Our Most Stupid Mistake Ever


Front Exterior of our wonderful, new home

Beautiful retaining wall in front yard


We thought  we could  just go one room at a time

Kitchen on move in day

And live in it while we fixed it
Doesn't it look like the 1970s came to visit, and then threw up all over our kitchen?

Doesn’t it look like the 1970s came to visit and threw up all over our kitchen?

And I could work in it while we fixed it


 And we can totally redo this house for $5o,000

Fireplace in upstairs living room

Fireplace in upstairs living room

And it should only take a year or so.  We can do all those things ourselves!   (I watch HGTV, so that should be no problem)

Master bedroom

Did I mention, young and stupid?  Things didn’t really work out as we had planned.  The house needed so much more work than we first thought.  We began to realize the full extent of what we had gotten ourselves into.

Master closet complete with mirror style (walls and ceiling)

 It turned into doing sections of the house at a time (it’s kind of hard to carpet one room at a time, or drywall one room at a time, or trim one room at a time, etc.  It’s not very efficient!)

Master bath – please notice that as a guy, you have to stand to the side of the toilet to pee. Very tiny!

And dusting off your dinner before you ate it, or dusting off your clothes before you put them on, or moving the table saw from in front of your bed before you can go to sleep, etc. 

Dining Room

 And storing my quilting under a plastic tarp, or sewing at the dining room table (if I could find it), or asking a quilt shop if I could call them back as an air compressor is blaring in the background. 


So, things didn’t really go as planned and I won’t tell you what to multiply that $50,000 by.  Let’s just say I should never be in charge of estimating the cost of remodeling.


And after all that, working every night and every weekend (practically) for 4 years straight until you think you can’t take it anymore!  Sounds like fun right???   WRONG. 


Thanks goodness we knew lots of people with valuable skills and knowledge.  Our parents were such great help, with all their past experiences with houses.   We had a few friends that were carpenters, or building inspectors, or an electrician or plumber.  And, just when we thought we couldn’t handle anymore, my brother quilt his construction job and got his contractors license.  Now we knew someone that could take over the rest of the jobs that we didn’t have the energy or will to finish.

As 2009 begins, I am so grateful that that time in our lives is over.  We survived and learned a valuable lesson.  We are NEVER doing that again.  We are also enjoying the results of our sweat equity, despite the fact that we have spent our life savings on it.  We now have a home to call our own, full of memories – maybe more bad memories than most people’s homes have, but they are fading.  I’ll compare it to childbirth –  Though I have no personal experience with this, everyone says it’s torture, but you soon forget it.  That feeling of living through something that has gone terribly wrong, isn’t there anymore.  We are just grateful to be done and  to have what so many others don’t.  There are so many people living in other countries who will never have the “opportunity” to remodel their own house.  It’s not so bad after all, right? .  .  .  .  .  .   To be continued.  .  .  .  .


Click here to see Part 2 and click here to see Part 3.


P.S. – I can’t say that I recommend watching HGTV.  It helps encourage that “can do attitude”.  It encouraged me to do things that I may not have had any business doing. :-)

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
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