1. You have a painting belt. Yes John has a belt that is specifically designated for painting. We learned early on that you can lose many an outfit to permanent paint drips so we each have one “summer painting outfit” (which consists of one pair of shorts and a tee shirt) and one “winter painting outfit” (which consists of one pair of jeans and a sweatshirt) to keep us from ruining everyday clothes all the time (and from having to dedicate an entire drawer to painting clothes). However, John did get paint on one of his belts pretty early on, so it has become an important part of both his summer and winter painting ensembles. He argues that he’s not very efficient if his pants are constantly falling down while he’s trying to get his roll on and I have to agree.
2. The first person to rub your baby belly is a Home Depot employee. Yes this is a true story. Thanks to my short torso and my genes, I started “showing” pretty much right after I found out I was prego. And although I heard stories of strangers and friends spontaneously reaching out to pat pregnant bellies, no one other than John had been near mine. Until we went to Home Depot to pick up a few things and one of my favorite cashiers immediately noticed and congratulated me by reaching out and rubbing my tummy! The funny thing is that I didn’t really mind. See, there are a bunch of employees who work there (and at Lowe’s and Ace and True Value for that matter) who are all like family to us. Why shouldn’t they be when we practically live there right along with them? So that’s how the first non-husband-hand to rub my belly came to be that of a Home Depot cashier. Think we should put that stat in the baby book?
3. Four out of the eight drawers in your kitchen are dedicated to tools and painting supplies. Yes it’s true. One is devoted to silverware, two are “junk drawers” and one is full of plastic bags, tin foil and wax paper. The other four are full of everything from hammers and screwdrivers to sandpaper and even rollers and paint trays. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home so I guess our tools have a special place in our heart.
4. Your eight pound chihuahua isn’t the slightest bit startled by the sound of a power saw or a hammer (and he’s afraid of pretty much everything else). Somehow over the years Burger has become immune to the sounds of us bashing out walls and nailing in trim, so even though his eyes snap open and get wide with terror when he hears a leaf rustle outside, he actually falls asleep to the sound of us noisily pulling our house apart (and just as noisily putting it back together).
5. There’s no limit to the extent of uncomfortable acts that you’ll commit in the name of home improvement. Showering outside with icy hose water in 40 degree weather since the shower’s torn apart? Check. Sleeping on an air mattress in the den because the bedroom floors are getting refinished? Check. Going without a kitchen for 113 solid days while you assemble a new one? Check. Waking up on New Year’s Day at 8:20 to hit up Ikea? Check. It’s like an episode of Survivor around here. We’re just crazy in love with our house and we’ll pretty much go to the end of the earth just to spruce things up. It’s a sickness people. And you know what? We’re oddly proud of it.
What about you guys? Do you deserve some insanity badge when it comes to your commitment to home improvement? Have you endured something truly strange or especially trying (at least now that you look back on it) in the name of DIY? Do tell.
Our dog Belle comes running every time she hears my husband switch on our air compressor….even begs for him to spray the air gun at her!
Dani S. says
Waking up at 5am on Black Friday to grab some awesome basement storage units from Lowe’s.
Why didnt you sleep in your guess room or did you refinish all the bedroom floors together?
Yup, we actually refinished the entire house’s hardwood floors except for the kitchen and the den (which already had newer and darker hardwoods). Here’s the scoop: https://www.younghouselove.com/floor-refinishing-101/
This post was pretty funny. But I think my love of DIY came from growing up with parents who were constantly in and out of home depot and lowes and fixing up everything on a budget. It’s all I’ve ever known! I wouldn’t know how to pay full price for something if I tried!!
I live in an apartment right now, so DIY can only consume bits and pieces of my life…but all of new years week I was obsessed with fixing up my second bedroom into a guest room/office. I had a half day nye so we shopped for some supplies and decor and got the paint last. And we ended up painting our room new years eve! Unfortunately, the walls are super textured and I didn’t know to buy different rollers to accomodate them. Paint was EVERYWHERE except the tiny little crevices in the wall that refused to hold any paint!! Um, happy new year to us!!?!
