I realised the other day that it is almost one year to the day that we began renovations on our home. You can read about the start of our renovations HERE. I must confess that the past year has been tough, really tough and so much harder than I ever expected it to be. At times I have questioned my sanity and felt extremely guilty for even beginning on this journey. I still wonder today whether it really has been worth all of the upheaval to my family.
I am WAY behind in sharing renovating photos with you, so will do my best to catch up soon. Our ensuite is almost finished and we are enjoying using it and over the past few weeks our bedroom built in wardrobe was installed. Things didn't go according to plan however, so I don't have a finished photo of that to show you either.
I wanted to share some tips/thoughts on renovating. Maybe, just maybe I can help someone else with their renovating journey by sharing some of my thoughts/feelings on renovating a whole house at once while trying to live in it.
At this stage we are currently trying to add walls to what will be Jasper's new room, the hallway and our new (and only) linen cupboard. Poor Emily sleeps at my parents house as she is more comfortable there and hopefully this coming week we are beginning on a room for her. I will try and share updates on her room as they happen (so that I don't get so far behind)
• Even if you are the most patient and calmest person in the world, things will take WAY WAY WAY longer than you ever anticipated. (real home renovating is nothing at all like TV shows such as The Block).
• You will question your sanity. A LOT.
• Be ready to change your thoughts, ideas, plans, at any given time. With old homes, things hide behind walls (like old electrical wiring and asbestos). Something could (and usually does) come along and throw a spanner in the works, or maybe the whole tool box. Be ready for it and be ready to go with the flow and change your ideas and plans.
• I would HIGHLY recommend not starting renovating unless you know you have enough money to finish what you started. Things never cost what you expect them to, labour will be over half the cost of everything and living in a half renovated house, not knowing if you can ever afford to finish it, is tough.
• Some days you will feel broken, some days you will feel elated and sometimes you will feel both in one day (such as the day our wardrobe was partially installed but not completed due to measurement errors, not our own). For me, I feel broken more often than not.
• Try not to lose sight of the big picture. WAY easier said than done. For us, the light at the end of the tunnel disappeared a long time ago.
• Find a way to make your house feel like a home, even in the midst of the renovating. Again, WAY easier said than done, but even having a pretty quilt on my bed or new bedside lamps helps me get through the fact that neither of my children have usable bedrooms at the moment.
• You will probably find yourself feeling grateful for so many little things, like a powerpoint and light in each room, and real walls (not fabric ones). They become the BIG things.
I am in no way an expert on renovating but wanted to share some of my thoughts, to help others and because it helps me to talk about it too. This year has been tough and there are days I question our sanity and days where I think its just all too much and we aren't going to make it. Then something gets finished or a new wall goes up and that tiny glimmer of hope appears once more.
If you have renovated and come through unscathed then I say - way to go and what's your secret. Renovating is tough and I can't wait to come out the other side, hopefully in one piece, stronger and wiser and with the knowledge that I never want to do this again, ever!!