The Remodeling Series Wrap-Up And A New Video

An Oregon Cottage Before and After - 2004-09

For those of you who’ve been with me from the first part of the Remodeling Series (ahem…last August), I just want to say thank you for letting me write overly-long posts where I could ramble ad-nauseam about my likes, dislikes, failures, and successes surrounding DIY remodeling.

So, in gratefulness for reading, commenting, and hanging in there with me, I’m offering this (blessedly) short list of the ten things we learned throughout this process of remodeling most of our house mainly by ourselves on a ridiculously small budget during the last 5 years.

Top Ten Things Learned At An Oregon Cottage About Do-It-Yourself Remodeling:
  1. You can save lots of money. Sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it, especially if it involves tiling.
  2. On the other hand, you can waste money, too. Case in point: we now have a 4-ft long, 11-inch high window sitting in one of our outbuildings after discovering we needed a 15-inch high window. And yes, 4 inches did make that much of a difference.
  3. It takes a LONG time. As in months…and years.
  4. DO buy things in advance as you see them on sale, at thrift stores, or on Craigslist. You will never find it at the time you need it if you didn’t buy it when you saw it. I think this is a law or something.
  5. Enlist the help of knowledgeable friends and family. Their help will make you think you know what you’re doing (while all the time it was them…).
  6. Demolition makes a really big mess. And never just in the area you demolished.
  7. Rule of Thumb: A 20 minute job will take at least half a day.
  8. The right tools make all the difference. Beg, borrow, or rent and you will not be sorry.
  9. Just because you hired a professional doesn’t mean the job will be done right. How many hours spent fixing “professionals” mistakes? Countless.
  10. After successfully finishing a couple of DIY jobs, you start seeing everything as “I could do that,” prompting your children to ask,”Will there ever be a time when we’re not working on something?”

There you have it. The End.

Oh wait. That doesn’t seem like an adequate thank you for all the time involved, so how about one of Brian’s fun videos? I promise this will make you smile, maybe even laugh. And I want to clarify from the outset: It was all my his idea. Especially the title. Yes, he’s weird – that’s one of his endearing qualities.

View this in a larger size on YouTube.

Feel free to leave a comment and make me smile!

This is linked to:Frugal Friday
Remodelaholics Anonymous
Friday Inspiration
Show and Tell Friday
Finer Things Friday



  1. says

    Your bathroom is really gorgeous! I loved your video, it looked very professional, just as your bathroom does. I found your link over at Romantic Home, so I haven’t watched your story unfold, but i can see you are doing an amazing job.

    Hugs, Cindy S

  2. says

    Your husband must keep you in stitches all the time! He’s so hilarious! You both did an amazing job on your bathroom! That clawfoot tub is still beautiful, despite the cost, you’ll have it forever!

  3. Cheryl B. says

    I have to agree your husband was hilarious at the end. I don’t know how you got him to agree to do all this stuff. My DH used to build houses for a living and he wants professionals to do most stuff. However, we did just purchase the rest of the windows for our house…. let’s see how long it takes him to actually install them.

  4. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Thank you, Kinga! We’ve been to Vancouver and Victoria, but would love to see deeper into Canada one day, too. What we have seen is lovely.

  5. says

    The Top Ten Things Learned list, so true. Happy to have stumbled on your site and videos. We desperately need to remove carpet from our bedrooms and we intend to get it all done in less than two hours :)

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