The Beginning of a House Renovation

Decisions about a house renovation can leave our minds spinning out of control that it’s hard to begin. An overwhelming feeling creeps in and the thought of giving up shortly follows. Now is the time to take a deep breath and realize you are not alone. You can do this! I am going to walk you through what I did and hopefully, it will help you too.

Feeling overwhelmed is part of the process. I was right there with you. Dreaming about what could be is a fun process, but putting those dreams into action is another ballgame. It may seem easiest to jump in to finish quickly. From my experience, with a plan success is around the corner. Without a plan, disappointment will follow. The planning stage should be fun and trust me, the efforts will pay off with a space you love.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

When we moved from Georgia to Arizona 7 years ago my dream was to move into a fixer-upper. We found the perfect house situated in a friendly community upon a hill with nearly 360-degree views of the mountainside. It was perfect. Only problem? It was a BIG house! At over 4900 square feet of a fixer-upper! My design brain had the entire house complete in a day. Ha! Stepping foot into the house I quickly realized this was going to take time and patience. I have to be honest living in a home where everything needs an upgrade feels a little overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly thankful to have this roof over my head, but the job ahead seemed daunting.

There have been times where I felt suffocated by this big house and the process. Why?  I am a DIY girl that wants to refinish furniture, paint walls, stencil, create faux finishes… do you get my drift? My creative wheels completely spin me out of control! I have learned the hard way and that is why I am sharing my experience. The big lesson here is to give yourself grace and know it is going to take some time. As I write this we are working on completing our main floor laundry room – the last room of the main floor to finish. Well, kind of… like I mentioned, it takes time.

What’s the plan?

For tips about creating a renovation plan, check out this post.

Luckily, I have a neighbor that works for a builder as a site manager.  He oversees all of the builds and is a DIY’er as well.  He is always willing to help, and believe me, he was a huge help. We were put at ease when he told us the general rule for a big renovation.

  1. Demo
  2. electrical/plumbing
  3. flooring
  4. trim
  5. drywall
  6. paint
  7. Punch List

With future posts, I will dive into all 6 of these steps including what decisions I would and wouldn’t change.

Before the demo…

Before the demo started, we removed the appliances and items we wanted to save. Most of the light fixtures were protected with plastic bags and plastic was hung upstairs from floor to ceiling. Dust gets everywhere and I wanted to have a dust-free sleep zone.

Let’s Demo!

This really is the fun part where I got to pull up my sleeves and watch all of my hard work pre-planning and time pay off. Things really moved fast when the sledgehammer appeared.

Before I knew it the floor was up

the island was getting removed

and the countertops were getting hauled away.

The front room had a wall that had openings into the adjacent room. I wanted to create one big room and so we decided to remove the wall.

Just like that, the wall was down.

I could tell immediately it was the right decision.

After everything was cleaned up to prep for flooring the electrician began his work.

Have you been through a renovation like this? Taken down walls? Lived in a house while doing a major renovation? I would love to hear what you’ve done, would you share in the comments below?

Next up with the renovation series… I have some things for you to think about when it comes to electrical. Like… really think about.

Until next time,


Every. Single. Moment.


Hey! If you are new here… welcome!

I’d love for you to see where we started…

In the beginning, we started here wondering where to start first.

We decided to start and complete this project first.

Finished a small powder room project here.

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