In January we got some builders in to do a couple of days work building a cupboard and putting a new door into one of the downstairs bedrooms. We could easily afford the work though, so yay!
Two days later they told us that the house had started to fall down. We could still afford to spend a bit more so that was fine.
A few days after that they told us that actually it was falling down because someone in the past had removed almost everything that should have been holding it up. We started to feel a little worried about the money side of it.
*dramatic music* Suddenly there were props everywhere holding the place up temporarily, structural engineers and all sorts coming in and literally shaking their heads in despair at the work that had been done to the house in the past. We were wondering how much this was all going to cost, but it being that it's not really a very good decision to not stop your house falling down, we had to let the work continue.
At some point it became clear that the entire basement room of the house and half of the ground floor had to be completely ripped out, including whole floors, ceilings, walls and staircases. We thought, right, if all this is going on, let's also do all the work we know these areas need or that we want to make our house more suitable for communal living. Let's do it once, and do it properly, unlike all the people who had messed up the building before.
This is how we went from this (dingy, cramped, poorly laid out) communal room...
... to this :D Bright, airy, much bigger communal room with a more logical layout, better access to the garden and a dinner table which actually fits all the Golems around it properly.
And we had the cash to pay for some of it, and an unexpected loanstock offer to pay for the next bit, but for the rest of this job (and the others) we are wondering if you would like to help.
Loanstock is by far the most affordable and straightforward way for the co-op to borrow money, so if you would be interested in investing in a local housing organisation for a fixed period of time at between 0% and 3% interest, please do get in touch. I have added more information about loanstock here so that those of you thinking about it can get the details, but the very best thing to do is to come round for a chat and a cup of tea in our lovely new living room. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can tell you all about it :)
p.s. In the course of all this it became clear that buying next door was a very challenging option financially and then it went under offer to someone else and that was the end of that. We are still hoping to expand in the near future and are always up for helping other people to set up co-ops. Getting the big repair work on this house done will actually contribute to making both of those things easier, so although it seems like a distraction it is all still helping toward our master plan. Phew!