Before I delve into the before and after pictures of our home renovation, don’t you want to know the story of how we got the house in the first place?! Well, I should start by not saying “we”, because I had little to no input on any of “our” home buying process (what even is an escrow?). In April of 2013, before I even moved to Pittsburgh, I came up to visit my boyfriend for a relaxing long weekend. Joel said he had a surprise to show me and I got really excited because I thought he was finally going to take me to the Pittsburgh zoo. When we got to what was clearly not the zoo, I was a little confused, but then Joel said “SURPRISE! I just put an offer on this house!” and I said “oh cool, can we go to the zoo now?” and we did.
His offer was accepted, but it was something those in the real estate biz call a “short sale”…
Fast forward 8 months. I had just moved to Pittsburgh and was living in a shitty little creepy house with my older sister, Annie. We called it The Murder House because we were pretty sure some crazy shit went down there. On a cold December night Joel, came over and started scratching his face, saying how much it itched… “WTF is wrong with you? Do we need to get you to a doctor” I yelled at him. It turns out he was trying to show me the key to his new house by using it to scratch his face. THE HOUSE WAS FINALLY HIS!
We began renovating in January. With both kitchen and bathroom gut jobs on top of cosmetic changes, we had our hands full for the next 5 months. One of the things that makes me love and appreciate our home so much is all the work we did ourselves. We bashed through walls, knocked out tile, added new tile, and laid new hardwood. And if you’re thinking that I probably just sat around being the useless chick, I’ll have you know that I primed and painted every single wall, ceiling, door, and piece of trim in this house twice.
Joel lived with his parents after college in order to save up for a house which is one of the smartest things a person can do if they have the opportunity to. Plus, his parents are just awesome in general. They are OG home renovators so they helped with the house every step of the way. I remember one night when the four of us tackled staining all of the downstairs hardwood and then treated ourselves to beers and Wendy’s afterward. With Joel’s target move in date of Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, Ron, Sheila, and I used to sit on the front porch, drink coffee and talk about how crazy Joel was for thinking we could get all of our work done before then. Long story short, we did it! With furniture arriving the day of and paint still drying on the walls, we somehow managed to throw our first party in May of 2014 and have been partying ever since.
Though it would be a while before I could officially give our house my own unique girly touches, I’m glad it was Joel’s bachelor pad for a while. He had brown sheets on his bed for the first year and a half at least. I can’t wait to show you dummies what we’ve done with the place. As the wise philosopher Drake once said, we “started from the bottom now we’re here”. Yes we are, Drake. Yes we are.