I left y’all hanging for a while there, huh? Well, I had a good excuse. For over two weeks, George and I have been on an epic road trip to Texas and back. We went to Texas to sell stuff at a motorcycle show and to buy stuff at Roundtop— an enormous flea market/antique festival. I’ll do a post on that soon. I’ve really got some catching up to do now! So let’s get to it!
Before we completely gutted our house (see Part I here), we spoke to a bunch of different contractors and companies to get quotes . We did not hire a general contractor because we wanted to do some of the work ourselves at our own pace and we were hoping to save some money. If I were to do it all over again, I probably would have hired a general contractor. At the time we were only doing this remodel on the weekends and this house is four hours away from our current home. The distance and time restrictions added to an already stressful process. (I’ll probably also do a “What we learned” post, if that’s something y’all are interested in. Let me know in the comments.)
Anywho, we hired an electrician, a drywaller, a tiler, a chimney repair guy, countertop dudes, a bathtub refinisher and roofers. Phew! Those were all tasks that we probably could have learned, but we felt safer with professionals and we felt like they could do a better job. And although we got quotes and vetted all of our pros, working with our contractors was (and still is!) the most stressful part of this process.
We’ve had some great experiences– our drywall guy was great! Super professional, quick and honest. And on the other hand we’ve had some really horrible experiences. Our flooring contractors have been a nightmare. They used a wet saw in the house and ruined our hardwood floors in one of the bedrooms. I think some shoddy work could have been prevented if we were able to be at the house at all times, but we were not able to keep an eye on them every minute of every day. Almost all of our contractors have had to come back and fix things they’ve messed up. I don’t want to rant, but this was totally unexpected for me, stressful and extremely time consuming. We expected to have this house mostly done in about four months and we’re now going on eight months. (I’m not going to bash any specific contractors online, but if you are in Asheville and need renovations done, feel free to email me and I’ll tell you who to avoid and who to hire.)
Now, for the stuff we’ve been DIYing. We, like I said in the last post, did all the demo. We added a ton of insulation to the entire house. We fixed studs and joists that were sagging. We did all the painting in the house– which I will admit, in an 800 squad foot house does not seem like much, but we had to paint bare drywall and the ceilings. Bare drywall is extremely porous! Even with my parent’s help, painting took us three long weekends and there are still spots we need to touch up. George is building the cabinets in the kitchen and in the bathroom. So far, they look killer. He’s built them out of barn wood and I guarantee if we had hired someone to do that, it would have cost thousands of dollars. We also have done a little bit of plumbing work to change the location of the washing machine. And finally, we’re doing all the little tasks that no one thinks about– fixtures, baseboards, doors, window trim, etc., etc., etc.
It’s been a long process, but we finally got the countertops installed on Monday (don’t they look gorgeous?!) and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t wait to get to the fun stuff– like furniture building and decorating!
Are you in the throes of a renovation? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!