A renovation project is often a challenge, but the results are always so rewarding.
I remember clearly the day I held the first Home Renovations in my hands – long before I worked here – and thought: what a great idea! Readers’ projects and tips, budget breakdowns and plans – all accompanied by loads of photographs! For someone who’d already tackled quite a few renovation projects, it was like an early Christmas present.
And here we are again, with Home Renovations 2015. Pennypinchers Timbercity remains our sponsor because just like us, they believe in the principle of “do it yourself”.
I’m always struck by how many of the stories involve couples doing the projects together. People who share a love of doing renovations and getting their hands dirty. Sometimes I chuckle to myself because they all seem to agree: you often have to bite your tongue because it’s a true test of any relationship. But in the same breath they also tell how they will both join the queues at sales, clutching lists of the items they’re each tasked with grabbing!
The story of Esmi and Philip of Namaqualand (page 118), who are slowly but surely renovating their farmhouse, made me laugh out loud. Esmi and I first chatted on the phone and then communicated via email with questions and answers for their story. We were unable to send a photographer out there, but Esmi was up for the challenge. She took on the role of photographer and stylist herself and when the photos arrived, they were a wonderful surprise. She’d invited friends over and, as she describes it, bullied her farmer husband into a collared shirt. And there you have it: a DIY project suddenly became a DIY feature.
In addition, every reader in this issue had cost-cutting tips to share. Billy Laubscher tells how he bought a bath on a sale for a mere R100 (page 86). Esmi explains how they acquired the windows for their front stoep one at a time so that they wouldn’t have to lay out a huge sum of money in one go. And then there’s this nugget from Elaine and Richard Chesterton (page 76): don’t just decide that you won’t be able to afford something. Compare prices and make calculations; it might work out. I know I’ve been pleasantly surprised when something I wanted actually did fit into my budget in the end.
The winners of our Fix it with Flair which gave rise to this renovation guide, will be announced February issue of Home and the top three houses will be featured. Make sure you get your copy, because the best is yet to come...