For those of you who don’t know, we are in the process of remodeling our own fixer-upper. You can find more about our house journey here. To give you a little bit of a back story, nothing in our house has been updated since the year it was built in 1974. But we didn’t care because it was the layout we wanted and it was on the lake. An added plus is that my passion is home decor and to be creative. Another added plus – my husband is a handy guy. I lucked out. Here is a picture of our home.
We are in mid-remodel and facing the reality of the process. You know when somebody warns you of something and you just nod your head go, “yeah, yeah yeah.” Kind of like when friends who are parents tell you, “You think twos are bad. Wait until three.” And you think, yup…sure…But then your son turns three and it’s like someone flipped a switch. Parents probably know what I am talking about.
Well, we are in the middle of that with our fixer upper. We are facing a fixer-upper reality. All the things people have told us or all those shows watched on HGTV. But now we get it. So here’s our list of top 10 things I didn’t want to listen to before starting our fixer-upper process.
Budget becomes the worst sounding word to you
- Like nails on a chalkboard bad. And if you had a dollar for every time the word budget came up, you wouldn’t need to worry about the budget. Seriously. The budget is a thorn in my side. But it does force me to get creative and be thoughtful about every choice we make. Like painting our pea-green kitchen countertops instead of replacing them (stay tuned for a future post).
You’ll never know when to stop
- Each little modification or addition to the plan seems like no big deal until you find yourself with a million projects and a deteriorating aforementioned budget. Drawing the line becomes difficult. Such as, if we tear down the brown paneling and put up shiplap, we have to replace the closet door to match the look. If we replace the closet door, then it should be a sliding barn door. It’s like the grown-up version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”
You and your significant other’s communication, compromising, and decision-making skills will be tested.
- Do you know that saying if you can make it through building a house or a house remodel together, you can make it through anything? Well, it’s probably true. Not that we have fought about the remodel by any means. But we have had A LOT of conversations about the house and our ideas. And guess what?! Our ideas aren’t always the same so we’ve had to talk it out. It’s strengthened our marriage.
Waiting is hard
- Waiting for your vision to come to life takes some patients. Or if you’re me, it takes a lot of patience. You’ll just want everything to be done so you can go back to your normal life. Or so you can stop staring at holes in the walls. Is that too much to ask?
You’ll find yourself saying, “Maybe in a few years.”
- Unless you have an unlimited budget or scored your house a great price, it will take time to complete your projects. Money doesn’t grow on trees right?! Although we did get our house at a great price, it’s a house on the only lake in the area making those houses highly demanded. So needless to say, we weren’t left with a huge remodel budget after moving in. Our remodel plan has many stages! We are on our first stage called: Banishing the 70s.
Something always goes wrong
- In our case, it was having to replace the sliding door out to the lake due to water damage. Which also led to us finding out why our stone fireplace has a crack in it. Turns out there’s nothing supporting the whole left side. No big deal…We have now had to wait to put up shiplap on that wall as well as wait to install the new flooring.
You’ll feel like you never have time
- Especially when you have a three-year-old and full-time job! On top of that, all of the projects seem to take longer than you would think they should. You know like, “Oh we’ll have the kitchen painted in a couple of hours. Then we can do something fun.” Four hours later you’ve only completed the trimming around all the cabinetry.
You’re house is probably going to be a disaster constantly
- And you have to learn to live with it. Dishes go undone so you can complete a house project or spend some quality time with your child.
It’s fun to get your kids involved
- Little MK has helped us with a lot of our projects. He is only three, so I use the word “help” loosely. But he has so much fun with it! He is also learning a great work ethic and watching us problem-solve through the projects. Both are great skills to have.
If you can take items 1-9 in stride, You’ll enjoy the journey
- It really is fun seeing your house slowly transform in front of your eyes. Knowing that you have envisioned and then created the transformation is even cooler. Having the whole family involved is memory building at it’s finest.