The end of the year traditionally signals the arrival of lists, yay! In a few months, we’ll be celebrating 10 years of living in our current house. Perhaps now is a good time to dig up a few not so fond memories of maintaining it. I’ve never really enjoyed the chores that come with it owning a property. However fun it might be to be forced to learn something new on very short notice because something broke, it’s never really fixed the way you wanted it to be: the right materials weren’t in stock, the time needed to invest in it was cut short, and/or most likely, the fix-it skills you attribute to yourself kind of suck, messing up the desired effect.
Let’s see here, what went wrong in the past ten years?
- The toilet drainage system got clogged and we had to effectively dig up certain sections to see what’s going on;
- A part of the roofing of the dormer started being not-so-leak-free;
- A concrete slab as part of the driveway split in two;
- A panel attached to the Velux skylights to keep out the sun was so brittle it crumbled into pieces;
- Various attempts of wasps nesting under the bedroom window had to be fought off;
- Various attempts at mice pestering us at night had to be fought off by crawling through the roof rafters (we’re losing the battle);
- The water drainage system of the garage roof wasn’t properly connected to the one of the house. Another dig;
- During the extreme heat in a recent summer, the parquet suddenly rose and even lifted the coffee table and TV cabinet, freaking out the cat (and us)—a piece had to be cut off because the previous owner didn’t leave enough space for it to breathe;
- The shower cabin broke and had to be completely replaced;
- Two screw plugs of curtain poles failed and almost brought down the entire thing;
- There was no proper telephone cable attached to the main frame in the street. Another dig;
- A piece of door had to be sanded off as it started jamming—this time not thanks to the heat but because of the humidity of the badly built hallway;
- Various plastic or rubber grommets of the kitchen sink drainage deteriorated and replacements were nowhere to be found forcing us to replace more parts than really needed;
- More rubber frustration: the ones sealing the windows got stuck and warped, blocking the closing system;
- The central heating system broke down and had to be completely replaced;
- A few years later, the solar panel installer short circuited the PCB of the heating system. It was freezing outside;
- We want to renovate the garage but it turns out that its permits are not in order—of course they aren’t, what was I thinking;
- The ridiculous misplacement of heating elements causes certain spots in our home to mold;
- The wooden gate was bent out of shape to the point that its opening mechanism completely blocked. Another hefty investment was needed. We were told to wax the new wood every few months. We forgot once. It’s gray now.
This lovely list of course excludes the obligatory appliances misery:
- The motor of the dryer broke;
- Two years after replacing the motor, the circuit board of the dryer broke. We gave up and ordered another one. Why the washing machine is still alive alludes me;
- The circuit board of the dishwasher broke;
- A year after replacing the circuit board, the dishwasher stopped pumping in water. We gave up and ordered another one;
- The dishwasher didn’t fit and we had to cut out a piece of the front panel close to the floor;
- One heating element of the induction cooker broke (I’m getting pretty good at ignoring broken things);
- The heating element of the oven burst open and had to be replaced;
And that excludes voluntary jobs such as repainting and redecorating, clearing out the old stove and sealing up the fireplace, building a vegetable garden or chicken fence, and pretending to be a master in bike repair. It also doesn’t cover things yet to do such as connecting the rainwater cistern to our toilets and trying to figure out why so many network cables leave the storage room without going anywhere.
Oh, and please let’s try to forget about the broken extension cords, lawnmowers, hedge shears, light bulbs, sockets, batteries, fallen mailbox with rotten wooden legs, overgrown of moss on the driveway cobblestones, …
Isn’t it great to own a place?