Home Renovations – Excitement Vs Terror.

With the floor structure complete it is time for the demolition part of our renovations to begin. During last week weather-boards came off the rear of our house, the study window was removed, the back door is gone (it will one day become our living room door!) and it is a matter of hours before the kitchen window is taken out. Looking at the gaping hole that was once our back door fills me with an odd mix of excitement and terror.

After so long waiting for the renovations to even begin, it is so exciting to watch them progress. It is exciting to think that the empty echoing shell that was once our study will one day part of our lovely new family room. It is even more exciting to dance around on the new floor structure and imagine how everything will work and where everything will go.

I stand in the space that our dining table will occupy one day and I can almost see myself cooking dinner in the new kitchen while looking out over the back garden while the children play or do their homework at the table. I drool over the beautiful red boards that are slowly populating our back veranda and I’m already planning dinners with friends out there on summer evenings. I am so full of dreams and excitement over how our lives will change when the renovations are done.

renovations demolition

Then I wander back ‘inside’ except it isn’t really inside any more.

Doing the washing took on a whole new dimension this morning, with -1 degree temps making the damp face washers in the basket frosty in our open air laundry. Soon my ‘kitchen’ will have no walls and no roof. Soon I will be cooking under a giant tarp, and wishing I had heated socks.

These two things fill me with a good amount of fear.

renovation demolition

How am I going to cope with an open air kitchen and laundry?
How are we going to manage to share the tiny space we have left, which is now crammed with the contents of the study and most of the kitchen and laundry?

How long are we going to have to cope with this? Well that’s anyone’s guess. We are doing most of the renovation work ourselves, well, The Father Figure, my brother in law and a family friend are doing most of the work at the moment, but once the externals are done I will be helping too. The Father Figure still needs to go to work, and fit in hospital appointments and all the other day to day life stuff like cutting firewood and sorting out a flooded sewage system as well as finding time to build our house. That means that the renovations will take a good while longer than they might if ‘professionals’ were doing all the work. So it may be a number of months before we have walls and a roof.

Even when the new walls and roof are up there is still a few big scary bits to come. We still have to rip out the old kitchen so we can put in a new one. That will mean a period of time with no kitchen at all. Same goes for the laundry, and let’s not talk about bathrooms and how we’ll juggle re-sanding and sealing the floors in the entire house?!?

We knew before we embarked on this crazy project that things would get tricky at times. I’m usually pretty good at just making do and putting up with stuff and part of me is so darn excited to see this all finally happening. But a big part of me just wants to close the door to the kitchen, eat fish and chips every night and wear new clothes every day until it is all over and done with.

Have you ever lived through the day to day craziness of renovations?
Did you survive without a kitchen?
Got any ideas or suggestions to help me make it through without going insane?

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    Wow! Its going to be tough but you are super resourceful and the end result is going to be incredible! Be brave, get the slow cooker recipes lined up and invest in some snuggies to wear while you do the laundry and cooking!

  2. says

    You know how painful the floor process was at out place, not to mention the outdoor renos … so I’m feeling for ya LOL I dare say the father figure is a bit more motivated tho! You’ll forget the pain once it’s done, like having a baby … or not forget but it’s done so you can just enjoy it then LOL

    • katef says

      ah such a good analogy… the same anticipation, the same knowing that this will be life changing, but never sure if it will be exactly how you expect it to be, the same period of chaos… and hopefully the same find memories when I look back!

  3. says

    Hi Kate, I’m not the best person to ask at the moment. Living through kitchen/ laundry renovations right now! Due to some stuff-ups, we have been without a kitchen for over 2 weeks and expect we won’t have one for another week and a bit. Our kitchen is currently sitting (broken in pieces) in our lounge room, so we can’t sit down and relax anywhere except in our bedroom (or we can sort of climb over stuff and jump through to the lounge if desperate.

    The sunny days are not too bad – kids have been playing outside most of the day, but lets not talk about the 4 days of rain we had! So thankful that my mother-in-law lives a few streets away. We manage breakfast and lunch here, but camp out at her place for dinner then bring the kids straight home for bath and bed!

    I’m sure others will have more positive things to say about the end result!

  4. Marcia Cross says

    We remodeled a house, initially 3 small bedrooms, living room and kitchen, in which the former owners had knocked out the wall between the kitchen and the front bedroom. It had a full unfinished basement and was on a corner, with the driveway downstairs on the side and the living room upstairs facing the main road. It was a 6 month process as my husband and I were working in the daytime, and had a 4 year old and a 6 year old. The previous owners had redecorated with the aid of a generous supply of alcohol according to the neighbors and everything had to be torn out, off and down except the ceilings and walls which had to be redone to the studs. We needed 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, which there was only 1 of. So the basement would have to be used. There were no indoor stairs. Since the downstairs was large it was to be the family room/kitchen/laundry room. We had to put in a staircase and convert the old kitchen to the master bedroom with a bath. So, no kitchen. In the unfinished basement was our refrigerator and stove and no sink. Also no cabinets. Just a table and chairs and an old sofa. So, as we could not afford to eat out for 6 months, I cooked downstairs and had to get water out of the bathroom upstairs. I did get gallon jugs of water from the store for cooking and drinking. It worked out fine, except no dishwasher. That was the worst. I had to carry the dirty dishes and dishpan, etc. Up to the only bathroom and wash them bent over the tub…the one we bathed in…in the only bathroom we had to use as a bathroom. My husband and his father were building custom cabinets (beautiful) so no sink until the last thing. At least they did put in stairs pretty quickly so I didn’t have to keep going outside and walk up the hill carrying the dishes and go in the front door to wash them and then back down. Then the master bedroom was done with another bath, so we could use one for bathing and other things and one pretty much expressly for washing dishes. It was like that for six months as the kitchen was last being done. The floor was laid in the basement finally and the cabinets installed and the sink and dishwasher! At the time it was just something that had to be done and it was mostly in the summer and fall…and we were young. Our children are now 32 and 30. I wouldn’t do it again now, but it was a foreclosure at a terrific price so…it was worth it. I can think about it now, 26 years later, and smile.

  5. says

    Wow, this looks great and you are so brave taking on an open air kitchen and laundry! I hope to build in the future, but not brave to do it with my kids being so young….or maybe I should be doing it when they are young?? Thanks for linking up on my blog hop:)

    • katef says

      Our kitchen and laundry aren’t so ‘open’ now as the roof and weather boards are on… but no internal walls etc so nothing is seal and Oh man the bugs are driving me nuts! But at least I am not ramming earth into hundreds of tires in the rain! LOL