Does there need to be a story behind the renovating?
The thought has crossed my mind, what does a reader think of us having two houses to renovate. Could buying a second house, albeit (to some) a lowly budget house, be thought of as being greedy or just weird and most probably why would you want two high maintenance houses?
So why, why did we buy the dump next-door? Especially as we hadn't finished renovating our own home (does it ever really finish). It's probably a little bit, loving our very convenient spot and not wanting to leave at this time, if ever, and a whole lot of crazy, after what that house has put us through. Sometimes you just can't beat convenience.
When we moved here, all the houses were owned and ours was the rental of the street, fast forward a few years, numerous changes in neighbours and two cottage demolitions. A perfect example of our unsettled population.
The Reno cottage was bought as a home for the owner's son and was no problem until he moved overseas and the house became a rental. Those times we wondered who would move in, please not those young fellows admiring large stereo speakers through the windows. There have been a few interesting occupants over the years, the kind that appear on those current affair TV programs. The first tenants, two 17 year old girls (and one boyfriend with a drum kit) proceeded to turn the house into every teenagers dream, a party house with no parental supervision! Silly teenagers with loud music and indoor water fights with a hose, skateboarding through the house.... and when our we complained to the agent (our first and only complaint), we had fireworks thrown on our roof.
Another with a hyper child that would climb the roof and watch through our bathroom window, food stolen from our downstairs freezer (while I was home) and coming home to find kids playing in our sandpit. A machete wielding mother smashing her husband's car, numerous police arrivals called by other neighbours. Me having to find out what scabies were after a mother suggested we keep our kids away from hers for a while. A neighbourhood drug bust (before two houses were demolished for the units) resulted in belongings hastily thrown over the fence into the Reno cottage yard (sympathetic tenant) and subsequently led to someone sleeping in a car below our bedroom window (in the Reno cottage) for a few months and then moving to live under the Reno cottage when the tenant went away for a few weeks.
A job offer in the country at this time, was a welcome relief and believing our mostly, empty house would be fine, watched by wonderful neighbours on the other sides and our families, we left for a breather.
The last (the sympathetic) female tenant before we bought the Reno cottage was tormented by addictions and other issues and prone to erratic behaviour. Needless to say during our few years away especially, party behaviour became quite distressing to the other neighbours, and after a police capsicum spray incident and complaints to the estate agent (who no longer operates in town), the courts were involved and the tenant evicted. Despite all this, this really is a lovely neighbourhood, now!
So while chatting over the fence with the owner of the Reno cottage, we found out it was up for sale in the paper the next day We made him an offer on the spot (beg the banks later) which he took and then we watched as prospective owners viewed the block over the next few days and discussed loudly how they would buy our house too and build a block of units.
So while this blog is about us renovating the Reno cottage to be rented one day, we are in no particular hurry and are happily taking our time and enjoying not having to move our mattress to the furthermost corner of the house, rather than the extra income.
We are just a couple of amateur renovators doing our little bit to keep two older Queenslander style homes from demolition, for a bit longer. Workers Cottages seem to be the first to be demolished as they are deemed too small/unappealing for the modern family. We don't follow trends and just renovate as we are able, not worrying at all about the need to resell down the track.
Mr CH has trade qualifications though not as a builder, but now works to other qualifications. This blog is not intended as a "how-to-do-it" site, we are just sharing what we did. As each renovation has it's own unique requirements, research is always the best starting point. Try YouTube for new products and techniques. Great for how-to-tips and what-not-to-do. We have no particular loyalty to any brand(s) of products or tools, past experience, price and friends recommendations usually determine our selection.
So while this blog did start as a chronicle of our attempts to DIY renovate the Reno cottage on a frugal budget ($10 000), it has become somewhere for me to off-load other (less interesting?) snippets of our DIY life.