Remodel, DIY, Oh My

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    What I know for sure is that being ensconced at home, many homeowners have been conducting remodeling projects, upgrading appliances and systems or getting to those honey-do lists that have been put off. I am one of those homeowners and would love to share with you my experience and newfound wisdom. 

    To begin, friends of mine have told me that I took a big bite out of the proverbial apple, and here is why. A fair 80% of the exterior of my townhome is being updated, which includes siding, roof, gutters, windows, deck, privacy wall and painting, all of which is enough to be living through. The level of pounding during the roofing portion was deafening. Being required to work from home and not having an opportunity to work from a coffee shop due to Covid made work an almost impossibility. I pounded the aspirin-like the contractors pounded the nails.  

    During this period, I had a standing shower removed from my master bathroom, making room for custom cabinets. I did this because my primary master bathroom included a separate standing shower and a tub shower combo, of which I did not need both but did need storage. Ironically, the CPVC piping that was original and extremely brittle was needing to be replaced. During the ongoing exterior work, sure enough, a pipe burst, so it made sense to go ahead and move forward with having my entire townhome re-piped, taking three days with incessant sawing and pounding. Those friends could see something more clearly than I, the inconvenience and stress that was mounting. What I was laser-focused upon was getting my house more like the home I envisioned.

    Needless to say, these types of projects always take longer than anticipated. The exterior work discovered rot around two windows and thereby requiring contractors to come inside as well as work from the outside. Between the shower removal, the re-piping and window framing to be opened to the studs I was beside myself in dust! Drywall repair is extremely messy and is like sand getting into every nook and cranny. And this is with areas protected with plastic covering. Albeit the contractors were nice and professional, I could not wait to see the backs of them. The thought of waking up one more day to someone else in my home, and the noise, was literally driving me to eat whole bags of chocolate chips!  

    Afterwards, I decided that I would paint the interior areas myself as I like the concept of sweat equity and felt like I was hemorrhaging money every time I turned around. Once a project starts, it grows. I seemed to continuously find additional items to address. New fans in three bathrooms, a new toilet in the half bath, and I tore off my mantel to add a live edge style. Throughout this time, I have been sleeping on the couch as it is a domino effect; you can’t do one task without having completed another. Needless to say, I am almost done with painting, which has included a large accent wall, three bathrooms, two bedrooms (one left to do), and the ceilings of those rooms.  

    The moral of my story is having work done on your home is important and adds value, and, it can be very intense. If you can move out while work is being done, that will definitely help you keep your sanity. If not, have work done in increments, possibly one room at a time. Make sure to get a massage, facial, or treats of any kind, and keep your favorite comfort foods and beverages nearby! Is it worth doing work yourself? I think so. Again, I am all for sweat equity; however, know your limits because doing it yourself does not always add value and quality is worth the inconvenience. Like a wise Betty Davis once said, “Buckle up, we’re in for a bumpy ride!’.  Blessings in this holiday season. 

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