Friday, July 8, 2011


My partner Phil and I have been renovating our 1930’s bungalow house for near on two years now and man can I tell you I did not expect it to drag on quite this long. A little advice for any one out there who might be thinking of renovating some time in the future, plan, plan , plan before you start. And make sure you have more than enough money put aside to finish the renovation be fore you start. And trust me you will need more than you budget for, things will pop up that you just don’t count on and that’s not including the small to large disasters that can possibly happen, and set you way back.

So Phil is a builder, so we don’t have the added cost of paying for someone else to do all the work. Which is great! But, one thing we didn’t take into account when we first started was how long even a small job can take to do. And yes I am helping too, but there’s only so much someone unqualified in the process can do (Usually I end up on the end of a paint brush, much like I will be this weekend. But I have done my fair share of hard slog as well). So I would advise to put into your budget the odd helping hand, such as; you could employ a painter to do the first coat of paint on your house, which would free you up to do other tasks and trust me they will be a lot faster than you since they get lots of practise. Even better, budget for a painter to do the whole job and you get the added benefit of a great finish. And even more time for you to do other tasks. Cause seriously painting a house takes ages! And you don’t want to still be renovating two years later like we are, it becomes quite exhausting by this stage and we are both looking forward to a more normal life I can tell you. Or if you are really on a budget and cannot afford a professional painter try employing a few local teenagers who want a few extra dollars for there holidays, you may not get an amazing finish but it will save you time and won’t cost the earth.

I would also advise to do a lot of pre planning before you start as well. Look through lots of house and garden magazines and really get a good idea of the look you want. That way you can start trying to source items such as fixtures and fittings that will fit your look without wasting time and become disappointed when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Trust me sometimes it’s really hard to find the perfect door handle, as unbelievable as it sounds. You can try wandering around as many second hand shops and house wreckers’ yards to find unique pieces to fit in with your desired look. Phil came across a huge set of native timber doors which we have put at the end of our kitchen and open up onto our gable end deck, and they just make the room. And because they are native timber they match the rest of the house. I just love them.

Luckily for us we are coming to the end of the renovation, and are due for our final sign off in the next few weeks. I will be sure to put some pictures up of the finished product… as soon as it’s finished. Although a house is never quite finished is it…

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