WPC: Optimistic update on house renovations.

As some of you may remember, almost two years ago, hubby and I bought a house which was in a very sad state, after standing abandoned for over four years with the roof leaking in many places. It was full of black mold and some of the ceilings were on the floor. After getting a new roof put on in September 2014, hubby almost gutted the whole house, and has been steadily working away at renovating it, almost single handed. He’s filled three large dumpsters with tons of rubble. We did get a company in to rip up all the floor tiles, and also had all the windows replaced with hurricane-proof glass. The rest has been done by my one-man-band-do-it-yourselfer, in between three trips overseas, and a week long visit to meet family in Key West.

The WPC ‘Optimistic’ seems a good opportunity to give you another update on the progress made so far. I know that my blog friend Jude is dying to see some photos. I have to be very patient, as things always take longer than anticipated, but I’m optimistic that one day in the not too distant future, I will look out every day on this view from our lounge window. Unfortunately there’s no alligator, but maybe we could import one, if the two in the lake outside our present home should have babies.

DSCN6763This is my half finished bathroom,


with a round tub, which I can sit in and look out of the window. It will have steps up to it.


The shower between the two bathrooms is almost finished and we’ve just ordered the frameless doors, which will be installed in just over a week.


Hubby’s bathroom is also almost finished. I took this photo a couple of days ago, and all the black and white trim is now in place, so it looks quite different.


Hubby is very proud of the barrel ceiling in the master bedroom, which took a lot of effort to put up all on his own.


The bedrooms are at the moment full of boxes of our ‘stuff’ as well as furniture, sent over from South Africa.


This is going to be my little nook off the bedroom, where I can write and paint.


The guest bathroom is almost done except for the sliding glass door on the bath and the wall cabinet.


The front bedroom is finished, except for cleaning up and setting up the bedroom furniture which is still all wrapped up. Window blinds and drapes are in the mail.


The grand-children’s room is also done except for the furniture, and clearing out the boxes etc..


One day this will be our outdoor living area, protected by insect screening.


The large living area is being divided up, and this will take at least another sixty sheets of dry wall. Hubby has already used a hundred sheets for replacing walls and ceilings in the rest of the house.

This will be the dining room, which also has a barrel ceiling like the main bedroom.

DSCN6750The kitchen will be in this area, and it will have a pressed steel ceiling.


Here will be the laundry room with a door into the garage.


The family/TV room will sit at the end of this area., and my piano somewhere in between, and the sitting room is off to the left.


The twenty-four heavy round things, which I carried inΒ after the kerbside delivery, are the bases and tops of the twelve 8ft columns, which will be strategically placed around the living area.Β  The two of us managed to lift each column onto the wheelbarrow, and wheeled them into the house one by one.


Hubby’s study will be here, just off the entrance hall.


There’s still a lot to do, including laying the hard wood flooring, designing and installing the kitchen, and of course lots of painting.

I’m very optimistic that by next summer, I’ll be able to hang a hammock between these two palm trees, and relax. I might even let hubby have a go in it, if he has nothing else to do.

DSCN6767.jpgTo see more optimistic posts for the WPC, just click this link.

144 comments on “WPC: Optimistic update on house renovations.

  1. You really have a winner Sylvia, your husband is just terrific. I admire all the effort he has put in to create a beautiful home that the two of you will be so proud of for years to come. If anyone can make the move into your home in a little over two weeks, it is the two of you. My hat’s off to both of you and good luck in your efforts.

  2. It’s a good thing you’ve been living in a different house while all this major renovation is going on! The house looks fabulous. I can see your vision and your excitement for it! How far is it from the house where you’re living now? I’m sure you’re both very proud of yourselves for doing all this. So, when will you move in?

