house shortcuts, and a thankful thursday

I don’t think I’ve made it any secret that we remodeled our house as cheaply as possible. We took some major shortcuts along the way, too. Most of these shortcuts and money-savers are NOT things I would have done if this was a house that we intended on selling. However, this house will stay in our family after we leave, whether its used as a rental, a guest house, a place to crash, or even a starter house for PB and his wife one day (sniff, sniff).

Knowing that we wouldn’t get a return on this house and that we (hopefully) wouldn’t be here forever, we cut every corner that we could. We didn’t need the house to look like it was straight from the pages of a magazine, nor did we need the house to have a ton of extras. We needed a roof over our heads and four walls around us. We wanted to be comfortable and functional, but didn’t want any frills that would cost extra money. Once we hammered down our budget, we wanted any savings and extra money to go towards our dream house fund. Would I like to redo the cabinets in my kitchen? Sure. But I’d much rather take that money and use it to buy the cabinets for our dream house some day.

So here are some shortcuts we used to cut down the costs of the remodel:

-We hired a single handyman at a reasonable price to help with the remodel, instead of getting a crew of folks. We (Ben and I and my family) were able to be the extra helping hands that he needed.
-We bought our laminate flooring for the kitchen and bathroom on clearance sales. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but it worked just fine and the price made it extra appealing.
-We used wood scraps. Luckily, my dad has a stock pile of old wood from various projects. We rummaged through that pile and used anything that was salt-treated and in descent shape.
-We used Pergo flooring. We loved the look of hardwood, but didn’t want to pay the price for it. So we used Pergo instead. It’s made to look like hardwood. We’ve been really impressed with its durability.
-We didn’t gut the kitchen. It was the most recent addition to the house, so we just painted the wood paneling and put down new laminate flooring.
-We put ceiling fans in every room. We don’t have a central air system, and instead we use window units and gas logs. Adding ceiling fans helps to circulate the air in our tiny house and keep the temperature comfortable.

We used the same principle when it came to decorating. We started by using everything we already owned, and then we filled in the gaps with hand-me-downs or thrift finds. We were able to outfit the majority of our house with already owned, or hand-me-down furniture. By slapping on some paint or adding our own accessories, we were able to give new life to our second-hand things.


It’s Thursday, and I’m thankful! Today, I’m thankful for:

1. Our youth revival. We’ve having a youth revival soon, and we’re excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. We’re praying for a wonderful time of praise, worship, fellowship, and fun.

2. Our garden. We had our first rookie garden this year, and I was very pleased with the outcome. We enjoyed fresh veggies all summer. I froze most of the corn, and just finished canning salsa. That will be a nice treat this winter!

3. Dessert. I know this sounds crazy, but I’m thankful for dessert. I’ve been on a major sweets binge this week. Seriously, I’ve contemplated stopping for ice cream every evening after work. Is it okay to eat ice cream before dinner? For dinner? Good, I thought so! I made these babies after gathering some inspiration from pinterest. I don’t have a fancy ice cream cookie bowl thingamajig, so I just used my old muffin pan and my granny’s holiday cookie recipe. It made my heart sing:

4. Football season. College football kicks off tonight, which equals the most wonderful time of the year in our household (second to Christmas). Ben has got another football watchin’ buddy this year, and I’m beyond ready to fix the first pot of chili for the season.

5. Consignment sales. I went to a baby consignment sale last week and racked up for PB. Between my mom and I, we got 2 huge bags of clothes and two big bags of toys for $50. When PB was a wee little baby, I bought all new clothes for him. I watched him spit up on them. I watched him poop on them. And now I watch him smear his dinner into everything he wears. I lived. I learned.

What are you thankful for today?

Have a blessed Thursday 🙂


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