Hello! It’s been a while since we had an honest chat about renovation fatigue so it feels nice to be back with another guest this week and continue the discussion. I think now more than ever we are able to spend time at home and truly appreciate the hard work we have put into creating it. For some this may not be quite so straight forward – they may have unfinished projects, they may have projects on hold during lockdown or perhaps there are new financial pressures to contend with.
Through this blog series I have been able to open up the discussion about the reality of taking on a renovation project – the highs and the lows, the stresses and strains and the effort it takes to transform a house into a home. If you would like to be involved then please contact me either through this link or via Instagram.
This week Jess (and by extension Darius!) from @cluelessrenovators have shared their experience. Please have a read and show Jess and Darius some love too. That’s enough from me, now over to Jess and Darius:
- Jess and Darius
- Victorian Terrace in London
- Moved in May 2019
It feels odd to be writing about renovating ‘in the current climate’ but with all this new found free time the pressure to be cracking on feels more intense than ever. My feed is full of lovely people whacking out DIY tasks in their work from home lunch breaks or between home-schooling children and it’s quite honestly overwhelming. I can barely get out of my PJs and wade through my remote working day. But this time comes at a culmination of 10 months of every evening and weekend being devoted to DIY.
We are Clueless Renovators – or in real life, Jess and Darius. I’m a TV journalist and Darius works in loyalty and community at a British car company. We bought our Victorian (1890) Terrace in North London in May – and it was a full fixer-upper. Everything needed re-doing and we wanted to extend too – so we borrowed up to our eyeballs, rolled up our sleeves are cracked on.
The first weekend in the house I cried almost non-stop, the previous owners had left it filthy – clumps of hair, dirty face wipes stuck to the wall, rubbish everywhere – I called in professional cleaners who walked straight back-out again – but friends and family turned up to help – and within hours we were knocking down walls (literally) and making way for what would be our bathroom.
The first few months were full of highs – every spare moment was spent improving the house – and because it was neglected it all made a huge difference! We had no experience but my parents drove 4 hours every Sunday to help and teach us.
But then I fell ill, so poorly I couldn’t get out of bed, a crippling fatigue which left me unable to work and trying to find somewhere clean to sleep all day in our building site. Not long after D had to close his business – we were down to one income and our builders had already taken the roof off.
That was the low of our renovation – but I’m writing this from our (almost finished) extension in our beautiful kitchen, knowing it takes a village to renovate a house – and that village, our friends and family, are closer than ever. It means the world.
I am better now and cracking on with making the news, D has started a new job and finances are slowly getting back on track. This means we can start to tackle the rest of the house but trying to go more slowly. Now, instead of racing to the end I’m attempting (!) to enjoy the process.
(Edit: Darius just proof read this and said the last sentence is a lie – he has to convince me every day that we shouldn’t fill every minute with DIY…).
Thank you so much to Jess and Darius for their honest chat about ‘renovation fatigue’. In Jess’ case, it really had a major impact on her body physically, never mind emotionally and mentally. I’m sure many will relate to this. They’re doing a fantastic job as their ‘after’ pictures are a testament to.