Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The big renovation - phase 1

We're already talking in phases here. Though we have the most beautiful plans and ideas, it's just not possible to get it all done within a few weeks or even months. Partly because we don't have the time and energy to do all that, partly because we have to save up money for the bigger parts of the renovation.

So phase 1 is actually quite simple: make it acceptable to move in.

I guess that's a very vague description, because most people would like a house to be kind of finished before they move in. But we just want to move as soon as possible. It will save us rent (for the apartment we're now living in), gas (for driving up and down almost daily - it's about 25 minutes from where we live now), and it will be much easier for us to switch between work and renovating if we're living in the house. Right now it's hard to combine my work and his and the renovation, especially since we don't have electricity and internet there yet, so we can't just be there the whole day and work on our laptop when needed while the other one keeps working on the house.

So, here's what we really need to do as soon as possible:

- install electrical wiring in the whole house (though we only install a junction box in rooms we're not using for now) - T. is working on that right now, he thinks he's about 75% done
- install/replace water pipes
- wait for Aqualectra to connect us to water and electricity. This can take a while, it depends if they see us as a new connection (then they will send someone over to inspect what we've done) or as an existing connection (there is a meter, but the house was disconnected years ago).
- get internet
- repair the roof - we had someone over at the house on Sunday who will give us an estimate (we can't do it ourselves because we're both afraid of heights)
- repair cesspit (it's partly collapsed, but we think it can be saved)

Bedroom (the bigger one)

- remove ceiling - done
- add lamp (ceiling fan?), switches and outlets
- install air-conditioning
- clean walls (bat droppings!) - almost done
- clean floors (bat droppings!)
- clean windows

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls
- paint door and door posts
- paint window bars

Small bathroom

- remove ceiling - done
- install ceiling
- add lamp, switches and outlets
- clean walls, floors and sink
- add faucet for sink
- add shower head and faucet

Hallway, stairs
- remove ceiling - done
- install light, switches and outlets
- clean walls
- clean floors

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls

Big bathroom
- clean walls and floors
- make it possible to install washing machine (drain, tap)

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- paint walls
- install toilet (must be reconnected to partly collapsed cesspit)
- install sink


- clean cupboards and counter - done, but needs another round
- clean walls
- clean floor - done, but needs another round
- clean windows
- remove ceiling
- remove smelly cupboard
- install light, switches and outlets
- make a connection to either big gas bottles outside or a smaller one inside (in one of the kitchen cupboards)

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls

Outside toilet
- clean - done
- connect water
- connect electricity

- install outside lights (for safety)
- remove weeds and bushes around the house to be able to reach all walls - almost done, need a bigger saw (chain saw?) for the last bushes

So yeah, there is some progress, but it's a lot of work.

When we got the key, I was very optimistic about how quickly we could move in, but after 11 days of hard work, we're both feeling that we're not that young anymore.
We can do it, but we need to slow down and be reasonable or we end up being sick, burnt out and prone to accidents (T. cut his hand on the planer Monday, I managed to bruise my thumb so badly I couldn't use it for the first two hours).
We still hope to move in July, but it might be August.

So I'm working on adjusting my attitude. My character and upbringing is to just keep going, but it's wiser and healthier and better to just take it slowly and enjoy the process.
Poko poko, as the locals say.
Big life lessons included with the house...


  1. Good luck with your schedule, you will get there. Love the poncho!!

    1. Thanks! It will take time, but it's so worth it...