Our home is in the midst of renovation. It’s an older house in a older neighborhood and has been previously extended a couple of times. We are modifying those extensions and taking advantage of the quirks of the house. Home renovation, massive like ours or updating small things one at a time, always brings lessons, excitement, and the occasional frustration. Taking the Leap (or making the decision) to renovate starts it all! Here I’ll share how our home renovation adventure started and give you some questions and truths to think through before starting renovation on your own home.
When my husband, Abe, bought the house, which happened to be just before we started dating, he knew he would have to put work into it. The carpet was old and dirty, the bathroom was nasty from water leaks and floor issues, the walls were splotchy, the roof in the back leaked a little, water drained down the back wall when it rained, and a lot of other things, some he knew when buying and some he soon found out after moving in.
Renovation was never not considered. He got himself a good ‘ol fixer upper. (Hear the Texan in me?!)
Why, when, where, and how were questions he, and then eventually we, had to consider. You should consider these questions too if you are trying to decide if you should, or have even already decided to, take the leap and start the journey of home renovation. I lay the questions out here and show you what some of his and our answers were.
Taking the Leap – Questions to Consider
*These are questions to consider when you already have a home bought and are not moving. These are definitely also questions to consider when buying a house but there are so many more detailed things to consider before buying a house as a fixer upper. Abe just told me a bunch of questions he should have asked before he bought our house. Those will be shared in a future home renovation episode!
What is the purpose of our home?
Why do I need to renovate?
Why do I want to renovate?
What do I want to accomplish with renovation?
Our home is our temporary dwelling gifted to us by God. It is His to give and to take away. It is a temptation to want to control our home, to make it our own by our own will and power, and to get caught up in the renovation. We pray that our home is a place where we can grow our family, make disciples, and live in faith in Christ.
Our house desperately needed renovation in areas. The tub was moldy and leaked, the roof in the back of the house leaked, water came in through the bottom of the back door when it rained, there was a roach infestation behind the walls in the laundry room, and the carpet and some walls had animal pee stains that gave off a horrid smell. The house needed renovation for health reasons and longevity reasons. Here are some pictures Abe took the day he got the keys.
My husband wanted to renovated to make the house nicer and more comfortable to live in and to update the house so it would last longer and get his money’s worth from buying it. The house is a big investment and he wants to live here until it is paid off. There was definite doubt that the house would last that long if not touched. Also, we started to date and the possibility of having a wife and eventually a family made renovation even more important. I remember him asking me one day before we were engaged if I would feel comfortable moving in here if we got married. Of course I said yes because I would say yes to marrying him and I was good with any living condition I was given. I also knew that he was already renovating so I was excited to see the finished product, knowing it would definitely be livable. 🙂
We want to accomplish improving the house to make it last longer and renovating debt free by using money wisely and sparingly.
When should I start renovation?
When will I do projects? During the week, on the weekends, spend a whole week off from work?
He was single when he bought the house so he had (theoretically) more time on his hands. He started right away with two brothers that were living with him at the time. They painted the walls, added a wall to split a big room, and redid the bathroom first.
Abe works on the house when he gets home from work and on the weekends. We intentionally take every few evenings to relax to make sure he doesn’t get overworked. Thankfully, Abe has a few brothers that come over and help him mainly on Saturdays.
What places in the house need renovation?
Where will I get materials?
I have already stated some of what needed and needs renovation and that list can go on and on. I’ll share more in another Home Renovation Episode in the coming weeks.
We get most of our materials from Home Depot, Amazon, and Lowe’s. We got roofing materials from a roofing place and the occasional tools from a local tool store.
How will we pay for the renovation costs?
Will we pay for contractors, do it ourselves, enlist help, etc.?
Will we stay at home during the construction or live somewhere else?
We had some savings when we got married so a little has been spent on renovation. Family has been gracious to help as they see fit, either with money or their time. God has graciously provided materials from different places and the funds to undergo this huge project. We have searched Craigslist, garage sells, and Goodwill.
YouTube, family, and friends. My husband has become a handy man! We thankfully haven’t had to hire a company to do anything with the remodeling. We have been blessed by the help and expertise of family members and friends. Call on your family and friends because surely someone you know has done the same or a similar project to what you’re thinking about doing!
Thankfully we have the front of the house complete now with a kitchen and a bathroom so there was not a question about living somewhere else, like an apartment or someone’s house. However, when Abe was re-doing the bathroom before we got married, he and his two brothers had to find other options.
And now we are in the midst of construction! As I write this post, Abe is in the back of the house hammering away at siding studs to make a bookcase!
I hope these questions help you think through taking the leap into home renovation. Pray for faith to keep it all in perspective during the easy times and the hard times.