My fiance knows when he’s gone for too long I’ll have rearranged or painted something. He’s used to it now. ha ha.
Great post! I giggled all the way through :o)
Oh yes, it’s insanity! I stayed at home while our hardwood floors were being handscraped/refinished in our hallways, kitchen and family room. My husband & both kids went to stay with relatives out of town (to avoid the fumes). We have a den & a master bedroom with exterior doors. I was able to hunker down with the TV in one room, exit the door and walk around the back to get in the master bedroom. Of course, both rooms were FILLED with furniture, art, lamps, closet contents, etc…., and were like walking in a minefield. And the fumes were truly inTOXICating! But, the floors now look beautiful!
Oh yeah it’s super smelly! We actually left the house for over a week to let them dry, but in the two days that the guy was coming in and going out and getting things done we were there to let him and we did our best to “live” in the den along with all the furnishings from the entire house. Talk about chaos!
[email protected] says
First, that’s an adorable pic of Burger, and I can’t believe that my cat weighs more than two Burgers (he’s a whopping 17 lbs). Second, you have way more patience than I do with the belly-patting. I’m 16 weeks and not showing enough for people to be encouraged to do that, thankfully! Lastly, all of us (your audience) are very glad that you guys are willing to go the extra mile and inconvenience yourselves in the name of home improvement so that we can all live vicariously through you. :)
Nancy Shirley says
Years ago my husband decided to start taking down paneling and sheetrocking the dining room. He began by barricading the Christmas tree with torn down paneling. The tree came down in April when his parents came up to visit for Easter- inviting them was the only way I got him to finish the project!
Three days after we closed on our house, I had to fly to my parents’ for two weeks for various events. The whole plane ride there I was making a to-do list for my new home, and when I arrived at my parents’, channeled my excitement by an impromptu re-painting of their living/dining areas (with their consent!). It definitely helped calm me down for when I could FINALLY get home to start tackling that to-do list.
Tiffany T. says
Does it count if you ask for a Dremel for Valentines day?
That totally counts. Welcome to the club!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
Love number 2. How sweet. :)
Pink Heli says
My hubby HAD a painting belt, but I took the paint off it with nail polish remover. He needed that belt. haha.
Also: I asked for an orbital sander for my birthday. :-P
Working in 17 degree weather refinishing a desk in your boyfriend’s uninsulated garage after trying out your sander on your apartment balcony and finding it’s just a LITTLE bit too loud. For 3 days in a row. Don’t know if I’m quite as “bad” as you all, but maybe when I have a house of my own! :)
Here in germany you can have your bulk waste collected by the local waste disposal company, but have to wait for an appointment. As we don’t own a car, we had to use this option when we completely redid the kitchen in our tiny apartment. Thus, we ended up with the old furniture stored temporarily in the living room and bedroom, the new Ikea furniture assembled in the kitchen and study, the circular saw in the hallway – the bathroom was the only place free of kitchen stuff because it was too small.
Love this post! I was laughing the whole way through. And, like Tiffany, I asked for (and received!) a tile wet-saw for my birthday (hello new kitchen countertops!). :)
Ha! Great post! We have painting outfits too since we’ve painted every room in our two story house over the last 4 years a least once. They get washed together and then tucked into a little corner of our master bedroom closet. Funny thing is that they are the least flattering clothes ever and if we’re working outside…well, we just let our ugliness hang out for all to see! ;)
I love it all! You guys are such an inspiration in more ways than one. Your DIY skills are incredible! But I love the way you can see in each & every picture you are having an absolute blast together. Your little girl is going to have such a fun time w/ you two as parents!
I love seeing that last picture. Its so real….when you guys seem super human somehow! :)
I lay in bed at night thinking about how to fix this or do that. Or at times I have found myself just looking around the house to see if I can “fix” something or make it better!
