Monday, April 29, 2013

Yardage, Square Footage, and Inches. Oh My!

Now that the wedding spectacular is behind us, Matt and I have some pretty serious priorities for our money. Don’t get me wrong, we still want to get out and have some fun but most of our cash is going to be conserved for home improvement this summer and another wedding (yea!) coming up this fall.

So I’m getting my tape measures and lead pencils ready because in the next few weeks I’m likely going to measure out the entire house and put some plans together. Yesterday I even ordered a couple samples for kitchen renovation. But I must admit that the thought of starting something like this again causes me to get that ever so slight twitch in my forehead vain. Imperceptible to anyone but Matt.

We’ve been here before. We’ve dedicated our entire wallet and free moment to making a house look and function better while living there. Every fiber in my being is nervous to do another major renovation. Every nerve ending perks up, as if I was walking through a power plant, alerting me to tread with extreme caution. But I know the feeling just stems from the residue left after that first failed experiment.

This time will be different for many reasons, primarily because we’re not thinking of leaving this house anytime soon, but also because we have learned from the first time what we should and shouldn’t hire a professional to do.

Flooring, windows & gas plumbing? Yes, a pro will do it all. Ripping down the fireplace, removing the extraneous wall, pulling up carpet, painting and stuff like that? Uh, no. I refuse to pay someone else to do the parts of this I know I’m good at especially if it will save considerable money.

But the pros will definitely come in handy to save me from breaking a hip. I’m not 28 anymore like I was when Matt & I bought our first fixer.

In our youth we did everything with the exception of carpet install, some demo, the electric-to-box connections, and some of the shingle/paint on the higher places of the exterior. And when I say we did everything I really mean everything. Demo of the entire inside including horsehair plaster/lathe on all walls and ceilings. We re-oriented the entire second floor so the bathroom was accessible from both bedrooms. Matt installed all the windows (20 of them) in the middle of the winter in New England. Insulation went in everywhere. Every single one of those 145 pieces of drywall were hung and mudded then painted. And we installed all the floors that weren’t carpeted. Oh yeah, and both bathrooms plus the entire kitchen, a back deck, two doors, and all the landscaping.

Uh, if even a fraction of that needs to be done to this house I’m so hiring someone to do most of it because just thinking back on those days makes me wonder two things:

1. How the hell did Matt and I manage to stay married through all of that insanity? And
2. Putting that kind of undue strain on our relationship again isn’t something I’m really thinking sounds like fun.

Welcome contractors! Come in and look around then please leave your bids at the door. Because the décor and function of the interior of my house is pretty old now. But so am I so you can bet your ass I won't be doing that much work this time around. 

Posted for April 2013 A to Z Blog Challenge Y is for Youth


Karen said...

My hubby gutted the upstairs bathroom this winter and everything got replaced. LOTS of work... good luck with your reno!

Joan said...

It will be a better outcome this time. :)

Rob-bear said...

We put a whole addition on a house one time. No plumbing, but framing, wiring, insulation, roofing, siding — but we were younger then.

Happy reno time. It sounds great, and I trust will look wonderful. (P.S.: I do marriage counselling on the side.)

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (my poetry blog)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks so much, we may not actually start for a few months but that's only because I'm going to price out everything and get multiple bids and call references and...

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yes indeed, thanks for the encouragement!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Matt is really good at plumbing but he curses like a sailor every time because there's always something that goes awry. I'll let you know if it gets to the point of ripping out hair and need for counseling haha :-)

Launna said...

