When trying to decide whether to ‘go up’ or extend out the back, or somehow extract an extra bathroom and master bedroom from my small home, I don’t want to see a recipe for lamingtons or be invited to a course. (And yes, the photo is of me, inspecting a not so residential renovation and extension in the past year or so.)
We all love better homes stories, and we all love to think we can turn our hand to a ‘home makeover’ or two, but there are few serious renovation or building blogs out there that don’t just come under the lifestyle banner. Here are what I consider 7 of the best.
1 Reno Addict
You like Interiors Addict right? Well Jen Bishop has put her magic touch on this site as well. It is the sister site dedicated to renovations. It highlights real life renovations, and not just up at the expensive end of the scale.
What is impressive is the number of heavy hitters (read ‘experts’) available to put their two cents in.
It’s probably not as personal as other blogs, and gives a birds eye view of projects, rather than the day to day battles of other sites, but I still manage to while away the hours on it!
2 House Nerd
This is a thoughtfully and beautifully crafted blog site which has all the hallmarks of a blogging veteran and articulate writer. Maya Anderson has not only written about her personal experience and generously lets us into her Western Australian home.
The photos are large and honest, and she has also crafted lots of practical tips and tricks, without the normal ‘gush’. I actually follow her on Instagram, @housenerd where she also isn’t shy of typing a word or two.
If you are late 20s early 30s, in love, and setting up a home via a renovation, then you will love the blog from Caitlin Judd.
Don’t let the beauty of the website fool you, there are tips on dealing with tradies, and a great deal of honesty when talking about the renovation journey she and her partner are embarking on since acquiring their own home in 2015. She impartially discusses where things can go wrong, and where the two chief concerns; time and money can blow out.
Caitlin’s enthusiasm is infectious. It is certainly evident on her website and when you speak to her in person. I suspect she is a born optimist, as she is prepared to smile amongst piles of rubble, near misses of gas lines and formwork…
I enjoy this blog, and its originality, and am waiting to see what will be in store for their little home next. I would also like to hear more about her partner and his trades…
I also (because I am a real estate nerd from way back) love the fact that this is a Canberra (ACT) based blog, and it talks about issues they have with local councils approval processes. It is quite a different home ownership system from other states.
4 House by the Water
This delightful blog takes you transparently through the painstaking journey of building a home to love, with some of your own sweat and tears, and the realities of building a family home with the family.
My advice is to start with Johanne Marias’s description of the characters in the story (in contents section on left), and then read the comments!
This blog is invaluable for those thinking about building their own home and gives detailed and realistic light-hearted overview of things that you can expect in your own build. It also shows how much work is needed even if someone else is building for you!
5 Darling Street
Im a bit of a softy for Penny’s blog because she has actually focused on the bedroom in the renovation. She talks about the benefits of European Pillows that make your bed look great, and talks about quality bed sheets…. I don’t want to bore you. But I will add that they do have a vintage shop, which is a second great love for me…
If you are in the inner west of Sydney, this blog is literally filled with tips on where to go to get those little bits and pieces – mostly the smaller businesses, which I LOVE!
Houzz technically isn’t ‘a blog from a blogger’ but does contain a blog on there, and gives you access to such a wide variety of professionals, and products and advice that a community can give, not just a single person or team.
There is no hard sales pitch to buy their products or their training program as you can get from some renovation sites when looking around for advice and ideas.
7 I build new
Lets take off our rose coloured glasses here, this site is essentially a marketing tool for some of the state’s (and that depends on which state you live in) new home builders.
But… there is a wealth of knowledge, and the knowledge is not just interior design = Instagram inspiration. It is great for comparing what is currently out there in the market. And great for when you are waking up in the middle of the night sweating over whether you should build that new house or not….
When I first started to write about these ‘top blogs’ I was going to write about the top 20, or 15, or 9 best renovation blogs. But when it came down to it, there wern’t as many as I thought.
So do you have any renovation blogs that you particularly like? I would love some tips from you.