Sarah @ Dream In Domestic says
I don’t have a house of my own yet, but my dad is a carpenter and my mom loves to decorate, so I’ve lived through many DIY projects. The biggest thing we did was when they built the house we are living in now, they sold our old house and we basically camped out in a tiny old $1,000 trailer for nine months, all through a harsh Minnesota winter, with no driveway. The house is out in the country, so the driveway is about 1/4 mile long through two fields. For a long time it was just mud that we had to drive through, which made me late for high school my senior year many times, not to mention a very dirty car. Our pipes would also freeze all the time, so I would have to shower at a friend’s house in town. It was a crazy time because we could only fit a tiny amount of our stuff in the trailer and the rest had to be stored outside in a storage unit which meant a lot of digging and frozen fingers whenever we needed anything. I would say it was all worth it, but it was a rough nine months!
Erin Hacker says
That last photo is a familiar one to me. Our air mattress is one of the most commonly used pieces of “furniture” in our house. Until we can afford seating in our den, it is our “couch” to enjoy the fireplace on, and the coffee table in our living room gets replaced with the air mattress every time we watch a movie. (WAY more cuddle room than the couch!) It was the best wedding gift we received!
I grew up with a DIY dad… we spent so much time at ACE Hardware that when Mother’s Day came around that’s where I wanted to go to get her gift!
heather s. says
I grew up with parents who were always doing something to the house. When we moved to a new house (my father’s grandmother’s home actually) the first things they did were build closets (none of the rooms had any!), build a second bathroom for our family of five and knock out walls. I haven’t had any crazy stories of my own yet since most of my projects have been small with the exception of having my kitchen gutted for roughly two weeks while a new one was installed. I ate a lot of fast food those weeks.
I have a giveaway on my blog this week – check it out! http://athomewithh.blogspot.com/2010/01/giveaway-ferm-living-kitchen-tea-towel.html
Laurie Jones says
Some of my best memories involve living like a caveman during our many renovations and you can’t be considered a true remodeler unless you make multiple trips to the hardware store in one day for what you thought would be a simple project! Wait until you’re in your late 30’s and you can’t walk the next morning because you we’re painting half the night!!
Heather M says
We cooked on our camping stove outside for 3 weeks while we were getting our whole kitchen installed. We purchased a foreclosure, and the previous owner decided to take everything…including the kitchen sink, and mailbox and all the closet shelving! I love camping, but that was a little much.
My Christmas wish list this year was a miter saw & a garage door opener!!
Most of our spare storage (we live in an apt so storage room is rare) is taken up by my husband’s tool cases. A lot of his tools are still in storage at his parent’s place because we don’t have a workshop yet in our apt. But, the goal when we have a house is to have a workshop either in the house or in the garage. Can’t wait!
Natalie @ Chadwell Chronicles says
We are currently living in our living room. Everything from all four of our bedrooms is in the two living rooms. Everything. We are renovating all four bedrooms (new paint, carpet, sanding baseboards and trim, new blinds, and new doors). It has been this way for about a month now – maybe a little longer. We actually sit on our bed in our living and wave to the neighbors driving down the alley. They probably think we are crazy.
There is a huge list of things to be done after we finish the bedrooms, which I know will involve moving everything from the kitchen and living rooms to the garage and bedrooms. It will be interesting, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
We lived in our kitchen and back bedroom with 2 large dogs and 3 cats for a week while the floors in the rest of the house were refinished. We only had one bathroom, so during sanding we had a pathway and during finishing we tiptoed across from 10pm to 6am.
We have a kitchen reno coming – we’re keeping the appliances, so figuring out where to keep them plus, you know, living, will be interesting. I hope it’s not 113 days, LOL.
My husband and I have done two major renovations to our home. Both have involved some sort of water damage. We decided to tear out our half bath because we got a major deal on a new vanity and sink at Lowes (you guys actually had a photo of it on here). Come to find out, when the old vanity was put in, someone sunk a screw right into our copper water pipe! No fun! Water flood in the half bath. Then we renovated our kitchen, brand new countertops, sink, faucet and backsplash. New flooring came into the mix after we were gone for the weekend and an old pipe leaked and totaled our laminate flooring. I’m almost afraid to start on our master bathroom!
