1) The dream phase
It will be wonderful! Pinterest is your best friend and your visits to the toilet appear endless, because you just can’t stop pinning. It feels like a new relationship: butterflies in your belly, and everywhere you see fantastic ideas which you absolutely want to include in your renovation project. The sky is the limit and DIY can’t be so difficult? (or not?)
It is also the moment you’re making an agenda, compare contractors and you’re certain you’ve found the best one. You visit building-fairs and depending on your budget you’ll quickly get to the next phase or you’ll find yourself on a fast train to realise your dreams (readers who’re getting a lot done by external contractors, feel free to jump to phase five or six, no judgement, you’re lucky!).
2) The sobering phase, aka the CAP-phase
The work has started and the first problems are visible. There are Certainly Always Problems (CAP). Isn’t it that your budget was wrongly calculated, then you’re contractor is preferring the other yard and you’ll have to wait some extra weeks than foreseen, or you discover a wall that isn’t as dry as it first appeared. The suspicion that you just made the biggest mistake of your life is rising. Will your house ever become your home? The best option is to lock your brain from this moment on and go on living on full-automatic. With a good portion of perseverance, you’ll have to be able to keep that up until at least phase 4.
3) The fearful phase
So, suspicion rose to quite some high levels and finally you are ready to affront it, but you are still in the dark. No way you’ll find out now what to expect. Your home looks worse than before and it seems as if a bomb exploded in exactly every room. Even those you’re not renovating. What did you do? Maybe you’ll think it wasn’t that bad before the renovation and secretly you’re praying for the invention of a time transporting machine to go back to the time before and stop yourself from starting at all. My advise? Ice cream, some series on Netflix, have a drink in a bar, cookies, from time to time a beer, cosy blankets or outings. Don’t wait until you’re too depressed to take a break, and go for it, maybe a week or two to catch a breath. Get away for the weekend and sleep in a hotel bed. The completely furnished bathroom of your room will have an incredible effect on your mood. Believe me!
4) The hopeful phase
Finally, you’ll see some progress and it is exceptional. Where there was no wall before, now you’ll discover the smooth surface of Gyprocpannels. You’ll cherish the colours of raw materials as the green of mdf and yellowish chipboard. Slowly, you’ll feel your knowledge in construction growing and you don’t fear the subject “renovation” at all. To great regret of anyone in your environment who isn’t renovating, because they abhor hearing you talking about your favourite subject, over and over again. What you’ll probably also tell everyone: “There is not much more work to do and everything will be ok.”
5) The phase of desperation
There is no end to it.
Dust is everywhere. No matter how often you clean. There will always be new dust. You’ll taste dust from morning ‘till evening. This is the phase in which you get to know the real meaning of teeth grinding.
Sleeping isn’t a joy neither. If you live in the house you’re renovating, dirt will always find its way to your bed. No matter how good you separate your room from the rest of the building. You’ll flop on your bed and snuggle under the blankets and then you’ll realise: there are still threads of dirt at the soles of your feet or underneath your tired bum you’ll feel the rustling of tiny stones and sand. Speaking of a scrub…
It was a false impression that everything would end soon. It were all lies! There is no end to that “finalising”! F*ck these final parts, you’ll probably swear and every time you need to make a new decision, the time-factor is playing a bigger role. Painting those steel tubes in black or dark grey? What paints the quickest? The last phase can’t come fast enough. Don’t hesitate to turn back to my advise from phase 3.
6) The phase of pure relief
What is done cannot be undone and it is beau-ti-ful! Whatever the time you spent renovating, a whole range of emotions unfolded and now you can leave it all behind.
It is time to enjoy your newly renovated home!