Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Place to Call Home

I've lived in this house for over six years now, but somehow it's never really felt like home. I always felt like a long-term visitor in someone else's home. Slowly over the years we've made our place our own, but about as soon as I started to feel like I had a place here, we created two little babies who quickly turned into small humans who took over every corner of the house with their stuff! We had my oldest girl in the basement, but the great flood of '15 drowned her out, and we knew we had to make a change.

After exploring pretty much every option known to man, we decided to add on to our existing home. It had needed a lot of love for a long time, but we'd never wanted to commit to a lot of renovation for fear we might relocate one day and lose the investment. The windows and siding were original, built in the late 50s. The ONLY bathroom the five of us were sharing was a little 5x8 that needed a complete makeover.

We started discussing options and somehow happened to be at the right place at the right time when our friend Shane happened to be in ear shot. Before I knew it he had offered a good idea, offered to do the construction work, and drawn up a rough plan and estimate.

Then a whole lot of stuff happened that would take me years to recount. We had a January 1 loan deadline. We started framing in December. And that's about how the whole project went. Everything depended on someone else, and the next thing couldn't be done until the first thing was ready. On top of that, most of the people working for us had other jobs, their own farms, and other projects going simultaneously.

It was like my wildest dream and my worst nightmare all rolled into one!

And the DECISIONS! I always wanted to build a brand new home, but now I'm not so sure. I'll never forget looking at the chalk lines on the floor on a cold windy day and trying to make sense of them and decide RIGHT THEN where I wanted my toilet and my closet door. And that was the big stuff. Pretty easy. Then there were the details.

What color cabinets do you want? What type of wood? What color counter top goes with that? And what color are we going to paint the walls to go with the wood and the countertops? What about the flooring? Now we need light fixtures and faucets that mesh with what we've got going on here. Also switches and covers. Then what type of curtains? And do you know HOW MANY KINDS OF SHOWER CURTAINS THERE ARE??? Oh and don't forget handles and knobs for the cabinets. That go with the lights and the walls and the floors and the wood. AND THAT'S JUST ONE BATHROOM! It was a nightmare for someone like me, who isn't really picky, and has a hard time committing to one thing...because everything looks better than what we had!

There were a LOT of ups and downs. There were so many decisions to make, bills to pay, things to buy, things to do (hubby and I stained all the trim, did all the painting, and bought all the little stuff in a string of about 97 trips to Menards and Lowes). We spend Super Bowl Sunday flying across the state after more trim, staining the trim we had, and painting our room so that the carpet could go down on Monday and the furniture could be delivered on Tuesday.

Our carpet guy, Mike, came at the drop of the hat to get each room ready for the next step when we needed him to. Shane came at 7:30 one morning and did all the doors and trim before lunch so the next step could be started.

Then finally all the walls were painted and all the carpet was laid and all the furniture was arranged. I remember Shane standing in our hallway, which used to be our awful bathroom, smiling from ear to ear saying, "This is what I saw. The very first day we talked about it, THIS is what I saw, and there it is."

It is beautiful. All of it. It's well done and every detail was thought-out even when I couldn't foresee it. And for the first time in six years, when I walk in my front door, I feel like I'm HOME.

Before and After Pics

Here you can see the original bathroom on the top left. On the top right it is under construction. The bottom pictures show it after remodel, when it became the hallway. I circled the places so you can tell where it used to be!
This is the new main before pictures because it didn't exist!

New master bathroom

Our old bedroom

New bedroom

Living room - pre-makeover
Living room post-makeover



The Whole Enchilada:
New windows & siding on entire property
Remove old garage doors
New mechanical garage door
Remove old 2x16 interior porch
Add 8x16 wood deck
Remove old bathroom & add hallway
Add master bedroom with walk-in closet
Add master bath
Add guest bath
New carpet & vinyl throughout
Paint all
New trim throughout
New Furniture

The Thank-You List
Shane Dagget - J&S Construction - for bringing our dream to fruition, for all the hard work, putting up with me, finding us all the best deals and best subs, and doing exceptional work at a fair and honest price. We didn't have a labor 'bid' so I'll just say coming in under our expectation.
Jason Dagget - J&S Construction - for lending us your brother and coming over to help when needed. And all the input from how to fit a bath tub in our master, to the great light-switch-to-fix-a-hole idea.
Garage Door Mike - for doing a great job at a fair price in a quick and efficient manner
Bolivar Insulation - for our beautiful windows and siding, excellent customer service, and coming in under quote :)
Mike Coffey - Coffey Plumbing - for doing excellent work, all the plumbing advice, and coming in under quote...even AFTER adding a water heater we didn't anticipate :)
Mike Mitchell - Eldorado Flooring - for taking our handful of random carpet samples and shopping for us, finding carpet and vinyl exactly like we envisioned, installing it with little notice, working long hours and doing absolutely excellent work, and coming in right at quote.
Rodney Kilgore - Kilgore Custom Woodwork - for our absolutely beautiful cabinets and vanities, your patience with my decision making, your advice on wood and color choices, your assistance in handle choosing, and coming in at quote (but after we made actually under).
Robert Creasey - for also coming on our schedule, doing beautiful work, and coming in right at quote.
Gene Johnson - for great electrical advice, doing all our wiring and installation (including new fans and lights I added along the way) and coming in under quote.
Justin Loehr - for providing our metal to match the existing roof at a great price, and at the drop of a hat.
Cody Peery- Osceola Insulation - for doing all our insulation and coming out on a Sunday morning to fit us in your schedule.
Meeks Lumber - for all our lumber, delivery, returns. Excellent service and great prices.
The Captain - for helping remove siding and being an extra set of hands for Shane.
My husband - for not divorcing me after all this :) also for all his hard work on the trim, flooring, painting, and helping all the workers, his patience with my (lack of) decision making, constant trips to Sedalia, Springfield, and even Osage Beach, and letting me paint and decorate the bedroom how I wanted to...oh and for his hard work to pay for all this for the next 15 years..he's the best!