Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Renovating: why we love it and tips for saving money!

Our house!

DIY. Do it yourself.

That’s our answer to keeping the cost down when renovating.

Renovating is costly. We’ve found that if we think something is going to cost $200, then it’ll be $600. There’s anyways hidden costs.

Take for example our ensuite for the granny flat that we’re building. We had to hire a plumber to cut into the existing pipeline so that our ensuite had water (a handy thing for a bathroom!). The plumber also had to install a gas line for the hot water and the sewage. Then the plumber had to connect the taps and pipes and fittings. In total, the plumber cost $2500. We also needed a hot water system. That was $750. Then we needed to hire a builder (thankfully one of our good friends is one) to create the framework for the bathroom. We also had to pour a concrete floor. Then we needed to have the hot water system connected. Then there’s the cladding, and then insulation. That’s all before we get to the fun stuff of buying the toilet, hand basin, shower, tap fittings, lights, exhaust fan, towel railings, tiling and more!

I was shocked at just how much it all costs.

What we started with...might look nicer then it actually was. The wood was rotting and water would lay around the house after it rained.

The trick is to do it bit by bit. Start your weekend with a to do list. Make it achievable. This weekend we want to rip up all of the bricks. This weekend we want to paint the shed. This weekend we want to plant a herb garden. There’s no point making a list as long as your arm because things take a lot longer then you think.

It’s always rewarding putting a huge fat black line through something on your to do list. It’s also highly rewarding kicking back and celebrating with a cider, wine or beer once you have completed the weekends list.

Ripping up the bricks.

Things do take longer then you think.

We have been renovating since October 2011.

Just getting everything ready to renovate took a long time. Ripping up bricks, levelling the ground, pulling down existing structures, cutting freaking vine that sticks like glue to everything and ripping up cement. That alone took us a good 2-3 months.

Levelling out the oustide area.

We started 2012 with a list of three big things that we wanted to achieve.
  1. Build a great big outside entertaining area
  2. Turn the shed into a granny flat with an ensuite
  3. Paint the inside of the house

So far we have: built the structure for the outside area, installed fans and lights, levelled out the ground for paving, had the plumber visit, pour the concrete in the bathroom, studded the bathroom walls, bought a toilet and hot water system and window, planted a herb garden, painted everything that was green cream, moved the clothes line to the back corner and had a HUGE housewarming to celebrate haha!

Levelling out the gravel for paving!

All in all I think we have spent close to $20,000.

This would be a WHOLE lot more if it wasn’t for our super friendly, handy friends who have helped us along the way. We fortunately have friends who are builders, tillers and electricians.

Mick with one of his best mates sharing a beer!

We always make sure that their bellies are full and that they are well hydrated for helping. We try to make it as much fun as we can by cranking the music and having a laugh.

My first ever attempt at gardening...fresh herbs!

I can honestly say that renovating is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. To be able to have a vision and see it come to life through your hard work is awesome. To be able to see where your hard earned money is going makes work worthwhile. To be able to spend quality time with my partner, painting, sanding, pouring concrete floors, sifting through salvage yards, looking through catalogues for ideas and bargains, budgeting and everything else that make renovations happen, is satisfying.

The structure for the outside area going up!

We have worked bloody hard to get where we are but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s amazing being about to entertain friends under our outside area and to host a house warming and show everyone why we’ve had to say no to doing things for so many weekends and to look out my kitchen window with the hugest grin on myself feeling so proud of our achievements.

We love entertaining under our new outside area.

Renovating. It’s a love hate relationship at times. It’s exhausting, frustrating, rewarding, draining, physical and fun, but mostly it gives you the greatest sense of achievement.

Stay tuned for more money saving tips for renovating.

Our outside area taking shape :)

Have you been renovating? Do you have any money saving tips to share? What do you find rewarding and frustrating about renovating?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

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