Living Through A House Remodel
I hope everyone keyed into the word “living”. If you are living through a house remodel you are learning to survive each and everyday. This subject is real to me because we are living through a house remodel right now. It has been an incredible whirlwind of emotions but we are learning to be thankful for the simple things.
We remodeled our kitchen and bathrooms at our old house and updated the living room and family room. It was a lot of work but we made it through. When we bought our
new 1940s farmhouse that needed a gut job we thought we were up to the challenge. Let me say that remodeling or updating is a little different from having no running water, needing new plumbing, electric, rotted floors, new roof and I could go on and on. My husband and I had great plans for this diamond in the rough. Our family was ready to tackle the work ahead and start this thing.
Oh, does this make me laugh now! I was very naive and should have asked for wisdom when it came to this large task. Especially, since we are doing most of the work ourselves. Thankfully, I am married to a jack-of-all-trades but things still get stressful. Here are some simple things to consider when living through a house remodel.
Living Through A House Remodel
- Scheduling. If you like to schedule and organize learn to let it go. Your world has just been turned upside down. I am a meal planner, list maker, cleaner, make from scratch, want everyone happy kinda gal. Well, a lot of the scheduling just had to be rearranged. We could not move into our house right away. Which meant living with parents. I am thankful that my parents let us take over their home. They were more than accommodating to us. We were driving over an hour every night to work on the house. This meant eating lots of sandwiches, cheese and crackers, frozen pizzas and hot dogs (which my family is not used to eating). Crawling into bed after midnight. Cranky children. Though we homeschooled, we still had to do school. This came with compromises. School now started at 10am instead of 8am. We ate breakfast at lunch time. We wore dirty clothes (please don’t shame me for this). My husband wore wrinkled shirts to work. Sundays after church, we crashed, layed in bed and streamed netflix. My lists became what needed to be done at the house and what I needed to pickup from Lowes. My meal plan consisted of “Score! I fed my family food.” My point here, is learn to roll with it and be flexible. You will not be able to have the normal schedule you are used to. When your family has reached exhaustion the important things are keeping everyone healthy and having good attitudes.
- Keep Everyone Involved. As you can see in the above pictures, we kept our children involved. This was not just a house my husband and I purchased. This was our family’s home. When you involve everyone in projects it makes them feel important. It gives them ownership over what they are working for. If you have little ones, simple projects like washing baseboards, sweeping the floor, handing out water bottles, or picking up trash will help them feel part of the working team. When you put countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into a project you are proud of that project and the goals you have accomplished. It also makes you more thankful for the simple things.
- Embrace The Challenges. When you are living through a house remodel there will be challenges. Some of these challenges you will be prepared for and others hit you in the face. Our family went through several obstacles and we continue to see them each and everyday. I say embrace the challenges because there are no words to explain the times you want to curl up in a corner and cry. As I said earlier, we had no running water or toilet. We used a bucket and hand sanitizer for almost a month. Seriously, if you are having a bad day be thankful you have running water! You will not understand this unless you have truly lived it. We had friends stop by several times and when they realized all we had was a bucket they were more than happy to drive the 20 minutes to the dollar general. We also had the luxury of sharing one room together. Another challenge to either embrace or bury your head in the sand. Once our hot water tank was installed we were done with the long drive and ready to move in. I thought I was up to this challenge but when you only have 2
cleanlivable rooms in the house it is overwhelming. The rest of the house was covered in filth, dust, and just down right gross!
Be Content. I’m sure you are wondering what being content has to do with living through a house remodel. Well, it has a lot to do with it. In our old house we did not need a new roof, new subfloors, new windows, or new siding. It also did not come with 33 acres of awesome land! Our old house needed the normal cosmetic updates. Fast forward to our home now and the “important stuff” had to be done before the “pretty stuff”. I wanted to do a complete demolition in our kitchen but it was not in the budget. I wanted to literally raise the roof on our short 7 1/2 foot ceilings but it was not in the budget. I wanted to do some upscale fixtures in our bathrooms but it was not in the budget. Instead of focusing on not having an endless amount of money, focus on being content and working with what you have. This means making compromises and taking on a few diy decorating projects.
- Remember Where You Started From. It is incredibly easy to get depressed and discouraged when you are living through a house remodel. The dust, the endless work, the money, nothing ever seems to be completed. It is a lot to take in. You have poured your heart into a project that never ends. Take the time to look at your before pictures and where you are at now. This will help you see the end goal and what you have accomplished already. It amazes me to see how far we have come in this construction zone. The tasks have been endless but the joy is rewarding. Here are a few more pictures of our progress.
I have about a million more pictures I could post. The girls bedroom, our bedroom, the laundry room, and the kitchen. Let me say that the kitchen is a whole other project. When we moved in there was no working sink, no stovetop, no oven and no refrigerator. I at least have a working sink and a refrigerator now. Thank goodness!
I am sure I have already overwhelmed you with pictures. I hope these simple tips will be helpful, before or while you are living through a remodel. We are still tackling this crazy life of living through a remodel and I will continue to keep you up to date on the progress. The good news is we can say we are making it through and it will be worth it when it’s all done.
Do you have any tips on living through a remodel?
What has been your experience? I would love to hear from you.