Young Widow Forum

Time Frame => Beyond the First Year (1+ years) => Topic started by: April on May 17, 2016, 08:08:28 AM

Title: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 08:08:28 AM
Does anyone find themselves impulsively making improvements on their house?  I don't know if it's a part of the grieving process or what.. but I can't seem to stop and I need to or I'm going to have financial problems.. a friend of mine told me that I'm the 3rd widow she knows that dove into home improvement projects after their spouse passed away.. just wondering if anyone is experiencing the same thing.. if and when or how you were able to stop.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Portside on May 17, 2016, 08:33:35 AM
After my late wife passed I ripped out all the landscaping and replaced it, did a complete (down to the studs) demo and remodel of the kitchen and master bath, and painted every other room in the house.

So, yes. :) I stopped when I ran out of rooms to redo.

Best wishes - Mike
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 08:45:37 AM
I am limited in my abilities to do big projects like that!!  I'd love to though!!  I did replace my garbage disposal by myself.. which was a new adventure for me.. I wasn't about to spend 250 to have someone else do it.. the garbage disposal itself didn't cost that much! you tube is great!! I redid my oldest sons room.. updated the heating and air conditioning.. redid my laundry room and created a "family closet".. makes laundry sooo much easier.. I redid the flower beds.. redid the living room.. got a security system.. and am working on a new back door and garage doors.. I have a lot on my list.. I even got estimates for an addition.. which the cost is insane so I quickly scratched that idea.. I'd like to put a deck on though.. but like I said.. I need to stop!!
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Mrskro on May 17, 2016, 08:51:37 AM
My husband passed away in our master bathroom, so I completely gutted my entire bathroom, room, closet everything had to go. 

I've now renovated the entire house.  Top to bottom, the only thing left is the kitchen counter tops and main stairway carpeting which will happen shortly.   

I've now moved on to the outside.  Ripped up the old front walkway (it had sunk about 4 inches)

I'm not in a position to move so I've changed our house to mine. 

Not sure where I'm going to stop.  I'm running out of projects.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 09:12:44 AM
Wow!  Did you do that all yourself?  I'm afraid to do deconstruction/construction like that.. I want to knock out my kitchen wall to make one big living space (we've always wanted to do that.. but never got around to it).. it's a weight barring wall.. I'm scared to do somethings.. especially stuff like that! 

I never thought of it as "making it my house as apposed to ours".. but that makes sense. 

For now I have more projects than my mind can handle.. I don't know what to do first.

My husband didn't pass away in the house.. he was in the garage.. which is detached... I couldn't get rid of his car fast enough though.. so I can see how you would want to gut your room.

Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Mrskro on May 17, 2016, 09:37:20 AM
A friend of mine is a contractor so he did the plumbing and electrical.  I took out a closet and expanded my main bathroom so he did all of that.  Moving plumbing is way over my head.   

 I installed hardwood in my bedroom, guest room, main living room with my kids.  We painted everywhere ourselves.

I'd like to take a load bearing wall, between my and living room but it doesn't make sense.  Financially.  But I wouldn't do that.  Myself.

I did quite a bit by myself or with my contractors help.   Most things were done together as a second set of hands helps with construction.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 09:49:11 AM
That's great.. I've been trying to find contractors that don't charge an arm and a leg to help me with some projects.. I don't want it for free either.

I have to get a tree cut down in my yard.. it is dead and I'm afraid it's going to fall onto one of the kids.. I won't let them play under it.. $1500 to cut a tree down is insane to me.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: mmg19 on May 17, 2016, 09:49:53 AM
My abilities and money were limited but "you tube" became my site of choice and I took on maintenance projects like a mad woman.  Once I accepted the reality that it was up to me alone to take care of the house I made a list of all the repairs and maintenance that had to be done and between  the help of Home Depot and Lowe's I felt good about my new skills.  Painted every room and closet, fixed a leaking commode, refinished scratched and marred bedroom furniture, rehung several doors, and installed new backsplash in kitchen. 

