Community garden

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Stage 1: Demolition

So my least favourite stage of renovations has begun.  Demolition.  There is no nice way of doing this I don't think.  Do it fast, get it over with and clean up the as much dirt as you can each day to make living in it bearable.  I find this part really difficult.  Its the stage where you are the furthest away from your end goal, the thing you ripped out to fix suddenly looks like a palace in comparison.  Ok, not a palace, but in this case the old kitchen was still mostly functional, even if ugly, saggy, poorly wired, and falling apart in places. 

Before....

Stripping it out...

But in the aim of being positive I thought Id share some tips. 

1.  MOVE OUT!!!! 

Only joking.....kind of.  The reality is that it depends on the depth of renovating your doing.  It is absolutely a valid option if you can afford it.

2. Have a plan in place before you start pulling things apart about how your going to live your life in the space.  This stage of the kitchen and second bedrrom will probably take us close to 2 months to finish.  We need to be able to function during this time as a family.  Meals need to be cooked, homework needs to be done, life goes on.  The more "normal" you can make it and the more organized you can be, the easier the renovation process will be. 

Renovating, especially with young children is stressful, a bit of prior planning about the spaces you will need throughout the process can really help reduce this.   

So for us, we have pulled up the old van up to the veranda which will give us a small, but perfectly functional cooking, eating and living space.  The veranda will provide shelter as we walk in and out which is important in the middle of winter.  Depending on what your doing, will depend on how you set up areas to overcome this.  Be creative, remember its temporary.   

Caravan, food, little gas burner for kettle, cooking etc.  Its not pretty, but functional enough.  I cant be bothered staging pretty photos,.  Just keeping it real.  ;)

Blogging headquarters in the van.

3. Have all the little discussions and decisions sorted BEFORE your tired, stressed and living in a demolition zone.  No point adding to an already stressful situation by trying to make major decisions in the middle of it.  Its not a reality TV show, take the time to plan it all well.

4. Go into it with clear plans and knowing exactly what your design is.  Changing your mind half way through can slow things up and add in extra expenses.

5.  Stick to your budget.  There may be un-avoidable blow outs, but if you have a budget for your finishes that you have carefully planned, don't get way laid by the shiny pretty, really expensive things and suddenly upgrade everything.  Mindless consumerism is rife in all industries.  Research well, plan well.  Buy the best you can afford absolutely, but stick to your guns.  Don't get way-laid by the top of the range designer tiles when you have already settled on a good, mid range tile that fits in your budget and your style.  Being talked into an up-grade here and there can add thousands to your bill at the end, with no real functional advantage.       

6. You know those expensive pre-packaged foods that people who are living simply try to avoid?  Embrace them.  Its ok to let some things slide in a difficult season.  You don't have to do it all, in every season of life.  There are some good products out there these days that are decent quality.  Farmers markets can be great for home made cakes and snacks too, and the bonus then is your supporting local, home business.  Buy for the week, spend 15 minutes cutting into portions and freezing for lunches throughout the week. 

7.  Try ensure your eating good quality fruit and veg, drinking lots of water, and TRY and get some sleep.  Meals don't  have to be fancy by any stretch of the imagination.  Fruit for snacks is great.  The reality is your more suceptable to illness when your tired and stressed.  By being mindful you can try and prevent getting too run down.  No one wants to be sick when your in the middle of a big renovation job. 

8.  Make meals as simple as possible.  A slow cooker is great, a BBQ, simple pastas, salad and nibble platters with raw crunchy veggies, sliced meat, bread, dips etc.  Survival with an ounce of sanity left is the goal here!

9.  Go gently.  Its stressful, its tiring.  Give yourself some grace and lower your expectations of yourself.  Give your partner some grace.  Go out for a nice meal and leave it all behind you regularly.  Even if its a coffee in a cafĂ©.  It is a season, and it wont be forever, even though it might feel slow and never ending at times.  Treat yourself a little during it, your working really hard and its nice to look forward to something.  If its at the end of a particular stage it can be a lovely motivator. 

10.  Wine, chocolate and a camera for lots of before, during and after shots.  Need I say more? 

Old ceiling sagging and falling down.

Brrrr.....drafty!

Do you have any sanity saving tips? 

Much love,
Emma
xx



12 comments:

  1. Wow that kitchen is/was an amazing colour! Great tips. I actually love the demolition stage, I think its the easy part. Putting it back together nicely is hard work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I LOVE the putting it back togeather stage1 I think the joy of working on an old cottage is that its not perfect, so its more forgiving on slightly "rustic" finishes.

      I think when the kitchen was freshly painted, and the plasterwork was not so tired and cracking up and peeling new it would have been a very cheerful and cute kitchen I agree. :)

      xx

      xx

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  2. I'd second move out if you can afford it! We had a bathroom
    renovation that took a lot longer and incurred more stress
    than we anticipated due to the shonky builder going broke
    before it was finished. Going around to friends' houses
    every other day to shower got old really fast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, that would get frustrating.

      Fortunately my main tradie lives on site here so there is no escaping. ;)

      xx

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  3. I love stories of other peoples renovations Emma. It looks like you have everything well organised. I just thought I would share that old floor coverings - lino etc - can contain asbestos. You probably know that already, I had no idea but it was pointed out to me by a tradie a couple of years back.

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  4. This is a brilliant post Emma. So many wonderful and real pointers there. I love your cosy living space on the verandah, and adore your caravan. You look really comfy and I'll bet the boys are loving it. Give me a day's warning and I'll pop a cake in the oven for you to collect next time you're over this way. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou Sally, I do need to bring the boys for a visit to the farm, they would SO love it. Perhaps one morning when Grant is doing some big works that need peace and quiet. ;)

      We are settling in after a rocky start.

      xx

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  5. I get everything you're saying. We moved into a one bedroom home with the bathroom a separated building 10m from the back door. That home morphed into a 3 bedroom home with 6m wide verandas that were 30m long. This reno was my life for 20 years and began when our youngest was 2 and finished when she was 22. We were comfortable even if there were no ceilings and no built ins. the kitchen was all free standing cabinets with no oven. All cooking happened on the veranda on the barby and single burner. Doing it yourself is a real money saver and the little boys will all remember this as part of their life. Have fun as you are going to end up with an amazing home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, what a story, thankyou for sharing!

      It is a serious money saver. Sometimes I look at friends with their beautiful new homes they have built and wonder what I'm doing. But to buy a house outright is a huge blessing. Very hard work, but hopefully it will pay off in the long run.

      xx

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  6. Hope you all fared well with the recent rain overload.
    Sometimes timing is a great help with renos, fingers crossed that the really cold weather holds off for you to get a good head start and maybe back inside cooking and enjoying the new wood stove warmth permeating the living spaces.

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    Replies
    1. Margret its beautiful and green here, just an amazing contrast from the black and scared landscape from the fires last year. It has been wet, cool and damp and its just peaceful. The boys chests got a bit of a shock with the cold change but they seem to be settling now.

      xx

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