These made me laugh out loud! I’m sure you’ve made some wonderful memories along the way :)
For Christmas every year, we dread exchanging presents because it just puts us behind on our home projects. So this year, we decided to forego any gifts to eat other and got carpet :) Although it’s no DIY, we certainly know what it’s like to love our house as much as we love each other. Since, you know, the only gift we bought was for our house!
I’m also a little obsessive over my future kitchen remodel (yours is BEAUTIFUL by the way, and I totally wish I could close up the doorway to our “3rd bedroom” in our 50’s rancher, but we need it :( ). I’ve been planning that bad boy since January 2008. Yes, 2 YEARS I’ve been planning and saving up for this project, that will be 100% DIY. I admit I’m a little scared, so that’s why I’ve been planning every detail that I can (and setting aside several hundred buckeroos for unforeseen problems!) but I cannot WAIT!
We too have painting attire, but I must say we don’t have belts set aside for the jobs :) We do have the same sized waist (thanks mom!) so we actually share (read: fight over) who gets to wear which shirt and sweats. I also spend all day and night thinking about and researching different projects to do. It really is an addiction, but it’s a good one!
Adriene S. says
Oh my! Really funny post! Like John, I do have a spring and winter paint outfit. I’ve have yet to create a paint belt. Our den consists of our “work room” which contains paint buckets, tool boxes, some kind of large saw and our new refrigerator. Our kitchen supplies (pots, pans, etc.) has remained in their boxes since October because we are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen. We really have learned to appreciate a dishwasher! For christmas, the gift that we were most excited about was a “How-to-do Everything” book for your home renovation from David’s brother!
We did a happy dance when we got $400 worth of Home Depot gift cards from relatives this Christmas! We had hinted at Thanksgiving that we LOVE Home Depot. We are using the money to buy a new front door. It is silly that we are SO excited about a new front door. My single, apartment dwelling friends, have no CLUE why I get excited about DIY home projects. Hehe
micaela @ hishouse;herhelp. says
working on a complete kitchen renovation w/ my boyfriend. he has been without kitchen for about 6 months now! i would say that is sacrifice, no?? it’s nearing the end… drywall went up this weekend! i can see the light at the end of the tunnel! woo hoo
TOO FUNNY! I LOVE THAT I CAN GET MY RICHMOND,VA FIX BY READING YOUR BLOG. I’M TOTALLY PICTURING ALL THE HOME DEPOTS, LOWES ETC IN TOWN. I WAS BORN AND RAISED THERE, AND AFTER 28 YEARS, MOVED TO SAN DIEGO. HOPE YOU ARE FINDING TIME TO RELAX AMONGST ALL YOUR DIY PROJECTS. YOU ARE SO ADORABLE PREGNANT! SENDING A VIRTUAL BABY BELLY RUB YOUR WAY. HAHA!
xoxo, C says
Do you know anyone that works in a hospital? The ‘bunny suits’ that they make you wear when you go into sterile environments (if you aren’t wearing scrubs) are great for painting! They are super lightweight and cover your whole body and protect your clothes. (And they also have the matching shoe covers) Maybe you can snag a few when the baby is born :)
We are well on our way to having done all of these things (except the baby belly part). I can’t wait until we get to the point that you are with our DIY tasks. Thanks for all the inspiration!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…
for posting that photo from your kitchen.