    We’re getting ready to go through a big renovation ourselves, but we’re having a contractor do it. Neither Mike nor I are that handy, plus Mike is working full time and stressed out enough as it is. We’re doing ours because when he retires in hopefully 5 years, we want to sell it and move somewhere out of northern Virginia, possibly near Asheville, North Carolina. Good luck with your move! πŸ™‚

  3. I’m in awe!!!!! Is this still in your current neighborhood? (General area)
    Wow, He sure took on a huge challenge. Very impressive indeed!!! I love everything you have picked out. As you might have imagined, it is taking me longer to get back into the swing of things here at home;) But I’m getting there , so glad I’ve backtracked, this is amazing Sylvia

  4. The house is coming along really well, Sylvia. It is going to look absolutely beautiful! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience with the RUC it’s ‘patience’ πŸ˜€

  5. Your home is going to be spectacular, Sylvia! What an awesome job your husband is doing! I have one of those who is a one-man band, although I do try to help when we take on a project. Usually better I stay out and away though, lol. Looking forward to seeing you laying in that hammock this summer! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Donna. I’m sure I’ll be able to help a lot when we move in. Usually if I ask if I can come over and do anything, he says that he’s better working on his own, so I just go over and sweep up his mess. πŸ™‚

  6. Many thanks for this update. Wow … much progress. You mentioned next summer – summer of 2016 or 2017?

    Hubby is quite the craftsman. A tip of the cap to his efforts. Are you the designer and decorator?

  7. If it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for? I guess this will be your ‘forever home’, Ad. Himself won’t be able to take on such a large project again. May you both be very happy in ‘her’ πŸ™‚ (and I love that barrel ceiling!)

  8. Keep the optimism – I bet it’s going to be great!
    I’m amazed at how you’re keeping it together (I’m having headaches by just looking at the pictures, haha!). Undoubtedly, you guys work best as a team πŸ™‚

  9. I think your hubby is a super-man and you are wonder-woman. It is taking shape, but oh my Sylvia, will you be living in it in 3 weeks time? The thought brings images of camping and cooking over camp fire. What a challenge and adventure. Keep us informed it is a fascinating story.

  10. You’re going to be the happiest of landladies in this comfy, modern, and sensational apartment!
    Moving into a new house is like experimenting a new life….
    Congrats !

  11. Wow , Hubby has done more miracles. the bathrooms look splendid with beautiful tiles everywhere. It has come a long way since from the start. You will enjoy living there, after such hard work, it will be great to relax in the bath, bed, living room, in the garden well everywhere. The ceiling is amazing and he has a right to be proud of it. He can be proud of everything he did in this house. Just amazing!

  12. I’m in awe .A tremendous effort and achievement so far by both of you Sylvia – it really is a project and a half to take on such a venture , but the views here are looking like it will be so worth it . Brilliant was -it -REALLY- ever- like- this pictures to look back on as you swing in that hammock πŸ˜‰

  13. Hi Sylvia,
    Absolutely fantastic – also been waiting for this update. Hubby has done an amazing job and I am sure it is going to look super when all finished. Good luck to you both for the new house and we will all I am sure, be waiting for the “before and after” photo’s!

    Good luck

    • Well, unless you’re moving before the 19th February, we will beat you to it. Someone mad us an offer we couldn’t refuse yesterday, with the proviso that we’re out of here by then. They wanted to make it a week earlier, but we said, “No way!” πŸ˜†

      • OMG!!! How crazy is that? I guess you’re lucky to have the house sold, but not so lucky to be living with the ongoing remodel project. Done that, wouldn’t want to do it again. Wish you all the luck and success in what is apt to be a hectic upcoming weeks!

  14. Thanks for the look around your new house, your hubby is amazing, I love the barrel shaped ceiling in the master bedroom. And you do a good job of keeping your blog going with all that building and boxes around you!

