The Unreliable Guide to… RenovatingThe Unreliable Guide has recently suffered a flood that turned my wooden apartment floor into a skate park. Thanks to the blessed auspices of the insurance company this will be rectified, but it means a major renovation. We have to pack everything up and move out for five weeks while it all dries out. This does not please The Unreliable Guide one bit, but looking around the Eastern Suburbs it would seem that loads of you love messing about with your spaces and are voluntarily engaging in life-uprooting renovations. This is madness, but if you insist, The Unreliable Guide has some tips and tricks to make sure you don’t suffer a nervous breakdown in the process…
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
Some people try and carry on living in their place while it’s being f*cked with. This is never a good idea. Just bite the bullet, move out and have a mini holiday in your own town. Seriously, life is too short for Gyprock Weet-bix.
PAY THE PROFESSIONALS
DIY painting, sanding and construction is fun for about two hours, then you and your better
half will fight. Comedian and part- time builder Luke Heggie suggests that once the initial fun of dabbing paint on each other’s noses has worn off, the average marriage will last about the same time it takes to paint three-quarters of a three-bedroom semi. Just pay the professionals to do the job. You carry on being a fund manager. It’s totally fine.
BE NICE TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS
You’ve moved out into a peaceful Airbnb down the road, but your neighbours are stuck there listening to power tools screech, grind and thump while your builders yell at each other across an out-of-tune radio that’s playing Triple M at full blast. While you relax and enjoy a mini-holiday, they’re picking grit boogers out of their noses or falling out of bed because your digger is shaking up the foundations. The very least you can do is pop round with a few handmade chocolate brownies and a bottle of Passion Pop.
DON’T BE SCARED OF THE COUNCIL
These days you require a council development application just to give your own bush a trim (unless you are a developer, in which case you can build a 52-apartment mega-construction that breaks all of the local planning rules). For your own renovations, choose a builder who knows how to deal with council regulations on your behalf – a day spent shouting at low-paid council nobodies won’t do anybody any good.
It doesn’t matter which paint colour you choose, your ground floor Bondi flat will never look like a Tuscan villa. Just be grateful you’ve managed to cover up the blood-stained walls and eliminate the weird smell of fish. Also, if the contractor’s quote suggests 20 thousand dollars and three weeks to completion, it means 40 thousand and minimum six weeks. Knowing these things in advance will prevent a great deal of stress and disappointment.
Finally, The Unreliable Guide suggests you switch off your water supply before you go away anywhere and remember to replace your hot water tank every five years. These things can just go OFF people!