Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Renovators (Fibro edition)

Sunday night in the Fibro has become all about houses. The Block, Grand Designs, The Renovators. It's a TV transformation fest. The only show we haven't taken to is Top Design - too many hipsters, too little information.

We've always been fans of home shows. Hence our addiction to Escape to the Country during the drought of the last year or so. But now renovating is back in fashion and back on the box. Which is all very good timing, as we are about to renovate our bathroom and kitchen.

Yep, the Fibro is getting a makeover.

It's not the first time we've renovated. We totally 'did over' our cottage in the Big Smoke, down to replacing the rotting floors, putting in the missing windows and knocking down the termite-ridden lean-to kitchen at the back. It was a big job, but we did it pre-kids and we had fun - mostly. I will always contend that you never really know your partner until you renovate a house with them. Only then will you truly understand the difference between 'bluey-green' and 'greeny-blue' as a paint colour. Not to mention the importance of finding the exact, right 'profile' for your toilet.

The Builder is, as you'd imagine, a great man to renovate with. When I was dating I had but two main criteria for the man I would love: he must read books and put up shelves. In The Builder, I found both. And how. Not only can he put up shelves, he can build the whole house around them. Love that.

He has quite specific ideas about our renovations. Which is a good thing because, really, the profile of the toilet is neither here nor there to me. But his exacting eye for detail means a much better finish in the end. At least, that's what I tell myself when he shows me the 750th potential toilet/basin/tile. But we have the same aesthetic so coming to an agreement is not generally that difficult. Most of the time.

Renovating a fibro house brings with it an added edge of excitement. Disturbing asbestos is not for the faint-hearted or the amateur. It should only be done with the help of an expert. Fortunately, I have one at home - he may look like a Teletubbie in his asbestos safety gear but at least he's a safe Teletubbie. And we'll all be moving out for the duration to my parents' place to enjoy the fruits of their own recent bathroom renovation as they travel north for the winter.

We are at the enjoyable phase of renovating. The planning and deciding. Before the not-so-enjoyable dusty, expensive bit begins. I think that's half the joy of renovating shows - you get to watch the transformation, without the discomfort, and with the added frisson of being able to say 'why would you do that? I'd never do it that way!'.

Wish us luck!

Have you renovated? Got any tips?

[image: What will the Fibro look like after the reno? Hopefully as cute as this one from In My House]


  1. How exciting!

    New kitchens and bathrooms - dreadful inconvenience, huge payoff.

    We have renovated a number of proprties and homes - one was our first ever, in Marrickville. Whilst the bathroom was in progress, we errected an outdoor shower. A hose.

    My forte is tiling. And cutting in.

    I am deeply envious of you having the builder. A pro, no less.

  2. Ohhh how exciting! Maybe you will consider painting it "green with envy" because that is what colour I am with regard to the fact you are married to a builder.

    Looking forward to the after images.

  3. Good stuff! And what great timing that you can live in the parentals house while they're away.
    We've been renovating since December. No structural changes, just trying to make things work better when you have a 1930s house with 50s and 80s additions.
    We've been living here for the duration and it has not been fun. For the last leg (new kitchen flooring), we will be moving to my mums. Mr Karen wasn't keen, but I insisted. Very loudly.
    Love your criteria for a man.

  4. Oohhh exciting! I love renovations and renovating. Would love to see some piccies, Allison:)

  5. I'll do my best with my amateur camera skills to capture the delights of the 'before' so that I can contrast with the 'after' - in one post, once it's all done. :-)

  6. Good luck! We're at the other side - the finishing side. (It has been pointed out to me that those two words - 'finishing' and 'renovations' - don't often belong together, so I'm feeling quite good that we're there!)

  7. Have we renovated?
    We are on our third house, renovating with extending once again.
    The decisions are what I find difficult.

  8. Love, Love renovating, and totally addicted to the renovating shows on offer at the moment. I do agree that Top Design is a bit missable.

  9. I think I will enjoy following your blog.
    We have renovated many times. Our latest is our shack at Low Head. Of course the house we live in is not fully renovated!!

  10. Oh. No tips from me. I'm not a renovator but I like to peak into the efforts of others. Will be keen to see your photos, especially if the Teletubbie will be in them! Got a great giggle out of this description

  11. We are mid Fibro cottage renovation, asbestos and all! I have hit the 'just want the whole thing over and my house back' stage.
    I've been blogging about it as we go along, but if anyone is interested they can click on my name to see that :)

  12. My biggest tip? Keep your mouth shut. My husband is an engineer, which is sort of like a can-do-anything-with-enough-time-and-research kind of guy. So when he says he wants to renovate this or that, without any prior experience whatsoever, I just keep my mouth shut. And smile and nod. =>

  13. One step at a time with pause points built in...just be sure the steps are in order .

  14. I love the renovation shows as well. With an engineer husband who is quite handy but likes to plan every little detail before starting the job, taking ages to do it as well, it drives me crazy, as I just want to get the job done in half an hour!! We bought a renovator´s dream (all we could afford then) 4 years ago and are still renovating, right now the en-suite bathroom is all that is left to do, but we now enjoy our efforts and are proud that we did it ourselves!

  15. Having survived the renos and spending a very happy time grumbling about it on the blog I wish you nothing but good speed. And rapid building and safe removal of asbestos of course.

  16. best wishes!!! this blog is perfect! read pls meine букмекерские конторы hope you would like it too.

  17. Aaaarggghhh... how glad am I that our renovations are over... lived in the house with 3 year old twins and big boys through almost a year of it. Horrors! Lovely builder luckily.

    So, ok it's not totally finished... a carpet to go, a big one... still saving!

    Good luck with yours. Love the piccy of the wee house, my sister and I rented those houses a few years ago, great spot and sooooo cute.

  18. Ah I first read this post way back when I was too shy to comment :)

    We too renovated - it was a house that made my Mother-In-Law cry when she saw it. It wasn't what she had in mind for us apparently!

    But we spent a whole summer listening to cricket on the radio and doing up our little 1950's, bomb proof shack. My favourite room was one we never used - the dining room with its beautiful fireplace.

    And when it came time to knock it down, gee I was sad. The memories!

  19. We're about to shift into our dump of a house - the one we brought with massive plans for massive makeovers, that was before the massive GFC hit. So (gulp) we will be shifting in with no plans for makeovers, just gritting our teeth and waiting for miracles to happen so we can make it a little less hideous. My husband doesn't do shelves or books! Visiting from the Rewind :-)

  20. We're renovating at the moment, and I love reading about other renovation experiences. Especially DIY ones as well - my hubby's a builder, which sounds great, but actually delays things as he wants to do it all himself! Visiting via the Rewind.

  21. My man and I talk about building a house. Maybe. One day. We haven't put up the children's swing set from Christmas yet. We'll probably end up sleeping in a tent.

    Visiting via the Rewind.

  22. I have never personally renovated - I need my own house for that - but I remember having the kitchen/bathroom and back room renovated while I was growing up. The most I remember of it was that it was painful and slow going but the results were great.

  23. I think yours was the quickest renovation in history. Done in a matter of moments! The Builder is very good huh? I love your new look bathroom/laundry and kitchen. Fibtastic! Thanks for joining the Weekend Rewind x

  24. Great article – excellent content and well written!
    Smartbox self storage on demand, we deliver, you pack, we collect and store - perfect for people looking to store their furniture when renovating. www.smartbox2u.com.au


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