When Brian and I got married in 2002, the only thing I could cook was box Mac & Cheese and Brian didn’t own a hammer…or know how to use any tool at all.
No joke: starting this process Brian called the drill an “automatic screwdriver” and a nail gun a “electric hammer.” That’s what we’re working with here, y’all.
We’ve come a long way, baby!
When we looked at houses to purchase in Manhattan 2 years ago, we didn’t have a ton of options. But there was one house that stood out as having potential.
How in the world I saw past the bar (yep, that’s a homemade bar on the left there) or the 2×4 kitchen table, I can attribute only to God’s grace.
The book shelf didn’t have one book on it. Just empty liquor bottles.
This is what was our bedroom looked like. Yep. Those are tires.
Living room. For some strange reason I wasn’t scared off by the magnitude of what needed to be done to make it home-y. (For the record though, you should have seen some of the other houses we looked at! )
The house was perfect. We loved it. Also, there was this bonus room. It wasn’t insulated and with all the windows got super toasty. We knew it wouldn’t be super useful, but were still excited about the space!
(That is in fact a car hood. And bags of empty alcohol containers)
The “sunroom” proved to be marginally useful, but only in the summer. It could be cooled down, but it was impossible to heat. The windows are just storm windows and it was just as cold as it was outside in the winter.
Brian decided in December that he was going to seal it up and make it his office. But although he had come a long way and now owned a hammer (which was my dad’s old one! I remember that handle so well from growing up!), that was about all he owned or could use.
Rich knows what he’s doing. And he has a generous heart and came to help.
Then rebuilding the frame. (It’s literally freezing out side most days when they are working)
Rich walked Brian through every step, teaching him basically how to build a house!
Oh wait, did I forget to mention that RIGHT as they started “Brian’s office” I looked in and decided to hijack it as our bedroom instead! It’s a little bigger, across the house from the kids’ rooms and there’s already a bathroom almost attached! It was a no brainer to steal this room!
They worked like crazy, and a month later, we were insulated and had new door and windows!
Here’s one reason why this whole project took just a little over a month:
That was Brian’s (not so) sneaky way of lighting a fire under me. Cause after I stole his office, I promised him our room as his “consolation prize” office! But we wanted to refinish the floors in there first, which meant everything from that room was now in the rest of the house.
I don’t like this. At all.
Once my house looked like this, I was all in on helping. This is our closet…on the couch in the kitchen.
So while we are building a whole new room, we are also refinishing floors. Go big or go home I guess.
Back in the bedroom, the one thing we considered getting professionally done was the taping and mudding. Full disclosure: neither Brian nor I had any idea what that meant. But we had heard grown ups talking about how you needed a good “mudder.” So I did call to get quotes on that. But no one called me back, so again, enter Rich, who came over, gave us a tutorial and we went at it: we taped and mudded and although it was hard and maybe not perfect, we did it!
We put rustic wood as the ceiling, I stressed way to much over the paint color (it’s just cause there are way too many options, thus making me sure I’ll pick the wrong one), we got a full piece of remnant carpet that fit perfectly and padding for the floor and it’s coming together!
Brian even put up the siding on the outside! Here’s Chris helping with that part
It’s my absolute favorite room in the house! And I like saying that Brian BUILT ME A HOUSE!
He borrowed Rich’s tools (thanks Rich!) but by the end had bought a saw and a level and there’s no stopping him now!
Oh, and these aren’t new, but here’s how the first room looks sans the bar:
And the living room cleaned up nice too!