I can’t believe how much we have changed this house in 30 days. The house is unrecognizable from its previous version. We collected our keys on August 18th and walked into this house anticipating to do cosmetic changes such as paint and flooring. We had NO IDEA that we had purchased a home that needed a gut job. This is the house on the first day we got the keys:
Once we started tearing up the floor we had officially opened up our can of worms. Underneath the laminate flooring (which by the way was a different type and color of laminate flooring in each room) was linoleum flooring which was saturated with water. We knew about a leak that had occurred in the master bath that caused damages in the master bedroom which the homeowners fixed. What they left out is that the leak actually flooded the entire home and they only fixed the master bedroom. It took me and my husband 3 12-hour days to take up two sets of flooring, rip out the baseboards, and then make the gut wrenching decision to gut the kitchen. That kitchen…I still have nightmares of what we found in there.
The home inspection did not find the water damage because they had band-aided the problem with more flooring. We couldn’t keep the kitchen cabinets on top of two sets of flooring and then try to add new flooring because the difference in floor height would have been noticeable. They had tiled the kitchen over the linoleum, so the floor variance was even higher. We initially thought we could take out the cabinets, put in the new floor, and reset them on top because we didn’t have money in the budget for a kitchen remodel. How wrong we were. Behind the kitchen sink cabinet, there was a HUGE leak from the sink and it created mold and weakened the drywall so bad that it crumbled when we touched it. Cue the immense ugly crying.
Wet, mildewy floors and now mold in the kitchen?! Kill me. Flashes of Money Pit were coming to my mind. But there was no way to go other than forward. So the kitchen came out. Then we had the issue of the kitchen layout to deal with. The kitchen was closed off to the living room and it made the two rooms feel small. Paul already figured out that the kitchen wall wasn’t load bearing so it could potentially be taken out. However, there was a kitchen window that needed to be taken out and patched up if we went with the idea of changing the kitchen layout, plus adding new electrical and rerouting the gas line for the stove. MORE WORK AND MORE MONEY. I am practically hyperventilating right now just retelling this awful story. I didn’t want to do a quick patch job and throw in some cabinets if I knew we would have to redo the kitchen again in a few years. So we bit the bullet and tore down that kitchen wall. By the end of the first weekend of having the keys of our first home, we had a home that was uninhabitable! There was no flooring, no kitchen, and there were pieces of the ceiling and the walls missing. And I was supposed to move in one week later? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?
After a solid week of 12 hour days (through my 30th birthday might I add), we got the new flooring in, made the kitchen cabinet order, purchased new appliances, patched up a few holes, painted the walls, and updated some of the electrical. We moved in with the kitchen walls down to the studs and a huge portion of the kitchen ceiling was still missing. I pretended that looking at the insulation and the roof rafters wasn’t a big deal. I prayed every night that no furry friends or creepy crawlies would make their way into my home. Can you tell at this point I was so happy we made the debt-inducing idea to purchase a home?
Over the next couple of weeks, day by day, Paul and I worked every possible free moment to get this house in order. DIY wasn’t our chosen option, it was our only option. Remember, this house remodel was done on a non existent budget. Thank God we strived to clear up our debt over the last couple years because it helped us immensely. Hello, dusty credit cards! We took advantage of every 0% APR promotion our credit cards have. Now we have to budget money in order to get those cards paid off. Top Ramen, anyone?
My children have spent every weekend and their Nana and Papa’s house. I have had grandmas, friends and babysitters help me take care of them during the week. Siena started school and I have been late to drop her off and to pick her up ( hello office ladies!) more often that not. I’m totally winning at this mom thing right now. However, we are finally at the home stretch. Today, the house looks like a home even though we are missing baseboards, have disregarded renovating one room entirely, and the backyard is not safe even for the dog let alone my little babes. We will figure it out. We always do. Did I mention that Siena’s birthday is this week and we plan on having a little something this upcoming Saturday? I know, it seems we like to edge on the side of crazy. I’m still too much in the thick of it to be prideful of our hard work, but I know there will be a day soon that I can sit on my couch, drinking some sort of Pinterest-inspired detox water, and feel satisfied that this can of worms project is over and I have a lovely home because of it.