We are just back from the pre-settlement inspection of the property. It is strange how the knowledge that we will have the keys within a week (assuming the 3 banks can get their act together for settlement on Wednesday) changes how the rooms look. Instead of a wistful planning of what might be there is a feeling of not quite ownership but more a partnership with the building. A building that is over 130 years old makes you feel that no matter what you do, you are only passing through. There are missing walls (I can tell there once was a wall in the big first floor room) and the damage from being flats since 1925. Also the damage done on de-flaterising Cliftoria back into one building, which hasn’t been completed. So we hope that we can make some things better. Certainly fixing the roof will probably add another 30+ years to its life. As there is no structural faults (Thanks to having an excellent structural engineers report) most of what we have to do will be cosmetic. The issue though is there is so many rooms.
As it has been a bit wet yesterday I got photos of several wet areas that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Otherwise the building appears the same as it was on Auction day. Cliftoria is being sold “as is” but if there had been any changes since the auction we could get the vendor to fix them. We didn’t spot anything that the vendors would have to fix prior to settlement.
After the inspection we got some lunch and ate it while sitting outside the building, making plans, before leaving to go home. The next time we see Cliftoria we will have the keys and that will be so exciting. Also scary.
Our plans are that with the roof fixed we will try to concentrate on doing one thing at a time. We will not turn the building into a construction site and try to do everything at once. For one thing it is quite stressful. The other is we don’t have that sort of money. Our initial list of things to do (which will mutate due to all sorts of things and events) is as follows.
Roof (stop the ceiling leaks, both main building and stable)
Ground floor windows (Two broken on the main building and at least two on the stable)
Replace one back door that is a tad damaged at the bottom.
Water (While it is apparently OK we must have the random pipes and taps hanging in mid air in the old ground floor kitchens disconnected and removed)
Gas (while “OK” apparently the type of pipes in Cliftoria are no longer used so it makes sense to upgrade them.)
Electrical (A general check and adding more power points is needed)
Other windows (to prevent any water getting into the house. At least one is breaking and another will not close all the way)
Outside cosmetic wall cracks repaired (mostly to prevent any water leaking into the walls)
Ensure that the pump for the cellar is working (also install a backup solar powered/battery marine sump pump)
Check rising damp (there is some evidence that this may be caused by the cellar having water in it and keeping the cellar dry may solve it) So many things to do with water of one sort or another but water can do so much damage and it has to be prevented from doing so.
Fix “Special” doorway in stables (I want to fix this so bad)
Fix holes in ceiling of two rooms on the first floor
Check out flooring on ground floor (some boards seem quite loose in room 3 with the fancy fireplace)
Library and Drawing rooms (Front two ground floor rooms. Get walls smooth, paint, Wallpaper? picture rails? Dado division? Do one room then the other.)
Long room floor on ground floor (replace chip boards with planks)
Fix up the other rooms one after another. (The current plan is to do as the Victorians did with better looking decorating in public spaces and much plainer in the others)
Get a good gate onto the back yard (One that prevents the escape of chickens or dogs)
From this angle you can see the corridor that links the four rooms and bathroom in the attic.