Four years ago, we were living in construction. We'd just purchased our first home and it was a major fixer upper. When we moved in, two months after we closed on the house, the master bathroom was still waiting to be tiled, there was work to do in the kitchen, and the basement wasn't finished yet. We moved in at the end of July and finally finished construction and were able to settle in fully in October. We had a contractor running point on the majority of our projects, but did quite a few things ourselves including removing all of the flooring in the house, prepping for new floors and paint, staining banisters and our fireplace and putting up the board and batten in the front room. Through our home renovation, we discovered a new hobby, DIY projects together.
Since our original home renovation, we've completed a lot of projects on our own, the most recent being tearing down our deck and rebuilding a bigger one. There are a lot of times when we've considered hiring out our projects, and spending a bit of extra money to not have to do it on our own, but we usually end up opting for the less expensive option.
Our deck build project has been a little different than our original home renovation. We have two toddlers now, and rather than being able to work side by side with Joe the entire time, I kept the kids entertained and things inside the house running smoothly. There were a couple of nights when I was out working on the deck after the kids were in bed, applying the stain or helping with whatever part of the project they were working to complete at the time. It reminded me of the times when we would work on our house from the time we got home from work until we were ready to go to bed. Seeing the progress that we made each day and watching all of our hard work turn into the thing we'd envisioned when we started the project.
DIY projects can come with frustrations and disagreements. The biggest frustrations for us, especially with this most recent project, have been when our expected timeline hasn't matched the actual one. We were sure that our deck was only going to take a few weeks tops, but here we are three months later and it's still not complete. We haven't made any progress on it during the last month and a half because life has been busy and Joe has had other things that have taken priority. We have it to a point where we can enjoy it, but we're hoping to have it completed before the snow falls.
Doing projects ourselves and working on them together have taught us a lot of things. We've learned new skills and discovered talents that we didn't know we had. We've learned how to function better as a team and what we care enough to splurge on. We've discovered new preferences and how strongly each other feels about random details on things. Our families have always been willing to help out with whatever project we've undertaken, helping to teach us new things and helping to get the job done faster.
Working on a project together, no matter how big or small, is a fun and challenging way to spend your quality time. There are still a lot of things we want to change in our house to make it more of a home and I'm looking forward to doing those things together.
What projects have you tackled together in life?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography