Friday, January 30, 2015

The three R's; Romance, Remodel, Reality

There are three R's that are a constant in my life.  They are in no particular order, ok well yes they are.  Romance, two people madly in love, with a dream.  Remodeling to create a culmination of ideas into an amazing dream house.  Reality as it all sinks in after starting the remodel!!!

We chose through happenstance and frustration to take a much needed break from remodeling our far from finished house.  Do not even lightly underestimate my wording, far-from-finished! We needed the break physically, and most importantly mentally.  This is definitely not our first house to remodel but is absolutely our most extensive.  We have agreed that new construction would have been easier, and quicker.  However... hindsight is always 20/20.  If we had it to do again would we?  Yes, I know we would because this is what we do!  I have always dreamed of walking into a new home, everything finished, sparkly and clean nothing to remodel, no painting, scraping, mudding or building.  Then I start to think about what I would see that needs improved upon and realized I'm a re-modeler,  I can't help it.  I could never buy a new house.  I walk into a home and immediately see a vision of the full potential and eagerly anticipate the transformation.  It culminates when I compare my sketches to the finished house and the full realization of a vision.  It is amazing and so rewarding to live in a space you have designed and crafted.  Once it gets in your blood you are hooked!  New construction is out as you search for the home that may not look like your vision at first glance but as with this home, has the bones about it to be our dream home. 

The moment I saw our property I didn't care what the house looked like inside!  Yes, those are the thoughts from people that remodel, crazy and seemingly irrational but real.  Baring structural foundation issues, once you realize that everything you see inside will change anyway, it no longer matters what the inside looks like as long as the structure will allow for the changes you want to make, or you know how to make structural changes.  If the foundation is solid, anything goes.  I am usually the one that looks at a house and my vision spills into many sketches of ideas while my husband take a very deep breath.  I am a visual person, my space affects me,  I have to have balance, structure, organization, and most importantly a space that inspires! I even dream in color!  That is my artistic side effecting my daily life.

This house was unlike any other before.  This time, completely unaware to me, my husband was looking at this house with a vision.  The property was right.  I was tired, and just needed  breathing room to garden, grow, and regain my health mentally, physically and emotionally. I wanted to change a few things, paint and make it move in ready for us, move, then sell our house and start our adventures in the country.  The scenario was seemingly perfect. My husband had another plan.  A romantic plan.  You see all these years I have had this list of ideas for a "dream" house.   This amazing man with an incredible memory had been filing them away for "the" house.  When we closed on our house and walked around he started telling me about all the changes that were going to happen and the more things he told me the more I was amazed.  "Oh, I've always loved that", "That is perfect how did you know?" "Oh my gosh you remembered!" kept tumbling out as he laid out his vision, my dream home.  He had remembered everything I loved from different homes and design ideas so he could create the perfect house for me!!!  His plan sounded so much better!  I had always dreamed of that move in ready house, this was our chance!!! It was all falling into place.  The long term vision thanks to my amazingly loving, thoughtful, and romantic husband.

So the improvement idea of paint and move in turned into a full fledged remodel as we started taking sheet rock off the walls, then taking out the walls, wiring, and plumbing and before I knew it we were up to our necks and bringing in the roll off carts.  When all the dust settled we were literally standing in a shell, which had the siding off too!  This is the point where we started questioning remodeling verses new construction which admittedly would have been easier and possibly cheaper but we love the property and like I said were neck in.  Like most who are on this scale of remodeling the day we completely removed the bathroom, there was no turning back we were all in.  Yes a functioning bathroom means that much!!!   We moved our camper to our property and dug in.  As the time went on, and the reality of the scale of the project we were taking on set in, so did the exhaustion and frustrations.  One day we realized we were not going to beat winter and our hopes of moving into a finished house dwindled as we set up inside and winterized our three seasons camper. 

The reality; learning our limitations.  Can we finish this house?  Absolutely with complete confidence I know it will get finished in our lifetime! :) That being said, gutting an entire house is far different from remodeling a room at a time.  Loosing my precious dad changed our crew from a three person to a two person crew and that was a huge blow all the way around.  I wasn't prepared for the emotional and mental exhaustion that construction without him would bring.  There were days when I would reach for a tool, one of his, and burst into uncontrollable sobs.  My husband and my dad made a great team as well and not having dads years of experience, encouragement, and insight and company was extremely difficult for my husband.  We have had family emergencies, schedule conflicts and several delays.  There were a lot we weren't prepared for, so many things, but isn't that life?  It is, we learn along the way, we grow, we change, and we take those experiences and build on them.  So looking back over this past year on the month this journey began, we are now living in reality, our new temporary normal though ironically remodeling is our normal!  We are emotionally and mentally, putting the pieces back together.  Physically rested, and with reality check in hand let the remodeling begin... again!  I couldn't be happier or more excited.  I know this year has so many good things in store for us and I look forward to all that we will experience on our little homestead.

Remember reality is often much harder than our dreams, but keep going and working for those dreams and goals because the true reality is, it is worth it!!!!  Blessings


Rose said...

Amy I admire you. I am the complete opposite - I detest living in remodelling to the point where I let stuff go that should be repaired, fortunately Tony is the opposite.

I look forward to your photos in time and wish you both joy in this adventure.

Prairie Harmony said...

Thank you so very much Rose. Remodeling and living in the same space isn't too fun, I agree with you :) advantage is it forces you to keep going despite how sick of it you become lol I think we would be a lot more lax if we did not live here too! Enjoy your day and thank you so much for following our journey and commenting, I appreciate it!