Honesty time: I cannot believe it is July already. Seriously, time has just been flying by. We first set eyes on this house in April. APRIL. Our realtor was strongly discouraging us from buying a HUD (Housing and Urban Development) house and was nudging us towards a more “turn key” property. At this point, we had already looked at ~10 houses, put an almost offer in on one, and had our offer on our “dream house” rejected. We were also on our second realtor; the first refused to give us the time of day and our second broke up with us shortly after we asked to see the house on 10th. The realtor we went to settlement with was our third.
Ya’ll! I am so excited because today I’m sharing a before and after(-ish) photo. Why is this so exciting? Because it means that we have finished a piece of the house enough to see a visible change! It means PROGRESS! The kind of progress that you can move into and actually LIVE IN
This past week, the Hess House saw some improvements (though move-in day is still a distant dream). The powder room wall was framed and it now sports a snazzy new pocket door. The walk-in "his and hers" closet was also framed out in the master bedroom. Upstairs on the third floor, the splotchy drywall patch jobs from a previous fix were sanded down and the carpet glue reside is almost gone- though the smell of cat pee still lingers. I see a bleach bath for the stairwell in the near future. Although the stairwell still smells, the mold in the basement has been successfully removed! Lots of steps forward… and a large step back. Curiosity got the best of me and I poked at some crumbly looking drywall. As it turns out, poking the crumbly dry wall was huge mistake. The main window in the Purple Room, I discovered, was sort of floating above what used to be wood studs. I say used to because a poor seal on the window allowed water to get in… and now it’s just a pile of rotted wood dust. Such is the reno life.
After a second weekend of demo, our house is definitely looking worse for the wear. I can see through some walls now. Where plaster and lath once were, the dust is now settling on giant gaping holes. And our front yard was (as of Sunday) looking very “scrap yard”-esque, complete with busted toilet. I don't think a sight line from the upstairs bathroom to the front door is what they meant by "open concept".
We’ve been homeowners now for exactly two weeks. I think I’ve also already experienced the whole gamut of homeowner-related emotions; everything from the fiery pits of buyers remorse (WHAT HAVE WE DONE!) to the mountain tops of excitement where the possibilities are endless (I am basically Joanna Gaines). Despite going in with our rose colored glasses off, these feelings were probably inevitable. And despite the feelings of uncertainty as demo makes the house look worse, our spirit is not crushed.
You know when you have a dream? The kind that lingers in your brain, slowly simmering on the back burner waiting to be indulged? Mine falls under the name Fixer Upper. I watch HGTV & DIY shows with the same enthusiasm most people watch major sporting events ("NO! I can't believe they replaced those original subway tiles in the hall bath! What a bad call!). Renovating a home is an undertaking I've always entertained- would I do it? In a heartbeat. Could I do it? I hover somewhere between confidence and crushing self-doubt. Sure, I can paint walls, but could I completely rejuvenate a space from the studs on up? Did I want to take that leap of faith only to realize I had no wings and fail miserably?
About the Author:
Tasha is a freelance artist, stay-at-home mama, and, in her husbands words, a lifestyle manager. She and Aaron are in the midst of renovating their 94 year old home while raising their sassy daughters, Adelaide & Emma.
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper