Lake Michigan House Renovation: It Isn’t All Fun and Light Fixtures

So when we closed on our Lake Michigan house in early August, our contractor told us the renovations would take 8-10 weeks. But, because I watch my fair share of HGTV, I knew that there would probably by some unexpected asbestos or faulty electrical or very dangerous structural problem that would throw off both our timeline and our budget.

And lo, I was right.

It’s January, and optimistically, I’d say we have at least another two weeks to go before we can call this renovation done. We’ve hit a bunch (like a big bunch) of minor issues along the way: first there was the lead paint in the trim around the bedroom windows which added to the timeline because the trim needed to be carefully removed and replaced; then, the electrical in the bathroom needed to be redone; after that, we found out the house once caught on fire and some support beams needed to be replaced; oh, and there was that instance when a leaky pipe which turned out to be a leaky roof. Also: we chose recessed lighting that wasn’t to code for one of the rooms so it had to be redone.

lake michigan house renovation blog

That chipped paint? Full of lead.

lake michigan house renovation

This was before we installed recessed lighting … that later had to be replaced.

lake michigan house renovation

lake michigan house renovation

All the paint around the windows and the trim? Also full of lead. We ended up completely replacing the windows.

There were other things, too. But finally, finally! we started making progress in early December. Our contractor had gotten most of the major renovation work done, and we started painting the interiors, woop! After Christmas, we were planning to move the furniture in while we finished up the last of the little things, like installing light fixtures and tiling the backsplash in the kitchen.

Then the United States froze over.

It was essentially -10 degrees by our house for a stretch of a week, which caused pipes in the bathroom to freeze, burst, and leak into the kitchen. So, our contractor had to open up the kitchen ceiling to find the leak. And then they realized that the spot the leak was in couldn’t be reached from the kitchen, so this week we have someone over there working on the leak from the outside of the house (which means we’ll have to repair the siding at some point).

Fun, huh?

But there is good news!! It’s been above freezing there all week! And the rest of the house really is close to being done. Or as my husband put it “the house is starting to smell less like mold and more like a new house.” So you can even smell the progress. Here’s a quick peek at the GOOD stuff that’s been happening, and I’ll share the design fun soon. šŸ™‚