8 renovation tips

When I was training for the Shepparton half ironman, I remember telling myself that once I completed the second of three laps of the run leg, then I would be fine. The hard yards would have been done and all I had to do was grit it out to the finish. To a large extent this was true, but what it didn’t take into account was the just how freaking hard that last 7km would be.
At 5 months into our 7 month renovation, I think I am at that ‘second of three laps’ stage. The finish line is in sight…but it ain’t going to be easy.
So here’s what I’ve learnt so far.

I had braced myself for the inevitable financial indebtedness that embarking on a renovation would bring…but not the other forms of debt.
I’m indebted to my parents for letting the whole family stay with them in their house and for them helping out with the painting; I’m indebted to my father in law for all of the work he is doing on our wardrobes; I’m indebted to my mother in law for the number of times she’s looked after the kids so that we can work on the house; I’m indebted to the kids for the number of times we’ve handed them off to other people so that we can work on the house; I’m indebted to the various friends and family who have come around and helped us paint; and I’m indebted to my wife for moving in with my parents.
With this level of debt, even Greece is looking at me and snickering.

A good draftsman will give you exactly the house you want…a good architect will give you the house you never knew you wanted.
What our architects (Breathe) have done is nothing short of amazing.

We dropped by the house on New Year’s Eve at 4pm and our builder was there working…we went there the next day, and he was there working.
There’s nothing worse than a tradie who doesn’t conform to my stereotypes!

Architects vs Builders
This is a reality series just waiting to be made!

Don’t watch too much ‘Grand Designs’
You will be tempted to project manage the thing yourself and will become convinced that it’s OK to be $200,000 over budget.
You should not, and it is not.
Also, it will not all be done in 42 TV minutes.

Unexpected costs
Oh sure I was expecting some out of the blue costs…but $600 for a permit to build a deck?…Oh, City of Darebin, you pranksters you!

I actually decided not to cancel my gym membership, as the guilt of paying the monthly fee would be sufficient to motivate me to get to the gym. In five months, this has happened 4 times. Sound investment, Chris…sound investment.
I’ve also had to cancel a bike ride I’d booked in for as I just haven’t done any training.
I ended up walking to work on one of my runs to work, because it all just got to much. And if you’re thinking ‘well there are other ways to get exercise’…let me assure you that living back under your parents roof, with a child that is now sleeping in your room and two other children in the bedroom next door may lead to your virginity growing back.

Free babysitting
In theory, the parents that you are staying with will say ‘Hey, leave the kids with us. You two go out and have a meal/watch a movie/have a conversation that last more than 18 seconds’.
But in reality, they are helping out with the kids in little ways all the time and are probably just as keen for a break as you are.

Now I know that this all sounds very ‘First world problems’. I know that people all over the world are living without homes, and that there are people in Melbourne who would love to have to deal with a renovation if it meant they could afford a house. I know I’m being whiny and self-centred and churlish. But hey, take away our ability to be whiny, self-centred and churlish…and you take away 98% of social media.
With any luck the next blog post will be when the painting is all done, and wardrobes are in, and the council has found time in their busy schedule to approve our deck permit, and I have found $50K in a briefcase by the side of the road. Ha ha ha! Just kidding….we’re never going to finish this painting.

2 thoughts on “8 renovation tips”

  1. You think you got problems? I learnt today that it takes about 20 percent more drugs to anethsetise a redhead as they are more sensitive to pain. Truly. Think about that. And things could be worse, like receiving gifts from http://www.ersatzcoffee.com. Which would have happened if your birthday was anytime soon.

    1. Are you suggesting I should be 20% nicer to my red headed cousins…because I’m not willing to do that. As for ersatzcoffee…that was both the best and worst thing I have seen in a while!

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