Defining Boundaries

Defining Boundaries

If there is just one thing we have learned from the journey of selling our renovated house in Istria, it’s that boundaries are number one priority for nearly every potential purchaser. To the point of obsession. Even before getting into the house, the questions asked were usually :

How much land do you own?

Where are your boundaries?

Now, to a pair of Brits, not fanatically concerned by boundaries, because they are either sorted – or you do what you need to do to sort them – these questions started to grate a little bit. Because we just didn’t understand the importance behind them. Always living in England, until five years ago, boundaries never really raised their heads as an issue with properties we bought and sold. If we knew of any friends who were experiencing boundary issues, it usually involved trees or fences. Nothing hugely major, that couldn’t be sorted fairly easily. But, and it’s a very big but, boundaries are BIG things out here.

When we purchased the little stone cottage to the rear of our house, with adjoining land, from a neighbour, we set about ensuring that our boundaries were established and legally recorded. This was a lengthy, protracted process and fairly costly – but not doing it would have caused mayhem further down the line. So, all good. We had the documentation. It was lodged with the Croatian Land Registry. And we were able to mark out the boundaries with potted trees and wooden markers. As we wanted to keep our aspect from the house, very open, we didn’t really want to begin building walls and we assumed that if people were intelligent enough to travel to another country – or come from a fair distance away in Croatia – they’d be intelligent enough to look at a document, and understand where our land started and ended.

Good grief, though – we gave far too many people, far too much credit. We also naively thought that people viewing, might be more interested in the quality of the renovations, the space the house afforded, the potential it had, the neighbours, for goodness sake! But, no – BOUNDARIES!

But, plans have changed a little bit and for a variety of reasons, we’ve decided to take the house off the market over the winter and will be using this time to do some more work on the house. Things are still in the initial planning stages, but much of it will focus on the rear of the house. However, having taken on board the confusion over the boundaries, we’re also planning to make these much more clear and do what we didn’t really want to do. Build a wall. Albeit a bit of a funky, retro wall, with patterned bricks, meaning we won’t feel totally enclosed. Now, just to find those bricks, Which we all had in our gardens in the ’70s…

Image : www.breezeblocks.com.au

Image : www.breezeblocks.com.au

 

garden reno : update 5

garden reno : update 5

For the first time this year, we made the trip to Pula. Normally, we’d by now, be making fairly regular trips to the airport to pick up and drop off visitors, but this is no normal year. Our first trip, done with a bit of trepidation, was to Bauhaus and Pevex, our equivalents of B&Q, to purchase the garden shed, paint, plants and assorted garden accessories. We paid a fair bit more than we were expecting to, but just thought sheds here might be more expensive than back in the UK – and as we didn’t want to add to the cost with paying for delivery (approx 70 euros), it was monkey-gripped onto the top of the car and driven back. On unwrapping it, we realised why it was more expensive than we had anticipated – it wasn’t a shed, like the ones we’ve had previously. This was desribed as a Dutch Log Cabin and the wood was clearly much, much better quality. Being a very impatient person, I didn;t like the fact it had to be unwrapped and all of the panels and wood laid out, to acclimatise, for two days! However, I was persuaded that we do this right. So, progress has been much slower than I anticipated, but we’re getting there.

First job, once the wood had acclimatised, was to seal the slats which would form the floor, with a moiosture proof sealant. Lukcily, the weekend was quite hot, so drying was rapid.

The idea had been to position the shed at the far end of the concrete patio, facing the new kitchen window. But, as soon as we placed down the floor to assess the size, we remembered that this part of the garden is on the long to-do list. When it rains heavily, water pools in this area, and we need to drill in drain holes, so we decided against this position, opting for the right hand side instead.

The wall which we’ve been considering for ages, is no longer going to be a wall. We thought we’d made a decision and were going to fo for a boundary wall made of those geometric patterned blocks, which everyone had in their gardens in the ’70s. Much as we do love this idea, we decided that if we are going to sell the house, this kind of wall might not be to everyone’s tastes and so we’ve decided that with a few more potted bamboos we can create a thick natural wall – which we can then take away with us, eventually.

By Sunday evening, we’d managed to get this far – but are back on it again today. Once the roof has been installed and the door fixed, all gaps will be caulked before undercoating and topcoating. And then – accessorising…