So let's start with the Bad, the ugly and finish off with the good...that's just how I like things to be shared! haha Anyone else a realist? 

THE BAD let's rephrase that to What I learned or would have done differently. There really wasn't a bad except for number 10, all of these items are all things we learned and would have done differently. If we had the chance to do it all over again, we would most certainly do it! 

1. Hire a Contractor : Unless you are ready to take on the project yourself, hire a contractor. Mike and I were ready to take on this project ourselves, we really thought we could do it ourselves, which in fact we did but it would have been a lot more stress-free and less time consuming, not to mention in the end skipping this step didn't save us any money. Think of a contractor like you would a Wedding Planner/Coordinator; no matter how type A you are, in the end, you still need the Wedding Planner/Coordinator. This is their specialty, when the tile specialist finishes his work, or the carpenter, or painter, there will always be something wrong or a mistake well, when we pointed things out their immediate response, "oh well, you didn't tell me or well it's going to cost more money." These comments or responses were so tiring, if we would have had a GC he/she would have caught these things early on or just had the person redo it without extra charge. 

2. Set money aside for a Handyman : If you don't have a General Contractor, hire a handyman to fix all the things that weren't a part of the tile specialist, plumber's, painter's job. I was so thankful for our handyman! Thank you, Noah! 

3. Over-Communicate : make sure all grounds are covered. This was a huge one for us. We left a lot of things for assumptions, partly because it was our first fixer-upper. 

4. Research what you don't know : It never hurts to over research, I love learning from others don't just trust one person's opinion. When our floors were delivered our floor guy would not install them because he thought they were unfinished floors. I freaked out a bit and doubted my purchase. We had just ordered 3500 sqft of hardwood flooring, all I kept thinking about was how in the world am I going to get these floors back to the manufacturer not to mention shipping costs. Well, the floors were in fact finished, our floor guy's lack of knowledge in this product delayed the projected about 5 days but if we had researched and double checked we would have had the confidence just to tell him to install them. 

5. If you are a perfectionist pray that the Lord will blind you to all of the imperfections. When the job was completed all I kept seeing was all the little imperfections, but realize that this is normal and it even happens with new construction. 

6. Check in every day, follow up, and stay on top of everyone. Unfortunately micromanaging is key, if not it will cost you in the end.

7. NEVER ASSUME. Communicate the expectation and/or understand the expectation, have everything in writing. 

8. Stick to your budget, don't allow the people you hired to change the prices midway. (this was a real pain for us and every one of our hirers tried this with us.) 

9. Have a Reserve Fund you may most likely go over budget. We did! 

The UGLY - this for me was the worst part  

10. Know what you are getting into, we had no idea, therefore, we winged it. Plan for the worst. The worst part for us was living without a kitchen. For 8 months we went without having a kitchen...which meant eating out every meal....which meant major weight gain. No matter how hard or how many times Mike and I worked out we could not shed the 8-20 pounds we both gained. Literally unreal, what I learned it doesn't matter if it is a 5-star restaurant it is still unhealthy. There is nothing like knowing what ingredients are being used and how much of them are being used. For the first month, we attempted to stay on track with being vegan but we realized that our daily consumption was 90% carbs with very little protein or nutrients so we compromised and decided to bring animal protein back into our diet. &&&& Because Mike and I lack serious self-control bringing animal protein back into our diet just opened up a can of warms to indulging in everything! Thankfully we are all settled in and right back to our fitness routines and eating plant-based again! 


1. Fixer Upper's, for the most part, save you money. Getting this house took so much prayer, waiting, more prayer, and complete reliance on the Lord. This house was a Short Sale and thankfully it was not a distressed property. It was actually in great shape, just outdated with lots of colorful walls. The house had been on the market for about 3 months so Mike and I submitted a low offer counting on the bank to counter back but they didn't! The Lord showed us tremendous grace with the price which enabled us to spend more on renovations and do a lot more!  

2. Established Neighborhood : When you build a home most neighborhoods will be newer most likely in the first stages so you really have no idea what type of neighborhood it will turn out to be. We learned this when we built our townhouse; when we built, we were the second set of townhouses so we had no clue what the neighborhood was like. When we sold 2 years later, the neighborhood was completely different than when we had first moved in. Our fixer-upper is in an extremely desirable neighborhood that was built about 10-12 years ago and has already been established. Read more about this in a previous blogpost.

3. The Before & After : If you are a lover of Before and Afters, you will find the greatest satisfaction once the job is complete. Make sure you document it all! It's so exciting to look back at what things used to look like! 

4. The Reward : To be able to look back at all the work that was done and accomplished is the most satisfying/rewarding feeling! 

5. EQUITY : Because the Lord showed us grace in our purchase price our appraisal came in $85,000 higher than what we purchased our home for which gave us instant equity. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me! If you follow me on Instagram, I have included most of the renovation process in my story highlights! Click Here