Our home renovations (read: What we’ve done all summer)

September 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm 20 comments

For those of you newer to this blog, you might not know that we’ve been in the throes of remodeling our home for the last year. Here’s the timeline.

Summer 2008
Found out the duplex next door to our house was being foreclosed on, and got interested in buying it.

July 2008
Bought the duplex. Began the process of getting the tenants out (they were not appealing tenants).

August 2008
What I like to call Phase One began: ripped out and installed a new IKEA kitchen in the rental unit (downstairs unit). Had hardwood floors redone. 4 tons of painting. 16 tons of cleaning. It was seriously horrifying that people choose to live in such conditions. And believe me, in this case, it was a choice.

September 2008
Had tenants—nice ones—move into the downstairs unit. Began Phase Two: kitchen remodel for our unit (upstairs).

December 2008
Moved into the upstairs unit of duplex with our kitchen remodel complete.

A rabbit trail of explanation:
Part of what we did to remodel our kitchen was to knock out a wall between the former kitchen and the 2nd bedroom in the unit. We made the 2nd bedroom into our eat-in area. Let’s do the math, shall we?

2 bedrooms – 1 bedroom = 1 bedroom.

That’s right, folks, one bedroom for four people.

We decided to give the kids the bedroom and put our bed in a little foyer/boot room at the front of the house. Our bed and side tables fit perfectly (seriously, there’s not an inch to spare), and if you shimmy around the end of the bed you can get to the closet. Or if you’re Abraham, you can just throw all your clothes in the living room.

Okay, back on track…

June 2009
Phase Three began: renovations of the attic/3rd floor, where we had designed for there to be 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a little family room.

Thankfully we weren’t doing that work ourselves. Abraham’s brother is a general contractor and owns a company called Piper Construction. He’s pretty much amazing. He has one employee named Phil, who happens to be one of our closest friends. It’s been awesome entrusting our project to them.

The final house breakdown: apartment on the first floor, our family on floors 2 & 3.

September 2009
This has been a full year of renovations. Needless to say, I’m sick of renovations excited to be done.

Right now we’re in the final stages. We’re painting—A LOT. It all began last week when Abraham and I tried our hand at a paint sprayer for the first time. It was our first time in full Hazmat gear.


Lookin’ good, huh?

We’ve moved onto the edging, and there’s a ton of stuff still left to do. That’ll be our Labor Day—laboring for our current and future family.

Thought I’d catch you all up on how we’ve spent our summer. What about you? Done anything insane fun?


Entry filed under: Home.

A Chance to Trust: Traveling to El Salvador in November with Compassion International Today is a Re-living Day: 9/11, Eight Years Later

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. noel  |  September 6, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    love the picture!

  • 2. Neely Tamminga  |  September 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    hey molly… at least you guys have your halloween costumes ready to go this year. not only are they homemade, they are reused. you could go as crime scene cleaners.

  • 3. Barnabas  |  September 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I could tell that was Abraham by the ugly shoes.

  • 4. Kristin  |  September 6, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    It sounds fun although when you are trying to get all of the work done it’s not so much fun. Where are those pictures of the kitchen?

  • 5. jennapants  |  September 6, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    you two look H to the O to the T!

    i have to say this picture also makes the two of you look super tall.

    so excited for you to move to the super cool upstairs!!!!

  • 6. Andie  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:10 am

    this is so awesome- good job staying sane through the process. you’ve been in it a lot longer than me with our kitchen.

    do you have a pic of your kitchen anywhere? I’d really like to see it.

    i’m with neely, I think there is a costume party in order…..

  • 7. laurie  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    we (who were sworn, never-fixer-upper-people) bought a fixer upper too. we didn’t have to move walls, but we removed wall paper three layers deep from almost every room. we painted a lot, and had the kitchen remodeled. We love our home. I am so glad we took the leap and bought a fixer upper. Still, there are lots more projects to do – but not til next year.

