It takes having a break from renovating to really appreciate just how much you sacrifice while you’re in the thick of it. We’ve been renovating for so long that sacrifice has become our norm.
We purchased our first home at just 21 years old, at a time when our incomes mirrored that of our age as a mature-aged, full-time university student and an apprentice carpenter.
Marriage and babies followed a few years later so if anyone can relate to the strain of renovating amid the thick of life, we can.
1. Peace and order
I’ll never forget the look on my newborn’s face when my hubby (Michael) started the jackhammer in the next room. Welcome to renovating life, kid! You grow accustomed to the noise of home renovating, but I could never quite find peace with the mess.
For me, the disorder created in having our house turned upside down is the most difficult part of the project. All of a sudden, carrying out the simple tasks of daily life such as putting the kettle on, become more difficult which makes all the little things feel like lots of big things.
A lot of deep breathing is required!
2. Overseas holidays
Overseas holidays are becoming increasingly more accessible. Every year we watch friends jet set off on their six-week European summer holidays, a more civilised one-week Bali soiree, or a 10-day skiing holiday to Japan.
If you’re a home renovator, however, you might want to stock up on your camping supplies.
Even if you’re not doing the building work yourself if you’re renovating you need to be accessible to your tradies. There are a million decisions to make and you don’t want to be the one holding up progress.
Read more: A guide to planning your home renovation
Being onsite a lot is the best way to ensure your renovation is unfolding how you want it to – and, of course, the money saved on not jetting off overseas can go straight into your home instead.
3. Quality time
If you’re renovating and by that I mean, renovating like a true home renovator (not the kind who moves out while their builder does the work), your every waking hour outside of work is the house and it’s easy to forget you have relationships to nurture.
Michael and I shipped in the night while he got our current house to the habitable stage, and I parented our son. You’re never going to just have time for date night or time out, but if you don’t build it into your schedule, renovating can take a toll in a way that doesn’t only impact your bank balance.
Sometimes when renovating, it feels as if your home is closing in on you and that’s because it is.
Our first home was a modest-size, post-war weatherboard style and there was only limited room for storing both furniture and all of Michael’s building supplies and equipment. I’ve had times where I’ve looked around me when the state of our living was almost comical.
If you do what we do and live through your renovation, I recommend budgeting in an onsite storage pod to free up some space in the home. We’re about to undergo another major renovation so we’ll be right there with you and maybe it’s time to practice what I preach.