Isn't that a funny picture?! Our neighbors must have thought we were insane. In the back you can see what used to be our front door steps. We did a weeks worth of demo ourselves while we lived in the house. My boys loved knocking holes in the walls, but nobody enjoyed carrying debris to the dumpster.
My old kitchen and eating area. I'm standing in the living room and you can see the banister from the split entry front.
My old bedroom with a hole cut into the wall into the new space.
Originally we thought we'd be able to keep some of the basement walls, but it turned out there was dry rot everywhere so it all had to come down.
It was a hard 6 months, I'm not going to lie. I had purposely picked a rental house that we wouldn't fall in love with. One that was livable but shabby, just on the border of being depressive. I knew what we'd be moving back into and I didn't want to anyone to yearn for the days of the rental. I wanted the impact on my boys to be as positive as possible so I negotiated an early move in date and moved the carloads (and carloads) of boxes and non-essentials over to the rental while the boys were in school, 1st, 4th and 6th graders at the time. I made sure their expectations were low, so they had no where to go but up. We couldn't move a mattress bigger than a twin up the narrow 1920's stairwell, so the boys traded off sleeping on an air mattress and Mr. and I slept on two twins. We stored most of the furniture we could, gave away what we didn't have room for and put the rest in the rental where it fit. My 6th grader christened the rental 'the crap shack' a couple months in, and that's the name that stuck. It was a 'put your head down and get through it' time. I adjusted the norms of our household to try and lessen any stress and anxiety on the boys by spoiling them with special activities and treats. So we lived in a sad little house with the stress of managing the money budget, the time budget (we only had the rental for a 6 month lease) and sub-contractors while the shiny glimmer of the dream lingered ahead. When I look back on it now, the memory is good, with this special glow around it (the rental had really bad lighting) and the fact that the smoke alarm went of almost nightly when dinner was ready is funny. They all shared a room, the toys were few and far between (everything but the most special was packed up) and I can't remember a time that they fought.
The moment the texture was dry on the walls, we moved back in.
We moved in May 2012, but I don't have any pictures from that time. These are from April.
After getting a bathroom just functioning, a kitchen just functioning --we had used the garage and master bedroom as an open storage unit for cupboards, sinks, toilets from the old house so we just hooked all the old stuff back up, adding a small deck on the back, and concrete steps up to the front door we took a break June-August to play summer baseball. And like any family that has kids who play select sports and husbands who coach know, we spent that break just trying to keep regular life from falling apart, knowing work on the house would start after baseball ended.