I never thought I’d say it, but Peter Andre has done me a favour. Yes, the pint sized Aussie, famous for a questionable pop career and failed marriage to a loud ex model caught my attention with his twist on ITV favourite sixty minute makeover. Now, I remember the show from my student years, with any excuse to watch a bit of trashy daytime TV to avoid getting some studying done. As I recall, they did up a house in an hour, while an unsuspecting home-owner was out visiting a friend or doing some shopping.
In 2015, though, it seems that the sixty minutes have mysteriously been relaxed, so much so that they start stripping wallpaper and doing other odd jobs a few days early. The weird thing is, they’ve still kept the name of the show the same, so it bears no resemblance to what actually happens. I suppose some might claim that can be put down to artist licence.
Anyway, a show a few months back took on a house remarkably similar to my own, not only in terms of layout, but also the dated eighties (OK, seventies) décor. It got me thinking – they allegedly only spent around £12,000 on the makeover, and updated almost exactly what I hate about my own humble abode. Why not copy their blueprint, and make the same changes, if I know in advance I can afford to do so?
So, I quickly discovered it’s not as simple as it seemed in that hour’s worth of TV (perhaps that’s the sixty minutes they’re referring to?). A good example is the seemingly simple task of arranging skip hire in Doncaster. My home town is hardly known for it’s ability to keep up with the rest of the world, but I didn’t really expect things to be so hard to get right. After trying to get hold of a company called Quick Skip who didn’t appear to answer the phone, and CH Middleton who didn’t seem to want to come all the way across Donny, I ended up just getting a quote on-line, and to my amazement, the company quoting me was the latter of those two, who suddenly could get to me after all. Weird.
I quickly realised that tasks I thought would be simple, were in fact going to take me longer than I’d hired the skip for, such as stripping back the crumbling plaster. Perhaps one room at a time would have been a better plan, but I’d already got the plasterer booked for a few days later. In the end, I had a few of the rooms done properly, and the less dated ones skimmed over, so I could get on with decorating myself.
I’d not realised that fresh plaster was so hard to paint either – I’ve redecorated rooms in a day before, but after a couple of coats it was clear that a third was going to be required to get an even finish on the walls. It was fast developing realisation that costs were starting to spiral, and I’d not even finished painting the walls. On the TV show, their budget kitted out the place with all sorts of accessories too!
Inevitably I finished up the immediate job and did what every other man in the country does faced with a difficult choice. I downed tools and went to the pub. And that is how the state of play remains today. After a few days hard graft, the walls look great, but everything else is pretty much the same as it was before.