admittedly i’m writing this in a pretty foul temper. and yes, it’s first world problems and at least I own a house blah blah blah. I know. I get it.
we’re at the tail end of our renovations to our late 70s townhouse. I think we’ve got about two weeks left. I’m not sure, because I’ve been saying that for over a month. so in July, I think we’ll actually be done. let’s aim for July.
I’ve heard a lot of stories about home renovations, good and bad. tv shows like The Block and House Rules are driven by the public’s demand for the high stakes drama of bathroom interiors. why anyone would choose to go on national tv and have a meltdown at their partner holding a crowbar is beyond me, but it’s a consistent ratings winner. I don’t watch them but I reckon I could cover the basic synopsis based on the experiences we’ve had so far. here we go:
- the design process will be the most stressful part of the whole thing. screw the tough manual work, it will be figuring out what type of deep bathtub is going in the world’s tiniest bathroom which will result in lack of sleep and the most hilariously ridiculous arguments you’ll have in your entire relationship;
- couples always have different ways of approaching things. they will both refuse to do it the other way. they will both insist the other person is wrong. they will find out at the very end that they were both right;
- builders will not listen or read instructions if they have done something similar (but not exactly the same) before. it will invariably lead to many a ‘do-over’ and many, many new grey hairs for the home-owners who specifically told them that this thing that they think they know how to do is nothing like the things they’ve done before;
- subbies will not turn up on the day they say they will. no plot spoilers there!
- women will be patronised for choosing items that ‘look good in a magazine but aren’t real bathrooms’. they will also be ignored when they say ‘it is a real bathroom. it’s from a house listed for sale’;
- the budget is never enough. it is not even close. triple it.
- unless it is a brand new house, someone at some stage has thrown the building codes to hell and decided to make it up as they go along. you will have one of the following (if not all):
- a corner/multiple corners/every single corner in the house that is constructed on angles that never equal 90 degrees;
- no plans, or incorrect plans (thank you to my council for not enforcing plans and permits until the 1980s);
- windows not built to code: this sounds stupid, but it’s actually unbelievably important for bathroom windows to be up to scratch.
- something sinking. ceiling, structure, floor. it could be all of them.
- dodgy insulation/asbestos.
- dodgy plumbing. always fun to work with.
- electricty and wiring that may at some stage cause a fire or a death in the house. we had live light switches; we know friends who had ungrounded electricity. fun stuff!
complaining aside, we’ve had fantastic builders and subbies who have done an amazing job with a polished turd of a townhouse. i love my house, but i think there may be some issues with the existing structure and wiring, as our doorbell randomly goes off when no one is at the door….
… and we don’t even have a doorbell.