Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Renovating is like a really, really big jigsaw puzzle.

I have not written a post in two months. I kept waiting for something big to happen in the renovations and as the days turned into weeks and nothing big happened the silence grew louder and louder. That is until I realised that renovating is like a big jigsaw puzzle with each bit contingent on another. Just like a jigsaw the border needs to be in place before you can start piecing together the middle. Big things don't just happen, it is a piece by piece process, sometimes taking a piece out and replacing it with another. Or you can have a corner in place and begin piecing the other pieces toward the middle but to expand either vertical or horizontally you need more structure.

An apt house jigsaw puzzle

A case in point is the ensuite bathroom for the guest bedroom. My parents arrive in two weeks and two months ago I suggested we use their arrival as a target for completing the ensuite. This target was not without purpose. Our bathroom only has a bath and the water pressure (and heat) wanes if you try to stand and shower yourself. So, if you want a good scrub with hot water you must sit down. I worry about my folks lifting themselves in and out of the bath - a shower would be much better.

The bath. At least the hand rails may be useful.

The guest bedroom has a big built-in cupboard. We are knocking through the wall into the cupboard next to it. That second cupboard contains the water tank. To build the ensuite we need to move the tank. In order to move the water tank we need somewhere to move it too.

Frame in place for the new ensuite, once the tank is moved...

The loft is a logical place... Unless we decide to connect directly to the mains. In that case we need a different boiler system... Or not connect to the mains and move to gas now, and it makes sense to sort it all out now. So, the boiler will need a strategic position, as well as digging the trenches to lay the gas pipes ready for the connection to the mains gas that runs under the lane ( a 2-month wait apparently!). We have decided that the boiler will go in the new utility room. The new utility/laundry room needs to be built. We are using one-third of the existing garage for the utility/laundry room while the remaining two-thirds will be a study/smaller bedroom. The frame is now in place.

The frame for the wall.

You can see where I am going with this. Our house renovation and the ensuite in particular is becoming the most convoluted jigsaw puzzle! The side wall in the photo above will become the doorway into the utility/laundry room from the hallway. Those with an eagle eye will notice that in the top left-hand(ish) corner is the electricity board. Yes, to knock through the doorway we need to move the board. Moving this board means we need to do the re-wiring of the entire house sooner rather than later (none of the wiring meets the standards of today).

Ultimately what this jigsaw puzzle all means is that the ensuite won't be done in time for my parents visit. As someone whose natural inclination is to solve problems through finding a practical solution and implementing it quickly and preferably painlessly, I am finding this renovation jigsaw somewhat frustrating. But it is a big lesson in patience, which is one that I needed to learn!