Renovations are tough. Whether you’re a DIYer or a hire-it-outer, renovations take a toll on you and your loved ones. How many times have you wondered, “Is this really worth it?” Are you there now? Have you been there before? Or are you worried to get started so that you don’t get to that point? Well today on the podcast, we share our most recent renovation story...a story in which we asked that question quite a bit. Spoiler alert: it was worth it!
The Big Picture
Towards the end of 2016, we started looking at houses to potentially buy and renovate. We were thinking that maybe sometime in late 2017 or 2018 we might be wanting to buy, so we just wanted to keep an eye on the market and get an idea of what we were ideally looking for. Well come early 2017, Jeremy found a really hum-dinger of a fixer upper. Chandler wasn’t impressed, but we went to take a look anyway. Long story short, we low-balled, they accepted, and we were stunned. It was go time.
For a much more detailed account of our process here, including BEFORE PICTURES of our home, check out our blog post here.
Moral of the story, we decided to move into the unfinished basement for 2-3 weeks while we demo’d the kitchen, installed a little bit of hardwood flooring, and refinished all the hardwoods. 2 or 3 weeks...hahahaha. Boy were we wrong!
In the THREE MONTHS we ended up living in the basement, we encountered a myriad of issues including mice, bugs, and flooding. Honestly it was a real test of our faith and marriage!
To shed a little light on the situation, we wanted to provide you with some visuals of the basement where we ended up living. Please enjoy...retroactive prayers appreciated:
Here is a list of what we tackled in the initial phase of renovation, with some corresponding blog posts and photos linked. It is separated out by DIY’ed and hired-it-out.
Completely demo kitchen, dining room, most of the living room down to studs
Rip pine paneling from dining room
Lay new hardwoods in kitchen and dining room
Close in old exterior door (fridge is there now, for reference)
Hang / Paint new kitchen cabinets
Build Kitchen Island
I’m sure I’m forgetting some things here...that’s how renovation goes. Your brain blocks it out, ha!
Exterior French Doors
THINGS WE WISHED WE’D KNOWN
It is going to be extremely difficult, but EXTREMELY worth it. We love what we did and love living here!
When it comes to renovation, hope for the but prepare for the worst. Stuff happens. Always. And when it rains, it pours (or floods). If your project runs smoothly, that’s amazing! We’ve had some really smooth projects, but don’t let one that hits some snags catch you off guard.
Create a safe space for you and your family. This is SO important. You have to have a place where you can go to feel safe and relaxed, where you don’t have to think about the chaos going on in the other room.
DIY Couples - have a little extra grace for each other. You’re both working hard, and renovations are stressful. Be prepared to love each other a little better through this process.
Know your limits. DIY’ing is great, but there are some things that are worth paying for. For us, we didn’t want to deal with anything structural. We took on the cosmetic side like a couple bosses, but we hired out our vaulted ceiling and french doors to make sure we were all squared away there. And it was WORTH IT!
Renovating is fun, exciting, enjoyable, terrible, hard, difficult, stressful, amazing, discouraging, encouraging, and all things in between. It’s hard, but if you’re up for the challenge, creating a home that functions exactly how you want and the way that works best for your family is incredibly rewarding. All that sweat equity you’re putting in will pay off both in your quality of life and in the value of your home. If you’re in the midst of it right now, KEEP GOING! If you’re about to start, YOU CAN DO IT! If you’re finishing up, CONGRATULATIONS! It’s a huge deal to improve your home through renovation, and we hope our story has given you the boost you need to take the next step, wherever you are.
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Things We’re Loving
Jeremy - I’m loving my putting green! I love golf and am really trying to improve my game this summer, so I’ve got this bad boy hanging out in the basement so I can work on my putting stroke.
Chandler - I’m loving our Eufy robovac! It’s super helpful in maintaining a clean floor between deep cleanings. With all our crazy pets running around shedding everywhere, it’s been awesome to have this around.
Links and Extra Resources
All blog posts related to our reno (If you want to start with the pretty stuff, start here)
Kitchen Before & After Reveal