By Bonnie


So, you’ve decided to demolish half your house to build your dream home? Are you ready to fork out $25k in rent to move out, like Lana did, or are you prepared to get down and dirty and live through the reno, like some of the #ahem hardier among us?

Now, call me crazy… (Lana did;-), but my husband, Nathan, and I decided to live onsite during our MASSIVE dream home reno. With 4 boys (including a baby), 3 dogs and a year-long build ahead of us, what could possibly go wrong?!

Because our build was in two parts, the plan was to start building the new part of our home, a granny flat/guest cottage, and then move into that while the main house was renovated and extended. Sounds perfect! Simple! #soithought!


With hordes of children and animals to relocate, living onsite always seemed to make more sense to me than moving out. And there are definite benefits of being onsite during your reno. Let me explain:

+ You're always onsite to pick up mistakes and make decisions when needed
+ You have longer to spend walking through the half-built spaces to come up with better design solutions.
+ Someone’s always there to accept deliveries.
+ It saves money not having to rent! I don't know about you, but spending money on rent feels like it's rubbing salt in your reno budget wounds. 
+ Nath was able to help with manual labour when heavy deliveries would arrive or some turf needed laying stat!
+ Overall, you have more control because you're always there.
+ Your kids get to see it all unfold – and the mammoth effort that goes into creating their family dream home. I mean, how cool is it for a little boy to wake up with a life-sized digger outside his window!? #renolife. Little Dodge was in 'digger-heaven' ... just quietly, so was his dad. 

BUT ... and this is a big but, when the exposed plumbing in your hallway is leaking and you've stopped washing your dirty hair because .... what's the point? Reality bites and you realise there are some downsides of living this close to the action:

+ You never get a break from the renovation - it's 24/7 baby! That’s a lot of hours when you’re doing a year-long project like mine!
+ Say goodbye to privacy - you could be sleeping, having breakfast or even showering ... don't be surprised if a Tradie walks in at 7am to ask you a question. 
+ Your family lives in a very dysfunctional environment with no routine and pretty poor sleeping conditions. It’s difficult for adults, let alone children. Did I mention I did this with a baby!?
+ Forget about your personal grooming. I didn't see a mirror for weeks at a time. On one occasion, Lana pulled a pair of tweezers out of her pocket and started plucking my eyebrows which had apparently grown down over my eyelids. How was I supposed to know? 
+ There is dust and dirt everywhere, ALL.THE.TIME. And there’s the never-ending battle to keep where you're living some semblance of clean.
+ Any furniture you leave on site will get trashed #harshbutfair.  So put all your good stuff in your local Storage King and be prepared to chuck out what's been left behind once the reno is over. 
+ Forget about entertaining - those days are dead and buried until you emerge from your reno. The housewarming party may just make up for this!!
+ Owning animals adds another challenge. Our dogs are gorgeous and loyal but they developed a clear distrust for tradies, especially those wearing high-vis vests and holding equipment #noladders #nohammers #nodrills #makesittough. This meant I had to try and lock up the dogs in sections of the house. This proved very challenging. They would often escape and then I'd see a tradie running for his life across the property, diving through the window of his truck to escape the dogs snapping at his heels.

Some days I caught myself humming “I will survive” … and, as it turns out, I did! And the result is better than I ever imagined! Would I do it again? Hmm, ask me that once the dust has truly settled!


Get excited gang, Three Birds TV [TBTV] is back! And for our BIGGEST reno ever we've created our BIGGEST series ever with our always supportive mates at We cannot wait to share every stage of Bonnie's Dream Home with you. Hold onto your hats people, it's going to be a ripper.

Sneak peek coming this Monday!