The world’s longest renovation begins

Renovation beginsAbout three years ago, on this here blog, I talked about how desperately our bathrooms needed a renovation. Actually, I think I first mentioned a reno about five years ago, but hey, who’s tracking these things? Nobody, that’s who. That’s part of my problem.

I’ve realised that I procrastinate about renovating for many reasons:

  • There are too many decisions to make that I just don’t care about (which taps, which door knobs, which doors, etc)
  • Conversely, there are too many decisions to make that I care too much about (which tiles, which windows, which layout, etc)
  • Also, I like too many different styles and can’t choose just one (although I have narrowed it down to a Hamptons meets Industrial kind of vibe)
  • Plus, the idea of having to add another thing to my to do list (and it will be many, many, many things) is overwhelming
  • Add my struggles to not add more crap to the environmental issues of the world – having enough, living small, all the things
  • Most of all, I am stingy and don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars when I’m living just fine as it is thank you very much

That actually leads me to another reason, and I think it’s the biggest reason of all:

I know a renovation won’t make me any happier than I already am.

That’s not to say that I am a wildly happy person all the time (I am not), but rather to point out that I am not the kind of person who believes that things buy happiness. New bathrooms, kitchen, extra space, etc will just be nice.

I disagree with myself, of course. I actually disagree with myself all the time (do you do that?), but in this instance I am rather adamant. I know that after nine years (NINE) living in our home and just about as many putting off sprucing her up, she’s a mere one burnt out car in the front yard away from being embarrassing. I know that an extra bedroom, living space and a bathroom upstairs will change the way my kids live. I know that finally getting some light downstairs will make me feel good. A new kitchen, which, yes, functionally acting pretty much just like the old kitchen, will feel clean and fresh. And rebuilding the upstairs deck that is so rotted that we won’t let the kids step out on it – well, that will be super nice.

So, finally, amazingly, the actual renovation begins. Not the ‘thinking about’ renovation. Not the ‘planning for’ renovation. The actual renovation. We’re up to plans-into-the-council stage and are pretty much committed to selling Max in order to pay for everything. So, renovation is GO. It’s so bloody daunting I can hardly type, but I do know that once you set the ball rolling, things start to click along pretty well. I’ve reached the point where the only motivation I need to actually do this renovation is the idea that once it’s done I can stop procrastinating about it.

That’s a good enough reason, isn’t it?

Have you ever renovated? Did you find it daunting? Did the lack of detail about how you DO IT drive you nuts as well?

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  1. says

    Oh yes to all you’ve said above. It’s been 10 years of marriage and reno procrastination and its happening this year too! Im excited but so daunted and notnsure how we are going to do it and live here while it’s done! Good luck with ut all. Look forward to hearing a progress update .

    Ps. I dont care much for taps either! X

    • Maxabella says

      It is probably the most daunting thing I’ve done so far. I guess that makes me lucky. Or something. Good luck to you too!!!

  2. says

    We are 3 months into a big renovation that has been a long time coming (5 years to be precise). We have had to move out of the farmhouse for the duration, but it will totally be worth it. Like you I don’t believe that the house will add to our happiness as a family, but I do know that a second toilet, a modern kitchen and bathroom (ours is basically original to our house built in 1940) and natural light will certainly make life a lot easier as our children grow. So far as decisions go, I have a strong idea about what I want it to look like which helps our choices, but my goodness there is a lot I didn’t even think about. Yesterday we spent an hour confirming where we wanted our UHF, tv antenna, and internet satellite connections, together with all the power points. Good luck with it all. I’m trying to enjoy the process :)

    • Maxabella says

      So many, many decisions. And I love it when the plumber says “do you want an ABS collar or a hose bib MCL?” (or whatever it is they mention) and you just go, “Beg your pardon?” but you realise you have to make that choice as well… argh! Good luck with your reno, Jo. x

  3. says

    The only reno we did was just a super cheap pre-sale one but we did do the whole kitchen and bathroom ourselves and it worked out so great. Minus the headaches and the time I nearly scratched my father-in-law’s eyes out when some measurements were a little out and he suggested we “just get a smaller fridge!” ….. Good luck!! I often look around and think ‘one day’ but that day is a long way away.

  4. says

    “Have you ever renovated?”
    Hee hee well you know the answer to that, eight years on we’re still building and renovating! I’m certain you won’t take that long.

    “Did you find it daunting?”
    Starting? I was desperate so I didn’t care by that stage, sides this is our second owner building/reno gig

    “Did the lack of detail about how you DO IT drive you nuts as well?”
    Doesn’t drive me nuts, my approach more irritates my sister and sisters-in-law. They’re super organised and know everything down to the external paint BEFORE beginning. I’m more “Oh bathrooms next, I best start researching and deciding” months later I’m forced to lock in place 😉
    I only seem to be able to focus on an ‘area’ at a time, not the complete overall details. Having said all that happy to share what I’ve learnt along the way if you sing out. For the record despite what experts say, Bunnings taps often do the job, don’t go for the cheapest, go middle of the range.

    Remember Bart is really more important that what paint you choose, I never forget the time David and I were arguing in the Bunnings paint aisle at 7.30am and a good mate of ours wandered along, mortifying. Keep it in perspective, though I know I’m preaching to the converted here. Oh and really whilst I know you’re not materialistic, you will get to the other side and wonder “why on earth did we ever put up with this for so long” it WILL be worth it. xx

    • Maxabella says

      Thank you for the advice and cheerleading skills. It WILL be worth it. Yours is TOTALLY WORTH IT!

  5. Jennifer says

    Having renovated for over ten years I am thoroughly over it. I think it was the kitchen that broke the camels bacj, which had to be taken out so the space could be renovated before the actually put it. This meant I was cooking on a little camp oven with makeshift sink and groceries scattered throughout the house for a third of the year. Then finally just as it was meant to be finished….the stone bench top was out of stock, Australia wide and not due for another two months. That just near broke me
    honestly a prolonged renovation destroys your soul.
    And just like child birth we are planning up our next one.
    Im hoping you do share some details, nothing I love more than looking at other people’s homes 😉

    • Maxabella says

      Haha, that comment about doing it all again totally got me. It is a bit like child birth. I’m assuming it’s as worthy too because you’re preparing to go again!!

  6. says

    I swear I used to drive past your place, when I lived in Sydney.It looks so familiar to me.
    The reno will be worth it, my advice from building new and renting,,, perhaps slightly similar is… use this time to de clutter all the things you don’t need, and when it’s finished and you can get to everything you use all the time, you will be one happy girl. Have fun, I think it’s exciting stuff. Don’t forget to make a place for all those cutting boards so they have a dedicated space, one thing I wished I did instead of just putting them on top of the fridge. X

  7. says

    Woo hoo for finally making the plunge!! This is exciting!! But yes I’m totally with you on the whole ‘things can’t buy happiness’ idea. Totally with you! But hey, an industrial/hamptons reno will be GORGEOUS!!!!

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