We’ve got the in-laws arriving in three weeks and the downstairs loo doesn’t have a door, or walls for that matter... They are used to this inconvenience. Privacy for the privy has been absent for a couple of years now, since the asbestos walls around it were taken out. But the hubster and I are pushing to get this little room finished and using their impending visit as a deadline. Its hard, we both work and weekends are inevitably a whirlwind of sport, taxiing, washing and grocery shopping. But we are getting pretty good at this DIY reno business now. I can paint and plaster, and put up gyprock too. We have all manner of power tools which The Hubs uses with some skill. I’ve only mastered the power drill and that’s where I intend to leave it for now.
I’ve also stopped watching shows like The Block, and House Rules. Too painful to watch those couples busting a gut. Too close to home. But I think the premise is a good one, and has the potential to forge stronger relationships, or destroy them for once and for all.
Personally, I am a ‘hammer and tongs’ kind of renovator. A bit slap-dash, agonisingly slowed down by the perfectionist in the team. I’m the visionary, the starter. The one who rips up all the carpet and throws it to the bottom of the stairs without a clue or a muscle to move it any further. I’m the reason we trod on unvarnished floorboards for a year because we still had to save up for the polish but the damage had been done. He’s the one who takes my ideas and expertly brings them to life, (while muttering profusely).
There is a satisfaction in stepping back to admire the end product. There’s the realisation that we did all this ourselves. Took an old beige box of a place and stamped our personalities all over it. Renovating has a domino effect though. You finish one project which only serves to highlight the tired old room next door. We work in stops and starts, shouts and fuming silences. We laugh at the disasters and cry at the blow out of expenses.
It’s in the blood. My father renovates houses for a hobby, and has been doing it for years. I grew up in a house that tripled in size over two decades. When my parents were over visiting from NZ a few months ago I hired him a jack hammer to take out the old concrete shower base. I didn’t want him to get bored. My brother is also a fantastic, fully qualified builder. We all like making stuff.
My husband had no idea what he was marrying into, and he has being pulled into the great abyss for better or worse.
However, this renovating life hasn’t destroyed us yet! And hopefully in three weeks there will be a nice little room downstairs to sit down in, relax and say ‘yes, it's all been worth it…’
If you have a DIY disaster or dream to share please post in the comments below!