The Pinterest phase 

Hold onto your hats people, because this is probably the best renovation phase. In this phase, everything is hopeful and wonderful, as you happily pin home decor ideas, start scoping out exactly which prints you’re going to put up on the wall and dream of the day that you will live in your perfect home.

You discuss with the builder, if you have one, or you watch some tutorials on YouTube, and everything seems like it couldn’t be smoother. You’re not like those chumps on Grand Designs who always run out of money and time, are you? No, you certainly are not! You’ve never been more ready for something in your life. 

The DIY excitement phase 

Everyone has about 24 hours, 48 tops, of DIY excitement in them. You pull on your old jeans & a stained t-shirt. You get all of your paintbrushes ready. You are all over this business. It’s a fun day or two. You put My Dad Wrote A Porno on the speakers and you watch as progress starts to be made. It’s happening! All of your Pinterest dreams are coming true before your very eyes! You are a DIY goddess, who should definitely start doing this for a career! 

Problem is… you have to wake up and do it all again the next day. And the day after that. 

The ‘there is dust on everything!’ phase 

Why is there so much dust. WHY? It is on everything. You are giving up on cleaning because as soon as you wipe something down, it is covered in muck again. All of your furniture is covered in old curtains and dust sheets, because the cat is tracking dusty paw prints over everything. You feel like you might never be truly clean again. And this is just the beginning… 


The woe & despair phase 

Wasn’t everything supposed to be done by now? You had a timeline! A very carefully planned timeline that has been shot to shit by the reality of actually doing any renovation project ever. You are not the exception to the Grand Designs rule. Your house is a building site and you have taken to complaining to everyone you see about the state of it. Why isn’t it done yet? 

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The cautious optimism phase 

The builder says it will be done in a couple of days. By the end of the week, at the latest. This is very exciting. It hasn’t been so bad, right? All thoughts of the woe & despair phase are over – you are about to get your life and your home back, reclaiming it from the dust cloud that it has become. 

The crashing and burning phase (a.k.a. the takeaway every night phase)

Oh wait, what’s that? By end of the week, the builder meant the end of the month and maybe not even then. There were some unforeseen problems. He couldn’t source the right part. He put something on upside down and now he has to undo the whole last week’s worth of work. All hope is lost, and you resign yourself to living in a building site for the rest of your life.

Alternatively you could just burn it all down to the ground and claim insurance money. Fraud is starting to look like the better option right now. This is also the part where you give up any semblance of normality and commit to takeaways every night for the foreseeable future. What at first seems like a treat (Curry? On a Tuesday? What larks!) starts to feel totally gross by day 6. There’s only just so many pizzas one person can eat. 


The completion phase 

Hooray! It is finally done. Just when you had given up all hope. It’s even better than you dreamed! You can put things on shelves and use running water in the rooms you need it and finally unpack your most precious items. Things are clean again! You are clean again! Everything is right with the world and you must immediately invite all of your friends and family over to show off. No one has ever done such a wonderful renovation as you, and no one has ever suffered as much. You are a true hero and design genius. 

The ‘erasing this experience from my memory’ phase 

Halfway through the process, you have vowed never to touch a renovation project again. It is too traumatic. The cat can’t cope. You will move to a new build house where everything is shiny and new and there are no dead pigeons hidden behind the chimney. You are adamant about it. Until about two weeks later when you start thinking that maybe the bathroom could use a little touch up… 

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