I knew I had to sell the house and could not afford major renovations and it paid off when the house sold.  In retrospect, I feel my DH was with me each step of the way.  This helped the grieving for me because my mind and body were exhausted at the end of each day.  Building confidence that you can make it on your own seems to be common among widow(ers). 
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 10:20:31 AM
I see it is quite a common thing for us  :)  .. my go to site is youtube too.. I had to call a plumber out for the dishwasher (because I couldn't figure it out.. lord knows I tried).. he said youtube was killing the industry.. I said.. if I can do it myself I will.. it cost too much for you guys just to come out here.. $65 just to look at it  >:(  so no wonder people are trying to do things on their own.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Trying on May 17, 2016, 11:31:13 AM
Instead of home improvements on our house I decided to downsize, bought a smaller home last summer and am now going crazy with home improvements on the new place.

I think for me it's about making something that reflects me and the kids and our life now.  And control.  I loved my DH dearly but he had control issues, now I'm in control and I may be going overboard, lol
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 17, 2016, 11:43:19 AM
yes.. I  can relate to enjoying being in control and going overboard! I have to watch myself!  :)
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: MrsDan on May 23, 2016, 03:55:23 PM
http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/sarahwinchester.cfm

Need I say more? I work in cultural resource management, where Mrs. Winchester's pursuit is something of a mystery, but it makes total sense to me.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 24, 2016, 09:10:24 AM
I saw a show on that house a while back.. quite bizarre!  I'd love to walk through it!!  It's definitely addicting to me and hard to stop.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Captains wife on May 25, 2016, 06:42:16 AM
Its the whole idea of keeping busy and trying to make your new life your own - and the home is a good starting point. I didn't go to the extent of hiring contractors but I did many DIY projects in my first year as a widow - including hiring a decorator to help with my living room. I re-did my downstairs bathroom with the help of family and there were many late nights that I was in there stripping wall paper....it felt good to have these projects and distractions on my plate. Hope it is helping you but just keep an eye on the budget : ) Contractors can get way out of hand....
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: April on May 25, 2016, 04:11:08 PM
Contractors are absolutely ridiculous!!  My husband and I always talked about putting an addition on.. but never did it.. we also talked about opening up the kitchen.. never did it.. we have a three bedroom rancher.. and 4 kids.. it can be a little crowded..

I looked into putting an addition on.. absolutely outrageous!!! One contractor said so nonchalantly.. "115,000 should do it.. ya know what.. grab yourself 120,000 just to be on the safe side"  :o  Yeah.. I'll run out back and grab it off my money tree   :-\  I had noooo idea additions were that much!! It would be cheaper to buy another house. 

I'm trying to control my impulse to buy/renovate and just stick with things I can do myself and doesn't cost much.. it's seriously a constant effort to control.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: marjoe on May 26, 2016, 05:55:13 PM
April, I did this too, but did it on the cheap. I painted every room in my house over the years. I haunt thrift stores. I took what I had, but changed everything around, furniture, pictures, pillows - that alone seems to make a difference, in that it changed the way I looked at each room. Hmm. I seem to be using past and present verbs here at whim, but I guess it's because "it's" an ongoing process.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: lovelorne on June 25, 2016, 05:25:18 PM
We had done a reno that lasted 8 years, until he passed.  There was literally nothing left to do except the roof.  I sold the house (after 2 years), lived in an apartment for a while, and bought a house for me and the BF.  The house is solid, not fancy, but the yard is enormous and nothing but grass.  I'm going to slowly transform it into paradise. 

FYI trees on the cheap:  arborday.org.  10 free trees! 
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: MACC on November 29, 2016, 09:40:10 PM
I went overboard, hired contractors and spent way to much money.  Wish I would have waited a year or two before i made such big financial decisions. Hope its worth it in the end as far as home value and upkeep.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: MR on November 30, 2016, 10:14:26 AM
We already started reno on our  basement and had to stop due to her hospitalization. Finally told contractor to start again so that I can finish it as dry walls were done and it is mess everywhere. I am 3 month out but still can't find any energy to do work. I have decided to hold all major decisions for 6 months. Have 2 cars and paying insurance but don't want to take hasty decisions not sure if I am doing right or not.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: MACC on November 30, 2016, 10:01:27 PM
If I could do things over I would wait. House looks much better but the money could have been used towards paying off my mortgage sooner. I think it's smart that you are taking your time.