I have been SKEERED to paint mine white because I was so worried about it looking ‘weird’ when you opened up the drawers/cabinets. But it doesn’t look weird at all!
i’m totallly cool with temporary inconvenience in the name of home improvement–but my hubby is NOT! he can never get past the “But where will we sleep???” or the “How will we do dishes???” stage. *sigh*
I remember reading in a magazine about a family of 4 that lived in an Airstream trailer in their own driveway for a year while they completed an entire tear-down.
oh yeah–and there are the real-life friends we have who lived in ONE ROOM with their two tween kids (with no running water) of a 200 year-old historic farmhouse that they saved from the wrecking ball right here in Northern Virginia (in Fairfax City) while they renovated it THEMSELVES and worked full-time. They even had to stick with all the “historic” building codes, etc. it was crazy!!! but it’s so cool, complete with copper roof, etc. beautiful old mantels, and fireplaces in every room. it had been abandoned for years, and now it’s a real gem. they did it all on a dime too.
When I bought my house it was unlivable. I knew that to get to the point where I could move in, all I had to do was replace the carpet (nasty dog pee everywhere) and get a working bathroom. Really, just toilet and sink and I could shower at the gym. Those were the minimum requirements for habitation, so I lived in a pretty big mess for quite a while while I worked on it too.
Cute stories, I like the belly rub one :-)
Sarah K says
When I first read “a painting belt,” I was envisioning a holster for the roller, tape, and stir sticks! Heehee! With you guys, I wouldn’t be surprised! :)
I moved in with my parents for a week while my hardwood floors were being refinished, does that count? I would have had to sleep in the kitchen and go out through the garage to crawl in through the bathroom window to stay in the house. Every other room except for the inaccessible bathroom was being redone. That was fun.
We only had to live with a torn apart kitchen for 9 days, but it was a whirlwind and I wasn’t sure we were going to get it all done in time. If that’s not obsessed it’s sure as heck crazy!
[email protected] says
Awww… Look at The Burgster. Doesn’t he look cozy?
I have to admit that so much of your list sounds strikingly familiar. Sans the baby belly, of course. :)
Here’s my list: http://tearinguphouses.blogspot.com/2009/10/you-know-youre-in-depths-of-remodeling.html
Hope you and the bean are well!
Great post! Glad to hear you have a junk drawer and drawers that are filled with tools, makes me feel a tad more “normal.”
when you said painting belt I was picturing John wearing a tool belt – one that he brings out just for the painting projects – full of rollers, brushes, and putty knives
You are an inspiration to us. After reading your blog I starting thinking “we can do that stuff too” and boy have we been doing it. It is amazing how much fun you can have doing DIY projects with your spouse and how much money you can save!
Keep up the fight, your home is looking amazing.
Autumn Tao says
No stories to share as of yet… beginning the househunt with my newlywed husband this month… But I loved this post; it made me laugh out loud. Thanks!
Emily Kate says
My hubby and I are pretty crazy DIYers too. We are doing a complete renovation of an 1880s house that we bought in September 2008. Our list of “survival” measures is pretty ridiculous when you write it all down! Here goes:
– We moved in with his parents for 6 full months during the initial phases and still frequent their house when the pipes freeze or when we need to experience the comforts of a “home.”
– We used a 5-gallon bucket as a toilet for 3-4 months before we had plumbing.
– We finally got heat the week before this past Christmas, after a year without.
– We haven’t had a kitchen for 16 months and counting. (It is currently a hole in the ground, since we discovered half of the room had no foundation under it.) We store any perishable foods outside now that it’s really cold out!
– We have lived out of 2 bedrooms and a bathroom for about 10 months now… the rest of the house is a construction zone, but we’re close to having a living room!
– My full-time job is on a 100% telecommuting basis… which means I work 40+ hours a week from home in our disaster of a house!
– I keep a blog about our day-to-day progress.
Instead of an insanity badge, I think we should just be taken to the loony bin. Surely they have hot meals and their pipes don’t freeze every other day!
I asked for a shovel for last Valentine’s Day. My friends think I’m totally nuts. :-)
LOL – love #2! We’re in Lowe’s so often that pretty much all of the employees say ‘Hi’ or laugh at us in disbelief that we’re there again when we go in.
Also, all I wanted for Christmas was a miter saw. And I got it:
Love your blog!