Renovating a House From Top to Bottom – When You’re Not Expecting To

Rebuilding #mapfirsthouseI basically love everything house related – design, décor, renovating, color schemes, furniture – you name it. I’m even a realtor for heaven’s sake! Since I can remember, I’ve dreamed about redoing whatever space I was in and planned excessively for that. Since I’ve never had an endless budget to rehab each space to it’s maximum potential, I’ve always lived in a state of “make it work” vs stretch everything to its max potential.

This house was no exception. We did a ton of renovations before we moved in to make the house livable for us and work with our lifestyle. Then, I settled into months and months of deciding what were the best projects to spend our money on. Of course, I had a dream list of things I’d looooove to do to our home. And then there was the list of upcoming projects that were more reasonable that we’d tackle as funds and time became available. (I actually had that list ready to share with you guys in March.) Then the flood hit and it basically changed everything.Rebuilding #mapfirsthouseRebuilding #mapfirsthouseWe spent the last year working to get the inside to a good place. We’d just had several conversations about being settled enough with the interior to begin work outside. We had several projects lined out for the exterior, and actually planned to begin work on the landscaping (finally!) the weekend that the flood hit. Now, rather than following our original trajectory, we’re having to start over.

What does that mean exactly? It means a lot of things. First, we’re having to redo all of the work we’d already done. Our house was destroyed completely from 4 feet down, so everything we’d already lined out – flooring, paint, furniture, etc. – had to be demolished/discarded and redone. Secondly, the plans we’d made need to be reevaluated as things are all shaken up now. Even though our intention was to focus our energy on the exterior this year, we need to adjust and put out focus back on the interior for now. Obviously, we want to get to live there again ASAP. Also, with our house being basically demoed, it was a good time to reevaluate previous decisions and the overall layout and functionality of the home. If we were going to change anything, now was the time to do it.

Rebuilding #mapfirsthouseSince I had a few ideas already, some of the decision were easy to make on the fly. However, the way I handle practically any decision is to consider every single possibility and look at every option. Then, I take some time to process the options, considering all pros and cons, and finally make a decision after much deliberation and discussion among my closest confidants. The trouble with the strategy here is that I need to make the majority of the design decisions quickly…like yesterday…so that work can happen quickly and we’re out of our home for the shortest time possible. This is not conducive to my normal way of doing things.

When you’re planning for a major renovation or building a new home, I feel like it’s a lot easier to be prepared for all of the decisions and information that’s coming your way. At a minimum, most people will have planned for a place to live in the meantime. When a renovation is basically thrown in your lap, however, things seem a bit more difficult. I don’t feel like I have the time to really consider my options like I would prefer to. Trying to find temporary housing, dealing with insurance, not having vehicles, still working full time, and processing 1,000 conflicting emotions AND planning and dreaming for this big remodel has proved to be very hard on me. I’m not one to crumble under pressure, though I’ll admit that my current lifestyle is not conducive to nurturing my creativity. Instead, I feel pressured to make the best possible choices in the least amount of time, and for now, I’m just hoping that they’re close to “right.” Or adequate. At this point, I think I’ll settle for adequate.

Rebuilding #mapfirsthouseLately, my free time is spent scouring Pinterest and channeling my inner Joanna Gaines like it’s my job. And in a way, I suppose it is. When life throws crazy, unexpected trials at you, you simply learn to deal. And in this situation, I feel like it’s my role or job to use this opportunity to make our home into the best place it can be for my family. We didn’t think we’d be doing a major renovation any time soon, though since we are, I feel like I need to do my best work. I need to think fast and creatively. I need to consider as many options as possible in a short amount of time and I need to employ my best ideas quickly. I need to think both inside and outside of the box and consider our big dreams and ideas while also being practical and focused on the schedule. I need to maximize our budget while not forgetting to splurge where most necessary. I need to think about how we’ve truly used this home over the last year and a half, and think about areas of improvement that we would have only dreamed about. I know, without a doubt, that I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to do this quickly and efficiently. And obviously, when you’re forced to remodel without first planning for it, that will come with its fair share of headaches and strains. (Though, I could live without having a migraine every single day.) Nonetheless, I’ll figure all of this out and I’ll make it through. Matthew and I will be back in our beloved home before I know it, and hopefully, it’ll be beautiful and relaxing, just as we’re dreaming about now.

I’ve obviously been a bit quiet lately, and this post sort of indirectly mentions the tragedy we’ve experienced. Naturally, things have been a bit chaotic and that chaos has left me with few words for now. At first, I had no desire to write and now the words are starting to come back slowly. My thoughts still aren’t entirely clear, though I know the words will come back eventually. I’m sure I’ll share more about the flood eventually. For now, I’ll keep searching for my words and I’ll pop in and out here as they arrive.

Also, I just decided to track our rebuilding process through the 100 Day Project. Last year, I focused on crafty projects and this year I thought I’d use this time to showcase the rebuilding process. Feel free to follow along with #100daysofrebuilding on Instagram, if you’d like.

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