Friday, December 18, 2009

Renovating Guide: Plans

A few people, namely Kahlee, have been asking about renovating. And it got me thinking about how we have learnt things over the last 1853 days (yes, I am counting). Which was kind of funny, as I had a similar conversation with a girl at work on this same topic.

The first thing to know about renovating, besides that you will need to acquire a house and preferably a money tree, is that it is hard work. hard, dirty work. And it takes up your time. Lots of your time. Majority of your time.

I don't know about the kind of renovating, where you paint a wall and call it done, I don't do that kind. I do the kind where you rip everything off the walls and find a penny and a big spider. The kind where it takes months and months for anything to happen.

But before anything happens, you need a plan. A firm one at that. You will also need Plan B, C and D. As well as Plan X, Y and Z. And it's not just how you will decorate your new abode. You need to know in advance a lot of boring things. Like what kind of timber you will use. Will you use 90x45 or 70x35? (I highly recommend 90x45, it makes buying door frames easier, as well as give extra structural support.) Where is the best price for timber? Is it cheaper to negotiate with a smaller hardware store, as opposed to Bunnings (we saved 75 cents per metre on timber by negotiating with our local store - or $200 big ones).

Will you use tradespeople, or attempt to do things yourself? What will you do if tradies don't show up on time. Or won't commit to your job?

What will you do with your stuff whilst you renovate? How will you cook/shower/sleep/watch tv?

And most importantly, how will you cope with the million and one arguements you and your partner will have over things? Because, trust me, they will happen. And it will be the BIGGEST drama ever. I have lost count of the times I have argued with husband about stupid things. Like door fittings. And windows. And placement of the dishwasher.

Renovating is tiring. Stressful. Consuming. Hard work. But, at the end of it, it is rewarding. I secretly love it when people comment on our house, saying how clever we are to have done it ourselves. Because I get to look back and say "yeah, I suppose it is a nice looking place now. It was worth it though".

Now, if you have any questions, from how we did something, to what we plan to do, how I would decorate something, to what you need to know about tools (ok, husband might help with that one), to how to coped whilst renovating, ask away. I have a few topics up my sleeve, but I want to know what you need to know.

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  1. Oh, all so true April! It is bloody hard work, but totally worth you already know. You and your husband have done such a fantastic job, and I am super impressed!

    We are not so much planners, as 'fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pant'ers renovaters, but the grand scheme is always there in the background!

    It's funny though - my husband and I never argue about renovating. We discuss, research, brainstorm, shop and do it all together, but we never argue about it! We did have our hugest argument ever while ripping out our old kitchen in our old place, at 11.00 on a Thursday night, but it wasn't about renovating or even the house...bizarre!

    Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog - I think you are pretty awesome yourself! And so glad the light will work in your will go perfectly with the dark wood tones in the pics you are going to hang. If you need more than one though, its definitely worth waiting for their 'buy 1, get the 2nd half price' sale!

  2. As you know our painting has just begun (yes I know you deserve pics, they are coming!) and I cant tell you exhausting and fiddly just preparing for that has been. How on earth do people do full on projects? Its like taking 5 steps back to make 2 forward.
    You should be very proud with all the renos you and your husband have made to your house April. I have full enjoyed reading your updates and stories on your blog this year.
    I look forward to sharing more reno journies in 2010.. god the year has gone by so quickly!

  3. Sorry April, I just saw your comment about the runner in our hallway moodboard!

    It's from here

  4. Rosie, I am jealous. B and I have very different idea's of what looks good. he is more of a plain and boring person, who doesnt think of functionality or usability. That's my role. We normally argue over stupid shit, like whether we want square or round taps!

    Rose, 2010 is going to be a slow year on the renovating front. There might be a room renovation, but that's it. It will be a more decorating and design year. ANd I am good with that, I am sick of dreaming about cordless drills!

  5. Once I've officially moved in, I will have a million questions. I'm going to take photos and send them to you, and you'll cry at how ugly the interior is. The outside is beautiful, but short of setting up a tent in the backyard, that's no help to me.

    Where did you learn everything? Are there any books you read? I need to start researching.. now. ;)

  6. lol, send away!

    I learnt ALOT as we went. I am somewhat embarrassed by our office and how dodgy it is. I also learnt a lot from friends and family (my step-brother is a builder, and we have friends who are builders/plumbers/concretes etc). And what they couldnt tell me, YouTube did.

    On the book front, we have been given a few, but we are yet to use them for anything useful. Google is your friend m'dear. And you know I will always help where i can :)


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