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"I (narrowly) survived a home renovation and will never be the same."

Yellow
Thanks to our brand partner, Yellow

It was a dark time.
We were tested to breaking point.
It was a period of adversity that challenged everything we knew.
Relationships were tested, life and limbs were literally on the line.
We wrangled dangerous animals.
The landscape was harsh, there were dangers around every corner, with every step, even a slight wrong movement could have been the end.
It was taxing.
Enduring.
Arduous.
It was a living hell.
It was a home renovation.

It has taken some time for me to be ready to share but I am finally at that point. And with a deep breath, here is the story of how my family and I emerged from the admittedly First World problem that is a home renovation.

It all started when we purchased our forever home: A five-acre property in regional Victoria. It needed a bit of work, but the bones were strong, and they offered our young family a potential lifestyle we could have only ever have dreamed of.

Our decision was to do a considerable amount of the renovations before we moved in. The idea was to limit the disruption it would create if we were actually living there at the time. And although I am positive still that this was the best decision, nothing could have prepared me for the grim reality that is home renovations and how much more help you end up needing than you had ever planned for.

Shona hendley
The kids supervised the tradies; the cats supervised the birds. Image: Supplied
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Our renovation journey was equally spread from internal house updates, including replacement carpets, painting, light fittings and the installation of fans and other electronics, to outside where work was needed in the garden, landscaping, fencing, weed and tree removal.

The list had begun with five or so main things but once we got into the thrust of it all we realised our list was very quickly getting out of control! Between working, parenting and attempting to still maintain some sort of life it was clear that we needed a bit more assistance than we anticipated.

So, we embarked upon our mission to find tradies: electricians, plasterers and painters. We used Yellow Quotes to cut out the time we didn't have hunting and calling a zillion people and making comparisons. With 300-plus categories available to quote, Yellow covers off a huge range of services, from those who make your home beautiful (from painters to florists) to reno necessities (hello, port-a-loos!). It turned out to be a big help for the mental load -  we were quickly connected to local, reliable businesses who were ready to do the job.

Once our electrical and plastering had been done, it was painting time. With multiple rooms to repaint, as well as a balustrade on a set of stairs, it wasn’t an easy job. In addition to that, we wanted it done pretty quickly so we could actually move in. For about two weeks the painters painted their little hearts out and we went from '90s green doors and trims to white and fresh. Finally...we could now move in!

painting
Paint job: DONE. Image: Supplied
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After the painting had been completed I really thought all was going to plan. But as any The Block enthusiast or renovation professional would know, this is when it all falls apart. It wasn’t long after we’d moved in and I was sitting down with a coffee that the doorbell rang. A passer-by had stopped in to tell me “your goats have gotten through your fence and are near the road.” *DISASTER*

After a few choice words in the direction of my two goats and a much nicer thank you to the woman who had told me, I ran across the yard in my UGGs and track pants yelling my goat’s names. One came bounding toward me while the other naughty doe decided to look directly in my eye then turn back to the luscious piece of grass she had discovered by the roadside. So, through the fence gap I went, literally wrangling my goat back inside our fence and back into their smaller paddock (much to all the onlookers' amusement, I am sure).

After thorough investigation it turns out there was a part of our property fence which had fallen down and provided the doorway to escape and to apparently the most delicious grass ever.

goats
Left, right: Petal the good goat; Clover the bad goat. Image: Supplied

So, our original renovation plans were now requiring recalculation: we needed a new fence and pronto.

Again, I used Yellow Quotes. Quicker than Googling a bunch of businesses and poring through their websites, I found local fencing businesses who were ready to give us a price and get to work. After speaking with them we were also able to get them to set up an electric paddocked fence on a much larger scale so my goat Houdinis would be contained and safe with plenty of room to run around (away from the road).

In the period of around two to three months, we managed to renovate the majority of our property as we had planned for - sanity still intact.

Christmas was now just around the corner and by this point our family was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. We got onto Yellow Quotes and sourced a cleaner and gardener to freshen the place up for the arrival of our Christmas guests - because heaven knows I wasn't going be able to clean the whole place in between working and running my kids' lives.

This meant we finally had the chance to relax and enjoy our new home and recover from the home renovation experience with not a tool in sight. Just lots...and lots...of food.

Christmas
Cheers. We need it! Image: Shona Hendley

Yes, it was a dark time. Goats were wrangled. Kids were too. But we survived home reno, and you can too.

Survived a home reno too? Tell us about it below!

This content is brought to you with thanks by our brand partner, Yellow.

Yellow

If you need something done fast, or need to outsource your to-do list, Yellow Quotes can take a load off. Just visit yellowpages.com.au, hit the quotes button, answer a few questions about your job and we'll put you in touch with local businesses who are ready to give you a price and get to work. Whether you need your carpets cleaned, fresh flowers, the house painted, brakes checked or your dishwasher serviced (plus heaps more), Yellow Quotes includes over 300 business categories, so we've got almost anything you need done, covered.

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