My Fixer Upper in Lafayette

Buying a fixer upper for the first time can be quite overwhelming. For most of us, after the closing, we may be faced with a tight budget since we just performed the largest transaction of our lifetime.

Buying a fixer upper for the first time can be quite overwhelming. For most of us, after the closing, we may be faced with a tight budget since we just performed the largest transaction of our lifetime. We want our house to feel like a home immediately. So, we quickly begin making a list of the things that we need and projects that need to be done. The list starts off small and continues to grow quite quickly — and you begin wondering, “how will I ever buy all this stuff and transform this space without breaking the bank?”

My husband and I faced these same concerns when we bought our first home almost five years ago in Lafayette, Louisiana. Since we could not afford what we truly desired, purchasing a fixer upper seemed to work in our best interest. I had a vision of what the house would look like someday, but the reality of it seemed far from believable — especially during those first few months. We had to accept that our dream would take time and patience.

Through the process of renovating our home, I realized that the house we lived in was more than just a place to come home to at the end of the day — it is a place where we have created our story and continue to follow our dreams. Nearly five years later, we have slowly accumulated one-of-a-kind furniture pieces (most of which were either built or refinished by my husband) and tackled multiple home renovation projects room by room. By staying motivated and learning different ways to save money by doing it ourselves, what I once could only perceive finally came to life. I am so pleased to present to you today the before and after pictures of our very own fixer upper. (Note: photos to the left are the before, and those to the right are after the renovation.)

The Kitchen

Kitchen Before & After

Kitchen Before & After

Dining Area

Dining Area Before & After

Living Area

Living Area Before & After

Living Area Before & After

The Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Before & After

Master Bedroom Before & After

The Master Bathroom

Master Bath Before & After

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom Before & After

The Guest Bathroom

Guest Bathroom Before & After

Here are five lessons we learned after completing our fixer upper:

  1. It will take more time than you think. Every project we conquered, no matter how large or small, always took longer than we expected. Either life got in the way, we ran out of materials, or the project just required more time than we predicted.
  2. It will cost more than you think. Although we saved money by doing it ourselves, we always went a tad bit over budget with almost every project. This was not a huge issue for us since we only dove into one project at a time. My best advice is to accept the fact that your house is not going to transform overnight. Taking a room-by-room or project-by-project approach is probably your best option.
  3. You will make frequent trips to the hardware store. I feel like I frequented Lowes or Home Depot at least four times a week while we were knee-deep into a project. Thankfully these stores are only a short drive away from our home.
  4. Disagreements with your spouse will happen. Let’s face it, we are all human and cannot agree on everything. My husband and I had to learn how to compromise with one another. Looking back, I believe our relationship is stronger and my heart expands with an even deeper love for him now that we have surpassed this huge project.
  5. The result is worth all of the effort. Our pride for our home truly shines when we share the story of our fixer upper with family and friends. By working together, we were able to truly transform our house into a home.

Celina Michel is a local lifestyle blogger in Lafayette, LA. Her blog focuses on home decorating and healthy living while also following her life with her husband Brett. She has been blogging since 2013.

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