Half Term – Half A House

The first morning of our holiday in Swanage was spent exploring my In Law’s ‘new’ house.

The previous resident had been a bit of a DIYer (read Bodger). Recent discoveries have included the porch had been changed from the design submitted for planning permission, and 3 layers of tiles on top of hardwood on the kitchen walls and two phone lines coming into the house – one from the front, one from the back and no-one could say which was the mainline or which was attached to which phone number. The electrician has described the wiring as Clapham Junction & the plumber has discovered the main drain, buried under the ground floor bathroom, inside the house.

The weirdest discovery has been in the lean to at the side of the house. The deeds of the house show it to have been the original pantry/larder of the house, however there’s no record of permission being granted to remove it – yet all that remains are plywood walls & a plastic roof.
On the wall that connects with the house, is a wooden recessed shelving unit. When showing their architect round, the In Laws knocked on the back of this unit to see how solid the wall was – to discover that the back of the shelving unit IS the wall with the house. Turns out, when the previous owner knocked down the pantry, he built the shelves into the old kitchen door and knocked a new door through, just next to it. He then hid the wooden wall with a tall freestanding cupboard. We could just imagine the conversation with the police following a break in:

“And how do you think the burglars got in, Sir?”

“They walked through this wall here…”

Needless to say, they are rebuilding the pantry to use as a boot room and making sure that wall is secured properly.

The plans they have for this house are amazing and I’m looking forward to having a room with a sea view & a balcony! Girl is excited as her room is going to be pink and a has a special window with a sea view all of her own. Boy wants to help rebuild!

All in all, I think it’s going to be a fabulous house when finished, and we’re going to have some great holidays and create some amazing memories for our children and their Grandparents.


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