Great Expectations for Renovations


Great Expectations for Renovations

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When we started our MASSIVE renovation project for our 1892 home in downtown Denver A YEAR AGO, I had visions of how this would look on the blog.

I had visions of making updates showing the amazing progress, the beautiful finishes, and the HGTV magical reveal.

Pretty much none of that has happened.

In short, the project has been incredibly trying for me and our little Macheesmo family.

We were supposed to move in tomorrow (November 13) and maybe I should’ve realized it was a bad idea to schedule a major life move for Friday the Thirteenth! 😬

Three Prongs of Construction

You always here that there are basically three prongs of construction projects: quality, budget, and schedule.

Before this project, I always thought of them basically in that order of importance.

They are ALL important though and if any one of the prongs slips too far, then the whole thing can topple down.

We were supposed to be moving back into our house in AUGUST. It is now November.

Can you guess which prong has slipped for us?!

I’ve done my best to try to come up with schedules to help our contractor, but we just can’t hit deadlines and the project drags on and on and on.

The Old and The New

Some pieces of our house were built almost 130 years ago. And it shows! There’s lots of old and now there’s lots of new and there’s lots of weirdness in between.

For example, now we have beautiful new floors. I love them. I’m glad we paid extra for them. The match of the style of the house and I couldn’t be happier with them.

My Bathroom Project

This has been one of my little projects during this whole ordeal. I completely gutted and redid our “master” bathroom in our bedroom. It’s the tiniest master bathroom I’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty great for an old house!

I’ve probably spent 100 hours on this bathroom over the last few months and I couldn’t be happier with how it is turning out. Plus, I love our new dark blue bedroom walls. CALM. SERENITY.


This project, especially during a pandemic, has been impossibly hard for us. I don’t sleep much anymore thinking about ALL the money we have put into it and all the time.

But, all I can do is step back and try to reset my expectations.

The HGTV reveal is not happening. Walking into a perfectly finished house is not happening.

But, we will finish it. Our family will eventually be there, enjoying meals and laughing together.

I would write more, but my EYES ARE LEAKING.

18 Responses to “Great Expectations for Renovations” Leave a comment

  1. Just hang on, it will get better. However, you are going through a horrible time with outside factors such as Covid. Lots of us are sending good thoughts your way because we have been there. One day at a time and one foot in front of the other is the only way I have gotten through challenges plus what ever beverage helps at the end of the day!!

  2. I would love to hear more about your specific experience. This is such an area of interest for me. Where did the schedules go off the rails? How has it been impacted by Covid?

    1. Thanks Kiara! I will try to put together a full wrap up of this project and may even include some budget/timeline breakdowns once we are all done with madness.

  3. Oh goodness, I swear my comment included a first line that consisted of my apologies for the trouble you guys are experiencing on the project but I just have someone deleted that (composing on my phone).

    I hope it’s smooth sailing from here

  4. Oh Lordy! I know. We have a 1913 Craftsman and I can’t imagine renovating it with babies in the house. You have my respect and sympathy.

  5. Hang in there man. Renovations are the worst.

    Many outside variables right now which you can’t control. One day at a time. Just know that your website creates a little slice of joy for your loyal readers. God bless and thanks for what you do Nick.

    1. I understand your frustration. Even in the best of times, there is “real” time and “construction” time. The pandemic brings another set of interesting dilemmas. Take heart, you will be rewarded with a finished project! Thanks for your incredible blog:)

  6. Sometimes the “House” takes coontrol and you can’t do a thing about it. I don’t know how this happens, like some magical spell has decended upon your House and told it that it’s in chatge. I know this because of our renovation of a 150 year old home.
    Don’t dispare, love your home like a deliquent child and it will finally stop acting up and love you back, and will forgive you for all the pain and misery you put it through during your renovation.
    Stay calm….take care of your family.

  7. Hey Nick, reading your post about the project and I started to get “the feels” too. First time I participated in a complete kitchen re-do, I had 3 and 1/2 little ones and worked along with
    my then husband to get the job done. No contractors. Second time, (second marriage) husband and I did all the
    work ourselves while living with 3 very unimpressed teen agers who walked around sullenly muttering, ‘we are always
    living in construction’. Since day one I have heard that there
    are always ‘problems’ with scheduling of contractors and for
    the life of me can’t figure out why. Hang in there, all will get
    done and you will look back and wonder why you got so
    worried. Good Luck!

  8. Our middle daughter was graduating midMay, so we tore out our kitchen and adjacent den, down to the studs/rafters between Christmas and the New Year. The frig was in the dining room, a new laundry sink, microwave, crockpot and an electric frypan were in the basement laundry room. Which was where we fixed meals for our family of 6 for 5 months. All went well til midMarch, when things seemed to stall. Because it was a hundred year old house, we had gone with a custom kitchen. And as ours was in process, the shop burned down. With 3 kitchens in various stages of completion. I was painting yet at noon, with 100 expected for a reception at 2 on Menorial Day. The neighbors saved the day by fixing the food, as everyone admired the new space. We got it done! And were so glad we did it! And you will be glad as well. Someday!

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