Was there an architect?
In December last year, I moved into a unit and a seaside suburb north of Brisbane. It is a two bedroom unit, with ensuite off the main bedroom, the main bathroom with shower over the bath, as well as a toilet. There’s a kitchen and dining room, and a balcony overlooking a road which goes down to the waterfront. I looked at the unit and thought it looked wonderful, but as time went on, I found some things that I didn’t pick up on my initial inspection. None of the issues are such that I want to move out, but I thought it interesting. I doubt that an architect had anything to do with the plans. If so, he or she should be banned. If a draftsman or woman did it – mmmm…. Not sure what to say about that.
The laundry space is a cupboard with two bi-fold doors. Inside the space is a stainless steel laundry sink, with space underneath to store washing powder etc. There is a great clothes dryer attached to the wall – above the area for a washing machine. Whoever drew up the plans was thinking about a small front loader machine. There is room for one of those. I have a top loader – and the space is not adequate for it. I cannot open the lid properly.
The manager has moved the dryer up a little which has been a small improvement, and I can push my washing in the small opening and with twists and turns remove my washed clothing. It was suggested I get a front loader – but I hate them. I’ve used many in my house sitting and find the top loader is much softer on my clothes. As well, I would have to bend down, which is difficult for me sometimes, to load and unload the front loader. Nope. I’ll stick with the inconvenience of the top loader.
The Bedroom Window
It’s quite a big window, with a flimsy flyscreen. Certainly NOT a security screen, but since I am on the second floor, it’s not so important. Initially, I could only open the window about 6 inches. In the hot summer, I wanted to open my window wider and let the cool sea breezes in to cool my room. Apparently, the reason the window was set and locked at this tiny 6 inches was to prevent babies from falling out!! I asked for the lock to be removed – as I am never going to have a baby in my room. Fixed.
The Kitchen Window
This window which sits over the kitchen sink is at my head height – nearly 6 feet, and is around two feet high and six feet wide. It does let some light into the kitchen. My beef with this window is that people walking past can look in. Not that they would normally see much, but it is a privacy thing and I have on occasions walked into the lounge room and kitchen without being fully dressed. A bigger window which reached down towards the sink would allow me to see out and give me more light. It would be no more of a privacy issue than it is now.
Cleaning the Windows
It is also impossible to clean the windows on the outside. In the bedroom, there’s no way I can get the dirt, dust and scum off the windows. Does the property engage a window cleaner? I doubt it, and I am not sure, even with one of those machines if they could. Am I stuck with dirty windows forever?
The Front/Only Door
When I first moved in the door swung shut with such gusto that I was bruised! I needed two hands to stop it. It meant I could not carry anything! The manager did adjust the door and it now slowly closes without doing me an injury.
It is a heavy fire door. I cannot see who is at my door if someone knocks. There is no way that from within the apartment that I can see out. I have had two men just barge in, and I have had someone banging on my door in the middle of the night. I did not open it – but called out and no one answered. How do I know who is there? It is a security issue.
There is no place to put my emergency/second key either. That’s annoying!
The ensuite is more than adequate, but there is one stupid issue. According to Australian standards, there is a correct placement for the toilet roll holder. But the standard is not followed in my apartment. There clearly was no consideration for that when the plans were made. Right beside the toilet is the towel rail, which is some 7 feet from the shower cubicle, and underneath is the toilet roll holder. One has to fight with the towel on occasions to reach the paper. And one has to set the towel closer to the shower when one wants to have a shower. Where? There is nowhere to put it except in the handbasin!!
Ceiling Fan in Bedroom
There are ceiling fans in both bedrooms and the lounge area. Yippee! There is also air conditioning in the main bedroom and lounge room with a remote. Sadly, there is no remote for the ceiling fan. Oh, how I wish that there was. I hate having to get up out of bed and try and turn the fan down/off, especially when it is hard to see the switch when one is half asleep. Oh, for a remote control!
So, in summary, I doubt there was an architect – if so, he or she should update their skills at lease!