Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em

Best summer recipe down at the bottom. Oops. If you are visiting from WFMW, consider the home reno thought a bonus! :-)

Some thoughts on do-it-yourself home renovations...

Doing it yourself will always take longer and cost more than you expect or plan for. When we began gutting the basement in May, I was telling people that our expected completion date was the end of June. Ha! My new, more realistic, six times revised date of completion - mid-August. My only goal is to have the kids moved at least one week before school starts.

It is worthwhile to weigh the the time expense of doing some jobs yourself versus the financial costs of having a contractor take care of them. We got new (larger) windows for the basement. The labour costs to have them professionally installed were in the ballpark of $700-800. This job is one that will easily be completed in one day by my very capable husband and father-in-law. On the other hand, the mudder/taper that we hired (this is one task that I believe MUST be done professionally or you will be left forever regretting it) also offered to hang the drywall board. His costs for this task are $800. My workin' guys estimated this task at roughly two weeks worth of work (evenings and weekends). Two weeks. Um, yeah, $800to cut two weeks of work down to two days - totally worth it!

Here are some updated pictures to show that we really are making progress down there...

Look at all the pretty insulation!

A newer, larger window (this one is actually big enough for someone to climb out of, if necessary).

This is what 108 sheets of drywall looks like! Installation is scheduled to begin either Friday or Monday (depending on when our contractor finishes moving his family to their new home).

Bathroom. And no, the toilet will not remain in the tub permanently, lol.

My little laundry room right at the bottom of the stairs. And it now has a handy pocket door attached to it!

Doing it yourself, and knowing when not to do it yourself, for home renovations - this works for me! For more WFMW, check out We are THAT Family.

(Okay, I apologize. I totally suck. Apparently this week was a themed WFMW on "best summer recipes." So to make it right, here is my best summer recipe::
- buy a large watermelon at your local grocery store
- cut into slices, then take several pieces and mush them up
- add to 1L of orange juice
- mix in blender
- pour into popsicle moulds
- freeze
Voila! Yummy real fruit popsicles. *grin*)

For earlier updates and to track our progress...


  1. I can really see progress in your reno. The basement is coming along really well! Its exciting! I know you are anxious.

    For the recipe, I thought you were going to say... buy a watermelon, cut into slices, send kids outside with a slice each. HA!

  2. It took us almost a yr. to do but we did save a lot of money. We had an electrician though. But hubby did a great job. It took patience b/c he was working too. But he knew what he was doing. We also had to go around a drainage tile. Not fun. We also had someone do the carpet.
    A yr of sacrifice for a life time of enjoyment.

  3. By the way. It makes them feel manly. Men need that goal.

  4. Looks like the basement is coming along - can't wait to see it!


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