To renovate or not to renovate

When we bought our forever-house almost 7 years ago (when I was pregnant with Daniel) from a lovely couple that had lived there for 27 years and raised 3 boys, we did some cosmetic renovations. We ripped out all the old carpets, knocked out a couple of walls, repainted the whole house, changed all the light fittings and ripped out the old, orange kitchen.

Then, when I was pregnant with the girls, we did a whole lot of additional work like building a bigass wall, renovating bathrooms, knocking out more walls and building domestic quarters.  That renovation started when I was 7 months pregnant.

With twins.

It was epic.  I think those builders ran screaming from the scene at the end of it, I know I certainly ran screaming to the hospital with threats of bodily harm should things not be to my liking when I came home with 2 additional babies.  The words “angle” and “grinder” still fill me with fear and dread.

Now, almost 5 years later, we are getting ready for the next phase (NO, I’m not pregnant, just mad), hopefully with the ever-so-reluctant blessing of our bank. Always the eager little beaver I have arranged for the original architect is come tonight so we can chat about our requirements that are a little (read: a LOT) different than the previous set of plans, so I might have a surprise or 2 in store for him.  This is mostly because there was no Pinterest 5 years ago.  I also appreciate that it will take ages for the plans to be drawn up, approved and then for us to get money from the bank.  If we are lucky we might be able to take a dip in our pool before next winter.

I try not to get sucked in to the whole “My life could never be as awesome as those people appear on Pinterest” thing, but it was with great envy I was looking at some swimming pools last night, even though we would probably be lucky if we could afford a jacuzzi.

And have you tried searching for “braai room” on Pinterest? What is the American version of that?

I guess not.

My Our idea is to do things as naturally as possible (maybe I we have also watched one too many episodes of Grand Designs), but experience has taught us that “natural” inevitably equals “ridiculously expensive”.

Have you renovated or built recently?  Any words of advice?

2 thoughts on “To renovate or not to renovate”

  1. Oh gosh, being an architect I wil have no
    comments. However I can tell you that you guys will be married forever – a saying in the industry goes that if you can keep a marriage in tact through renovations you can get through anything and stay together . Same with raising twins if you ask me

  2. Ooh fun… and not so fun… it’s a daunting thing to renovate!
    We really need to do something about our house too… but OMW it’s going to cost a bomb!
    At least you’ve got an architect that you trust

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