Saturday, 26 October 2013

Changing Mum and Dad's house into my house

Readers might like to remind themselves of my “back story” before reading this entry. My Mum and Dad were killed in a car accident in 2010. Their house became my house – although it took 2.5 years for this to happen. There was 6 months while the house was empty (although I used to visit to “hide” and cry when the stress got too bad). Then there was the year I lived there on my own while I was studying at school. Then for another year the house had tenants living it while I was in my first year at university before I finally moved back in and called the builders into action!

Early September 2012 was always going to be a rather busy time. During the summer term I had decided that I was going to live at home for the second year of my university course. Three close friends (one of whom was a very close friend if you get what I mean!) were going to live with me so most of what was happening was to do with getting things ready for them.

At the start of the month the estate agent who had been dealing with the tenants who have been living in my house backed down over some extra fee he claimed he was entitled to. The tenants were supposed to get their security deposit back but the agent said it was up to me to pay it - which of course was rubbish because all the tenant's rent and deposits was paid directly to the agent and not to me.

The tenants had to have left by Friday 31st August. They had looked after the house and garden very well and had always paid on time so they had been ideal tenants. I think they were a bit confused when I arrived at the house after lunch.  The lady though I was going to be renting the house so she was shocked when I said it was my home. I didn't bother to explain about Mum and Dad dying, it wasn't her business and it still made me feel sad to talk about it.

Only one thing rather annoyed me about the house move. My Mum and Dad's room wasn't being rented out because I was using it for storage. The tenants didn't need all 4 bedrooms anyway. The bedroom door was locked and it was agreed that nobody should go in the room - not the tenants, not the estate agent, nobody. Well somebody had been in. Things had been moved, folders of private documents had been opened and read and although I didn’t think anything was missing I was not happy.

It was strange waking around the empty house again and I found being alone there quite poignant. It didn’t take much to "make believe" that Mum and Dad were just away and would be coming back soon. Silly I know.

During the week that started on Monday September 10th I had various painters, plumbers and electricians coming and going all the time and as I didn't like to leave them in the house on their own I was pretty much been chained to the house myself. Food shopping was tricky so in the end I did an order over the Internet and had it delivered. That worked nicely and it became part of our weekly routine when all four of us were living there.

Getting the right mix of workmen in the house at the right time seemed hard for the boss to manage and there was some waiting around most days. But as I was paying for the jobs and not the time it didn't cost me anything extra.

Mum and Dad's old room ended up looking really nice. It was very different from before and felt like "my room" and I think it was the right decision to make a total change there. It would have been too full of memories to have it as my room but with their furniture.

The lounge and dining room walls were painted and a second sofa ordered so there are enough comfy seats in the lounge for the four of us. The kitchen and what had been Mum and Dad's study don't need anything doing but I found going into the study quite emotional because Mum and Dad spent such a lot of time there and it felt like they should still be there sitting at their respective desks <sad face>.

There was internet access in every bedroom plus downstairs (this is why I needed the electricians) and various taps, including the one in the garden, were replaced (this is why I needed the plumber). A few small bits of furniture were delivered but one had to be returned to the shop because it was damaged in the delivery van.

I felt quite proud of myself for sorting out all the work that had needed to be done all on my own.

1 comment:

  1. That's terrible that someone went in your parent's room. How awful! Well done for sorting the work out. Houses are hard work and a big responsibility, and very stressful!