Monday, August 15, 2011


We will be in our home for three years come November. It's been a wonderful three years. We've gotten married. We've experienced the most joy one can ever have with the birth of our daughter last year. And we have learned a lot about owning a home.

My husband thought I was crazy when I told him we should buy this home. He didn't see it the way that I saw it. We're both happy with how far our home has come, but there have been many changes as you have seen just a few.

I've received some comments and questions (I love your feedback!) about some of the renovations throughout our home, and I thought you should know that we didn't do any of the large renovations.

We don't know how to do plumbing (scary!), electrical (scarier!), installing sheetrock/drywall/whatever (not fun!), etc. etc. etc.

I wish we did. But we're learning. Check out what I just "pinned" recently onto my Pinterest page...

Design Sponge via Holly on Pinterest

I'm proud to say that we own all of these tools (since I recently just got my first staple gun). But I thought this was a great reminder of the essentials.

Although we have the essential tools, we hire out the big stuff to our chief renovator. We'll call him Bill.

Ok, so maybe this isn't Bill, but I liked this lion creature. And what renovator isn't a lion when they go in and demo the crap out of a space? HA! (Can you tell I'm having fun with this post?)

Things we have been successful with so far: painting (our painting skills have improved a LOT since 2008), caulking, installing shelves, installing a closet system, painting, and most of all envisioning our home for us.

You get the point. We do the small stuff - the stuff we know we can handle.

And we're learning a heck of a lot and asking a lot of questions along the way. I believe asking questions is the best way to learn.

Maybe ten years from now we'll feel confident enough to take on a whole renovation project ourselves, but for the time being we are more comfortable hiring the big stuff out.

So how did some of you learn your tricks and skills? Do you have family or friends that you were able to shadow? Were you just a risk-taker and went to town? (I'm envious if you're a risk taker - I'm such a chicken!)


  1. Our last home was an old 1930's house. We had to learn to fix a lot of things ourselves or we'd be calling repair men all the time. When we renovated the kitchen and bathroom I called in professionals for the tough stuff and did some of the smaller things myself (like tiling and painting.) It's amazing what you can learn online!

  2. Hi Holly-

    My husband I learned everything by just doing it. We now know that we don't do plumbing and flooring after a few DIY projects that turned into disasters. :) Like no water for 4 days in the house. We couldn't even take a shower, flush a toilet, etc. We ended up staying in a hotel until the plumber could get everything fixed and back to normal.

  3. I'm sad to say that even though I would like to consider us in the "risk taker" section, we have yet to own our own place, so it's kinda hard to say, no? (c: But I'm completely impressed with anyone that takes on a "fixer-upper" like you all and can make such fantastic strides! You two definitely deserve a pat on the back...go ahead, pat! (c:

  4. My husband is the risk taker and I am the chicken. We make a great team :)

  5. I love this post, and am right there with you! We hired out the electrical, plumbing and roof (scariest!). But, then lucky for us, my husbands best friend/general contractor moved back to the area and has been able to help us/teach us things we would've had to hire out before. Having him around has actually made our home's renovations go SO MUCH quicker!