Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My longest post ever. In inches.

I warned you in advance.

We have been busy. And not because I'm working (although I am, very hard) or because I'm pregnant (which I am not, sadly), but because we have Finally. Finished. Our house.

I'm out of breath just thinking about it.

It's been a project two years in the making. And to be honest, it's not completely finished. I mean, most of the doors have to be painted, and we have doorknobs to install, but for my own mental health, I shall say, the work is done.

It started in 2007.

Before we even moved in to the house in Carlsbad, Brad and his mom and his dad scraped our popcorn ceilings, and painted the disgusting fireplace, and painted the bedrooms... which made things not so scary when I finally saw it.

I was six months pregnant with Claire. And I was nesting. Hard core. I have pictures to prove it. Lots of them. You get to see them. This is where you cheer.

I really wanted to paint that house soon. Like, the next week. Brad told me that I needed to start sanding down parts of the walls where the texture was too thick.

So, I did.

And I found wet spots.

That turned out to be mold.

In the laundry room.
Under the bathroom sink.
In both showers.
[This is from the hall bathroom looking through the wall into the master bathroom.]


We replaced studs. Drywall. We green-boarded/hardi-backed/redguarded EVERYTHING in those bathrooms. It could rain in there. Everyday. It would be safe.

So we didn't get to paint that week.

Then we ripped out the utility carpet (this nasty brown, thin, yucky stuff) in the hallway. It was in the whole house. But we started with the hallway. And then we tore up three layers of linoleum tile in the kitchen. It required a machine. (Believe me. I am a cheapskate. I tried REALLY hard to rip that stuff off by hand.)
See? That's Brad. He's practically horizontal.

And then my special, ultra-fun job was to use a cat's paw to tear out all the baseboard and carpet tacks in that HUGE area to prep the house for tile.

And then we tiled the hallway, bathrooms, and kitchen.
[I did that whole big long row all by myself. My very big pregnant self.]

And then Brad installed awesome shelves in our closets. Because we didn't have dressers and we were still living out of suitcases.

And then, the week before Claire was blessed, the Nevilles helped us rip out nasty utility carpet in the living room/dining room, and we tiled in there.

And then conference weekend, Brad poured the slab between our house and the garage to begin our addition for an entryway/study nook.

And then Brad framed, and stuccoed, and roofed (mostly with his dad, although my dad, and my brothers helped on the roof), and he electrified the addition, and drywalled, and mudded, and...

...then we decided to move.

So we worked like crazy people and with my brother Jay's help we: installed new windows, mudded some more, textured, installed lighting fixtures, installed base, puttied the nail holes in the base (my job), taped every cranny for painting prep (again, my fun, exclusive responsibility) painted (finally) the walls three different colors (midnight blue, pea green, and periwinkle--all Brad's choices) before I finally went to the paint store with him and we settled on a lovely beige (which he thinks is too pink, but it's better than purple).

And then we moved to Dallas and friends rented our house.

And then they moved out, and we painted the base and we installed some six panel doors, and we ripped out all the rest of the nasty utility carpet in the bedrooms and installed beautiful carpet, and put in new front and back doors, and painted the outside of the house (the orange color was all Brad), and landscaped, and installed exterior light fixtures, and ALMOST put in the closet doors. We'll do that next time.


And now our friends will move back in. Because they decided to move back to Carlsbad. And we decided not to sell our house. Because who can just sell something that has asked for so much sweat and blood?

Below are some before and after pics for your viewing pleasure. (You're going to have to click on each picture to get the full effect. And in some cases, to see the "after.")

Fireplace, Dining Room/Living Room:

Kitchen, from Dining Area:

Living/Dining Area, Hallway, Kitchen:
Original Entry, New entry, garage door, study nook:
Hall Bathroom:

Master Bed and Bath:
Bedroom #2 (Bedroom #3 is similar... pretend I put in a picture)
Laundry area/Back door:
Congratulations to us! Right?


  1. dude. I'm exhausted and stressed just reading about it! but it looks so great! congrats!

  2. You two are awesome!! Congratulations on a job well done!

  3. What a load of work. It looks beautiful!

  4. looks awesome! i knew those tv shows made it look too easy.

  5. Elise. This is amazing! I have thus far avoided renting any place with nasty carpet...it's one thing I pay a lot of attention to for some reason. And your new carpet looks heavenly! That place looks so good...the addition to the laundry room is so nice. And hooray for adding the portable dishwasher! Tile was such a good choice!

    So, do you think you'll ever move back?

  6. Ha...just realized that the laundry room picture is from a different angle....oops! It still looks great!

  7. Elise, WELL DONE! Just imagine what Brad and Heber could do TOGETHER!! They could build us matching houses next to each other where our children can frolic through the wild flowers together and we could make cookies everyday and sit and talk....oh the dreams I dream...

  8. That's a lot of hard work!! And to think you were pregnant for some of it! Yikes. It looks great!

  9. Wow, that really is amazing! You guys did a great job!!

  10. And you call your mother superwoman. I think you've earned your stripes, my dear. Absolutely beautiful.

  11. I love that house, and it's not even mine! When I visited you guys in Carlsbad I just loved the feeling I had there. You two are a great team, miss you all very much!

  12. Oh yeah and love the outside stucco color.

  13. That is Awesome! I am so impressed.

  14. Wow! The outside looks so great. The interior shots are amazing. What a huge difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys are the champs.

  15. Geeez girl, that is so much work, and not to get to live in it now must be hard. I'm so impressed that you guys did all that yourself. Nice work!

  16. I have to lie down now!

    Gorgeous job. Well done, you two lovebirds.

  17. It looks great! We're glad you guys are keeping Carlsbad as an option for the future!

  18. That is so fun to see the before and after pictures! Thanks for posting them! The house looks great! Congratulations!

  19. Elise, you can visit us anytime. Just say the word. We'd love to have you. Oh, and you can bring Brad and the girls, too. :)

  20. Oh. My. GOSH. You are amazing. I mean, I want to leave a huge long post to tell you how amazing you guys are to do all that (with kids!!), but I am speechless! No, seriously!! Wow. Wow.....wow.

    I'm glad to hear that you are now keeping the house! That would have been like saying goodbye to a member of the family after something like that!

  21. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! (I am standing up cheering)

  22. Thank you for your nice comment about Cate, in some of the pictures I took of her that same time I seriously thought she looked like Claire... no? What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?