In a couple of weeks Chris and I will celebrate our second anniversary of inhabiting the Lindsay house. A lot has happened in two years.
When we decided to buy a house two springs ago, we knew we’d either be purchasing a condo, a tiny home or a fixer-upper. This was an investment, and a fixer-upper seemed like something we could tackle. So, with tiny Jonathan growing in my tummy, we bought Lindsay and made big plans.
Most of Lindsay’s needs were cosmetic (uh, paint job anyone?), and of course we thought we could do everything oh-so-fast. Needless to say, things didn’t happen just the way we planned them to. Though Chris had his summer off and I was able to work on the house evenings and weekends, there was a LOT to do. Just to make the place livable we had to clean and paint every surface (cigarette smoke and dirt covered nearly everything) and that was before we moved in. Then there was a leak in the roof, an entire room to gut and re-do, carpet was pulled up, plumbing issues fixed, etc, etc, etc.
I hated our house for the first many months of being a homeowner. But gradually, gradually me and Lindsay made friends. I think finishing our big back room helped to smooth things over between us.
Now that we’re two years into owning a fixer-upper, I’ve realized a few lessons that maybe I should have figured out before we started this game.
- Plans change! When we first bought our house, I had a list of things that we would need to fix/change. Half of those are complete, half are still to be checked off. More pressing needs come up as you start the remodeling process.
- Remodeling is exhausting. If Chris and I had boundless energy, we’d have everything in our house just the way we like it. Since we don’t and hard physical work is well, hard, we’ve got lots of plans that are still plans.
- Fixer-uppers are time consuming. What happened to all of those free evenings and weekends we had when we were apartment dwellers? Oh yeah, we’re spending them on the roof, on the lawn, in the basement and anywhere else that needs work.
- Remodeling is rewarding. All of the sweat equity Chris and I have invested into our house has paid off (if only to make me and Lindsay get along). What a joy it is to see the changes!
- Sometimes DIY is foolish. Full-time employment + marriage + kids + life + DIY home projects = disaster. At some point Chris and I realized that we couldn’t do all of our projects ourselves and retain our Christian virtues. That’s when spending a little bit of money on a pro is a FANTASTIC idea.