Updating an old house
We probably spent over 400 hours working on the house (with my husband putting in the majority of the time).We had to sacrifice things we would have preferred to be doing on the weekends to spend time working on the house.Becki is a reader who lives with her husband and daughters in this 115-year old house in Missouri.They bought it two years ago and began updating it to suit their family.When my husband and I searched for our first home, we saw that a lot of places that presented a lot of problems.We discovered that already renovated houses were either too small or out of price range, so we bought a place that needed of work and resolved to renovate on a budget of around ,000.But the upside to spreading the work out over time meant we could also spread out the costs without taking loans to finance it. We hadn't planned to be in the house forever—my husband's commute was long and we knew we would outgrow the house once we had kids.So, we spent the first couple years living in a smaller downstairs bedroom while we renovated the upstairs, and there were times when I wondered if the trade off of time versus money was worth it. We spent about ,000 renovating the master suite.
My dad had a contractor friend who came by to give us ideas, and then we hired a friend with a tons of construction experience to refinish the bathroom.
It was a big project to fit in around our full time jobs, so we again drew on others for help.
My brother-in-law helped with electrical fixes and my in-laws spent hours wielding crow bars and hammers to help us dig up the seven layers of floor that we discovered in the master bedroom.
We ended up living there for another three and a half years after the master bedroom was renovated, so we did have some time to enjoy it. With the money we saved on the renovation, we were able to take a trip to Southeast Asia where we sipped beers on the beach and indulged in banh mis and curries.
Shortly after returning home, we moved into the renovated master suite.