I say contract out as much as you can afford, lol

I look forward to all the updated pictures why you are finished :)

Kathe W. said...

hoo boyo that sounds like us for the past year- we moved 350 miles south bought a house on 10+ acres and proceeded to add on 650 more sq feet. Except for the excavation and details like framing, plumbing, roofing,painting and electrical my sweetie did it all. Hardwood flooring, siding,tiling,finish carpentry, whew, and more. Me? I kept the main house running, dealt with getting our property in compliance with forst fire regulations. ( the previous owners were so very negligent)and fixed up the 800 sq foot apt above the garage that we now use for family and friends visits.
Now a year later my sweetie is landscaping and installing irrigation. Me? I am planting our veggie garden- I did that also last year, but am doing a better job this year with raised beds and the learned knowledge from last year on how to grow food at 23500' elevation!
and the most amazing thing is that we had a gentle time doing it- no rough edges in the experience. Howevwer- we're gld that we are mostly finished! Good luck with your new projects!

Kathe W. said...

whooops make that elevation 3500' NOT 23500'!!

#1Nana said...

As I've aged, so has our house. The spouse says, "but we redid the bathroom already." He. Forgets that it was 14 years ago! We really need to update, including a new roof. It's not the process so much for me, but the cost. Now that we're on a fixed income I hate to cut in to my travel budget!

Jessica Peterson said...

Home renos are always fun, especially when you can do them yourself.

Have fun with z.

Rosebud Collection said...

Oh my, looks like a nice job in process..Wishing you luck and I know it will be beautiful when finished..
Thank you my dear friend for your comforting words..You are such a wonderful friend and just all started with Etsy..then blogging..Isn't it amazing how life leads us down so many paths?
Waiting for my next move..just sitting tight and waiting for guidance..I would always tell George..we can't sell this house for a reason..our time is not God's time. Well, thank God I was here..
Will keep checking back on your house project..Sending you love/blessings..Carolyn

Jak Cryton said...

Wow, that seems like a ton of work. I once thought getting into "flipping" houses would be fun and a good way for some $$$, but said F that before even attempting. I have close to zero know-how in any kind of construction/carpentry/plumbing/landscaping yadda yadda yadda. I planned to just help those who had that knowledge and learn along the way.

I have yet to read about your other endeavors. I will get to it soon enough.

This project sounds more stable, and like you mentioned, you are a bit more familiar with the ins/outs.

Good luck with the renovations!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

That's our goal for sure! I'll definitely share photos...

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Wow, you guys sure did a lot of work too Kathe! But it sounds like you had it pretty well under control to complete that much work in only a year. Nice!

Thanks for the encouragement :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah I know what you mean about cost, that's the one thing holding me back from jumping full steam ahead with all of this. I know it will help the overall value of the home in the long run but its the monthly outgo from the reno that gets stuck in my throat.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Jessica, its been a long time since we've done one but feels like yesterday.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh shoot, I should've been more clear those photos were from the inside of the first reno we did, we haven't torn down a single piece of drywall in this house yet. And I'm comfortable with waiting through the summer before we start that process. I want more time in my pool while the weather is hot!

It is kind of amazing to think about how we all can meet and connect in so many different ways these days. I really am happy to have met you my friend. xoxoxo

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah it was a ton of work on that place. We gutted to the studs inside & out and then rebuilt the whole thing. Would've been faster to tear it down and start over, I'm convinced. But we were getting into flipping houses and that's where we started. Needless to say that whole career path didn't quite pan out. Economy tanked. 9/11. Mortgage collapse. Housing bubble burst. And we were caught in the middle of it all in a house in the ghetto. Good times.

You do learn a little bit of everything the first time around when its that intense but my bit of advice is that knowing stuff going in (read: contractors) is a far better idea. :-)

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I hope this time you'll take the "one room at a time" approach when you can - it does make a reno so much easier to live with.

However, I'm going to have my floors done - carpet and ugly tile out and other treatments in, and whoever I hire will probably do it all at once. I cringe at the thought - but I think that is how it will go.

I fondly remember prior renos - yours and mine - and am glad they are behind us. But, that doesn't mean I won't help you if I can with this one. Just let me know.

Love you, Mum

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

More like one project at a time (starting with windows/doors, attic insulation & any other efficiency item first then moving on to floors throughout and then each room as needed).

Thanks for the offer to help, we may take you up on it or we may just ask you to bring up a hot meal once we're done lol