Sunday, 11 January 2009

Thinkin' of Ditchin' the Kitchen!

This kitchen looks an ordinary type of kitchen. A bit on the small side but adequate. However it holds a horrible secret.
Those of you who have known me a long time will know that secret. However those of you who have only recently started reading my blog will not.
Funny how I can tell this secret so easily to you all through a blog, but how difficult it is to tell friends in the flesh. I just can't. Only a trusted one or two know..........
If you really want to find out, new readers click here for part one and here for part two.

I watched the recent programme on TV,  Swarm....... Nature's Incredible Invasions. I really wished that I hadn't, as last week, there was a huge swarm of mice of immeasurable proportions. Apparently, just one pair of mice can produce three thousand by the end of the year and that is mice, not their larger cousins. 
When I recently wrote a true account of my childhood The Tale of the Two Bad Girls I received a comment pointing out that my profile stated that I had a pet rat and the writer indicated that I may still have a preference for rodents from a young age. Oh how I wish it was a pet rat!

Well, after the on going problem we have, I have recently made up my mind. I want the kitchen pulled down and rebuilt with new, deep foundations put in. I want a concrete dividing wall put up between my house and my neighbour's and I want it to be totally rodent proof.
Well what I want and what I get are two different things! That would cost an extortionate amount! In fact I have heard that I could buy a house for that amount in the Shetland Isles! Not that I am thinking of moving there!

I have recently had experts look at the kitchen and I am told that I need to put in deeper foundations (underpinning). Well my husband used to do that sort of work for a building company until he got to retiring age. He has the expertise but has not the strength to do all that digging.
The quote the firm gave me for underpinning was still very expensive, especially as the roof might also need altering later on.

My son, Sam, thinks he is strong enough to dig the holes out and fill with concrete and now the two of them are thinking of working together on the project. It will be a darned sight cheaper cutting out the middle men and paying Sam for the work. I am wondering whether to let them go ahead with this idea or whether they would kill each other after a day or two of working together! They are both quite opinionated and have been known to have disagreements! 
Mmhhh! requires some thought, but I am tempted. What do you think?

Footnote:- In case any of you are thinking that you will not drop round for tea ever again..... there have never been any rodents in the kitchen..... just the roof space and the cavities, which is more than enough!


Anonymous said...

Oh dear,mice! I think I would have to move. In Mexico we had cockroaches and I was beside myself, we ended up with ittle black boxes all over the house and I insisted on leaving the lights on at night. We had other things aparantly but JP, bless him, didn't tell me till we were back in England where the worst thing has been slugs, in the house, ugh! I finally managed to get rid of them by putting those little blue pellets under the couches where Milou couldn't reach.
You know that if your infestation is bad enough the Council will come and get rid of them for you.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Maggie,
I have just read your 2 older posts about the rats in your kitchen...
From what I read I would say that if it were me I would tear off the whole complete ceiling and build a new one, as that seems to be where the propblem lies (the space between the flat roof and the sloping roof) maybe they are only getting in because they know that there is a nice warm space there in the roof for them to live and breed... and maybe tearing up the floor could be a waste of money?

I have to say that I do relate to your problem a little bit as years ago when I was still living with my parents we had a mouse problem... but mice are mice and rats are rats eh? I hate rats!!
At night when I would be drifting off to sleep I would hear a small scratching under the floorboards, it was torture... all the thoughts of these things getting into bed with me!
My Dad got "Rentokill" in and they left poison for the mice inside the floorboards and we were always worried about our dogs finding any as that stuff is fatal for all creatures...
We were lucky as apart from having one mouse run across my Mum's foot one Christmas (cue a house full of screaming!), which my Dad killed with a broom, we never saw anymore.

I would go ahead and get the roof changed and I'm not betting but I predict that that would solve all your problems!
All the best dear friend and I hope you get free of Rotten Roland and his buddies soon! X

RiverPoet said...

Rodents freak me out. I never even let the kids have pet hamsters. I mean they really Freak. Me. Out.

I hope you get the rodent problem resolved, but maybe they just know that you were once fond of their kind. ;-)

Peace - D

softinthehead said...

I hope you manage to get it sorted....with family intact:)

Wendy said...

Yup - go ahead. Let your gentlemen start their engines! And make sure they do the job well. LOL!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Oh Maggie what a dilemma. Have read the two previous posts - shudder.

I don't really have any other suggestions - probably best to let your two men get on with it and hope that it puts it right. Threaten them to behave themselves as well! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. A x

Lindsay said...

Watched that "Swarm" programme and the thought of all those mice gave me the shivers. Good luck to your menfolk with the underpinning.

Mean Mom said...

You do sound most disturbed about the whole situation, so if you feel that your menfolk are up to the job, physically and mentally, perhaps you should go ahead.

There is so much new legislation, nowadays, concerned with moving house etc, you might even have to disclose this sort of problem, if you didn't want to be liable. If you were considering moving, it would be worth checking out.


Hope you can your wish. Sounds a big expensive job though

Rose said...

Maggie May, I am with you--I would want to tear the whole kitchen down, too! But even then it might not solve the problem. Having lived in older houses most of my life, I know that rodents can find the tiniest of holes to squeeze through. I'd definitely let Husband and Son do the work; better to listen to them squabble than to listen to the sound of rodent feet overhead:)

Expat mum said...

