Almost Done and Nearly Dead

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

This is point where I show you happy 'nearly done' renovation photos and talk about how we're in the 'home stretch' and 'what a great experience this has been'. Hmmmm....well yes we are nearly done but somehow this last part has been the hardest.

I've given up on trying to contain dust and now everything I own has a thick layer on it (sorry cats, you feel like you went a bit crazy with the dry shampoo). I'm actually sick of Ikea and Home Depot (I know some of you find this very hard to believe) and I don't want to eat another meal in a restaurant or in my basement. We're at that precarious point where 'good enough' seems like a good idea. No one needs vent covers? Right? And who's going to look that closely at the 2 inch gap over there? Right?

I'm going to put it out there. I want this done before Christmas and hopefully it will happen. On our to-do list: finish trim work, finish patching and sanding and then paint EVERYTHING. (Also find my camera charger-apologies for the crappy camera phone photos).

It's easy to lose sight of how much we've accomplished but looking back at photos really shows how much progress we've made. I mean, we finished the kitchen...


...and then promptly filled up with furniture in order to refinish the floors (therefore rendering it useless once again).

Let's just take a look at how it went from this:

To this (don't worry we didn't choose blue cabinets- I just refuse to take off the protective film until the chaos is complete): 

Chad really did an amazing job. Even the countertop installer couldn't believe it wasn't professionally done. In the process I think we even convinced my parents to redo their kitchen using Ikea cabinets.

Now let's take a look at the rest of the of the living room/dining room. Chad and I have a piece of advice for anyone who thinks they want to save money and refinish your own floors: DON'T DO IT. (Wow I sure am using a lot of caps today) Seriously, it's right up there with doing your own drywalling. Please find it in your budget to hire someone to do it. Don't be like us me who decided it was a really good idea to blow the budget on fancy light fixtures (I still love you chandelier. Let's not tell Chad but I'd buy you all over again). Drywalling and floor refinishing were the two times when Chad and I nearly killed each other. Tools, choice words and threats of 'just leaving the whole project and living in the basement forever' where thrown about. 

Poor Chad
I blame those home renovation shows where someone passes a sanding machine over the floor once and the stain magically disappears. Three full days of sanding later and our old wavy floors were not even close to being down to the natural wood. 

In the end, even though it's 'against the rules' we got tired and went over spots with hand held sanders, figuring the floor was so wavy it wasn't going to make much difference-and in the end it didn't. After almost 6 days we had sanded, re-stained and varnished the living/dining room, office and the stairs. Let's not talk about doing the upstairs to Chad just yet. We also had to change our plans and use a water-based stain and varnish because we wouldn't be able to leave the house while an oil based product dried. It meant that I couldn't use as dark a stain as I had wanted but I think it turned out pretty well in the end. We enjoyed it for a half a day and then got right back to work covering in it dust in order to start adding the trim.

So that's it- thanks for those of you who made it all the way to the end of my rant. I'll leave you with a picture of my current project-the stairs. I think they look a hundred times better than the pink and carpet they originally were.

Do you have any renovation burn-out stories to share? I'm sure after this is all done and I'm sitting in my living room enjoying it I'll be already planning our next project. What do you think Chad-basement or bathroom next?

10 Response to Almost Done and Nearly Dead

December 4, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Here's what I think: I think you can go F yourself!! ;)

December 5, 2013 at 7:14 AM

I just have to say, I sympathize. The ends of renovations are the WORST. We've been working on our kitchen since April and it's STILL not done, even though all that's left is the trim… I just can't bring myself to finish these last details, I just want it to be done but I have no desire to work on it. UGH!

Also, I'm curious - for the floors, did you use an orbital sander or a belt sander? We were planning on using the orbital and the guys at Home Depot talked us into the belt sander, and I'm glad they did as it went WAY faster. I found those orbital things really hard to work with.

December 5, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Chad is a MACHINE!

December 5, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I can relate to "good enough" we're at the stage of our reno... its hard to push through. Reno burn out makes me hate the entire HGTV network. I can recommend duct cleaning before you get to the painting stage. Worth every penny especially after all the sanding.

... like you I am excited to take on the basement next, but I think I'm the only one.

December 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Christine-I'll have to ask Chad about which sander he used. I know we started with one type that was the one the Home Depot guy recommended but after using it for over 3 hours it hadn't put a dent in the floors. We ended up switching to the other kind that was suppose to be harder to handle but actually managed to take the stain up.

Ally-that's so funny my mom also recommended the duct cleaning but I think it will be a hard sell to Chad!

December 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Sarah - we started with an orbital sander, which is a huge piece of shit. We then moved on to the belt sander and edger, which were only medium-sized pieces of shit.

April 8, 2014 at 6:41 AM

you couldn't be more right about hiring out for drywall. my ex and I put it up in our entire basement (installing wasn't so bad). Then I spent two evenings starting to do the mudding and I quickly called in a pro. It was absolutely worth it! Of course now I'm renovating a house and I've been doing all the patching, but I'd never do an entire space new. patch a hole, yes. do an entire room, no!

July 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I know what you mean. Renovations are easy when you hire a contractor, but having to do it by yourself can be such a pain. Poor Chad looks so exhausted. Anyway, all the hardwork will eventually pay off. Grit your teeth because renovations are never easy. Wishing you all the best with it. Good luck! :)

Homer Collins @ Pinnacle Group

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