Sunday 8 January 2017

One Year of Home Ownership!

One year to the day we moved into our fixer upper home of our dreams! I can't believe it has already been one whole year! It has been an incredible journey for us, filled with many ups and a few downs! Renovation is hard! And we jumped in with both feet!

We started seriously looking in the fall of 2016. As we started the house hunt it was so exciting and nerve raking and to be blunt.. we had NO idea what we were doing! We started looking on the internet well before we were ready, which is probably one of the only things that we did right! We knew what to except- I wanted a fixer upper! Like I REALLY wanted a fixer upper! If you know me at all you know I am always looking for a deal! If you compliment me on anything it quickly becomes a guessing game of how much you think I paid for it because chances are I got it for 675876% off! (impossible percentage? Then you clearly haven't gone shopping with me! haha) Plus I am head over in love with the show fixer upper and would love to be Joanna and Chip (who wouldn't though?!)

Devon on the other hand...didn't want anything to do with a fixer upper! And I quickly learned that when I said "fixer upper" He thought that meant anything that needed a coat of paint. ( If you follow me on instagram @mariahsunshinephotography you know who one this battle #sorrydev )

When we went to our very first house showing (spoiler alert: NOT the house we bought) We were told that the water in the basement was completely normal, and that most basements had 'wet' basements. When we went home and told Dev's parents about the showing..we learned that was not the truth! I really meant what I said when I said we had NO idea what we were doing! Onto the next house and realtor where we were literally walking on a slope through the entire house and trying not to fall over, the realtor kept yawning and told us to look for ourselves as she was tired... Long story short after a few more houses and lots of frustration grew and a few break downs in Walmart parking lots with me blubbering "We are NEVER gonna find a house EVER!" we met our realtor angel; Kathy MacDonald!

I can't even say enough amazing things about Kathy! I wish we went to her in the first place! Would have saved a lot of grey hairs on both Devon and I! She worked so hard for us; we were a couple of hot messes! We didn't know our budget, we were both on different pages of what we wanted, goodness I don't know how she did it! We loved how as we walked through houses she told us what would have to be fixed, how much it would cost, everything!

We found a house the was pretty much done, Devon liked it. There was nothing bad about it, fixes were minimal and we were very close to putting an offer in.. but it just didn't feel like ours! It was an odd feeling but something I couldn't shake! and begged Dev to continue the hunt. One night I texted Kathy saying "Is there any especially good deals around? I am a bargain hunter!" And she responded with a listing (Spoiler: It was our house!!) I immediately was giddy, I showed Devon's siblings! And asked to see it right away. I saw sooo much potentential! It just needed a whole lot of lovin'!

When we arrived This Is what we saw! (Picture Below)

All I saw was fixes that we could make! The pool with the trees growing out of it was not the design choice I would have made, nor the barn with the blood/red hand prints dripping on the walls (Long story!) Ok fine; it was UGLY! but I liked it! There was even a little workshop with power! And I had already picked out the wall colour in my head for it to become my studio! Devon, on the other hand, thought I had lost my marbles! He was actually a little mad that I dragged him to even look at it! But when Kathy arrived and we looked inside he saw more potential and as soon as I saw the floor plan I was all about it! It did take many viewings (Thanks Kathy! haha) to decide to make an offer but we did and when Kathy texted me that they accepted I was in the staff room of a school and if you ask any teachers that were around that day they can attest my jaw hit the floor and I was filled with excitment, but most of all PANIC! What did we just do? I don't know a thing about renovations! I only watch HGTV! Oh my goodness we are gonna live in a construction zone for the rest of my life! ahhhh!

But the panic passed and the excitement grew, we didn't know how but we were gonna take care of this baby and make it ours! One way or another! And a year ago we got the keys and we moved in (Thanks helpful moving friends!)

And the renovations have been ever since! For any die-hard make-over-show-lovers I am gonna tell you now- it is NOT the same as real life! Goodness wouldn't it be something if our house was transformed in a half hour? And the home owners leave!? and when they come back it is done?! I have left the house several times; work, out for dinner or a movie and every time I return it is not done! Strangest thing.

