Anyone who has ever had any sort of work done on their home will probably be familiar with the fact that work you estimated would be over quickly, takes way longer than you expected.
What I anticipated to be a couple of weeks inconvenience has now stretched to a month. Much of that time has been taken up with careful prepping of surfaces and some has been taken up with the actual task of painting.
My painters are actually doing an excellent job. They are polite decent young men, but the reality is my house is a mess with so much displaced stuff and the painters are in my home for much of the day.
We enjoy tea breaks and sometimes lunch together and they have done me more than a few non-painting favours, but I am counting down the days to have my house back to normal and my space to myself.
Having been through previous kitchen and bathroom renovations, the saga was similar.
I anticipated only the wonderful outcome, not the chaotic and prolonged weeks of inconvenience. Things like accessing my garage, eating way more take-away food than normal and having to put my toilet seat down are all things that can't help but become trying.
My worst ever experience of home renovations was with having my previous home in Melbourne restumped. The foreman was constantly persuing me around the house, to the point I was very glad my mother had come to stay for moral support. His advances were not overtly sexual, but his persistence with ridiculous questions and "advances" were somewhat out of line.
Now I am pretty lucky here in Ballarat. A large number of my extended family work in one area or another of the building industry. This has meant I have been able to access relaible, trustworthy individuals who have completed the projects I have undertaken with care and real craftsmanship. My renovations have gone pretty smoothly.
However, inevitably, some things have arisen that have been unforseen and demanded extra time and money to rectify. The dual stress of staying on budget and surviving the chaos of the work, is always there.
Then there is the extra cleaning. Renovations and painting always involve extra dust and way more than my usual cleaning routine. I am not a fan of cleaning at the best of times. Such occasions usually precipitate a good sort out and spring clean, but the journey is always tedious and time-consuming.
My home is looking fresh and spotless, but I will be so glad to simply come home to my own company and my dog, to have time for my garden and prepare food and eat in my workman free kitchen once more.
In whinging about having workmen onsite, I should also say I have "done it myself", at least when it comes to painting, twice over at my previous house. I took even longer than my workmen. I fell off a ladder and lived without a functioning living area for weeks. I have struggled to "snap" too long screws for new knobs for the kitchen cabinets. I have donned masks to remove the remains of old, probably asbestos laden linoleum and served as a lackie for my solo bathroom renovator, carrying loads of stuff to the skip. I lacked the confidence to undertake tiling, but did manage to prepare and paint some very tacky and extensive tiles a fresh "disguise" white, in my Californian bungalow.The wall to wall tiles stretched from the kitchen, right through to the laundry and into the toilet. Attempting to remove them from the walls left holes and the likelihood of a full replaster. Yes, WhiteKnight tile paint was, indeed, my friend!
I have become a deft hand with an electric sander and take great pride in my ability to work with enamel paint in perfecting a long lasting finish on heritage skirtings and doors.
I find painting boring, labourious work despite these achievements. It is way easier to stick to my own trade, working with words and ideas as well as teaching young people. It is way better to have spare time to get my hands dirty in the garden and leave painting and other trades to the professionals!
I guess I can put up with good workmen doing their job, even if it means some short term inconvenience and a bit of budget juggling and restraint!
Most of all I know I will be glad when it is all over!