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Last post I was sharing the similarities between our renovation and what happened in The Money Pit. We had finally come to the end of the boring (when I say boring I really mean traumatic, expensive, horrible, yet not decorative) stage.
We somehow managed to shoot through our entire budget just to get to the drywall stage. I would post the numbers, but they are too nauseating to mention. This is certainly not a How to successfully budget for a renovation post. As much as I wanted to, I knew we couldn’t live in the house with only drywall, so we had to figure out some emergency funding, and get the renovation back on track. Time was against as as we neared the end of November. We had to be out of our rental home, book a moving truck, and schedule the final tradesman all before Dec 3. It was crunch time. Do or die.
Meanwhile I was beginning to go nutty over at the Killer House. The 45 minute drive to and from school each day was ridiculous. I can’t even recall what I did for the 2+ hours on preschool days where I needed to be back for pick up. My brain has clearly blocked that out.
In addition to parenting our 7 little munchkins, I was working part-time as a social worker with the government. It was one of those days I was at work that I got a phone call from my husband. It was Nov 17th and we were at the stage of scrambling like crazy to finish up the last elements of the house. Daniel was needed full-hands on deck to get the renovation complete. He called me up and said he had some news. He had fallen off a building at work. It sounded terrifying as he told me, though he was talking so that was a good sign. He had undoubtedly broken his foot, however, and was headed to the hospital.
By the time I got home from work, he was home as well. Cast foot, crutches, and in a lot of pain. It was a worse case scenario. He didn’t just have a little hairline fracture, but a calcaneal fracture. These types of breaks are painful and have horrible long term effects. Believe it or not, our immediate concern was his business. He had his own framing company, and was very hands on running it. The break meant that not only could he not return to work, but we ended up losing the business. Terrible news to say the least. New mortgage. No business.
We did manage to get away for a weekend to a marriage retreat. We had unknowingly booked it for November thinking we would be done our renovations by the end of October. Insert Daniel laughing hysterically at me.
Then we clued in to how this would effect the renovation. How on earth were we going to finish? How were we going to MOVE? We had run out of money so couldn’t hire trades to do anymore of it. Most of our friends have their own jobs to attend to, and I certainly was of no help in the renovation department.
Thankfully our community stepped in and supported us. Daniel’s father, who runs a Handyman company, came and did a bunch of work on the house. Another friend lent his construction crew to finish up a few things, and we used our last remaining dollars to hire a couple more crews to get the work done. Our school also graciously organized a work day with their high school students, which was an immense help!
Meanwhile Daniel was enjoying his newfound disability a bit too much. I think a full-time coffee assistant was his dream. I now not only took care of our then 7 kids 24/7, but also was in charge of all household duties, driving, grocery shopping, and coffee grabbing. This might not seem like that big of a deal but I was a bit of a prisoner. I couldn’t even run out to the grocery store unless it was late at night and all the children were in bed, since he was in no shape to chase after our 3 youngest who were all under the age of 3.
Moving day came and I was beyond overwhelmed. Daniel is usually the one to take point on moving days. I have my own hip issue, so am not much help in the labor department under normal circumstances. Daniel’s family and some friends came to the aid and we somehow managed to move all of our belongings into the new house. To say this was a stressful time in our life is an understatement.
And did I mention we got in trouble for touching that creepy doll?
We moved into the house with nothing complete. It wasn’t squalor…but it was not ideal. There was no kitchen sink or counters, one bathroom with a toilet and tub, another bathroom with a sink, no mouldings, no doors, missing carpet, and the list continued. BUT it was a major step up from the Killer House, so we took it!
Two weeks later I found myself in the hospital. I had contracted a major infection and required IV Antibiotics twice a day at the hospital, surgery, and could hardly move or drive. Daniel couldn’t drive either. We were a MESS!! But once again, our community stepped in. People I hardly knew offered to drive me to the hospital, others dropped off meals, others drove our kids to school, and I took advantage of grocery delivery. December was a blur but we managed to survive.
Today our renovations are mostly done, with a few things left. Our front porch, basement, and finishing items still need to be done. Our yard looked like a mass grave sight up until a few weeks ago, and now resembles an abandoned dessert. We have a few more functioning bathrooms, thankfully, and the kitchen is 99% done. Daniel is still in pain every day, but we are moving forward and figuring out this new stage.
To see how our kitchen turned out, click here!
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