The independent house I live in the west mambalam area of Chennai is over 28 years old. The last time we did painting & repair was before my marriage and that was a decade ago. In the last few years, the interiors have started to show wrinkles and age. The scariest part when we thought of getting the house painted or repaired was the packing. Since we have lived in the same house for over two decades, we have accumulated a lot of useful/useless stuff – definitely a lot more than what we would have if we were in an apartment.
After many months of thinking about doing something, we decided we will do the needed repairs, and repaint the full house. We called a known Civil Engineer who studied the house and recommended we change the complete plumbing, electrical wiring and flooring due to age and termites in a few places. In discussions that followed he suggested we renovate the house too, create an open kitchen, modify an open space into a big bedroom and so on – basically remodel the whole house. All this without a full demolition, keeping the superstructure intact & work on the internal walls/interiors. And that’s why the last two weeks became hectic for me & family with packing & moving. We shifted to my uncle’s guest house (which is a 3BHK apartment nearby), leaving almost all furniture(s), and a big fridge wrapped in the same place at our house. Packed in many carton boxes, 3/4th of our daily items, books & clothes and left them in a room. We moved only bare essentials and planned this like we are travelling for the next 3 months.
The experience of living in an apartment (even though temporary) after many decades in an Independent House has been a mixed bag. I enjoy the simplicity of managing the house, but miss the independence and the space we had.