Friday, July 26, 2013

The work my husband did.

I have mentioned a few times when discussing the house that my husband has done quite a bit of work and I wanted to write out exactly what he has done so I do not forget.

My husband is the exact definition of a perfectionist. While I am not a perfectionist, I am extremely visually influenced. We both like things to be just so. Luckily our idea of "just right" is the same.

However, my husband has been carrying his perfectionism around on his back since April, when he started really working on the house. Before then, he could just tell the crew how he wanted things or how to fix things. While they probably grunted and groaned behind his back, they did it.

His first project was painting the exterior. But before he painted the exterior, the trim had to be perfect. The trim guys were long gone by this point, putting in the work they were paid for. But my husband saw flaws. So he spent days adding small pieces of trim around the outside of the house making sure the whole exterior looked "solid". But there was still much caulking to be done before he was ready to put paint on the house. I am not just talking around a few beads of caulk here and there, I am talking about caulking absolutely every seam. He went through hundreds of dollars worth of caulk and wore his fingers raw. It took him DAYS. Our house is likely the most caulked house in WA state. Will it help us down the line in this rainy climate? Yes. Did I think he had lost his mind? Yes.

Next came the painting. We really never priced out paint- dumb. Our builder had given us $1000 in the budget for paint, HA! We spend 2K on the exterior paint and supplies (trim paint + shingle paint). Luckily, my brother in law is a professional painter so he brought his sprayer and they had the whole exterior done in a weekend. Then it was time for my husband to paint the trim. He carefully did each section, not rushing through any part of it, adding more caulk where he saw fit. A few weekends later, my brother in law returned to paint the entire interior (minus trim).

He then did an Ikea kitchen, details of which I already laid out in this post. After the kitchen, he assembled and installed the laundry room cabinets, which are also Ikea. Have questions about Ikea kitchens? Feel free to ask me!

When that was done, it was time for him to install 1,800 square feet of high-end snap together laminate. Here is where I should mention that my husband is horrible about asking for help. He did the floors completely by himself except one evening where I came over the helped him lay boards out. It took him about a week to finish the floors (he worked for two days in the middle of it).

After floors, it was time to tile. Luckily, we were able to barter our too-big double oven for floor tile work and a pro did both bathroom floors. That did not mean my husband was getting a break. While the tile guy was working, he was prepping all the trim in the house for paint. We decided to spray the trim to create that flawless look (where no nail holes are visible). However, this meant he had to caulk and sand and then re caulk and sand EVERY NAIL HOLE. His poor finger was quickly became raw again. After caulking was done, he had to mask off the entire house. Once that prep was done, his brother came back to spray the trim.  It took them the entire weekend to get it done and they did not even have time to do the doors, that had to wait for the next weekend.

In addition to doing the fireplace tile, he also tore out and re-built the entire fireplace. We quickly learned that our builder had other "high-end projects" going on and our house fell to the bottom of the list- I get it, money talks. We knew we could not ask them to re-do the fireplace without taking on a huge additional cost. I came to the house shortly after the fireplace had been completed and I admitted I did not like the design. I left for a photoshoot and when I returned, he had ripped out and rebuilt the entire thing. It is beautiful now- of course!

Once that was done, my husband had to tile our girl's bathroom tub. He was able to finish that in about a day. He moved from tile to installing the hardware on the kitchen cabinets. From there, he headed back outside to complete the decks (our builder had done this strange step in under the deck which was not our style at all, but it was on my husband to fix). His last big project on the house is to tile our kitchen backsplash. Then it is on to the yard, which I honestly cannot even think about right now. Our yard is ending up much more complex than we had hoped because the septic system in the backyard has caused a slope we have to address.

There were times I felt like we made a huge mistake having him take on so much. And I have missed him terribly over the past 3+ months. It has not been easy, there were many tears shed. But doing this work ourselves (himself) has saved us about 60-70K, so well worth it. When people see our house in person, they cannot believe it is a 300K build because of all the details and workmanship. But that was all my husband's vision, hardwork and perfectionism. I am beyond proud of him and even though he will never look at our house and think, "it's perfect" he knows he has played a huge role in creating a stunningly beautiful house on a small budget.


  1. You both have done an incredible job. I can't imagine how hard it has been to be away from each other so long, but it'll make it that much sweeter when you're nestled into your new home.

    I can't wait to see how it turns out, because I am absolutely loving it so far!

  2. I'm SO excited to see y'alls beautiful home finished! I can't imagine how you must feel counting down the days until move in day!

  3. Your husband sounds like the salt of the earth! And you are too for making it through so much separation with little ones and your sanity in tact! So excited for ya'll that your move in date is so close and that the time to ENJOY the house all together is so near!

  4. Your husband sounds like a real darling and you are so wise to recognize that and to let him know how much you appreciate him. If he is equally wise to appreciate your good qualities - and let you know that he does! - the two of you have a rock solid foundation for a happy marriage. Don't see enough of that these day!

    Anyway, I just logged on to send good thoughts your way. I have my fingers crossed you that your move-in will happen ON SCHEDULE tomorrow. You and your wonderful husband and those darling girls deserve to be all settled into that lovely new home.

    But, if by chance, things aren't quite on track for a move-in tomorrow, don't get discouraged. It WILL happen soon. Just hang on, have faith, and you and your hubby keep on loving and supporting each other. Once we're safely through them, the tough times are the ones we laugh together and share stories about later.