What about just filling that space up with insulating foam. You would also folssilize the vermin of course, but that would be the end of them? As for your men doing the foundation work - it's just asking for trouble. Don't you need permits and things to do that?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Apparently they hate the smell of bleach as my pal has just managed to shift two that were nesting in her garden and kept coming back even after she destroyed the nest. The bleach has sent them packing so is there a way you could get it into crevices at all?

Suburbia said...

Well if they disagree, at least the hole will be already dug to bury one or t'other!! Good Luck

I'd love to come for tea Maggie. I'm not fussy, really I'm not!

Maggie May said...

Moanie.... I think maybe you needed to read the two previous posts about my problem! It is worse than mice.

Brit.....You are sweet to go to such lengths to advise & I do thank you for it. Unfortunately I have been advised by the pest control and the builders that I contacted, that the rats come from underground & travel up! We need to get to the root of the problem and then sort out the roof!

Thanks D.... we did have hamsters when the kids were young. I don't mind clean, pet rodents!

Softinthehead...& Wendy...... many thanks! You are obviously for it!

Strawberry & Lindsay...... you both seem to be for it too!

Mean Mom...... yes I know that we can't move until this is sorted. I could be sued! Yes..... I am disturbed by it & sometimes lose sleep because of the enormity of it all.

Rose.... that is the biggest problem forking out expensive repairs ( as Darwen Reporter pointed out) and then finding we still have the same problem.

Expatmum ..... The pest controllers have told me that rats would slice through the insulating foam as easily as slicing through butter.No permits needed in England for that kind of repair. (Underpinning) & roof repairs. Its not a listed building.

MOB....... wish I could think of safe ways of getting chloros into the cavities with out doing damage and probably bleaching my entire outfit in the process! LOL

Suburbia....... that made me really laugh! maybe I will be the one to kill them both! LOL!

Sweetie said...

Maggie May - Jennifer talked about her problem and referred us to your blog. Wow! You really do have a problem. But - you describe it in some a way that it is almost humorous. You have a real dilemna and I don't have any answers for you. I do know that I am really frightened of rodents. Maybe you need a "second" opinion. I'm anxious to read your next post.

Hilary said...

Ack I read your two-parter, and your fear of ceiling crashers after watching the movie. Unfortunately, last spring I did have my ceiling crash in.. though by a raccoon. I sure hope you can resolve it soon and not have to deal with more stink and/or mess. Quite suitably, the word verification was "blech."

cheshire wife said...

You have my sympathy. I have literally just written a post about a problem that we have had over the weekend. I am hoping that our problem does not get as bad as yours.

Anonymous said...

We had mice a while back, awful little things! You should do what you feel you need to do. You have to feel at east and comfortable in your own home. As do the mice!

By the way, the swarm program is narrated by David Tennant but I still couldn't watch it!

CJ xx

Maggie May said...

Sweetie....... thanks for visiting me. It is a dilemma but I think you have to have a bit of a sense of humour in it all, else you would go mad! I will be taking more time to think about this before any work starts.Will be February at the earliest, depending on weather as well as convenience to the others. Will be posting if/when work starts!

Hilary........... hoping raccoons are much heavier than the rodents and that my ceiling will stay put!

Cheshire Wife..... I have been over to you and hope your problem will not get out of hand.

Crystal J...........Mice are more respectable somehow.
David Tennant did a good job on the Swarm. It is jolly interesting as the mice bit was not on for long.

Granny Smith said...

We had a similar problem at our retreat in Mendocino County which was solved when we put in little gizmos that continuously emit a sound so high in pitch that it is inaudible to humans but apparently intolerable to rodent ears. Of course it might be intolerable to the ears of any pets you have. I wouldn't know about that.

I think you might find it not only cheaper but fun to have your son and husband share the foundation work. My son and husband are engaged in important projects together, often argue but then agree to agree. This only works if I keep my big mouth shut and don't try to smooth things over, interpret them to each other according to my understanding of the disagreement, or take one side or the other. My advice is let them do the work and STAY OUT of it! I bet they'll get along fine.

Good luck with whatever your decision is. Maybe you need the Pied Piper of Hamlin - phase one, of course, and remember to pay him before he sights your grandchildren!

nanatrish said...

Poor Maggie. I have a real huge problem with rats. Your writing is so funny. I love the way to tell stories. I have missed you. I was so busy that I just kept working and working. I need to relax and get back with my bloggy friends.I pray you can get rid of all mousie and rat critters. I do not think they are cute. ugh. My prayers are with you.

Maggie May said...

Granny Smith....... and Nana Trish........ Looks like we are going ahead with it sometime in the near future! I am trying to be optimistic and hope we will get to the root of the problem and that the menfolk will work well together and that I will not get involved!
Thanks every one for all the advice! Much appreciated.

Jules~ said...

OH dear oh Dear me! I haven't looked back to your original story yet but I can just imagine. Mice!...Rats!
It is wonderful that your husband and son are thinking of solutions to the problem.
OH my...I know God made those little things but I can't bear the thought of them being in the house.

I am so sorry.