was going to be Molly’s biggest task. Thank goodness she did not intend to have doors, even sliding doors, in the newly created space. She was a little too impatient for such precision!

Molly cut a large opening in the separating wall. It took only an afternoon. Thank goodness no one was hurt when the roof of the house caved in.