Helping my neighbours
I still feel a little guilty about the neighbours.
It was a shame that I burned their house down when removing that wasps’ nest, but they really should have removed it themselves.
They are rebuilding the place at the moment and it occurred to me that I might be able to help.
They’re not living there while the work is going on. There isn’t much to live in, but part of the house survived, so I nipped in last night. I have a key [I keep meaning to tell them that the previous owner gave me one] so there was no breaking and entering involved.
I found the plans.
They are spending a fortune! And most of it is wasted money. I realised that this was my chance to make amends. So I set to work. I used to work in a drawing office so I know about these things.
For a start, they had way too many roof trusses. So I removed half of them. And who the hell needs 30 amp wiring when 1 amp wiring is much cheaper? They had the place crawling with smoke detectors too. I know to my cost that they are only an irritation, because they keep beeping when the battery runs low. So I removed them all. They’ll thank me for that.
One thing I noticed was that they have a staircase leading upstairs. It is taking up an awful lot of room. I removed that. So now they have a much bigger area downstairs, and I even managed to squeeze in an extra bedroom upstairs where the staircase was.
Another thing was the incredible amount of piping in the house. They were using separate pipes for hot water, cold water, gas, central heating and sewage. It was a mess. So I simplified it and ran everything through the one pipe. That will save them thousands.
On my way out I had a look at work in progress.
They had nylon lines strung all over the place. I presume they are to mark where the walls are to go. They didn’t look quite right, to me, so I changed them until they looked a bit better. I have a very good eye for a straight line after a few whiskeys.
I hope they appreciate what I have done for them. It took me half the night. I have saved them a lot of money, and I might tell them when they get around to speaking to me again.
As my dad used to say – ‘There’s nothing so good that it can’t be improved‘.
What did you do in the drawing office? Empty the bins!
Sharpened the pencils. A very important job.
It should make for an interesting house. I hope that you adjusted the plans so that when it does eventually come crumbling down that it does so nowhere near your property.
You don’t want any debris to come crashing through the window of your house or car 🙂
Robert – Are you casting nasturtiums at my architectural abilities? That house will outlive the lot of us, and will be a lot cheaper.
I see you have done quite a thorough job, Grandad. They’ll be delighted. Nothing like a caring neighbour.
However – you have neglected to notice some quite substantial saving prospects.
1) Windows. Entering light is just good for showing up dust on surfaces. Not only will your neighbours save on purchasing grossly overpriced windows, they’ll never have to buy a single mop/cleaning product again. It would also keep decorating costs down, who’d bother if you can’t see a thing anyway.
2) Walls. OK, I can see some point in external walls. To keep people in and make it easier for visitors to locate the house. But internal walls are just pure waste in my opinion! And just think think of the social side – no hiding away behind closed doors, one big happy close-knit family unit.
Foreigner – I thought of those. I did make extra savings by removing a lot of useless foam and stuff in the walls that noone will see anyway, but I didn’t want to impose my ideas on their nice layout.
Did you ever see the Compton McKenzie film ‘Rockets Galore’? Maybe it would have some tips on unwanted developments.
Ian – That and “Whisky Galore”. Are you accusing me of being destructive???
No, no, no – not ‘destructive’, simply ideas on rearrangement
are you sure you’re not a professional builder / designer as your work seems very familiar?
Flirty – I did flirt [sorry] with building, so I know what I’m at. I built the wing of the cottage I’m in at the moment. That was over forty years ago, and still no cracks.
Jesus your fairly handy to have around the home, how are you in the garden? Do you know anything about apple tree’s?
You can help your neighbors further by eliminating the bathroom.
Next time you buy a refrigerator, save the box. You can put it out in back of their house with a crescent moon on the door and a Sears catalog on the seat.
Think what this will save them in bath fixtures. They will never stop thanking you.
Nonny – I am a man of many talents. That is what comes of age and experience.
Apple trees? I have an orchard. What do you want to know? Do they grow apples? That they burn well? That canker is a bugger?
Nancy – Are you in the habit of buying refrigerators? I’m not. Though I have two and am getting another soon, but it won’t be coming in a box.
These houses all had outside toilets at one stage. We still have ours. I keep logs in it. [Yes. There is a deliberate joke there!]
Anyway, I don’t want them crapping out in the garden. I have enough problems with poo being left at my gate every morning.
Once again I am left sputtering some type of liquid (it varies depending on the time of day) all over my desk and my computer.
I could swear that you had a hand in building one of the homes I lived in.
Laurie – Will you please stop using me as an excuse for your disgusting table manners!
I plead innocence. The only building I ever did was the one I’m sitting in. Once was enough.
However, I do know a bit about it, as well as engineering, particle physics, architecture, aeronautics, electronics, plumbing, astronomy, mathematics, art, macramé and a few other things.
Never worked out how women think though……..
Laurie – I can recommend bibs for that kind of thing …
Please send me the smoke detectors, I am living illegally as I’m supposed to have at least three beeping at 3.00am according to Aussie building codes. I bought a canary instead but apparently they don’t count or provide me with a tax deduction.
Daz…agreed on the bibs. Any suggestions as to what I can say to nosy co-workers when I begin laughing loudly at Grandad’s latest post? So far…I almost have them convinced that a day without a peek at this blog…is a day nearly wasted.
All Right, if you insist, let them have an indoor bathroom.
In fact, with your vast experience with macrame, Astronomy and Plumbing, you could alter their blueprint to include a bathtub with Planetarium and macrame shower curtain.
I was pondering further improvements you might make and thought that you perhaps get Herself to crochet a nice set of toilet roll covers for your neighbours – some delicate pastel shades.
All I did was nip in and make some improvements to their plans. How they decorate their house is their business.
Baino – I only saved them having to buy smoke detectors. If you like I can redo the plans, and when they order the detectors, I can rob them and send them over? In the meantime – no naked flames…..
Good Morning. I have four apple tree’s that I grew years ago from seed, they are about 6 foot now. I look after them really well and moving them is fine as they have holidayed with my own Grandad in the past but I’m hoping to plant them in my new garden, how will I do it or do you think they might die? Oh and another thing this year all this green stuff is growing around them in the pots any idea how to get rid of it?
Thank you for your help!!!
Good Grief, Nonny – Am I gardening advice column now?
I would advise waiting until they are dormant, so November/December would be a good time. If they are six foot, and in pots, they are probably pot-bound by now and should appreciate the move. Give them a bit of compost/fertiliser and water them in well. As for whether they survive or not? I can’t say.
I wouldn’t worry about the green stuff. If that’s on the soil, I would just imagine it is moss that tends to grow around potted trees for some reason.
Sorry granddad it’s just your wealth of knowledge has to be called upon, just one more thing the might die bit that’s not good, it’s just they look a bit ridiculous. Do you think I should just leave them in pots?
The ‘might die’ bit is a precautionary note. No one can guarantee anything. They might die in the pots.
You could grow them in pots [6 foot bonzai trees?] but they require so much more attention.
Try planting two this year and if that works, two next year?
Excellent idea Grandad you have been most helpful. Thank you very much.
I’d personally recommend claiming schizophrenia – they put me in a nice room with foam on the walls …
You’re welcome, Nonny.
Daz – ? Have they let you out again?
Says a great deal for the state of the Irish Building Industry and the attitude to planning and safety. When I come back to live, you can be damm sure I’ll hire Eastern Europeans with and English project manager. That’ll be fun.
Aineliva – I’ll do your building if you like?