If you follow me on Instagram you would have heard about my house and my mission to do it up as a single lady. Throw into the mix that it’s a 90 year old Queenslander and that I have a toddler in tow, I have now realised just how big my mission was [even though my project was a smaller one in comparison to others]. Had I known how much work it would be or how long it would take to restore it, I probably would have thought about it a little longer.
The thing is though, that even knowing all of this now, I am so glad that I did. This house has become home to my new life, dinner parties, movie nights and afternoons of my little boy running in the sprinkler and so many other lovely memories. But it has also had its days where it has given me a room to sit in while I have bawled my eyes out and wondered what the heck have I done?
I’m by no means a renovations expert, but I have project managed my fair share of projects similar and learnt a lot of tricks that have helped me renovate while keeping the mental breakdowns at bay. So rather then keep all of them to myself, I am going to share with you some of the things I have learnt along the way.
TIP ONE: If you have children, never underestimate the slowing powers of a toddler. They love helping and sometimes… well, that help is not helpful! Now that my boy is a lot older he is a little tiny bit more of a help, but it still can slow you down. So make the most of nap times and nights. Or sleep, whatever works best for you!
TIP TWO: Be realistic about your budget and get quotes, but get them in detail. So many quotes don’t say what it will actually include, which makes comparing prices and services hard. Put as much in writing as you can and it will protect you and the tradie, so that expectations from both sides are clear. I was lucky as I have had great tradies, but I can see how miscommunications can happen.
TIP THREE: Any jobs you can do yourself, do them. Every hour you do the work saves you money. My tradies were really great with letting me help on the easy jobs, like siliconing my VJ board walls [I hated it so my guess is they did too… haha!]. They are so time consuming and once you learn how to load a caulking gun it’s not too hard. But some tradies prefer you don’t so check about that before. Mine understood my situation though and knew I needed to keep as many costs down as much as I could.
TIP FOUR: Have the Bunnings video tutorials on speed dial. They are really helpful! I watched one of them 5 times to really lock in my mind how to grout a shower. Sure, it then went on to be one of the worst days of my life, but I did it! Getting it done though on my own was a great feeling. I of course celebrated the next day by binge watching Gilmore Girls in total satisfaction that I had grouted a shower by myself.
TIP FIVE: Never take for granted all the friends that come and help you paint or feed you dinner. Take those gifts with open arms. I remember when I first got the keys I decided I would paint the inside of the house and that my Mum and I could do it in a day. [Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up]! Of course it didn’t happen in a day, but thanks to friends all turning up we got it done. I know I wouldn’t have gotten the head start that I did if they hadn’t all shown up.
If you are renovating and getting close to the end and feeling like giving up, hang in there! The pay off in the end will so be worth it.