Sunday, September 1, 2013

June gloom

Throughout the renovation we heard several times, "If you can survive a renovation you can survive anything."  Well, this crazy project started in January and now it is September first and I am happy to say we survived the summer, passed final inspection a month ago, and the house is completely livable. . . And we will probably continue to work on the house the rest of our life.  Honestly, there are way worse things that can happen in life than a renovation but it was certainly not the easiest thing I have ever done.  Would I do it again? ... Maybe, shhh! Don't tell my husband.  He will NEVER do that again.  And I love him way to much to ever ask him to go through that again.  So I feel super lucky to have had the opportunity.  And, we love the way our house has/is turned/turning out!  We still have a lot of plans.  There is a blog that I absolutely love, it is called on her blog she has a quote that says, "when every corner speaks of possibility I know that I am home." -unknown-  I completely agree!  I thrive on possibilities!

There is so much to say and I really don't know where to start.  This is going to take a while or a few posts to completely get up to date on the latest and greatest of our little ranch house!  Lets just start with June.


This was not the funnest Ben and Melanie Winfield family summer.  We just had so much we had to do in such a short amount of time.  With a very small budget.  It was kind of stressful.  I did not even leave the valley the whole summer!  I think that is a first for me.  Annie was the best part though.  She is such a tender mercy.  We ALL love having a baby in the family again. . . Maybe in a few years we will look back at this summer and see all we accomplished and learned and think it was a great summer. . . We will give it some time.

In my head everything seems so simple and easy but in real life it is NEVER that easy.  Especially when it is summer time, you have a newborn and 3 young kids to care for and entertain. I am not complaining though.  My family is my real love and life and they are way more important than a renovation.. Our living situation was just a little crazy!  There were moments where we felt like we had tapped into our pioneer heritage.

In June we rented out our home of 6 years and the Ranch house was not even ready.. at all!  The walls were painted and the flooring was in but the power was not hooked up and only one toilet and a small sink was plumbed.  Plus a million other things were not done!  Lucky for us we have the BEST neighbors in the whole world! Jilly from the blog is my new neighbor! If you have not seen her blog you should!  She and Mia have the best decorating taste and food taste around!  Jilly and her family so graciously took us in while we waited for the power to be hooked up.  Plus they have been there for us every step the way.  We will forever be in debt to them.  We love that sweet family!  And I am sure we would have been welcome all summer if needed.  That week after moving out was a dark week.  I cried when the lights where finally turned on in our new house.  I will probably remember that moment for the rest of my life.  Nothing was going smooth and I thought the power would never be turned on. .  Don't get me wrong staying with Jilly and her family was like a vacation but, every time we walked down to our house reality would hit and it was horrible!  We had so much still to do!! And my husband has a full time job and no more vacation time because he already used it earlier in the year to work on the house and to be around when the baby was born.  So that left me to do as much as I could during the day and him to work overtime on the house at night.  Here are some pictures of what our house looked like those first few weeks of living here.

See all the dust!! We had to get out a a bucket of water and the car brush to get it off the floor.  Then wipe up the water quickly so it would not ruin the floor.

Our house was a HOT MESS!  But ready or not once the AC was turned on we moved in.  Everything was just rough plumbed, in other words, no fixtures were hooked up except one small half bath, the kitchen had nothing but a microwave and a refrigerator, a lot the floors were still covered with the paper from the painters and there was paint and drywall dust everywhere! Our mattresses were just placed on the floors for sleeping, no rods or shelves were up in the closets, no furniture just bags of cloths and tools of every kind were found all over the place.  And, don't even get me started on the exterior because at the at that point we did not even care!
This is how our back patio looked for the longest time!

The week before we moved in we were hoping to get a plumber over but he was booked.  I remember it was a friday afternoon, the day after we had moved into the ranch house and we had both hit a point where we were done wallowing in our own self pity and we got to work!  We started by plumbing all the hose bibs and it just snowballed from there.  There was a gentleman who worked at Lowes who was a retired plumber so we headed over to picked his brain for about an hour and a half and youtubed the rest.  That weekend we got all the sinks, toilets, showers, washer and dryer and water heater plumbed.  I cannot even explain how good it felt to be able to be a little self sufficient.

It took several weeks but eventually we figured out and got the claw foot tub plumbed and wall mount faucets plumbed.  More on that later. :-)

 It also took a a few weeks to get the ovens set.  They were SO heavy.  Like 500 + pounds and the outlet was in the wrong spot so it would not fit all the way into cabinet.

Strongest men in the world :-)

See how the oven is sticking out a little at the top. Yep we had to take it back out move the outlet so the oven would set all the way back in the cabinet then put it back.  The story of our life!  Before we started this renovation I remember my dad said, "you are going to learn a lot from this renovation.  Some things you will learn from other people and other things you will learn from your own trial and error."  He then laughed and said I hate having to learn from my own mistakes.  Hopefully you won't have to learn too much from trial and error.  That was terrifying to me when he said that because I had a feeling we were going to learn a lot from trial and error. .. And I was right.  Good thing my husband and I are persistent people! 


  1. "If you can survive a renovation you can survive anything." - I totally agree. Renovation has a long and tiring process that really requires patience to finish it all up. That's why it's advisable to have a contractor to make sure everything is being well-taken cared of. Anyway, this update sounds good and like a relief. At least plumbing-related issues will be less of your problem now. Good luck.

    Lovella @

  2. I say let the grass grow in the back patio for now, unless you plan on hardscaping it in the near future. At the very least, a good grass cover looks nicer than just plain dirt. Enjoy your newly-renovated home! :D