Since moving to the US in 2011, I’ve been fascinated with home renovation and DIY projects. I think HGTV is partly to blame for this. And Pinterest of course! And not only that, I needed an outlet for my feelings of guilt for leaving my country of birth and to keep me busy when I started to get homesick. Wherever I looked, I saw people “doing it themselves”. Granted, it didn’t always look very easy, but the thought “I could do that!!!” crossed my mind frequently.
We never dreamed of tackling renovation projects for our house in South African, and I’m not really sure why. It could be because the building style is so much different – all walls are built using bricks, including the interior ones. Or it could be that we had so many builder/handyman connections for any and all of our renovation projects. The bottom line is, I never even painted my own walls before moving to the US! I did experiment with furniture placement, artwork and even temporary decorative items (some of my good friends might remember a red poppy flower phase).
So, ever since moving into our first rental house in Duluth, GA, I kept thinking of ways to improve our home myself (and with some help from Pieter, of course). The opportunity to do this didn’t really present itself until we bought our first home. Granted, it wasn’t a typical first time home either. Buying a short sale enabled us to get a much larger house, in a much better neighbourhood, than what we were looking at originally (or could really afford, to be honest).
While the house wasn’t your typical fixer-upper (and not as extreme as our next one in Rome, GA) it did need some minor cosmetic updates. For the most part, I only repainted during the two years we lived there. But I kept watching HGTV shows and kept reading about the fun stuff people do themselves.
So you can just imagine how excited (okay, and a little nervous) I was about the house in Rome. Finally, a true fixer-upper! All of a sudden, I had a whole house I had to work on – walls I had to paint, wood panelling and flooring that had to be updated, landscaping, the list goes on.
You can read all about our Rome, GA adventures by starting with the When in Rome post.
In the end, we didn’t get to do any of the big projects we had on the list, but we were able to put our house on the market and get a quick sale when it was time to move again (almost 1 year to the day after buying it). And not only a quick sale, but we also made a bit of money after living in it for such a short period of time.
Even now, in our “new” house in Suwanee, I’m constantly looking for DIY projects. We’ve built a loft bed for Sidney, desk for Simon, updated the laundry room, installed new storage for both kids’ closets, replaced the carpet on the stairs, updated the fireplace and painted (always, so much painting!!!). And all the time, we are improving the house and how it functions for us.
You can start with my post From Office to Bedroom and read about all the projects we have completed in this house.
I guess you can say my DIY renovations always have that one goal – to make the house “show ready”. You never know when the relocating bug bites again (Pieter, stop looking at houses on Zillow!!), but what I do know, is that my house will be ready to list immediately.
Please follow my blog to get all my DIY updates. Cheers to many more DIY projects!