By Caroline Bujold
The house my husband David bought in 2005 was a major fixer upper, it needed A LOT of work. Remodelling takes time, especially when you do most of it yourself, you work a full time job and you don’t have a lot of money. We are still working on it.
Remodelling can be fun, or a pain. It depends on your point of view and mostly your skills, which I have little. I can assemble the heck out of Ikea furniture and not have parts left over, I can file paper all day long, but power tools and demolition still intimidate me.
As with any 50’s bungalow, rooms were small and divisions awkward and this particular one still had a lot of the original finishes (hello carpet in the bathroom – yuk). David “camped“ in the house for two years before I moved in, doing demo and installing a new kitchen and a new bathroom.
We also decided to take down walls and have an open living space, changing the look to get a modern feel. But before doing so, he had an engineer look at the house and got the assurance that we weren’t taking down load bearing walls.
Fast-forward seven years and our neighbours are remodelling their kitchen. Our neighbourhood has cookie cutter homes, so their house is similar to ours. As a result, we were told that it might be a good idea to have a supporting beam where the walls once stood. Well thanks for nothing engineer #1. One more engineer report later, we found ourselves faced with the task of redoing something that was already finished. Frustration doesn’t even start to describe how we felt about the whole thing.
Here are a few before and renovation pictures:
I’m a hundred percent sure there is such as thing as Renovation Fatigue. Having to live with the constant dust and tools pilling around; having to keep building material just in case; having to jump on a different project because it suddenly needs your attention, takes its toll. Staying organized becomes uber important, otherwise you can loose your mind, not to mention your motivation; which in our case has gone out the window several times.
After lots of trial and error, thousands of decisions, a few fights and a wedding in our backyard later, we are still at it, and NO … we are NOT DONE.