Cold feet

It’s a big project – there’s no doubt about it. And it all nearly came to a head at midnight last night.

At 10pm we received an offer letter from our builder – what was essentially meant to be the final costing to sign-off on before the show’s on the road. In that letter, we discovered that window hoods hadn’t been included in the previous cost estimate, and now we were up for another several thousand dollars to add them in. It doesn’t sound like much, but for two stressed out, sleep-deprived, non-building-types, who’ve been faced with a few unexpected offer letter price hikes in the last fortnight, it was almost the final straw.

In nine hours’ time, the man who’d bought my kitchen on Gumtree for $3,500 was coming – with all his mates – to dismantle it and take it to his own home. The harsh reality that there was no turning back – despite the astronomical prices, despite the trepidation, and despite the overwhelming fear that a year from now we’d be regretting this moment for the rest of our lives. Not to mention the fact we’ve already signed a one-year lease on an apartment…

Renovating an old Queenslander, situated on an awkwardly sloping site, is to an extent an unknown quantity. There are a lot of fears: of spending too much cash, of creating a house that doesn’t look like the visions in our heads, that we’ll hit rock when excavating and have a massive cost blow-out. Most of all, we worry this is a stupid decision and that we should just buy a house someone else has renovated.

I cried. A lot. But faced with a lack of choice, we decided to stick with the renovation plan and jotted down points to talk to our builder about in the morning.

To his absolute credit, when he came over he was calm and rational. He talked us through the costs and did his best to put our minds at ease. I feel more comfortable now, but can’t wait for the day where hopefully we can kick back on the deck of our beautiful home and laugh about how it almost never happened…all because of some window hoods…


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