Renovating a house is a HUGE job. It takes a ton of time, and if you’re trying to save a penny or two by doing some of the work yourself, it takes even longer. After Mike and I bought our house we decided the indoor renovation would be our first priority. Although we didn’t have to move into our home until the renovation was complete, once we found out we were pregnant it was important for us to make sure our indoor space was both functional and comfortable before her arrival. Unfortunately, that meant that the outdoor space took a bit of a backseat, and now it definitely needs some TLC. Mike and I have always loved hosting our family and friends, and although we have a wonderful outdoor space to do it in with a large screened in gazebo and back deck, it isn’t the most inviting space decoratively speaking.
In any home renovation, demolition is both super exciting and totally nerve wracking. All renovation projects, but especially ones involving older homes, are somewhat unpredictable and you never really know what surprises you’ll find behind the walls, or in our case, in the ceilings! Mike and I got the keys to our new home on August 4th, and we decided to set up a temporary bedroom to spend our first weekend there. Since we were leaving for Portugal the following weekend, I didn’t think we would crack down, and do a full demo of the house, but I was wrong. I should have known that the man I married will never get rid of the ants in his pants…so needless to say, Saturday morning, bright and early, we started to hack away at our beautiful new home. With the help of some good friends and family we managed to accomplish a ton. Our renovation had officially begun, and it was super exciting!
I had never really thought about buying a house or what end of town I wanted settle down in. When I met Mike that all changed, and where to build a future together was the hot topic we discussed most often. City versus country, east versus west, bungalow versus two storey, buy land and build versus buying a home, buying a turn key ready home or a fixer upper to make our own…we talked about all of it, and we talked about it ALL the time. Mike had it in his head that he wanted to buy a country lot, or home in the east end of town. He liked the commute to his downtown job, and he wanted a big wooded lot to fully engulf himself in country living. I, on the other hand, hadn’t thought much about what it was that I wanted, and was open to all possibilities. In this particular instance, not being decisive or having a strong opinion left my poor husband flopping around like a fish out of water.
A shorter commute to work, close to nearby trails, privacy in the backyard, and a big enough house to grow a family/host as many of our loved ones as we can I soon decided were my primary criteria. Mike, on the other hand, had a different laundry list of must haves for his future nesting grounds, and his top priority was acreage. He wanted a place where he could utilize our yard to its fullest potential, have a bit of privacy and that feeling of country living. As the hunt began, our opinions began to change, and our broad spectrum of what we wanted narrowed pretty quickly. We looked at numerous lots from 70 acres to 3/4 of an acre. They were all so different, and each brought very strong positives and negatives to the table, but in the end none of them were hitting the nail on the head.
As Mike often did, one morning he sent me a link to a house for sale on a 2.5 acre lot just outside the village of Manotick. Manotick is an adorable, quaint area south of the city that runs along the Rideau River. I have always loved Manotick, but since Mike had always been so keen on moving more east, I never thought to propose the idea to him. Although he was very unfamiliar with the area itself, he loved what he saw in the home listing. It was a split-level home that appeared to be in great shape, but was fairly dated. Originally, we both had agreed to not take on another renovation (we had both done a few to date!), but of course we ignored our inner judgement, and decided to attend the first open house. We were in trouble, we both loved the house, and although I was apprehensive because of the amount of work we would have to put in we went ahead and called our realtor, Natalie, to schedule a second showing. Before we knew it we were signing on the dotted line….WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!
The next few months will be busy to say the least, but we are both thrilled to be starting our next big adventure in our very own home! We will be sure to post updates of our renovation, and progress at the house along the way! Stay tuned… 🙂
Also, if anyone reading lives in the Ottawa area (or is hoping to ;)) and needs a realtor, check out Natalie McGuire! She is the most fantastic, hard working gal, who will truly make owning your dream home a reality.
I'm Jessie, and welcome to Cool, Calm & Cozy!
This space is an outlet for me to connect with my creative side and keep long lasting memories with my family. Writing and making videos of our adventures together is a passion of mine, which I hope brings joy to my whole family presently and in the future!
Hope you enjoy Cool, Calm & Cozy, and thanks for following along!