We’ve now owned the 8K house for two years and four months. During this time we’ve spent roughly $7000 on renovations. The bulk of that was spent during the first year getting the house habitable. One of the most expensive and tedious tasks was getting the electrical up to code. Wiring is not cheap and we tried to keep costs down by waiting for sales and coupons but often times we found ourselves running out paying full price just to complete a job. We still have some wiring left to do. Right now we’re making do with one outlet in our bedroom and no light in our closet.
Another expensive job was refinishing the floors. We saved the original flooring in every room with the exception of the kitchen and bathroom (too rotted). While no doubt this in itself is a huge savings, refinishing them was costly. We rented a large sander for one day and the rest of the time we were on our hands and knees finishing the prep work. We used gallons of stain and polyurethane to get them looking nice.
The 8K house used natural gas for it’s heating source. As with the electrical, the gas plumbing was not up to code, in fact it was crumbling. We were quoted $1500 by a plumbing company to complete the task. With help from family we completed the job for less that half that amount. Yes, it took longer and there were back aches and frustration but in the end the savings were worth it and we learned a lot.
Keeping Costs Down has been our main goal throughout the renovation. At times this has caused great frustration. How easy it would be if we had a construction loan and a handy contractor!?! Yet we’ve stayed the course and completed all the work ourselves. We have reused so much of what was already in the house. We had huge stacks of lumber that we removed, those stacks have dwindled down to just a few lonely boards. Friends, family and coworkers have been so generous with hand me downs. Seriously, ceiling fans, vintage hardware, leftover poly and paint… the list goes on and on. All of this has been greatly appreciated and enjoyed by our family.
We still have work to do. Budget friendly restoration and up keep will always be our style. Right now, we’re pleased with our progress and pleased with what it’s costs to get here. For $15,000 we have a house that when you squint and tilt your head just right is almost cute. We’ll get there. Slow and steady.
Here are some before and afters of the bathroom. This room always get the most praise.