The Renovation: During

Two years ago, Todd and I moved all of our belongings into our uninhabitable house and realized it would still be awhile before we could live there. Our lease on our apartment was up at the end of May. June 1st, we had a problem.

Fortunately, railroaders are pretty generous folks (well, most of them). At some point, I would say at least half of all railroaders are in need of a place to crash for a while. This time it wasn’t just Todd, but me, Robin (our cat), and Boxy (our turtle). Our friend, and fellow railroader, Joe, offered us his place. So, for about a month, we lived in a room in the basement.

During April and May when we were spending countless hours on the house, we didn’t have a bathroom. I got over my fear of public bathrooms pretty quick. I’m also pretty sure the people at Kwik Trip thought we were homeless for as many times as we used their restrooms and ate our meals from there.

I should note, Todd was working on the house during all of his weekends and some times while waiting to go into work. I was up by 5:00 every morning and at the house by 6:00. I had until about 8:40 before I needed to leave for work. We had no electricity turned on. So, I would paint, lay floor, sweep, pull nails, etc. I would usually stop by after work too and work on things, until it started getting too dark.

When we did finally move into the house, we were still without a kitchen and shower. I spent my 30th birthday helping Todd put in our shower. During the so many days we didn’t have a shower… I washed my hair and our dishes in the backyard.

It was Thanksgiving before we had counter-tops and a kitchen sink.

The “during” portion of the renovation was pretty intense. We took out all the flooring, all cabinets, gutted the entire bathroom. We also ripped up 3 layers of sub flooring in the back two rooms. Oddly enough, there was more than one layer of dry-wall in several places as well. We also had a lot of electrical redone and all of the plumbing.

I’m getting anxious just writing about this. It was quite the ordeal.

Below are some of our “deconstruction/construction stage” photos. Including…when I broke the chandelier (and cut my head open), when the cat decided to break into the food we had stashed in the basement, and all our belongings crammed into the living room.

I promise I will get some of the garden before and after posts up asap! Maybe even in the next few days.

The Renovation: Before

When we first looked at our house,  I really loved the big windows, the big yard, and the fact it was a 1950’s ranch. I did not love or even like much else about it.  But, as Todd says, “It just felt right.” We knew it was going to need some love, a lot of love. We thought, after the home inspection the majority was going to be cosmetic, well…

Before we get into all craziness we ran into, let me show you what we started with! The gallery below is what the house looked liked just after we got our hands on it. And when the panic began.

We closed on the house at the end of March. Our apartment lease ran out May 31st. We thought we could get it done (enough) in those two months, to be able to move in comfortably. HA. I will show you next week what we did in those two months.

Some of the crazy features you can’t see:

  • the 2nd bedroom was not only bright turquoise, the ceiling was yellow, and the closets were painted lilac.
  • The bathroom had two different light fixtures, one was broken
  • the extent of how bad the paneling was on the wall with the fireplace and laundry room.
  • The garage…it’s all paneled too.
  • just how grimey everything was.
  • And you can’t see how much of sag there was in the floor, in back part of the house, where the bath and laundry are… oh and that the toilet was sinking!