I scoffed when everyone told me our home renovation would mean every corner of our house would be filled with a constant layer of dust and it would send me into a mild rage.
I’ve hardly blogged here because quite frankly I ignored everyone at my peril and it has taken over my life.
Sure I’ve photographed the hell out of it all, but other than a few Instagram Stories here and there when I got super excited, I’ve kept away.
On March 27th we embarked on a major home renovation and like good Scouts preparing for an impending challenge, we puffed out our chests, smiled and just got on with it.
Pft we said. We’ve been through stuff. We camp for goodness sake. We’re hardy.
Turns out we’re not as hardy as we thought.
For a while now we’ve been toying with the idea of moving house because as the kids have grown and changed so have our needs as a family. But we love our house and the environment we live in – so close to schools and friends – so we opted to renovate our home instead.
It started with ‘let’s update the ailing kitchen’. It moved on to ‘Well, if we’re going to do that, let’s replace the crap conservatory with a room’. And soon it was ‘let’s make the downstairs bigger’. ‘Well if we’re extending we may as well extend upstairs too . . . ‘ etc etc.
And so the major home renovation started.
I think the breaking point for me was when my husband declared to friends who were asking how it was all going 14 weeks in “it’s really not as hard as I thought it would be to be honest. In fact it’s been quite easy”.
I have spent weeks trying to keep the house something approaching hygenic, washing the bed sheets constantly so it doesn’t feel like they’re liberally dusted with dust and desperately trying to feed us all healthy ish meals with no cooker and no hob and no space to store anything. My prep table is the ironing board.
He’s either pretending it’s all a walk in the park or he really is THAT stupid.
So, basically the whole of the back of our house was being worked on. That’s the children’s bedrooms, the spare room, the kitchen and the dining room. We’ve pretty much lived in the lounge (although when I came home one day to find the new cooker and tubs of grout piled up in there I nearly lost it) and our bedroom.
For a while the kids had to sleep in a bunkbed in the dining room while their rooms and the spare room were being bricked up/plastered/overhauled.
That’s a teenager and a pre-teen in a bunkbed together. It could have been the stuff of nightmares, but they were ACE.
So the conservatory came down (and we managed to sell it as we’d taken really good care of it and it was in great condition), the patio was decimated, great gaping holes were dug and a new concrete floor went down.
It’s too small, I lamented to the Husband. What have we done? It’s so small.
The builder reassured us all was well.
Then the block work and the bricks started to go up and we could start to visualise what our renovated home would look like.
But the mess. Oh the mess. And they hadn’t even knocked through at this point.
Up up up the bricks went (no, she’s not supposed to be on the scaffolding. Yes I told her many many many times. Yes she thought it was her own personal gymnasium.
Soon they were in the bedrooms, putting the biggest beam you’ve ever seen in your life up there, creating new wardrobes, new space and KNOCKING THROUGH. Argh, the dust.
Then the builders finished upstairs and we had to ship the kids back up to their rooms, then empty the dining room and the kitchen ready for them to knock through and create a whole new dust hurricane downstairs.
We did it all one Sunday afternoon and it nearly killed us.
Then I lost use of the kitchen and had to decamp to the pantry. Thank goodness for my big pantry. I used the ironing board as my work top!
It’s been a long, a really hard slog but I can finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I can see my beautiful kitchen taking shape (it’s wonderful and I feel like all my Christmases have come at once) and the concrete slab wasn’t too small after all!
The garden is still a builder’s yard and the new cooker is currently in my living room but apart from that we’re nearly there.
And I can’t wait to share it with you!