Home Renovations - - Living Area -

“We met on­line in 2015. She was al­ready 83 years old, but her looks ap­pealed to me. Only three months later, she was mine.”

This is how Retha Al­berts de­scribed her in­stant at­trac­tion to the home of her dreams when she en­tered our an­nual Fix it with Flair com­pe­ti­tion. It was love at first sight.

“I ne­go­ti­ated and con­cluded the en­tire pur­chase on­line, since I was liv­ing abroad in Mus­cat, Oman in the Mid­dle East at the time. I’d never seen her in person, but my feel­ings about this old lady were good.”

When Retha vis­ited South Africa three months later, she was ex­cited to see her new home in person for the first time. “But when I en­tered the house, I felt de­pressed and de­spon­dent. It was dark with a poor lay­out (the only bath­room was at the very back of the house next to the kitchen), odd fin­ishes and shoddy ex­ten­sions. I sat flat on the aw­ful kitchen floor and wept!”

But Retha soon re­cov­ered her­self and re­alised the home’s po­ten­tial with re­newed en­thu­si­asm. She en­listed the ser­vices of trusted builder Harry Nell and to­gether they slogged from morn­ing till night for three months to com­plete the ren­o­va­tion.

“Would I, a widow and al­most re­tired, take on such a chal­lenge again? For sure! These two old ladies will be friends for­ever. By the way, the builder and I are also still friends!” >>

Retha was thrilled af­ter she took a chance with her heat gun and care­fully (anx­iously!) tried to re­move the aw­ful yel­low coats of paint on the fire­place only to dis­cover mag­nif­i­cent orig­i­nal sand­stone be­neath. “A thing of beauty is a joy for­ever!” she exc

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