‘Pois, precisa muitas obras’ (Yes, it needs a lot of work) is what we usually say about our house to keep up some sense of reality. The house, in its current state is really amazing with an incredible view. But further than that it is completely insane to think we can renovate this with just the two of us. And that’s exactly what’s reflected in everyone’s eyes when they see our house for the first time.

To not go completely crazy we have NO PLANNING. That is an important lesson we learned from one of the first and nicest do-it-yourself-bloggers-in-Portugal Emma (of Emma’s house in Portugal).
During our first year, there wasn’t 1 day that went as planned in the morning. It is a succession of unforeseen events here. A schedule doesn’t even last half a day.

That in itself isn’t so bad and I start to appreciate that unpredictability more and more. But then you regularly get asked the question: ‘Well, what have you done to the house? Are you getting along a bit?’
And then I am left speechless … Because well, what are you doing all in all? And why does time go more quickly than the renovation?

Renovation takes time

All kinds of websites advise you to add 10-20% on top of your budget for contingencies. I would like to say that for a DIY-renovation in a new home country, you can count on 100-200% more time for your planning. For searching for materials or alternatives. For collecting and unloading the items you need. For cleaning the building place and your tools afterward. For making protection against wind, rain or sun. For doing jobs that you didn’t even knew existed. For traveling one hour and back to the nearest large hardware store. For waiting for a permit. For drying cement, glue, filler, paint and joints. For repairing tools. For going back to the store because they were suddenly closed last time. For waiting to get connected on the grid. For recovering our exhausted bodies. And for doing nice things such as (un)expected visits, trips and chats.


Long video to show contingency time…
(The 13 OSB plates for the roof of the cabana were two terraces below and could only be brought to their destination by foot.
Again a few hours more…)

Tempo means time and weather in Portuguese. It also means rhythm and duration. In the dictionary, I didn’t find any meaning that has to do with speed.
So when will our renovation be finished? When it is finished … and probably a little later.

Portuguese expressions

the timeo tempo
you still got timetens muito tempo
there is a time for everythingtudo tem o seu tempo
it’s been a whilehá muito tempo
step by steppasso a passo
around … o’clockpor volta das…
that’s lifeé a vida


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