Renovating for almost a Decade – Part 1 Bathroom and Kitchen

9 years ago, at the tender age of 22, my husband and I became proud owners of our first home.

It needed a lot of work, there was many things “wrong” with it, hence the reason for the bargain price, but it was also the house in the best condition in our price range.

We knew there was lots to be done, but give it a couple of years and it would all be done, right? Man how I want to go back in time and slap that younger version of me in the head and yell “what are you thinking?!”

9 years on, we still have not got all we want done, and after finally getting bank approval after being laughed out of the bank for the last few years, we have our next stage of renovations about to commence. Building approvals, quotes, materials, schedules, and to be honest, it is stressing me out a fair bit.

Have we borrowed enough money? What if we run out just as they knock that hole in the outside wall, and we are stuck with a hole in the wall for years, open to all sorts of creatures and intruders
(yes I do over think!)

I have been there, I know the stress, I know the drama, chaos, moments of  “why are we putting ourselves through this?!” I also know the feeling of seeing the new area for the first time, the joy of it all being worth it in the end.

We have changed checkerplate bathrooms into cosy ensuites

The checkerplate was an idea of Jamie’s for a “band-aid renovation” to the leaking bathroom we were met with in our new house, unfortunately he forgot to waterproof the wall before applying, so it became a rather huge job to fix. Though it did last us for 6 years.

Jamie closed in the doorway of the original closet sized bathroom and made a doorway in our adjoining bedroom wall, creating an ensuite for us, that we had planned to share as the main bathroom for 6 months or so………………. 3 years later we are still all using it. And the kids eyes light up when they spot a bathtub at a friend or relatives house, to them that is luxury!

Poor fella worked a full-time job and did bathroom renovations in his spare time, with a heavily pregnant wife whingeing as we trudged through the torrential rain each night for 2 months to shower in the shed in the backyard. True to his word, he had it ready before I gave birth, and boy it was a treat to only take a couple of steps to get to a toilet in the middle of the night with a pregant bladder!

We also set out to get rid of that hideous 80s colour scheme pale pink and grey kitchen

I often worry that we perhaps went a bit too orange with our choice, but I do like how the new kitchen brightened the house, and having a pantry to put our food in after all those years of none was fantastic!

All these renovation shows on tv can be difficult, as it is easy to compare how much they do in such little time, compared to how little we have done in 9 years! Then I remind myself, they have paid time off work, sponsors, huge budgets and trades people paid to help them.

Some days it feels like we have not go very far with out house since the day we purchased it, but then I only have to take a quick look in the little photo album I have complied of photos of our progress and realise we have come quite far.

How many years more will be renovating for? Well I am starting to wonder if it ever ends, and your ideas and thoughts change over time, with the needs of your family.

Is is all worth it in the end? Well lets hope so!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the renovation series!


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