This month, N and I will have owned our home for half a year! It feels like it’s flown by…
The process of buying our first house was a huge learning curve, but it didn’t stop there. Living in a place where you can’t just call on your mum or your landlord when something goes wrong has meant we have had to learn some things the hard way…
1. You have to man up about spiders, and I don’t like it.
So far, I have dealt okay with some sizes of spiders that I would never have gone near before (although this could in part be thanks to my spidey-sucker-machine…). However, there was one incident that occurred with a certain mammoth arachnid; the likes of which can only be compared to horror movies and Australian YouTube videos.
N’s mum might have had to get involved. I will say no more.
2. The social nuances of being ‘good neighbours’ are exhausting.
Exactly how much interaction is appropriate? I have no idea. And I still find it hideously awkward that we only met the lady who lives in the house backing on to ours two weeks ago. I think that probably makes me a terrible neighbour.
3. Building work & decoration is EXPENSIVE!
B&Q had a sale on laminate wood-effect flooring, so we bought some for our living room. Swiftly realising that we had no clue how to install it, we decided to get some estimates to see how much it would cost for a professional to do it instead, thinking that it would only take a couple of hours, and thus would probably cost like £60 for a local tradesman. WRONG. So, so wrong.
And don’t even ask me how much one guy quoted us for scraping the moss off our roof.
4. Curtains are the least trivial thing ever.
“But every house has curtains, so it can’t be that hard, surely?”
First off, do you realise how expensive curtains are?? If you want anything that’s going to actually block out any light you’re looking at least £40 for a pair, and that’s as cheap as I could find!
Secondly, measuring, cutting and putting up both the curtain poles and said curtains will screw your brain up. You will make costly errors.
5. You will wonder what the Hell your parents even taught you when you were growing up!
The moment when you realise you have never changed a light bulb or hung a picture up is a sad moment indeed. Dear parents: what the f**k?! I mean, thanks for doing it for me and all, but I kind of needed to know these things!
(NB: My mum taught me how to bake, sew, knit and do various other crafts, while my dad taught me a lot about computers and a bit too much about science. I am truly grateful for those!)
6. Plants and photos/artwork are necessary if you want your house to look like a home.
For months I kept looking around the house and thinking that something was missing. We had all our furniture and decorations etc. but I couldn’t work out what wasn’t right. After a trip to Trago Mills I brought back a mini bamboo plant and plonked it in the living room, and it made it so much better! Since then I’ve put at least one plant in every room and have started hanging pictures, and it feels so much more homely.
7. You will develop a love/hate relationship with flat-pack furniture.
It is so beautiful and inexpensive, yet such a b*tch to assemble. N is pretty good at it but my knack for following instructions piqued at Belville Lego.
8. Your to-do list will never end.
Home maintenance sucks. It starts out fun, but when the novelty of touching up paint and tightening door handles and fixing hinges wears off, it becomes a constant headache. I notice at least one thing each day that needs to be added to my to-do list. Just yesterday I found that the chrome handle on our new bathroom cabinet is rusting, and it’s only 2 months old!
Please share your home-owner stories and lessons learned!