The Polish way, until the recent boom in mortgage loans, was to buy a plot, design the house (nothing to complicated or showy), lay the foundations, erect the structural shell then add roof, put in windows and doors, then finally finish off with plumbing, flooring, heating, kitchen & bathroom - then move in. With a couple of years of scrimping and saving between each phase. Mortgage loans means one can advance faster.
In the case of our home, into which we moved on this day in 2002, it took just over two and half years between me spotting the perfect plot of land and us moving in to a (nearly) finished abode. But then a mortgage helped to speed up a process that the save-and-spend-on-next-phase method would have taken ten years or more.
I look back at where I'd lived...
- Croft Gardens, Hanwell. 12 years, 7 months
- Cleveland Road, West Ealing. 6 years, 5 months
- Warwick University - on and off campus, 3 years 9 months.
- Cleveland Road, back for another 2 years, 4 months
- Ribchester Avenue, Perivale, 14 years, 9 months
- Ul. Gajdy, Pyry, 4 years, 6 months
- Ul. Trombity, Jeziorki, 15 years.
After 15 years in Jeziorki, the house feels comfortable. The downstairs windows were repaired last year, but everything else is still as it was. Kitchen appliances, washing machine and tumble dryer (all Bosch, since you ask), the central heating (Junkers) all works fine, thanks. One or two hairline cracks in the plasterwork, oak flooring showing signs of wear (under my desk, top of the stairs), otherwise the structure is sound and well insulated (thick Wienerberger Porotherm bricks, with six inches of expanded polystyrene stuck to the outside). Patch of damp over the upstairs bath (ventilation was put in wrong place), and the downstairs ventilation was never connected to the fan. No other problems to report. The garden's lovely, the moles at bay.
What would I change in the next house? Principally, style. Out goes trad, neo-vernacular, dworek-style with columns and references to the 19th Century. In would come neo-moderne, big windows from floor to ceiling, steel, stone and wood, underfloor heating and even more space. A bigger garage, a bigger garden. Lots of privacy.
This time last year:
London, Warsaw, governance
This time two years ago:
Białystok: Ipswich of the East
This time three years ago:
Sadness at the death of Tadeusz Mosz
This time four years ago:
Interpreting vs. translating vs. explaining
This time five years ago:
More than just an Iluzjon
This time six years ago:
This time seven years ago:
Warsaw's wonderful nooks and crannies
This time nine years ago:
Viaduct to the airport at ul. Poleczki almost ready