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.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

From Ruin to Renovated; Our Little Big Project

Renovating is strangely addictive.

On one hand it's expensive,  exhausting and can feel like social exclusion but on the other hand it's incredibly rewarding seeing what you can achieve with your money, effort and visions.

The decision to renovate usually isn't one that you jump into without thinking about the pros and cons and every other option out there; do you bulldoze and build?  Do you buy new or start in the market with an old gem that needs some polishing?  Do you make minor improvements for investment purposes or do you go the whole hog and totally transform a property? What is the market value of homes in your area?  How much can you spend without over capitalizing?  What is going to increase the value of your property to maximize profits?  Can you do the work yourself?  How much is it going to cost to employ tradesmen?  Can you even be bothered?  Have you renovated before? 

Decisions,  decisions.

My partner bought his first home at 19. It was a little prefab home in a small country town,  but it was a foot in the property market door and the repayments were less then paying rent.

It became his Bachelor pad,  and if walls could talk they'd be a tale or two to tell.

When he moved to Adelaide the house was rented out and our investment property became our focus. We had big dreams to add value to the house by turning a shed into a granny flat with an en suite and transforming the run down, overgrown backyard into an amazing outside entertaining area with French doors from the lounge room.  With no prior renovating experience under our belts we were pretty naive to just how big that task would be but we chipped away and bought our vision to life. 

And that is where our love for renovating blossomed. 

Well, more to the point,  our love/hate relationship.

I'm not going to lie and paint rosy colored pictures of how fun and easy the task of renovating is,  because truth be told it's a he'll of a lot of work, but it's the challenge and the trials and tribulations that make you want to go back for more! 

So when we moved back to the country after the big city life we had some decisions to make; do we renovate or do we bulldoze and build on the little piece of land with a broken down house that Mick had bought many moons ago? 

It wasn't an easy decision.

We had builders come and inspect the property who estimated that the changes that we wanted to make would cost in excess of $80000 for labor and materials. 

While the loan is relatively small for the property market meaning that we have room to spend without over capitalizing $80000 is a hell of a lot of money! 

So then we were left scratching our heads wondering if we should simplify our plans to renovate, bulldoze or DIY.

My husband happens to be super handy and has a trade in metal fabrication which meant that he felt comfortable replacing major structures with metal and building the shed,  verandah and extensions himself.

Knowing that we could do the majority of the work ourselves, in our own time swayed our decision to give renovating a crack without blowing out our budget. 

Our plans include knocking out a wall and chimney between the kitchen and lounge room to create an open living area,  installing byfold doors to continue this area into an outdoor entertaining space, turning the existing bathroom into a passage way and transforming a little outside bedroom space into the main bathroom that will double as an en suite for the main bedroom. 

Our plans also include a new kitchen,  build in wardrobes and a shed.

At the moment we have submitted the measurements for a shed and verandah for architects to design our vision so that we can submit them for council approval. 

We're both excited to be taking on the renovation challenge again,  and to transform our little shack into a rustic,  industrial themed home,  with red gum timber from the farm,  open planned living and an entertaining area that will have many tales to tell in the future.

We can't wait to have a home that we're proud of and that we can fill with laughter and children!

Join us on our renovating adventure.

Here are some images of the challenges that lie ahead!

Have you ever renovated?

What tips do you have for others?

Would you do it again?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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