Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation

I live with the world's worst home renovator

My story is not one of flooding toilets or electrocution when trying to fix the lights. Mine is a simple one of a teenage girl who despaired over her father's inability to complete any job he started.

I spent my most formative teenage years (from 13 to 16) living in a shed on a farm with my parents, my older brother and my younger sister. We moved into the shed with the belief that it was a temporary accommodation while my father built a house. Needless to say, the house was never built!

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Dear Ol' Dad

Living in a shed was not the problem. We had bedrooms, a living and dining room, a kitchen, laundry facilities, a bathroom with a toilet. The problem was there was only one room with a door - the bathroom. All teenagers need a door on their bedroom! Unfortunately, my dad did not quite grasp this concept.

After finally accepting the fact that a door was never coming, I improvised with a sheet hung from the doorframe. Shelves were also no problem. Only one side of the walls was sheeted, so the wooden frame now became part of the furniture. We finally got doors on our bedrooms when my parents put the farm on the market and we moved to a new town.

Fortunately, when we moved, we ended up in a house that was already built - with doors.

The Go-Getter

The problem with my dad is that he gets an idea in his head and is all gung-ho about it until the next idea hits. The first project gets shoved aside, never to rear its head again, and so on and so on.

Over the years, my father has started numerous projects in the new house. First was the bathroom: he re-tiled it and painted one wall. Apparently, he just could not find it in himself to paint the remaining walls (heaven forbid the whole bathroom could be fixed at once!). He re-tiled half the roof. He put air-conditioning into two of three bedrooms. He put new cupboards in the kitchen but didn't put their doors on. He decided to build a new chicken pen but did not put a roof on it before moving to the next project. He built a deck out the side of the house and installed a spa bath, but he did not put the heater in, so it is constantly too cold to be used! Six years ago, he ripped up the carpet in the lounge room to reveal beautiful wooden floors. They have still not been sanded and treated.

Slowly but surely, my father has half-done something to every room in the house. It seems that the kitchen is now finished (after four years), and one of the bedrooms as well (after two years), but this was not my dad's doing. My poor, long-suffering mother has had to resort to calling in help on occasions to actually get something finished.

Do you want to know the worst part of all this? My father is a builder by trade!

By Amy Storms

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