RS: basement: before & during

From the first realtor’s tour two Decembers ago to this month’s freezer upheaval, the basement has been our arch nemesis. I’m sure there’s some kind of motivational talk / Bible study material here — you may be cute and quaint with lots of potential, but if your soul (basement) is flooded and rusted and rotten, you’re still as much of […]

RS: before & during: bathroom

This one, I’m sorry to say, is a bit less glamorous than the dining room. Part of this is because it’s a bathroom. Unless you have unreal amounts of moolah at your disposal for their renovation, they don’t always turn out especially glamorous. This one, though. It required extra special levels of bravery (and youth) (and […]

RS: before & during: dining room

We did something reckless in order to create this dining room. We turned our three bedroom house into a two bedroom house. With the help of my house-flipping aunt, we estimated that our target buyers, when we resell, will be younger folks like us. We guess that, if their family gets too big for two bedrooms, […]

RS: why we haven’t moved in & a new series

Frequently, we’re asked, “How much work have you done on the house?” Well . . . uhh . . . how much time do you have? Usually we opt for some variation of “Well, the renovation’s been more extensive than we planned, so we had to strip it down to the studs and replace everything except some walls.” “The […]

restoration saga: les toilettes

This week, I shop toilets. It is as exciting as it sounds. I have discovered that companies feel a great glowing pride toward their toilets. They are excited. Descriptions read like recycled sports car advertisements — ours are the sleekest, the fastest, the strongest, the most modern and stylish and streamlined. Not like those other toilets. I want to pull aside a sales associate and […]

restoration saga: a change in value

Over a year ago, I began stalking a little falling apart house on Why? Because I had a nonsensical attachment to its sloping, leaking roof, and [whispers] the idealism made me do it. I went a step further and, to finalize the stalking, signed myself up for updates delivered to my inbox every time a change was made in […]

restoration saga: what bat poo and poverty taught me about christian love

In the midst of good, hard, two-hands-to-the-plow living lately, I’ve run out of room in my days to talk about it. There’s a lot happening in me and my house. I may have to tackle this in baby chunks. We had some heart-breakingly beautiful work parties last week at the house. It was hard work. […]

restoration saga: renovating with a broken brain

I have no business renovating a house. On top of my lack of prior experience, I sport an embarrassing lack of hand-eye coordination. The events that qualify as other people’s most embarrassing experiences ever make up my daily existence. Ran into a wall? Not again. Tray dropped in the cafeteria? Take a bow. In our […]

restoration saga: expiration date

To fully appreciate what happened tonight at the house, you’ll need a short history lesson. Before our family purchased the house this fall, the house sat, unoccupied, for about two years. The previous owner had passed away, and his family didn’t want the house (apparently, stripping a home down to its studs and starting over is appealing to […]

restoration saga: sandy tries to take our house

Hurricane Sandy put one and a half feet of water in our basement. Then she blew up our breaker box. Since I left my galoshes at home today, I didn’t trek over to look at it, but my husband claims that, basically, it turned to ash. There is no good reason why our house didn’t […]