Monday, November 30, 2009

Bench Talk: Do Home Renovations Ever End?

Do home renovations ever end? We ladies have all moved into new (previously owned) homes. They all need renos. The homes are nice, (natch), however they are still in the 70's and we are bringing them up to date.

We are doing the renos ourselves......well, our husbands are! Bathrooms, floors, kitchens and major paint jobs.

Here are some of our adventures!

(Sunshine) Well, we are in the midst of renovations and have been since we moved in three years ago. The room that we have been working on now for some time is the family room. It had a brick fireplace, no lighting at all and some very old dated carpet. Well, the new gas fireplace is in. The walls and ceiling are painted and the pot lights are almost in. As Mr. Sunshine was installing them he ran into a problem and asked me to call Cathy's husband for I don't know a sea saw or something. Cathy's husband knew exactly what I needed and I will pick it up sometime this morning (when I go for my annual wish and a stir, thanks so much Cathy) . (When I was at Cathy's today I saw her newly renovated bath room, it looks really good). After the lights are in the hardwood floor needs to be installed and then the TV gets mounted and finally all of the furniture and drapes and accessories (all of which we have none) will be put in. Oh, yes and hopefully I can find the perfect area rug. This room has been a huge undertaking. We started the project almost two years ago. I hope that we will finally be using our family room by the end of this year.

We have done so many other renovations since we moved in but there seems to be an endless list still ahead. We totally gutted the kitchen and redid it. Then we did the dining room. Every room in the house has been painted with the exception of one bathroom (it needs a paint job badly), the living room (this will be our next project) and the hall way (that will be the last project ) the basement has not been painted but that is because it is the one room that we really liked just as it was (it was just recently done by the owners and they did a great j0b with it). In between all of this we have torn out the carpet in the master bathroom (yuk!) and replaced it with some ceramic tile.

The hall way upstairs has only particle board no floor yet and all of the carpet upstairs needs to be removed and replace with hard wood. I don't even want to mention the deck outside. It needs some major work. Well despite all of this I really love our new home. It is really cool to see how things can be transformed. All you need is a whole lot of money(which we don't have that's why the family room has taken us two years) a lot of elbow grease and an extraordinary amount of patience. Even in the midst of continuous renovations you can still manage to have a loving home. This is still the house in which both sides of the family seem to gather the most. To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am looking forward to seeing the family room and watching the New Years count down on your new big TV! I really hope that it will be ready by then. Seeing this in writing really makes me have a need to thank my husband for all of his hard work. I had not realized how much we have done in three years. Between his endless job at work and the endless honey do list of things at home, he has been extremely busy. I am grateful that he has the patience to work on weekends after a busy week. Sometimes I am on his case to get going on the next project or finish an existing one but really I don't know how he fits it all in and for the most part he manages to do it all with a smile on his face. Thanks Mr. Sunshine, your the best!!!!!! Oh, yes I forgot to mention that the windows will need replacing in the next few years. Well at least the skunk problem is solved.

We also moved (8 years ago now) to an older home (30 + years old). And we also loved the house but it as well needed a fair amount of work. Over the past 8 years I have stripped wallpaper from just about every room, there is only one room left with the nasty stuff. Thanks for reminding me, the wall paper removal was a huge job in itself. We had five rooms in the house with wall paper on them and in some of the rooms there were about three layers of it. It took me almost an entire year to get rid of all of that stuff. The husband has remodeled all three bathrooms. Two years ago we had a new kitchen put in. All of the floors on the main floor have been converted to hardwood. And we installed click floor in both the girls bedrooms as they had each destroyed their carpets with makeup, markers, nail polish etc. Though the previous owner had installed good quality carpets through out the house they were an older couple with grown kids and their choice of white carpet just didn't work for us. We still have the white carpet in our bedroom with all our stains. One being a can of diet coke that I dropped last week. The one thing with a house is there is always something that could be done, repainting, replacing and the never ending work outside. The husband has mentioned that we will need to replace the roof within the next two years. Yuk!

(Cathy)We moved into our older home (26 years?) and thankfully the previous owners had painted in neutral colours so it was livable for the moment. We realised soon why they painted to sell. We could see, under the paint, the original colours. All bright blues and greens! I can only imagine what their real-estate agent must have thought, anyways, I am grateful they painted. That being said, our master bathroom was straight out of the 70's, complete with plush bathroom Sunshine said, "yuck!!!". Picture an olive green tub and toilet with green walls and cream carpet. The finish was off the bathtub. I refused to use it. There was a separate shower stall which was so dark it was like showering in a cave!

I had wanted to reno our bathroom first but Hubby decided to reno the kitchen first. We painted and replaced the counter tops with granite. Also, we updated the fridge and installed a gas stove. (I love cooking on a gas stove!)

We also had an issue out in the backyard with the brick patio. It sloped toward the house. Hubby took two seasons to lift, regrade and replace all the stones. So, finally it was the second fall when our bathroom was gutted. We opened up the space and added a soaker tub, light and tiles. What a transformation! I call it our magazine bathroom! (yes, I'm bragging) As Sunshine said, Hubby is just finishing the main (or kids) bathroom. Again, we gutted and added light and tiles, a new tub, sink and toilet. It feels so clean now!

We are trying to decide what is next. We have added insulation to the roof to improve the 'r' value. All the window are new as is the roof. The living room is still pink, (why???) and the basement is very crude and needs warming up. At least fixing up so the kids can hang out there with their friends.

There has been a lot done in three years. Hubby has done it all spec! ( I keep bugging him because I have been watching a lot of, "Holmes on Homes". I keep trying to 'nicely' ask if he is using this material or that method. He is. His dad has built four homes from scratch that I know of. Renos are tons of work. I love that Hubby can do the work himself and it looks great! Sometimes I look around and there is still so much to do...... oh, honey......!!!

But least we keep our problems in prospective, we have roofs over our heads, food in our belly and people who love us.


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