New home feels more like a 'prison'

Last updated 12:43 15/07/2014

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Home Sweet Home

The 100-item-long list of odd jobs No excuse for cold, damp homes Overhauling a kitchen on a tight budget Parties wooing first home buyers Laying floor no walkover task Domestic bliss recharges batteries Doer-upper never done Renovation 101 - lessons learnt Spare room my own personal hellhole A renovation 'moment' - cooking in the kitchen

Press journalist and first-home hunter Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

I've got house exhaustion.

There, I said it.

Walking in the back door and being greeted by a dingy laundry, a paint-spattered concrete tub, a bare kitchen begging to be finished and wires sticking out of the walls is tiring. Responding to questions about the house from well-meaning friends and colleagues saps my energy and trying to converse with my partner Robbie about anything house-related usually grips me with fear and a sense of impending doom.

For the first time since we moved in, our first home feels more like a prison than a worthwhile project on the road to stability and housey bliss.

I'll admit that a few things have surfaced from the 'bad timing' basket lately, including being too busy to work on the house and a nasty virus which left me sweating up a storm and coughing up a lung. Last week I wrote that our old kitchen was getting ripped up, our hot water cylinder was being replaced and our new kitchen was being assembled and installed. I am pleased to announce that we now have a mains pressure cylinder so showers are no longer a long, cold, depressing experience. I am also pleased to announce that while I was in Melbourne for work, Robbie did manage to rip out the old kitchen . . . but phase two of the kitchen plan - putting the new one in - didn't quite go to plan. Robbie was relying on our builder mate to spend his free time cutting our new benchtop and joining it because after the hot water cylinder disaster (see last week's column), he had learnt where his DIY boundaries were.

When a pencilled-in booking fell through, that meant delaying the plumber and the gas fitter. I think it's safe to say that both Robbie and I have realised that everything takes longer than you think it will. So we didn't have a kitchen for the first half of the week and it was tough. I was craving homecooked, healthy meals after being so sick but because of a general lack of time and no kitchen, we ended up eating takeaways and skipping meals. We eventually borrowed a little gas cooker from Robbie's parents. Until we get a few days clear just to sort stuff out, I think the house exhaustion will continue.

Email georgina.stylianou@press.co.nz or tweet @gstylianoupress

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