It's stuff we had wanted to do. Once it was done I was sad that he isn't with me and kids to enjoy it. Bittersweet.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: RyanAmysMom on December 28, 2016, 11:57:06 PM
I'm new around here - and was just gonna lurk, but then started reading this thread -
My DH passed almost 18 months ago - We had been renting our home for about 6 years before he passed, and I decided that I wanted to buy the house, so I did!  And since then, I've invested most of his life insurance money into renovations - I'm really starting to worry about my spending......  (kinda)

So far, I've gutted the kitchen and family rooms, re-floored, painted, took out walls and several cabinets.... bought new furniture....  it's kinda out of control.... 

But at least I'm not alone!  :) 
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Jennica on March 12, 2017, 09:33:53 PM
I'm so glad I found this post. My husband did everything. He was the handyman, the mechanic,  the lumberjack. I don't know whether to stay or not in this house. I have 9 acres, a wood burner, and a long driveway to plow. At times I am gunho to stay and take it all on. I have asked my BIL to teach me how to use a chainsaw. I will be learning this spring/summer. I need to do improvements. My husband had started but he had a long list. I want to be able to fix a lot of it myself. I have watched YouTube videos on how to change faucets and leaky pipes. That's going to be something I tackle this spring break.
Loved reading the posts. It helps to know that I'm not alone.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Momtojandj on March 13, 2017, 07:08:00 AM
Four plus years since hubby died. At first I went on a painting spree , mostly to keep busy . Family room was brought up to code and fixed . Now kitchen is being redone. Some of the reasons I've done work to house is because it really needed to be brought up to date , and I needed to have projects . I had thought of moving , but with housing market not great , I'm hoping investing money in the house will pay off in long run.
It is bittersweet , the house looks nothing like it did when hubby was alive , but it's a new start I guess for the house and me .
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: TofinoMan on April 16, 2017, 07:40:09 PM
A few renos turned into an addition and largely redoing my entire house after a giant tree fell on it.
And what is a new house with a giant new garage added on.
So hey since I've gone this far lets add decks and dig out the old pool and put in a fancy new pool to.
Be careful starting a reno...they tend to expand quickly into a massive reno.  :)
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Adventureland on July 04, 2017, 03:11:10 PM
My husband died while we were in the middle of moving to a new home, so I'm keeping on with the renovations we had planned--two baths so far and a kitchen coming up. He had been in favor of redoing the kitchen before we moved in; I thought we should live with the space for awhile before deciding what to do with the kitchen. While we were talking about it, he said, "I don't want to live through another kitchen renovation." That will always stick with me.
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: Wheelerswife on July 04, 2017, 03:21:58 PM
My second husband and I were also renovating our house.  We had just completed an extensive landscaping project that turned our weed pit of a back yard into a huge patio with walls and paths, completely xeriscaped and low-maintenance.  He died unexpectedly 2 months later.  We sat out on our new furniture a total of 10 minutes, as it was December when the furniture arrived and we had been out of state traveling.

I have some regrets that I sank so much money into this house/yard that I will never get back upon selling it.  It was our little forever home...except we didn't even get 3 years of being married. 

My advice to you, Adventureland (although you haven't asked for it!) is to think hard about what you want before making investments.

Hugs,

Maureen
Title: Re: Impulsive Home improvements
Post by: kjs1989 on July 06, 2017, 12:45:32 PM
Haha...I am the crazy widow on the circle everyone is probably talking about.

Less than two years after D died I did an addition to the entire side of my house...another 500 sq feet. Yep, it cost a lot of money, but it was something D and I talked about, but he hedged and hedged and hedged. So I did it. I just did it.

I sometimes think I did it  mostly because I needed a distraction and something to focus on other than grief. I needed to know I COULD do it on my own. It was not too bad, some challenges along the way, but the contractors were great really, and we had fun and laughs. I looked forward to them showing up bright and early every morning. It was a relief  when it was done, but I actually sorta missed the hub bub.

And best of all,  have a master ensuite to swoon in now.