The other day, I commented on Prudence Debtfree's blog about the general grumpiness of renovation. But the more I think about it, the more that I realize that a Live-in renovation is a great reason to practice a little gratitude. These are things that remind me to practice gratitude when I'm tempted to grumble about the home repair supplies in my office, or the state of our wall (stripped of paint, but not yet primed).
Without further ado, here are five lessons I've learned from this home renovation so far.
1. My husband is a stud (and not the wooden kind)
Although my husband isn't perfect, you wouldn't know that from the way he approaches our home renovation. He's an absolute rock star. He has done the majority of the actual work on our renovation, and merely asks that I cheer him on when it's clear that my incompetence exceeds my enthusiasm. I'm so thankful for Rob.
2. My standards for a perfect home don't know a lower bound
Since moving into our house, I've lowered my standards for the perfect home from a million dollar home on the beach to moderately clean and no fear of falling through the bathroom floors. I would say we are about halfway to achieving a perfect house. But seriously, living in our house during this renovation has helped me to realize that I don't really need a Pottery Barn house. I've started embracing the Nesting Place's philosophy, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." And while I'm not about to have random antlers or a Pinteresty home anytime soon, I am starting to see the beauty in our mess. I'm not embarrassed to entertain friends in our partially finished home.
3. I can be confident in my DIY Skills
My mom was the handy man in our house, and her philosophy is that every woman needs to know how to use a paint roller and a rubber mallet. So, I had some DIY skills, but they were limited to those two tools (and the ability to unclog a drain). Since starting this renovation, I've realized that construction is shockingly easy in some cases. And by easy, I mean that I can use a Shop Vac and a drill now. I also have pretty mad flooring skills. I'm hoping to gain the skills necessary to help install cabinets and a backsplash in our kitchen. And if I fail, you can return to point number one.
4. ROI isn't everything
Even though we know that addressing our bathrooms would have the highest ROI in our house, we can't figure out how to address them without taking a few weeks off of work (which is fine for me, but my husband doesn't have paid time off). Sadly, I think there's a good chance that we will live with our bathrooms for a few years before we actually manage to address them. That's okay. ROI isn't everything. I'm thankful for the opportunity to live in such a decent home with the family that I love.
5. Contentment is greater than completion
Renovations take a lot of resources. Of course we're spending a lot of money, but since we're doing so much of the work ourselves, it takes a lot of energy too. When we first started, we were pretty gung-ho about our timelines. What we didn't realize, is how much we would rather rest than work on our house every single night. It can get exhausting, so we've significantly lengthened our timelines. We're actually okay with this, because we're learning that contentment with our home and with our life is better than a complete home. It's okay that we still haven't put up floor boards, but do we really need those right now? None of our interior doors look good, but their character is starting to grow on us.
Honestly, we want to finish our renovation someday, but being contentright now is worth so much more than a continual yearning for that elusive someday when our house is finished. As my husband constantly reminds me, "Even when we're done, we'll need to maintain the house."
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.