How hard could it be? After we went through a year of trying to decide on whether we were going to sell our house or renovate, we made the brave decision to stay in our house and just bite the bullet. Sure, we would have loved to just buy a new house, but with the Atlanta housing market it just didn't make sense. Plus, Troster works right up the street which is unheard of in this city. We love our community and the life we have created here, but our house was not making us happy. Our house was built in 1960 and is a four bedroom split level on an acre lot. A few years ago we renovated the kitchen and master bedroom, and had a long list of other projects we would like to tackle if we stayed. When we made the decision to stay these were the things that were a must to change:
- Knock down the wall that separates our living room and kitchen
- Move the playroom to what was our guest bedroom
- Update the master bathroom
- Update the laundry room
- Paint the kitchen cabinets white
- Paint the outside of the house white (formally red brick)
Well, we stuck to that list, but doing these things came with more projects that we didn't really plan on doing. Isn't that how it always goes? In the end, I'm very happy that we did these other projects, but it came with a lot more headaches and tears. The "other" projects that were added were:
- Refinishing all of our hardwood floors
- Putting in a huge picture window in our dining room
- Updating the kids/guest bathroom
- Putting new sod down in the front yard
When we decided to take the wall down, that's when we decided we would need to refinish all of the floors on the main level and second floor. The long strip of wood where the wall was taken down would not be able to match the rest of the wood. Also, the floors were in bad shape and it was very obvious after the wall was gone. We had to move out for over a week, literally move out. We had movers put all of our furniture in the basement, and we lived at my in-laws for the week. I will say picking out the stain and watching the day-to-day process was exciting, but I do not wish this on anyone. This was the biggest headache for sure.
The other not so-fun part of renovating was finding and picking a contractor. Come to find out that a lot of contractors don't really want to do random jobs in an old house. Most of the contractors that we found wanted to do a complete gut job of the entire house, or just tear the house down. Since, we know we don't want to stay in this house for more than 3 years, that just wasn't going to be an option. It took us around five months to find a contractor just to do our bathrooms. All of this and the floor refinishing process will come in other posts.
Oh, and I did I mention we renovated while having two little kids at home? That is for another story on how we survived that.