Renovation: Dealing With the Mess & Interference of Real Life

Renovation: Dealing With the Mess & Interference of Real Life

I know I have said this before, but life never gives you a break.  Seriously.  Some bumps are self-inflicted, and others, dammit, you just can’t avoid.  If you read my last post, on Selling our House, then you saw the beginning 10 days of what would be a 30-day journey.  To be fair, the actual renovation of the house was 20 days long.  We planned on having everything done by the end of August and using the first week of September to clean and stage.

Constant Chaos

Then life happens again

And it set us back a week, at least.  My husband’s Uncle passed away unexpectedly.  I had already planned on going to Washington D.C. to see Carin Rockind, my Purpose Coach and very good friend, speak to PBS.  It was going to be a quick 48-hour trip though.  That then turned into a very intricately planned trip.  I left for DC, then my husband left the next day with our 2 young boys to Brooklyn, New York.  Then, I took my first ever bus trip from DC to NYC the next night.

Me at PBS

We were in New York for a week.  It was a chaotic week, and we did a lot of hurry up and waiting.  But we needed to be there, no doubt.  It put a huge financial strain on us, especially just having taken out a loan, to almost the dollar, for a renovation.  We couldn’t hire anyone to be in our house until we were back, so I got super organized on how everything was going to go.

Ezekiel & I on a Ferry in NYC

Once we returned

We had workers beginning one day later!  It was such a relief to see things move along.  We decided that once everyone that we were going to possibly need was scheduled, that I would leave with the boys to get out of everyone’s way.  Praying that would help it go quicker too.  That took us about a week though.  Once we had one guy in, he would need something else, like power run, or we would need to repair a hole he would leave behind.  So I ended up staying until we knew all of the needs from everyone

Once the first hole was cut, it was quite literally “on”.  The boys and I left.  That was a crazy time at my parents.  It’s just so hard to do life somewhere else besides your home.  And if you have read about the whirlwind of traveling we have done in the last 3 months, you can see that, at this point, I just really wanted my own bed.  My husband held it down at the house while working.  He did an amazing job as General Contractor.

First part of Reno

So Here’s What We Did

Our major change was to convert a secret room behind our bookshelf to an actual 3rd bedroom.  The previous owner of the house had created this heinously colored space to keep his gun collection in.  An entire 10×10 room, he sheetrocked in!  So we removed half of the bookshelves and created a really cute nursery for Isaac, our youngest.  To make it a true bedroom, we needed to add a closet.

Secret Room Before
Secret Room Before
Secret Room After
Before Inside Secret Room/New Nursery
Before Inside Secret Room/New Nursery
Inside New Nursery
Inside New Nursery That Was Former Secret Room

The closet was built into our enclosed garage space that held our washer and dryer.  So where did the washer and dryer go?  Inside the house!  What a freaking concept?  I have always hated laundry, but add walking it outside into the enclosed garage, and I really really hate doing it.

New Utility Room

We didn’t have a laundry room in the house, but the two bedrooms we had were huge with large walk-in closets.  Ezekiel’s room had an odd hallway area that led into his walk-in closet.  We decided to enclose his current closet and open a doorway into our living room.  Then we put up a new wall and door in that odd hallway to create a new walk-in closet!  That is one thing I regret not doing at the beginning.  It cost us about $2,000 to do that when all was said and done, and it was way worth it.

Old Living Room Wall
Old Living Room Wall

New Living Room Wall/New Utility Room Entrance

We re-painted the living room, Ezekiel’s room, and the kitchen.

Ezekiel's Bedroom Before

Ezekiel's New Closet
Ezekiel’s New Closet

We refinished the enclosed garage space to be a studio or office for my husband.  Put a shower kit on our claw-foot tub in our bathroom, to fix the one shower issue.  We put a real door on our bedroom. Yes, we had a swinging kitchen door on our bedroom for the past 5 years.  No lock.  Super private.

Bathroom Before
Bathroom Before

Bathroom After



On the front of the house, we replaced all of the rotten wood around our pillars that support the house and painted.  We replaced any of the rotted wood on the siding and painted as well. Then we changed the front door color too!  We also planted some fun fountain grass.

New Outside

Are you exhausted reading that?  I can’t believe we did all of that so quickly.  Once the dust cleared, and I spent 3 solid days cleaning and decluttering everything (read: shoving things in boxes and piling in our shed in the backyard), it was an amazing transformation.  We had pictures taken, marketing materials were printed, and our house was listed 4 days with an open house 2 days after that.

It was a whirlwind, we all suffered from it.  We have taken a lot of risks.  Praying it pays off. I can’t wait to get to share a next post about the reward.


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