Guest interviewer Talking Renovations
15th January 2016
Expect the unexpected: Jodie talks about her renovation
As part of a regular series featuring clients and tradies, we’re looking to include interviews with people who have had renovation work done on their homes, whether this has been carried out by a team of tradies or by themselves. We ask about their experience and if they have any tips and general advice for those thinking of doing the same.
This week we got to talk to Jodie, who with her partner Chris, recently carried out big improvements on their house. Both are tradies and we seek to tap into their knowledge and experience as well as ask their advice on what to expect.
In answer to the question: What were they looking to achieve, Jodie answered that they wanted to maximise space, encourage natural light and create a more modern look. The “…house is quite small and was divided by so many internal walls. Our aim was to join kitchen, living and dining rooms into one large room and achieve an open plan layout,” she said.
The pair thought because they were both experienced tradies the work would be easy. Particularly as it is a small house. How wrong they were though! As Jodie said, the only (comparatively) easy part was the decorating at the end. After the hard work had been done!
“Expect the unexpected” was Jodie’ message as she described their work on their older-style house. Jodie suggested in a “tongue-in-cheek” style that television DIY has a lot to answer for. Demolishing walls wasn’t as simple as swinging a sledgehammer (as she had seen on popular shows such as The Block) and problems kept cropping up at every stage.
Some of the difficulties Jodie and her partner encountered were:
>Demolition was more difficult than expected.
>Time issues as each part of the renovation ran over schedule. This made co-ordinating other specialist trades more difficult.
Jodie’s inspiration for her projects
We were intrigued to find out where Jodie got her inspiration for the project. She stated that she found ideas from a number of places she’d visit regularly such as cafes and restaurants. Just by being observant and checking table settings, interior design and paint colours in venues they visited the pair were able to generate a number of ideas for the renovation. Magazines, street art and day-to-day sightings were also sources for ideas.
Jodie also talked positively about how social media played an important role in helping her come up with thoughts on her project. She recommended the picture-centric Pinterest and Instagram as two of her favourites for providing different, “out-of-the-box” images and ideas.
While very satisfied with the end result, Jodie said if she and her partner were to choose such a project again, she’d be better prepared in a number of ways, including making sure to hire tradies for those jobs that are outside her and her partner’s expertise.
“If I was to do the project again I would be less ambitious about the notion of doing everything ourselves,” she said. “There are tradies for a reason and the right one will do a super fast and professional job that can really enhance the quality and longevity of your reno.”
She added the following advice for anyone looking to renovate their home:
- Get everything out of your working space! – Jodie advises that getting everything out of the area in which you are working is crucial. Store everything in the spare room, garage or storage. She told us that “…constantly moving furniture, covering things in plastic and cleaning up to keep living in the space, wasted so much time!” Jodie added that clearing everything out of the space — which may include regular tip runs or skip hiring — was necessary to make working in the room safer and quicker.
- Check local hire places – Making the job as easy as possible is a key part of renovation work. Jodie suggests checking out local hire shops for tools or machines that will make the tough jobs quicker and safer. Also the owners of the shops are a wealth of knowledge about renovations and are usually very approachable to answer any questions you may have.
- Be yourself! – While Jodie said that it was important to talk to other people about your project plans to seek their opinion, it was equally necessary to not be scared to try something different. Even if that means being a little creative and going against people’s viewpoints. “I had the idea of wrapping the front of our breakfast bar with graffiti wallpaper…most people thought that I was crazy,” said Jodie. “But once it was done, they now comment on how amazing it looks. Some may not see your vision…who cares! Go for it and have fun with it, make your house a place that you love to be!”
Here at ComparetheTradie, we love to hear from people like Jodie. People who have worked hard to think up and complete their own renovations. As you can tell Jodie is more than happy to share her and her partner’s experiences and offer advice where necessary. Big thanks to Jodie for getting in touch and providing such great answers for us. If you are like jodie and have completed renovations then get in touch, we would love to see the results of your hard work.
Our service at ComparetheTradie gets you in touch with three experienced tradies for the job you want completed. Our unique system allows you to log in details of the job you require and we’ll supply you with the contact details and a tradie quote from three separate tradespeople in your area.
Contact us to find out how we can help you save money on your renovations.
Credit Rich Bowden – Chief copy writer