  15. Wow…it has been two years? I remember when you posted about purchasing this house and all the work that was going to be required!!! Love what has been done so far Sylvia, you both must be so proud of the changes. We did the same kind of thing in 2010…took a home to the studs and renovated or shall I say rebuilt the whole house. Took my husband, his cousin and my son 15 months to complete…so I do have some idea of what you are feeling. I’m so happy for you, hope you love every square inch! Love your view… H

  16. Wow! I get the impression that hubby is only happy when he has a project to do and now he is super happy and once this all finished he could hire himself out!!!! He is amazing….I bet you are enjoying the planning and interior decorating…

  17. Wow I have a gigantic smile on my face Sylvia-12 years ago we bought our beach home Estate. Working on it took years so I can so relate. It is now a completed 6,000 sq. ft. home that a growing family like ours can enjoy. There were times while working through lumber, commodes, tubs, tile, hardwood flooring, dust, debris I wanted to pull my hair out (and it is to my bottom/butt) yes really…It is so worth it every single day I am in awe. My hubs is also an Engineer! When I sit on our Lanai and hear the Ocean, see the Ocean I have lived on my entire life (including childhood), I know just how lucky I am and NEVER take a day for granted! Cheryl x

  18. Thank you for the update Sylvia, it is going to be a spectacular house, your hubby has done so well on his own, you are so lucky, mine can’t even use a drill, bless him! And that view from your kitchen and lounge is superb. I can’t see how you will ever have time to blog or paint you’ll be too busy gazing out of the window. I do have to ask whether the bath tub comes with steps inside to help you get OUT of the tub! I think I’ll have to stick with the walk-in shower πŸ˜‰ Very glamorous πŸ˜€

    As for moving in, no way Jose, if I were you I’d be in a rental for 6 months, so you can at least get those bathrooms and the kitchen finished! Good luck! Sounds as though you’ll be moving one way or another before me!

  19. Wow. What a gorgeous place you’re going to have! But OMG what are you going to do with the offer on the house you’re in? You have no kitchen in the new place yet! This could be more of an adventure than you thought! Can’t wait to see more pix as you finish it up! You are one lucky girl!

      • That is pretty impressive. I admire people with DIY skill. Really looking forward to see after completing renovation. In Asia people try to downsize as we are too lazy to clean..you two sound very energectic couple. Admirable

      • can I borrow your energy then? hahaha. Life should be like that. My landlord is 85 and when I go for jogging, I try to avoid him as I run slower than him. I also can’t stand every time he pass me and said ” hey, Hnin, please hurry up”, it’s embarrassing as I just turned 4o and he is supposed to be slower than me. I am like ” Grrrr…”: But I realize this is the way I want to live my life. He still go for hunting in the jungle at 3 am in the morning which I think is a bit dangerous. Sometimes I am awed when he told me back his story of seeing a tiger or a bear in the forest. Sometimes I wonder Are we become lazier ?

  20. This house will be stunning when it’s finished, Sylvia! I thought our simple little house was a lot of work when we built it, but nothing like this.

    • Thanks, Carol. Hubby does enjoy doing things on a grand scale. In the past I’ve had to live in houses that he’s been working on, and have lived with all the mess, and even had to ‘walk the plank’ across one entrance hall until he’d demolished a wall, and used the rubble to fill in the floor, before cementing and tiling it. Thankfully this isn’t the case this time. I just have to go and sweep up the ankle-deep sawdust occasionally. πŸ™‚

  21. Wooooooooooooow what a giant work has done your husband all alone.This house will be a palais and in a few months it will be your warm house thanks to yourfantastic husband.Congratulations to him

  22. Seems so beautiful dear Sylvia, but yes, there are a lot of things to do πŸ™‚ But I think most exciting part is beginning now, to decorate and to place the furniture… Good Luck in your new house, and be sure I am so happy that Mr. Alligator won’t be there πŸ™‚ Thank you, love, nia

  23. It’s looking bright and airy and the views are lovely. Those barrel ceilings are so architecturally clever. What an ambitious project and so perfect that your husband actually enjoys the challenge.

  24. Can you please hurry up with my guest room!? Geez! Everything looks so promising, esp. the bathrooms. The ceiling fan looks real cool! Very impressive for one jack of all trades to be doing it. It’d be hell of an accomplishment when it gets done. Good luck with the progress.

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