Names and Numbers

It was a national holiday today – Culture Day – and I spent it involved in the international DIY culture. In other words: I went to my house seeing if there’s something I can do myself. Since I don’t have experience with wooden houses, there’s not so much I feel capable of doing, actually. Thankfully, there is the internet and I have read a number of DIY manuals and watched youtube videos to get an idea of what I can do.

So far, I have stripped the dirty wallpaper off the doors that lead into the kitchen. Since the doors will be replaced eventually, I will only paint them instead of putting on new wallpaper. The walls in the kitchen are daunting enough; the wallpaper definitely needs replacing there, and I’m not sure if I can just hang a new one over the old one – the current layer seems to have been nailed to the wall at the edges?

To my great dismay, the interesting outlet before my kitchen cabinets turned out to be a connection for a gas heater. I have nothing but the deepest respect for gas, so I don’t really know what to do with this one. Unfortunately, it looks a bit like a wall socket, and it sticks out of the floor a little, so just leaving it as it is might be a tripping hazard. I’ll have to think about this.

More food for thought came with my contractor’s quote. I’m only addressing a single room instead of two, I’ve already sacrificed my double-glazed windows – and yet, we’re already way over budget. Interestingly, there are not so many big ticket items – the new flooring downstairs and the tatami mats upstairs of course – but most things are small, 20,000 yen here, 35,000 there, 4,500 over here… The sheer mass of them does add up, though. I’m now wondering what else I need to sacrifice to get my office in working order, thankfully my architect has made some valuable suggestions for price reduction. He’s really worth everything I’m paying him.

Already last week, my friend deciphered the pink note I got from my mailman. It was a simple “Hi there – are you living here already? Who are you, tell me your name!” form that I filled in and sent off on Friday, and since I already got mail there under my name, I think we’re good to go. He is still ringing my bell, so I am planning to go to the house again tomorrow morning and see if I can catch him and say hello. Always nice to be on good terms with the mailman and the neighbours…

4 thoughts on “Names and Numbers

  1. Maybe postpone as much of the renovation as you possibly can until the worst of the building supply shortage is over? Afaik, any materials are at a premium at the moment. A colleague is renovating her house and she was quite shocked that costs are now estimated about a third above her original budget. They are now postponing the major stuff (like windows) until sometime next year when hopefully prices will start to come down again. For once, it’s not the labour cost that’s breaking the bank. xD

    Maybe you get your personal “The Postman Always Rings Twice” adventure in the meantime. 😉

    • Well, it’s a wooden building, so that would mean postponing practically the entire renovation, which I can’t really do. 🙁 Thankfully, the tatami upstairs and the small adjustment in the kitchen don’t require (much) wood, and the new window I want is metal/synthetic material (somehow they don’t seem to like wooden windows here for some reason?) My architect is a wizard, his suggestions took 400,000 off the first offer. I’ll meet him and the contractor again on Wednesday to discuss the final design. We’re getting started!

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