Thursday, 22 January 2009

the new house

Well, I've given a few hints, but it's time for the real scoop.

Trying to be logical, let's start at the front. We have our own driveway here, long enough for both cars to park in, but barely wide enough to get out of the car without stepping on the grass. (At the old house we had a garage across the street, with room for one car in front of it; the other car parked on the side of the street.) There is a decent-sized grassy area out front that smells of dog waste. No landscaping at all, but I hope to fix that soon. Our house is at the corner of two streets, and it is the end of a row of houses. The only part that connects to the neighbors is the "master bedroom" which we are using as a den, but more about that later. This house is also two story (in English, it has a ground floor and a first floor), where our old one was a stand alone, single story house.

Coming in the front door the first fault is seen - the entry way is carpeted. We put down a rug, but there is little hope for that carpet. If you go straight in the front door, you'd go straight out the back door - the front door is recessed from the rest of the house, so it's very narrow at this point. Immediately to the left is the master bedroom, with it's own full bath. There is a closet and a window in this room. After much thought, we decided to make this room a den. It houses all the bookshelves, the guitars, the cross trainer, and a tv. Bob keeps his clothes in this closet, so he can quietly sneak downstairs in the morning and shower and dress without waking everyone (we hope). There is one little heating vent in this room, which happens to be in the wall, so it's behind a bookshelf, and the room is a little cool. I think there is one each of a 220v outlet and a 110v outlet.

If you turn right from the front door, there is a sort of hallway. To the right is the stairway, and an under stair closet where we each have one coat, and I keep the vacuum cleaner there. To the left is a door leading to the kitchen. This door was blocked off for awhile, and may be again if we decide to keep our little fridge. Continue past these doors and you will be in the living room. Here we have 3 2-seat couches (loveseats), Bob's chair, a tv, a desk with computer, and a couple of smaller pieces. This room also has one window and one each 220v and 110v power outlets. The den and living room each have a ceiling fan; the rest of the rooms simply have a light bulb hanging down.

Making an "L" with the living room, is the dining room. We still have a single box wide stack along the wall of the dining room, but we have the table set up now. There is a window facing the back yard, and a door that we've never opened yet. There is (again) one each outlet.

Open to the left of the dining room is the kitchen. It has a large window, limiting cabinet space. The sink is small, with a built in drainer section. The dishwasher is small, but it works! It has a big silverware basket, but not much room for pans (or even plates). I told Bob it was designed for people who eat microwave dinners. I haven't had to return a single dish for not being clean. The fridge is HUGE! It is bigger than my other two put together. The freezer part isn't as big as it ought to be, but it is wide enough for frozen pizza. Also in the kitchen is a full size (American style) washer and dryer. Along that wall, there is a big gap where cabinets ought to be. There's one little cabinet in the corner over the washer, then nothing, and the kitchen part starts in the next corner. We will ask permission to put a shelf in there. The oven is also pretty big. I can easily have two skillets going at the same time, and I can put my biggest pan inside, or my next-biggest pan inside alongside a small one. But it only has the one cooking area, where the old house had a "double" oven, one of which was convection. The floor in here is old linoleum, as is the bathrooms. There are several 110v outlets, but only one 220v. Also, in British style, the oven, dishwasher, washer, and dryer can be turned off by a switch above the counter.

Going upstairs, there is a good-sized landing with a knee-level window. On to the top, and to the left is a linen closet. Straight ahead is the bathroom. To the right is a small hallway, with a store room on the right. This room has a light, but no window or power outlets, and shelves along the back wall. We are keeping the outgrown clothes, extra toys, empty suitcases, and Christmas decorations here.

To the left is the boys room. It is barely bigger than the store room, but we managed to fit in the bunk bed, the baby bed, and a chest of drawers. As with all the bedrooms, they have a closet, a window, and a single 110v power outlet.

At the end of the hall is the girls' room. It is the biggest of the three rooms, because they like to keep their dolls and things in their room. They have the metal futon bunk bed (full size on bottom, twin on top), a chest, and a plastic chest (the wooden one just wasn't big enough for all 3 girls' things).

On the right side of the hall is our room. It is just big enough for our queen size bed and our chest of drawers, plus two small night stands.

In the hall itself is one 220v power outlet.

The back yard is a pretty nice size, and we plan to fence it together with the side yard, making a nice play area. There is a storage room built into the house, but accessible from outside, and a garden shed in the back corner of the yard. We inherited a set of outdoor chairs (no table) when we moved in, and we have the trampoline, a grill, and a few Tonka trucks. The previous occupants had their own shed next to the one that comes with the house, and it created a lovely dirt area that the children claimed right away for constructing.

There is a sidewalk along the street, and it also curves along behind our yard toward the base. Across it, there is a large open grassy area that would be great for a playground, community garden, or even just flying kites since the Air Force is broke and won't do any extra projects.

And that is pretty much that. In the front is another storage area, and a water faucet with hose.

Ah, how does the house manage dual voltage? Hehe. It's not truly dual. There is a giant transformer in the storage cabinet, that hums along night and day. We had a bit of trouble with this because our alarm clock is dual, so when we plugged it into the 110v outlet we switched it to 110, 60 hz. Oops. It is 110v, but still 50 hz. So the first night it didn't keep time. Now I wonder if I ought to try my kitchen appliances or not.

Oh, the bathrooms (and kitchen) have mixer taps, so that is nice to have again, rather than the cold water on one side and hot on the other.
Along with the limited power outlets, we only have one phone outlet, and it is in the front entry hall (why not?). The cable (for tv) comes into the dining room.

I don't really blame the British contractors for the house being this way; it's the fact that they were trying to build an American style house using British methods. It would have been better to go one way or the other, but it can be made to work as it is. ANd I better stop blabbing.


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds a little strange for sure. Hope you can get all your electronic things working without frying some of them. We just don't realize how nice we have it here. jc.

Anonymous said...

How about a picture of the outside and some of the kitchen? jc

MamaOlive said...

I took a few pics of the kitchen, put it's pouring rain today, so the outside will have to wait. They are on my flickr page:

Taryn fried my baby monitor today by plugging it into the wrong outlet. :-(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures. It looks like a lot of the European kitchens in apartments we see on HGTV House Hunters International. One of the first houses in Seminole that Norma viewed had similar cabinets, very cheaply built. Oh how ugly that was.jc