Renovation Life Lessons


The house was built in 1927. The kitchen and hall bath hadn’t been touched since the 60’s, and that is just a good guess. The renovation has been staged in five phases. The first phase was opening up a dinning room wall into an earlier addition by removing double windows. This created a bypass around the kitchen. The second phase was gutting the hall bath. The third phase gutting the kitchen. The final indoor phase is remodeling the office. The fifth phase is landscaping for the front and back yard to including fencing for the puppies so they can, for the first time in their lives, go off leash.

Staging it in phases has drawn out the process, but the house had to remain livable throughout the process.

Removing the double windows in the first phase was messy but almost painless.

The hall bath and kitchen were dated and both needed better functionality. While no walls were taken down, both rooms were stripped back to the studs. Fortunately, the house has two bathrooms. So while there was the pain of the dust, dirt and the inconvenience of the remodel looking back, the hall bath was a piece of cake.

The kitchen is the hub of our house. Plus, the kitchen is in the center of the house. I’ve always known this, but now I can confirm that almost everything begins or ends in the kitchen in one way or another. Meals are planned, cooked and sometimes eaten, lists are created, schedules are organized, and great conversations are had. I miss the kitchen more than I expected. And I had expected to miss it a lot.

As of this post the Kitchen phase is not complete. And there is still the office and landscaping phase to go. [I didn’t even mention the clean up phase … that’s another post.]

At some point during the renovation I found myself regretting my decision. When the gutting, sanding, dirt and mess started overwhelming me. When I can’t see the end in sight and I’m losing my sanity to the chaos … I remind myself to power through it. The regret will be temporary. I remind myself, it takes chaos to create beauty.

The chaos of this makeover has blocked and disrupted my energy flow. Things you take for granted you need to consider. Where will you cook and do dishes? How long will your materials take to arrive? Where will you store your materials? Working from home and having contractors constantly coming and going, hammering and cranking the band saw is not desirable. The renovation has been a huge reminder of how disorder can negatively impact all areas of life.

On the flip side, the renovation and I have grown together. From a distance I can see that we are both a work-in-progress. This renovation adventure will color the rest of my life, as I dream new dreams and begin building each one.

It's your turn. What do you think? Add your comments below and let's talk ...