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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

French Farmhouse Update: Learning to Cha-Cha

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Sometimes life requires a little "cha-cha".  It's been awhile since I've updated you on progress here at the farmhouse.  That's mainly because there has been none.  After approximately nine months of working with a builder who we thought was going to do this project for us, he stopped returning calls....he simply disappeared.  Don't get me wrong, this is a big project...a HUGE project and we don't have unlimited funds so I can understand if he changed his mind. I just wish that he would have let us know six months ago.

I have interviewed five other builders and the cost estimates to complete this project have come back over twice our budget.  Not at all like what I saw last weekend when I watched the Property Brothers marathon as I was stenciling Sadie's bedroom.  The Property Brothers rehabbed eight or nine different homes each of which took eight weeks or less to complete and none of which cost more than $175,000.  Clearly, I'm doing something wrong.

The estimates that I've received to rehab our 1800 square foot red brick ranch in the Chicago suburbs (with us doing all of the landscaping, exterior painting, and interior finish work ourselves) have been far more than any rehab that I've seen on television with time estimates of six to eight months  to complete the project. I'm pretty sure that I could build a new house for less money than a couple of the quotes that I've received.
 
So, I'm waiting to hear back from two remaining builders before I take a step back, scrap the plans that I spent a year developing,  and go back to the drawing board to start over to redesign a rehab for the farmhouse that we can afford to build.  

In the mean time, I'm making the best of living in a house with walls torn out, windows painted closed, and no air conditioning.  I'm painting a little furniture, doing a little landscaping and helping  friends with projects that they're working on. We're living in three rooms and have never been closer as a family.  I'm thankful for that...and the fact that everyone is keeping their sense of humor...so far.


I know that there's a reason that this project has been delayed and I also know that we'll move forward with the renovation of the farmhouse when the time is right. In the mean time, I'm learning a lot about patience...and faith...and perspective. After all, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing more than an inconvenience...just a little plot twist in the story of my life....a story that is far from over. 

Thanks for reading.