Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation : Day 1

Hey y'all!  Welcome to my October series: 31 Days to a Complete Home Renovation.

:: Scroll down to read day 1 ::

Click below to read the other days in this series.  Every day I'll add a link to each post I write.

Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21/ The Kitchen
Day 22/Macy's room

I am SO excited to be a part of this series by the team!  Here's the deal: it's a challenge to write every day for 31 days in October.  SO, here goes nothin'!  Let's get things off on the right foot and make some introductions:

My name is Elita. Welcome to my little corner of the world.  Which, by the way, happens to be in Vancouver, Canada.  Let me give you a brief run-down of who I am so you won't be confused by my many American-Canadian references.

I was born and raised as a pastor's kid in Houston, Texas, went to college in Alabama, married my Canadian-born husband, popped out a few kids and then we made our way up to my husband's neck of the woods, Vancouver, at the end of 2011.   I am blessed to be married to my best friend, Ryan, we have 3 little boys and I am expecting again (no we don't know what we are having, yes this was a surprise, and YES I am going to be thrilled even if it's another boy).  Phew!  Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business!

I've posted about it once before (click here) but my husband and I undertook a major project last Fall.  We bought a fixer-upper on the outskirts of Vancouver (by the way, $330,000 is about what it costs to not live in a trailer park in Vancouver.  In case you were wondering).  And since our budget was so low, we knew we had to buy a house that was falling apart so we could renovate it and hopefully make some money.

The part we didn't anticipate was the timing.

We had to be out of our rental by December 1st.  The sellers were not leaving our house until November 2nd.  In case you're counting, that's 28 days. We actually did the reno in 28 days.   Not 31.   But don't you worry.  I will have lots of extras to share in those 3 "bonus days."  Extra little DIY crafts we did around the house and things like that. I will give some tips on what TO DO and what to never-ever, not even if your life depended on it, do in a home reno.

The process was pretty well documented, through my husband's notes and my photographs.  (Aaaand let's just stop right there and allow me to be the first to admit that I am no photographer.  I wish I had the time to sit down and fiddle with our really great Canon that my in-laws gave to us. But....either I'm too lazy or I just don't have the time.  Check with me again in 5-6 years.)

So, on to day 1!

Here she is.

I know.

She's ugly.

But my husband, 2 of our boys, and my father-in-law make it at least slightly sweeter, right?  Or else you just feel bad for my kids at this point.  And you may possibly be wondering why my 8 year old is holding a chainsaw.  I can understand that.

ACTUALLY, that picture was taken after we pulled out 2 trees from the front yard (hence the chainsaw.  That my kids did not use, by the way).  The trees were causing moss to grow on the roof (which needed to be replaced anyways) and they were in really odd spots of the yard.  Here's the picture with the trees still in the ground:

And here's proof that it was my man who did the sawing and not my children:

The next thing we did was pull those awful aluminum window awnings down and remove the brown shutters.  (I use the term "we" very loosely here as I did none of this. I stood by and watched while my husband did 99.99% of the work on this entire house).

Did you know that you can make money by recycling aluminum?  I'm not talking about coke cans, people.  We made over $400 by recycling all of the aluminum from our house: the window awnings, the windows themselves, the siding, and the gutters.  When you're doing a reno, and every penny counts, $400 extra is a major bonus.  

So on day 1 we basically pulled the trees out of the yard, removed the awnings and the brown shutters.

Here she is at the end of day 1:

Come back tomorrow and see what day 2 of the outside looked like.  I'll give ya a hint: we move to the backyard.

Thanks for popping by y'all!



  1. Ah, congrats to your new home! Cannot wait to see how it turns out! Looking forward to your posts!

  2. A full reno in 28 days? Wow!! Can't wait to see the process unfold :-)

    1. I know! It sounds crazy. But we managed to do it! :)

  3. I see lots of possibilities. Can't wait to see what it will look like.

  4. I realize it's alot of work and money, but it's something you can make your very own, just the way you want it. Can't wait to see the results.

    1. That's exactly how we felt Cheryl! We made it our own and it was such fun during the process.

  5. Hey Elita! We are living in the interior BC with a very similar house plan, and am now feeling re-energized to continue renos! Have you posted day 19 - 31?

    1. Hi Janice…sorry for just seeing this post! Yes, I am working on finishing the rest of the renovation process right now! :) Check back soon...

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