Hello, well I should start by introducing myself and explaining a little of what i’m about and what I hope to achieve by entering the new world of ‘blogging’.

My name is Owen, and I, or should I say we, are about to embark on an exciting journey into the world of renovation. This is not your ‘typical run of the mill renovation rescue attempt and lets see how far we get before we call in the tradie’, this is a genuine attempt to have some laughs and cries about the epic task of renovating an old 1950’s style house into a new and modern ‘I want to live in this’ home.

Last year my beautiful partner and I, (partner… ahem, I should say wife to be, as it is only 6.5 weeks and 3 hours and 14 Min’s away, just before she jumps in and interrupts) bought an old house, yes it is one that previously had tenants in it. Now before you start… oh no’ing, they haven’t done a bad job at keeping the place in a somewhat respectable condition, however the simple action of turning an exhaust fan on in both the toilet, bathroom and kitchen seems to have been an act that escaped their peripheral by lets say… oh… every time they cooked, used the bathroom and toilet… so you can imagine what we’re talking about to start.

L and I – L is how I will label my endearing ‘wife to be’ at this stage, but I’m sure you will hear a lot about L before our time is through. As I was saying L and I moved into our new home in September 2005 with the ‘gangbusters’ approach that most people who by a renovator do, saying we’re going to rip this out and that out and “there is no way known I’m showering in that!”.

How life quickly changes… yes we have been in our new home for over a year now and yes despite our initial dis-approvals of the green tiled bathroom that directly vents into the ceiling space, we have showered in there and endured a full cycle of the 4 seasons of Melbourne all-be-it in one day, need I say.

One thing that did happen within the first week or so of living in our new home, that was not tolerated was the state of the gas stove, that was considered worth mentioning in the brochure that advertised the house (dont you just love Real estate agents?). If you had seen this whitegood, formally known as a gas cooktop you might have well laughed as there was nothing ‘white’ about this anymore, nor had there been for oh, lets say 20 years, as the black stuff that ‘normal’ people clean off during the enviable task of cleaning the kitchen, also escaped the chore’s list of the previous owners/tenants.

As soon as we had moved into the house and started to unpack, L, who just loves kitchens, walked in there to attempt revive the piece of metal formerly known as a stove with a scrubbing brush and gloves… after two minutes of scrubbing says “Owen, I think we need an industrial cleaner to come in and have a go, cause I AM NOT COOKING ON THAT!!!

The very next day, L had arranged her old cleaner to come in and give it a go, but after two hours of harsh scrubbing… it appeared in the same condition as if she hadnt started… you may think i’m exaggerating, but it was awful. There was only one thing to do! Call our friends who had a little gas cooktop, you know the ones that attach directly to a gas bottle… yes i’m not kidding. So for the next week, we cooked on that, it was fun cooking in the middle of the loungeroom floor, felt as if we were camping.

The first Saturday comes after the above event, and here was Owen, thinking to himself, ahhhh, I could enjoy that first Saturday morning resting, after a hard week at the office and the long nights unpacking, but L had other plans. “Owen?” in her little sweet voice that i’m just a sucker for, “can we go for a drive to Highpoint” oh dear, my hip pocket started to feel lighter with that one question… little did I know how much lighter it would be by the end of the day!

You know what is also at Highpoint, yes, it’s a whole roadmap full of home renovation places, i mean it would make any man cringe knowing that the shed takes last priority and that we may never know full happiness until the house is complete and then we can spend the rest of our lives getting the shed looking like the Taj Mahal. I think you know what I mean, we’ve all seen that beer commercial where all the guys go out to the back shed and pull down on a secret wall, only to reveal a combined shed of the other three of his neighbours… the bar, the pool table, dart board and everything else, only a man can dream about!

Forgive my small tangent. Well, this is what happened next, we went to Harvey Norman, the super super store! went straight passed the huge plasma screen TV’s, passed the BBQ section and before I could refocus, here we were in the kitchen area! Little did I know… Has anyone seen the New Price is right? do you know when you have to guess what you would pay for something and if you’re closest to the mark, you win. Well if I had have been guessing stove values, hmm I would have said $1000 and felt like I knew a thing or two about stoves… yeah! Well swallow and breath gently counting back from 10…. On special we’re talking $4999, oh but they throw in a free splashback and rangehood! how lucky!

Within two weeks we had the old cupboards move out of the way, the electrician, the gas fitter in and the stove was connected!