Off with the old

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June 7th 2009
Published: June 7th 2009
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The new house has reached a stage where it has all the necessary facilities and is comfortable to live in. In a couple of months, the floors will be sanded and sealed and then we can move our furniture. At that point, there will be no excuse for keeping the old house and it'll have to go.

So if you know of anyone who wants a house that meets the following description, ask them to get in touch.

It’s a brick-built ex-shale miner’s mid-terraced cottage built about 100 years ago, with a first floor attic conversion, which has fairly ugly dormer windows at roof level. It’s about half-way between Linlithgow and Kirkliston on a main bus route between Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Falkirk & Stirling, is well located for J2 of the M9 to Stirling and is surrounded by fields, including a swing park/football pitch. There’s an unmade road running along the front and the back of the cottages.

When you arrive, the first thing you see is the front garden. It’s small and split into two: the Mediterranean courtyard with south facing bench, which is a wonderful sun-trap and the more productive side which has soft fruit bushes, a strawberry bed and a couple of flower beds, all divided by fake-brick paving.

A very short central path leads to the half-glazed porch (2m 50 x 1m 75), also a sun-trap and in to the front door. The front porch is the only part of the house that isn’t fully double glazed.

Note that all the measurements are very approximate conversions from the imperial measurements that came with the blurb when we bought it.

On your left is the living room, (4m 75 x 4m ) with a real fire complete with a reclaimed cast iron fireplace.

Straight through the living room is the kitchen (4m x 2m 50), which I feel has been badly designed and could do with a re-think, so the fridge would fit here . On the positive side, it has a quarry tiled floor, an in-worktop sink, a built-in gas hob and an electric oven and a washing machine.

A door leads to the back porch/utility area, (2m 40 x 1m 80) which houses the fridge/freezer, coats and wellies. Going out of the back door, there’s a wooden garage, a small coal bunker and a garden. The garden’s in two parts: the lower part consists of dense shrubbery, with a path snaking between it and leading to the retreat, which has a stone patio, some grass, a brick patio and lots of plants, as well as a small hut.

Back inside, another door leads from the utility area to the dining room (4m 75 x 4m), which is an extension to the original house - we’ve comfortably seated 12 adults here.

From the dining room another door leads to the hall, off which is a bathroom (2m 50 x 1m 75) with wash basin and wc - the suite is “whisper grey”. Also off the hall is a double bedroom (2m 80 x 2m 70) . These two rooms each have only one entrance, which is fairly unusual in this house.
Then onward and upward to the first floor, where there are two bedrooms, a large double bedroom (3m 60 x 4m 70) with fitted wardrobe and a small double bedroom (2m 80 x 3m 50) also with fitted wardrobe. Off the bedrooms is an en suite shower room ( 2m 75 x 2m) with electric shower. It has an instant electric hot water heater to the hand-basin, but for some reason was never connected to the central heating hot water system. The shower room has two doors - one to each bedroom.

Also on the first floor is a long thin room (4m 70 x 1m 25) with lots of shelves: I guess it could be used as a study. It has a door into the roof space and is just wide enough for a single bed, but you wouldn’t be able to squeeze past the bed, you’d have to climb over it. This room also contains the gas central heating boiler which was installed less than 10 years ago. The radiators weren’t replaced at the time and are probably a bit dated and potentially not as efficient as they could be, though they heat the house well-enough.

Haven't had a survey done, but expect them to say it needs re-wiring.

Don’t think I’d make an estate agent somehow..

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8th June 2009

Awe. It'll be sad to see you guys go. Hogmanay just won't seem the same.

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