  • 8. Melissa Parnell  |  September 7, 2009 at 9:42 am

    niiice outfits, guys. 🙂

    i still can’t believe what the house looks like now compared to the first time we ever saw it. oh, and the mere fact that we don’t have ‘creatures’ anymore…

    I can’t wait for the upstairs to be done and then all yall will have to do is enjoy all your hard work!

  • 9. Frank Turk  |  September 7, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I just want to suggest that it’s the spirit of the old tenants which causes Abraham to leave his clothes in the living room.

    They live in my house, too.

  • 10. scottjisaok  |  September 7, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I bought a house, but no remodeling needed 🙂

    I think your tenants are nice too

    • 11. Molly Piper  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm

      What house? The Vitullos?

      If so, then no, you had no remodeling to do! And enjoy the patio Abraham helped put in.

      • 12. scottjisaok  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:50 pm

        Actually yeah! That’s crazy, I didn’t know he helped. I saw your guys name on a plaque they had, along with the Tongs.

        I was planning on introducing myself to you guys sometime, I want to have each of the BBC families in Phillips over at least once this next year. And all the folks who live on my block. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

  • 13. Elisabeth  |  September 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    We have a rental so although my husband would love to find a wall or two to knock down, we won’t be doing that anytime soon.

    So, in true Seattle-ite form, we went to creating a completely sustainable lifestyle in our backyard this summer 🙂


  • 14. Lee Ann  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Totally w/you about being sick of remodeling! We have been at it for 5 years. Doing it all our self, and only as we can save money to do the next thing. Which means living in the midst of remodeling (ie no flooring, sheetrock missing, etc). Congrats on being close to finished. Hope you enjoy your new space. It is really fun to create a home that fits your family both space wise and design. That part of the remodeling I have really enjoyed.

  • 15. Jane  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Love the “suits”.

    We did a bit of remodeling this summer too. New hardwood flours and lots of painting in the kitchen and dining room areas, so I can sympathize a little.

    It’s great you can do this together!

  • 16. Laura  |  September 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm


    I finished my PhD, went to Europe to do interviews about pirates, moved across the country, bought a house, and started work as an assistant professor. Now I’m spending inordinate amounts of time trying to figure out how to get HGTV to fix the caving-in floor on my screened in porch for free. So, you know, this summer was nothing big. 🙂

  • 17. amy  |  September 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    wedrove 10,000 miles in 3 months, and now we are staying put for awhile!!

  • 18. Lisa Collinsworth  |  September 10, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    WOW! That’s a lot of renovating. I hope you will show us some “before” and “after” pics soon! Sounds like a lot of fun (and hard work!)

    My summer….well, I’m having to do a little renovating of my own…renovating of the heart. My summer didn’t go anything like I thought it would. We lost our son at 31 weeks gestation (very unexpectedly) just 9 weeks ago on July 7th. Yesterday was his due date 9-9-09 and we celebrated his life. My heart is hurting (as I know you understand). I’ve gained so much encouragement from reading your site over the last few weeks…all the way back to when you had a xanga. Thank you for sharing your heart with us! It helps those of us who are having to walk this broken road. I’ve also seen you are a part of the (in)courage site! So glad to see you being a part of that!!!

    Here are my links if you want to learn more about my sweet Noah…

  • 19. 'Guerite ~ BoldLion  |  September 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Amazing! You can remodel my house and add extra room for me!

    You are bless to have it done!

    Great cool picture of you!

    Hungry to eat His Word,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  • 20. robyn  |  September 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I so know how this feels Molly. While we were adding a second story on our last house, we (Ben, Noah and Pregnant Me) moved to a 500 SqFt efficiency for three months. It was exhausting! I feel for you and know that it will pay off! It really sounds like a great project. I’ve been following along on your piperattic site.

    lots of love! I’m glad to hear you are having fun in CA.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

We're the Pipers!

Sponsor a Child!

Sponsor a Child with Compassion!

On Browsing and Commenting

You may be a stranger,
but you're not a stalker.


What the Tweet?!?

%d bloggers like this: