Renovation Road

It’s been seven months since we started the renovation of our house, the final two windows have now been fitted by Nino and Graham has made a fantastic job of the rendering. I think we’ve achieved so much in a short space of time. We started with a shell of a building and now apart from completing the outside space, which is coming along nicely under Seppe’s instruction, all we need to do is fit interior doors and start painting walls.

The seven months of work has had its ups and downs. We’ve had good moments, like when we discovered that the crack in the wall you could put your hand into was not a potential, structural nightmare, but a redundant fireplace. We also had a few bad times, like when the old fossa turned out to be blocked and so we had to install a septic tank, and we also had a real dark moment, when we discovered our builder was a liar and a thief. We’ve gone from spending a night in the car, to squeezing everything into one room and then onto the luxury of two-roomed living. We went from washing in the outside sink to finally having a fully functioning bathroom and also went from using the outside steps to go to bed to eventually having interior stairs.


I never realised that house renovation was organic and changes to our fixed plans happened. The bathroom was re-sited and bigger than originally planned, the en-suite idea was dropped and the third floor was removed to give us a airier brighter kitchen. Some plans didn’t occur, the original mezzanine idea for the kitchen had to be abandoned when the architect told us the walls wouldn’t take the weight without ugly metal RSJ’s being fitted, and the upstairs door onto a balcony idea also bit the dust, and we downsized from three bedrooms to two. Overall, it’s been an enjoyable seven-months but I’m not sure I’d want to go through it all again, especially living on site as the work takes place.

But we can now sit back and as the end of this year approached we are secure in the knowledge that the roof no longer leaks, rain doesn’t come under the front door anymore and insects can’t squeeze under the gaps in the kitchen windows. This said, we’re no where near finished though. We still have boxes that remain unpacked, we have clutter everywhere that needs sorting and putting in its final resting places and my office needs to be set up properly.

So as the iPod shuffles and Lily Allen sings, He Wasn’t There, I decide to make a start on sorting out the box on my office floor labelled, stationery and office stuff. It’s nice to be finally getting to the end of the renovation road.