• Mel Watts

Renovating with kids.

Back in 2016 we started the renovations on our three bedroom red brick home. We purchased it back in 2011 for a steal. The market wasn't booming and as first home buyers we were looking for a long time. We came across our home after my brother in law seen it and it took some convincing from my end. It was on a beautiful land that was near the creek and the lake.

Moving here we knew it needed work but we weren't in much of a rush. Not long after we moved in we fell pregnant with Ivie and Ayden had started kindergarten.

Nolan did the owner builder course and we started our planning in 2015. Indie was a Bub.

Renovating with kids - especially young kids is a nightmare. Especially when you live in the house still and most of the building is done by your husband.

Why was it so nightmarish?

Deadlines had to be done, small kids don't understand this. Both of these don't go together. Indie grew up with a hammer in her hand and a drill piece in her mouth. Not once did she hurt herself, pure luck. She hung off Nolan whilst he was building the back part of our house.

Things happen. I got pregnant when we were still renovating. So we had to add another bedroom - hence Indies small closet room.

Time gets lost. Nolan would work all week at his normal job and then come home and work until dark on the house. Every weekend, every public holiday, every birthday he would work on the house. He missed events and dates, purely because he wanted to get it done.

Strain on the relationship. Was it because I was pregnant or was it because I was looking after three kids on my own with what would appear a husband getting away from every tantrum, every bath time and every dinner cook up. Sure now in reality he wasn't doing it to be away from us but because he was trying to finish it. We were like ships in the night. Always too tired, too busy and too frustrated to get along half the time.

We finished our house just before we had Sonny - thank the lords! Life soon went back to normal. What have I learnt form our renovations.

It isn't like what you see on the TV, well it could be if you didn't have to spend your own money, had no children and a make up team available. It's not a easy gig. We had kids sharing rooms that didn't suit. I was heavily pregnant sleeping on the floor in the lounge room so it definitely wasn't glamorous.

Have back up. Save money where you can because something will break or won't fit and you'll need to spend it.

Have dedicated family days. No building, no house just family. It doesn't have to be weekly, just a dedicated date you'll spend together.

As we're (slowly) preparing to do a second story on our own house (ugh) I will 100% be getting a builder, Nolan won't be doing it this time around. But that is costly.

I do get asked as well how I found my "Inspo" for my house. Pinterest, I have an account that I've save inspiration pictures that you're welcome to look at. Here is the link.

In shorter version I'm all for open spaces, high ceilings, white clean walls and light floors. I love indoor plants, bohemian style decorations and memories.

I want a house that can be lived in, played in and make memories in. Nothing here can't be replaced and nothing that can be ruined is down at children level.

We love the back deck area as it opens the whole house up and allows the outside to be inside.

Our house is also our home. We've entertained here many times, we've brought home our children here. We spend the money because we want our house to be the home our children grow up in (unless an amazing opportunity comes along) so we're staying out for the years.

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