Monday, July 14, 2014

Best & Worst Moments of Year One

We have learned a lot in one year. Home ownership is fun, but not without its highs and lows. For example, the time we tried to  paint our entire brick exterior in one weekend with a paint brush. Or the time we decided it would be a good idea to purchase furniture online. Or the time we only had two days to tile and grout our entire kitchen. Its been the best of times, and the worst of times, and we want to share it all with you! We hope you will enjoy our BEST & WORST list of Year One in our Home by the Creek. 

WORST Moment in the Kitchen Remodel: Too funny not to share: An emotional breakdown while painting the Kitchen Ceiling. This moment is tied with our 3am realization that we were shy just TWO tiles and would not be able finishing tiling whole kitchen after a marathon battle.

BEST Moment in the Kitchen Remodel: After three straight days of tiling, grouting, and hardi-backering, Ty came home after 12 hours at work and saw that the kitchen cabinets were installed. It was a euphoric and victorious moment that could only be expressed by doing snow angels on the kitchen floor.

BEST Indoor Project: Patching the Light Holes was one of our first projects in our new home. It was a huge instant grat, big bang for your buck type of project. We were able to patch over a total of 9 old radiator plugs and our home looked instantly updated.

WORST Indoor Project: If you haven't heard our complaints about Tiling the Kitchen Floor, you can read about them here: 1,2,3. Would we do the project again? Yes. In fact, we are going to tile both our bathrooms at some point. If we did this project again, we would leave more time and choose days when both of us were not working for 12 hours (duh!)

BEST Outdoor Project: Planting the Trees was Ty's favorite project. We are really looking forward to having some privacy from our neighbors and the road. This was also our first big step in committing to stay in this home for the next few years. We are excited to watch these puppies (er, trees) grow and to keep y'all updated on their progress. 

WORST Outdoor Project: As previously mentioned, we tried Painting the Brick Exterior over one weekend with just a paint brush. After that attempt failed, we brought Ty's parents into the mix only to be unsuccessful yet again. Lesson Learned: It is money well spent to pay someone to paint the exterior of your home. At a minimum if you are die-hard DIYer, rent a paint sprayer and save yourself some angst. 

BEST New Appliance: We love our GE Double Oven. What we like about it: The top oven is smaller, so naturally it cooks quicker and heats up faster. We have the added benefit of two ovens without the downsize of loosing valuable cabinet space.

WORST New Appliance: The microwave beeps at least 4 times to let you know when something is done and if you don't retrieve it quickly, it repeats the beeping. Not to mention, we thought we got a "deal" on this appliance by purchasing it on craigslist but it didn't come with the glass tray.  By the time we purchased a new tray, we could have just bought a new microwave off the shelf.

BEST Tool: I do not know what we would do without our Cordless Drill. Ours is made by Makita and we love it. Whatever brand you choose, we highly recommend investing in a cordless drill. With the variety of attachments, it is our go-to tool for most projects. We have used it for everything from mixing mortar to sharpening lawnmower blades.  

WORST Tool: Ryobi Jigsaw. We purchased this as part of the tools we needed for our kitchen remodel. It broke the first time we used it and was promptly returned to the store. Turns out, we did just fine without it. Our favorite saw is our miter saw...seen just last week making Lifesize Jenga.

BEST Thrifty Find: The Craigslist Sofa we purchased for our Living Room was custom made for the original owners. It ended up being too big in their space, but just right for ours! We love its down seating and durable scotch-guarded fabric. Its super comfy for movie night but still looks high end.

WORST Thrifty Find: I purchased a Faux Leather Chair for the Office. It was advertised on craigslist as a "real leather" chair. I just took their word for it. When I got it home, Ty mentioned it was faux....much to my dismay! We re-listed and sold it on craigslist promptly. (Nothing against faux leather/pleather, but cats just eat this stuff up with their sharp nails)

BEST $$$$$ Spent: Although attempting to paint the exterior of the house ourselves was one of the worst decisions we have made this year, paying painters to Paint the Exterior was not. It took two professional painters with a sprayer two 8-hour days to paint our house. (not to mention, it was February and freezing!) Some things are just worth paying for. This was the case for the Install of Insulation in the crawlspace and attic as well. Lesson learned.

WORST $$$$$ Spent: This will probably be my first and last adventure ordering furniture online. I was desperate to find two chairs to fit in our living room (read more about the Great Chair Debacle of 2014 here). I found these chairs on Wayfair and of course, thought they were THE ONES! When we got them they looked nice enough, but were not as comfortable as I'd hoped. My main reason for not ordering online: quality. They were not worth the price I paid, and when I went to sell them on Clist I took a big hit. 

We are excited to share YEAR TWO with y'all! 
Thank you for following us along our first journey in home renovation.
If you haven't had a chance to watch our home video tour of the house, check it out here.

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