A brief update on our progress thus far and a few reflections on buying a Seattle fixer:
The amount of Ibuprofen. The reality is renovations take a lot of hard, back-breaking work. Our home was built in the early 1940s and the walls are mostly plaster which is pretty difficult to work with (demo, drill, repair, etc.) We are saving a lot of money by doing the work ourselves but it makes sense why people sometimes choose to hire this work out.
Time runs out quickly. Every day we have a plan for the renovations and we complete about 70% of those goals. You see the progress you’re making but you battle the feeling that you’re not getting anywhere.
Dirty all the time. We are caked in caulk and grout. Our house is dusty and disorganized (and we haven’t even moved in!)
Nothing is free. It cost $120 to get rid of the 2,000lbs of house debris and lawn gnomes. Plaster is heavy. Gnomes are heavier.
Getting exactly what we want. From fixtures to grout color, this bathroom is 100% what we envisioned. It’s also a small step up from the linoleum, orange formica countertop and stained glass bear window. (#savethebear)
Quality of output. My father and I hand-polished every single hexagon tile on our floor after we spread the grout last night. When it’s your home and you’re the one putting in the work, you take the time to do it right.
Bonding with the people you’re working alongside. I learned that my dad was drafted into the Vietnam war while he was dating my mom but the request was recalled as the war dwindled. I watched my wife balance our baby on her hip while putting her whole weight into every piece of laid tile. The four of us have spent at least 40 hours together in that tiny bathroom and we’re closer because of it.
Tyler Davis Jones is a Windermere Real Estate agent in Seattle who, with his wife Jenn, recently traded in their in-city condo for a 1940s fixer-upper. Tyler and Jenn, along with the help of some very generous friends and family members, are taking on all the renovations themselves. You can follow the transformation process on the Windermere Blog or on Tyler’s website and Instagram.
Next week on the blog: Would you do a DIY home renovation again?