First of all, let me preface this post by saying I for one think there’s little in life as dull as someone else’s renovation project. We’ve all worked with or known someone who goes on for months and months about the gobsmackingly dull details of the transformation of their home. The problems with tradies, the angst of colour and fitting choices is all desperately important (as it should be) to the renovatee but less so to the rest of the world.
But a bit of before and after is fun, right? I think so anyway. Consider this the ‘before’ post. In a week or so you’ll get the ‘after’ post.
We bought this house four and half years ago, a rental property of some years it had very little to recommend it except vision for the block, which is big. We almost sold it because we couldn’t bear the idea of going through the likely hell of extensions or major gutting and redecorating. So we reached a compromise. The one thing that would make this house more liveable for us in the few years we plan to live here would be a deck.
The large, sunny block has absolutely no shade save for a small corner at the front of the house which faces a busy road.
I long with all my heart for somewhere nice to sit outside. I dream of having space for visitors to sit with us, looking at the garden instead of hovering around awkwardly outside perched on plastic seats that tilt awkwardly on crooked, unsightly broken concrete. To have somewhere to sit and chat while visitors who have small children can run around, instead of all being cramped inside, is my dream. As is the longing for summer dinners on the deck with Sean or breakfasts watching the rosellas and cockatoos that come to perch in our yard in the mornings. A place to sit and read, or knit. The list goes on.
In less than a week, that’s what we will have. And this weekend, we undertook the mammoth task of painting the timber for the pergola prior to building commencing tomorrow morning.
What a huge, almost overwhelming job! When a builder tells you that you can do it in a day, double it then add some.
We worked, with a little help from a couple of Alice’s older siblings, from dawn til dusk. Sure, paint some wood we thought. How hard can it be? When you have to do two coats of very, very long planks and you have to do it in stages because of space limitations, fear of rain and the waiting periods for drying before flipping each piece over, well it was bigger than we thought.
But it’s done now and we are satisfied. We saved ourselves a fair bit of money by doing it ourselves and will always know that we had at least some part in the process that begins properly at 7am tomorrow morning.
So here I am, all grotty and tired at the end of the day, sitting on the cleared back porch (it’s always been covered in pots) which is little more than an awkwardly sized slab and in a few days, will be covered by a deck of quite reasonable proportions. Our very basic little 1970s suburban home is going to be changed for good by the addition of what is essentially an extra room.
Picture me next weekend (you won’t have to – I’ll show you!) sitting in more or less that spot, but under cover of a pergola, with a Gin and Tonic in my hand and feeling very, very happy (hopefully watching my chickens, who arrive in a few days) pecking around the yard!
I just can’t wait.