These prophetic words were first spoken by a friend back in 2002 when “He” and “She” bought the property that is now The House of 9 Lives. Immediately, upon moving into the house situated on the 25 acres of wooded and pastured property, the renovations began. You can see some examples of before and after pictures on our Home Renovations page. Back then, He and She were starry-eyed novices, who imagined all the changes they would make to the house, taking place in a year or so. While telling this very wise friend about all their plans, they said they were going to throw a big party and have everyone over when the house was through. Her response – “You’ll never live that long”. They had a big laugh over it at the time, but now, six years later, they are beginning to wonder if she might have been right!
Sure, they have pretty much gutted every room in the house, taking each one down to the bare studs, and even moving and rearranging some of those! But, not one room in the house is completely finished. There’s the master bedroom with the unfinished window frames (because after the room was completely done, they went back in and replaced the old wooden framed windows with newer double-paned higher efficient ones). There’s the several hundred square feet of ceramic tile, all loving laid by He and She, one piece at a time, that still remains ungrouted. Or, the lovely bead board panelling in the guest bath, which sports only a coat of primer. So much to do, so little energy or passion left to do it with.
At first, they would eagerly rush home from work each day to pick up their “weapons of mass destruction” and begin the demolition work that would clear the way for nice new walls and floors. They accomplished this room, by room. Then, as their dedication to the project ebbed, they started working only on the weekends. Grueling 12-15 hour days, but only two days a week. Eventually, they cut back to one day on the weekend, and then it was one day here and there. The end result, two completely burned-out do-it-yourselfers and a lot of small projects to go.
The house is completely livable. And, without close inspection, some of the unfinished things are not noticeable at all. However, with all the attention having been paid to the inside of the house, the exterior has been completely neglected. She has always had a vision for an addition to the front of the house, and we’ve mentioned it here before. We actually thought at one point it might get done before Christmas of last year, but here we are… still hoping!
She has been drawing up some ideas for the house, though, and we are thinking it might not be long until we start to see some progress in that area. Here is her drawing (don’t be too judgemental, she’s had no training in this area) of the house as it currently looks.
And, here is her vision for how it could look.
The addition to the left would be a much needed dining/sitting area, and the huge addition to the right would be a garage on the back of the house and a master suite on the front. We have approved the drawings (we love the idea of all those nice big windows), and He and She have agreed with each other on the plans. They have contacted a friend with years and years of construction experience and are going to get his input. They are lucky to have the benefit of his wisdom. Unlike every other project that has been undertaken here, this will not be completely DIY. That’s not to say they won’t join in on a lot of work, particularly the finishing. Oh wait, finishing isn’t their strong point, is it? Oh well, maybe it will at least get them charged up to tackle some of the smaller projects that have gone undone for so long. I guess in the long run, our friend was right. When you start a home renovation project, you really are never done. Every time one thing is completed, there is something else to do. She is already excited about completing the addition, because, you know what comes next? Landscaping! Then, will they be “through”? Nah, they’ll never live long enough to be “through”!