I don’t know if it is because I’ve been watching too much HGTV (particularly “Property Brothers”) but I’ve decided to undertake a rather substantial remodel of my kitchen and master bedroom/bath. Neither have been touched since the early 1980’s. The house, inherited when my mom passed away earlier this year, is a simple cottage style home that is strongly infused with the memories of my mom. I was hesitant to make changes – it feel disrespectful – until I remembered how much my mom enjoyed the renovation work she undertook at various home we’d lived in.
Decades ago my ex and I purchased our first home – the proverbial starter home. Back then you could actually buy something in Los Angeles for under $200K. Nowadays the down payment can be more than that! It was not just any house. It was a house under construction – in framing. No walls. No Windows. No doors. No real floors even.
We found the house, one of five under construction, while driving around a neighborhood we’d identified as “suitable.” It was a hillside area with affordable homes convenient to downtown and Glendale. We parked and “explored” the home wondering what was planned for the open space in which we were standing.
A car pulled up (we had a clear view of the street – there being no walls). We we watched as a young couple got out and walked into the house next door. We headed over to meet them. We learned they had already purchased that house – which meant these homes were already on the market!
We took down the builders name & phone posted on the sign that fronted the construction and hurried home to call – this was pre-cell phones.
We negotiated a deal. With only a bit of sleight of hand to help the banks believe we were a worthy risk and a loan from my mom, we became the proud owners of the skeleton home. It was an experience.
We selected all the finishes – tiles, lights, carpets, windows, doors, toilets, showers and a thousand other things. I was able to design my own kitchen. Only two months later than promised the house was finished!
So you’d think I’d be well prepared for what I will be faced with once the work starts on my kitchen. The big difference – other than the budget and that I’m doing this as a single woman – is that I will be living in the house throughout the process!
There’s still a ton of leg work to do before the first wall comes down. Stay tuned for further adventures of the kitchen project…
Will it run over budget? Reveal hidden issues at every turn? Be a joy to behold? Complete on schedule? Be as seen on TV? Be nothing like the TV shows?
Only time will tell.