Two months before my husband and I got married we bought a fixer-upper in the perfect neighborhood in the city we were living in. We knew he had two months to fix it up and get it to our standard of liveable before we combined households and moved in. I never realized how difficult it was to survive Home Improvement projects with a spouse!
This house was disgusting when we bought it; it needed a whole new paint job because of booger stained walls, it needed new carpet because of fecal matter from pets, it smelt like a zoo had been living there for years, the tile floors needed to be stripped down because the previous owners tried a DIY project that obviously went bad, the cabinets were caked with 3 inches of grease, the countertops had lost its grout because of poor maintenance, and the backyard was unfinished. Sadly, this house was only 5 years old and had sustained this much damage and abuse. They always say buy the worst house in the best neighborhood, well we did!
Looking back, we were so ill prepared for what we were going to take on as a “happily engaged” couple. We had set a budget and had an idea of what we needed to do, but that was about it. We were blindly heading into this project having never worked on a project together before, never really talked about decorating, or desires.
I recall our first “discussion” about the house when I realized that renovating a house with anyone, especially my fiance might have been the worst thing I ever decided to do! One night, we were talking about paint colors and painting when I suggested that we paint the house a few different colors (not all in the same room) to give the house some character. I also suggested we paint the house a nice warm color that was not tan because at that time everyone’s house was tan. The look that was shot across the room for suggesting something other than tan was priceless! He then followed it up with, “What do you mean a different color, we are painting it tan.”
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