ANYWAYS, enough with be rambling on forever and lets get to what we have done this spectacular, trying, exciting, nerve-racking, stressful and magical year! Room by room shall we?

First we tackled the LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM!
Day one actually we removed the rugs as Devon's asthma was out of control!

What we did:
-Removed rug
-Removed COUNTLESS layers of flooring (there was even plyers under one of the floors..not even kidding)
-Re-did floor board
-Levelled the floor
-New subfloor
-New laminate floor
-New trim
-Wood stove inspected
-Chimney cleaned

What we still need to do:
-Caulking trim/paint trim
-Metal trim around wood stove
-Trim around the window repaired
-New fan

Next was the KITCHEN!This was definitely the most stressful room renovation on me, as we were without a kitchen for 2-3 weeks! We made friends with the people at Harvey's very quick!

What we did:

-Removed cabinets
-Painted cabinets
-Leveled floor
-New subfloor
-New floor boards
-New laminate flooring
-Painted wainscotting
-Painted walls/ceiling
-New trim
-New appliances
-New light

What we still need to do: 
-Caulk trim/ paint trim
-Touch-up cabinets


What we did:
-Removed front gardens/jungle
-Removed old deck
-Removed old door
-New door
-Pressure washed siding
-Painted shutters (Thanks Mary!)
-New deck
-Re-did rock hedge (not sure what to call it)
-Trimmed trees
-Removed COUNTLESS trailer fulls of brush
-Removed trellis
-Removed walkway
-New flower box
-Layed grass seed
-Cut trees down
-Pond fixed and Island removed
-Shed cleaned and organized
-New eavestroughs
-New front light

What we still need to do:

-Build railing
-Remove pool
-Remove back gardens
-Build fire pit
-Fix/clean barn
-Remove back deck
-New back deck


What we did:
-Leveled floor
-New subfloor
-New laminate flooring
-Painted walls/ceiling

What we still need to do: 
-New Trim
-DOORS (oh my gosh I want doors on so bad!)
-Touch-up paint
-Hang hall way gallery


What we did:
-Removed rug
-Painted wainscotting
-Painted walls/ceiling
-New floor (TWICE! as the night we redid the floor forgot to plug in the mini fridge and had bad water damage, so re-did the new floor again!)

What we still need to do: 

-New Trim
-Caulk and paint trim
-Move turtle into room

I believe i am going to make this just a spare room, because in the 'finished picture below' I don't edit on that computer so I am always in the other room so it seems pointless to have my documents and such in here, i just liked the colour scheme better but I think we will be re-arranging this!

What we did:
-Removed rug
-New laminate
-Painted walls/ceiling

What we still need to do: 
-New trim
-Paint and caulk trim
-Move in spare bed

(this is going to be a BIG project!)

What we did:
-Painted Walls
-Removed wallpaper
-Installed curtains

What we still need to do: 
-Remove rug (last rug standing in house currently!)
-Remove drop ceiling
-Dry wall ceiling
-Remove closets
-Re-do closets (they are on a different level of the floor which bugs Devon so we are ripping them out and starting fresh!
-New closet doors and new bedroom door
-New floors
-New trim
-Caulk and paint trim


What we did:
-Painted with stain blocker
-Re-did plumbing

What we still need to do: 

-New tiles
-New vanity
-New tub
-New backsplash
-Paint walls
-New trim
-Caulk and paint trim


What we did:
-Removed all existing rooms (chipboard walls and weird layout)
-Studded and framed exterior walls
-Insulated exterior walls
-Designed new layout
-Re-did plumbing

What we still need to do:
-Re-do electrical
-Make spare bedroom
-Make bathroom
-Make rec room
-Make laundry room
-Make workshop
-Dry wall
-New floor (undecided about what route to go for this!)
-Install drop ceiling

We are so happy and proud of our progress so far! Progress not perfection! We both want to say thank-you to the people that have helped us so much on this journey! Can't wait to see what it looks like in another year!