A ren­o­va­tion project is of­ten a chal­lenge, but the re­sults are al­ways so re­ward­ing.

Home Renovations - - Contents -

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...


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