On the Homes Rahe Stress inventory, renovating your home in fact only appears at number 28 in the list. Although the more savvy of us will be aware that any stage of the act could in fact propel you straight into first place of ‘death of a spouse’ with just the flick of a colour chart.
I have renovated. Have you renovated? It’s such an idealistic notion isn’t it? I mean at the end of the day, we all watch Grand Designs and I am totally familiar with George Clarke’s moon face and determination to be the most Sunderlandish person ever born. I’ll be honest and say at times I can’t even fathom what he’s actually saying.
Any one can renovate can’t they? If you’re in a relationship then it’ll be even easier won’t it - because there’s two of you to shoulder the load isn’t there. Just be prepared - have a contingency plan, order everything ahead and get a good builder. Get a good builder. Easy enough.
Two months of consistent arguing about what kind of bidet tap to order. One solid week of shrieking about why anyone would actually want a fucking bidet. Objects thrown over ‘someones’ idea of having slate window cills (yes that someone was me and yes I stand by the decision). Generic, consistent, discontent at pretty much all decisions for one reason or another. Chippy dinners for two full weeks due to no functioning kitchen, leading to extreme wall climbing and possible rickets. Everything covered in dust leading to the daily Catherine Wheel bicker match which normally will result in one giant mud slinging contest. Yes, it’s easy enough. Renovate a house - they do it all the time on Grand Designs.
What you don’t see on Grand Designs is all the epic editing that is required to make it appear like the couple are still able to be in the same room as each other at the end of it all. We were lucky, and that’s all I can describe it as. We managed to find a middle ground that allowed us to either a) agree to disagree on decisions that would then allow us to progress with the build or b) kick up such a cavalcade of discontent that by the end of it we couldn’t actually remember what had started the drama in the first place by which point our builder would have just made the decision for us.
A slate cill is a good idea. Repeat until you agree.
Yes, renovating truly is wonderful. Of course, as I sit here in my luxurious palace now sheathed in marble and Swarovski, whilst my wild cats languidly pace their gilt cages I realise that it has all been worth it. Not really - it’s all a lot more Scandinavian with the odd cow hide but it has of course been worth it. Would I do it again? Not without the right builder. We were exceptionally fortunate to find someone that was human and not a liar; rare traits from my experience. Apologies to all those exceptional builders out there that have the morals of Mother Theresa - In the words of Michael Bublé ‘ I just haven’t met you yet’. I’m not the kind to give advice. Let me give you some advice; get the right builder if you are going to dip your toe into the hell ocean of doing a place up. Indeed - get my builder if you need one and you’re local to me. Also, get wine. Lots and lots of wine. Lots and lots and lots of wine.