First Time Renovator: when Covid-19 halts the renovation

Over the last few weeks life has changed beyond recognition for all of us. Because of Covid-19 we are working from home, home schooling our children, exercising at home, in fact everything we are now doing is centred around our homes.

So, if, like us, you were right in the middle of a full home renovation (or any kind of building work for that matter) then I’m sure you will have had to press the pause button too. But what happens when Covid-19 halts the renovation?

I am thankful that the biggest part of our build (the boys’ room) is finished and all we have left to do was decorate it (more on that to come soon). All sleeping in one bedroom was interesting to say the least and I can’t imagine that scenario for much longer than the six to eight weeks we already endured!

Downstairs is a different story however, the builders have left but we still have flooring to lay, windows and a door to install and plastering to be done. At the beginning of March before lockdown had been mentioned we thought we could continue with the work, but things moved so fast, and we soon realised that the only work we would be able to do was what we can do ourselves.

At first, I wasn’t sure how we would manage with the horrible old carpet and terrible kitchen lino, but it actually turned out to be a benefit while we were homebound for so long. I didn’t mind the children’s Make Your Own Slime set or the painting on (literally on) the kitchen floor because the flooring was all going to be replaced. We even decided to make the plastered wall into a space for the children’s artwork during the lockdown. Seems that even when Covid-19 halts the renovation, there’s a silver lining (for the kids anyway!).

Covid-19 halts the renovation
We created an art wall where the fireplace had been to brighten up the ‘building zone’.
I didn’t mind the paint we splashed all over the kitchen lino because it would be replaced.

I set up my home office in the finished living room so I could work from home full time (check back next month for the trials and tribulations of decorating this room). My desk has always been in our kitchen-dining space, but since this area was now essential for the children to play and learn in, I needed to move out – I actually prefer my little office at the front of the house looking out at the gorgeous chocolate box thatched houses on the opposite side of the road and right in the spot where the sun comes up.

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As Covid-19 halts a renovation, lockdown has meant that we are able to finish off lots of little bits that we hadn’t got around to yet, such as staining the new wooden doors and painting skirting.

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With all this time at home we were able to assess what we wanted to do next. I had almost rushed into buying stools for our new breakfast bar, but I now had time to sit back and think about exactly what kind I really wanted. Suddenly none of the building work is essential and we could just enjoy the space and imagine what it will be like when it’s finished.

Covid-19 halts the renovation
Being at home so much when Covid-19 halts the renovation has meant we are able to use all this extra time to finish things off.

We were lucky that we weren’t at the stage in our renovation when we had no roof, or a temporary front door – or that horrendous time when we had no flush on the toilet and had to use buckets (yes, really!). But for some renovators having loft extensions or full two-storey builds, the full lockdown must be a BIG problem. If this is you, let me know in the comments below how you’re getting on. And sending good vibes to you!

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The Covid-19 pandemic (which is still ongoing as I write this) has been and continues to be an all-consuming battle which has put many things into perspective for us as a family. With regards to our home renovation, I am more determined than ever to finish and create the perfect space for us to use together (and I probably won’t be on board with paint on the floor at that point!).

Read more First Time Renovator blogs in the series.

Featured image: We’ve had some little helpers during this time. Painting was a bit messy but they were excellent at making hope rainbows for our windows.

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