We bought our circa 1905 Renovator's Delight in 2003, and quickly found the renovating part...the delight was a little slower to appear. Bit by bit, as time and finances allowed, we've done the old girl up... Kitchen, bathroom, every bedroom, living room, gardens front and back, new front fence, added a carport and pergola, built on a new family room, re roofed the whole house, and painted everything....some things twice already.
The one area still lacking was our laundry and back porch. We knew what we wanted to do out here right from the start...including adding a second bathroom... but knew it would be a big job requiring big dollars. Finally, almost twelve years after my brain started whirling with ideas, it is happening.
The laundry and porch were basically a tin shed attached to the back of the house... corrugated iron walls, concrete floor, all wiring and plumbing exposed. It was as hot as hell's dance floor in summer, and as cold as a witch's tit in winter. Doing laundry for the last twelve years has not been much fun. And let's face it, doing laundry is bad enough, if the environment is challenging too....then it can be as soul destroying as binge-watching Toddlers & Tiaras.
When we moved in, this area didn't even have proper windows. The laundry, on the left, had louvres, and the porch just had fly screens. And because these face west...the direction most of our weather comes from.... the rain used to pelt in, along with cold winds in winter, and dirt and hot winds in summer. Awesome. Needless to say, we had these green aluminium windows whacked in reasonably quickly and they served us for 11 years. Frustratingly, the rain still got in occasionally....... we have surmised the original builder of this laundry/shed knew nothing about roof flashing or guttering. Or building.
Anyway, down came this iron contraption..... WOOHOO! ....revealing the ugly back wall of our house, which was a little worse for wear.
I remember this stage being quite exciting because I had wanted that corrugated monstrosity gone for so long, but also a little sad at the thought that the original owners' simple, early 20th century construction efforts were disappearing.
No, I'm lying. I was ecstatic.
And then....madness. Machinery and men, digging trenches and laying the foundations of a new, much bigger area to house a new bathroom, laundry and study nook. It all went at such a cracking pace, we could only stand back and watch in awe as within a week we had this wet slab in place of a wet shed.
From there, it has continued along like greased lightning. (What even is greased lightning? Never mind...). I swear, we had the BEST team of carpenters ever. They were hard working, efficient, smart, full of ideas, productive, helpful, hilarious, great company, and had 80s music blasting all day. What's not to love? They did all the framework, roofing, windows, and boarded the bathroom and laundry, and will be coming back to do all the finishing touches, like doors, skirting boards and architraves.
We are about five weeks into the renovations and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Of course, the light is from a portable fluoro because there is no power in the extension yet, but that's ok. Plastering jobs are about three quarters done (would be finished if it wasn't for the first plasterer, who may or may not have been stoned while working...he got the boot, set us back several days), tiling is half done, outer brickwork is half done, I have all my fixtures and fittings ready to go in, and things are coming together rather well.
I've even had an ironing station installed in the wall.
For The Husband, of course.
We've only had one slight mistake occur so far, which we realised this weekend, but luckily it's not too late to remedy it. We would have had a lovely new clothes dryer mounted on the wall, but no power supply to plug it in to....oops. Not one of the three power points in the laundry would've been in reach. Details, details.
The only slight downside of this renovation has been our bathroom situation. As we are adding a new one, we have modified our existing bathroom into an ensuite to our main bedroom. And as that part of the work has almost been completed, it means everybody has to trek through our bedroom to use the bathroom.
Like, The Son. When he comes home at 1am. And we're asleep. And suddenly I wake to this large figure looming over me as he tries to tiptoe past me. Slightly disconcerting.
All in all, it has been a reasonable experience so far, and all the early starts on these cold, wintry mornings, all the noise from power tools, all the cleaning of layer upon layer of red brick dust and grey plaster dust which travelled through the house, all the inconvenience of doing my washing out in the garden.... it will all be worth it in the end.
IT WILL BE.