The Before/After Shots

A lot of friends have been coming through the house lately and I’ve found myself pulling up the before pictures a bunch recently just to show them where we started.

We’re not even close to done on the whole furnishing the house part, and believe it or not, we still don’t have gas (getting used to cold showers after that heat wave!), but I think the before/after shots are pretty dramatic so far anyway. Most the pictures are from various blog posts, but for my own sake, I wanted to see the visual transformation all in one place, i.e. to remind myself how crazy we were to start this in the first place!

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Living room
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First Floor Bathroom

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Upstairs kitchen area
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Upstairs Bathroom
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Upstairs bedroom
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We’ve been here almost two months now and I still can’t believe it’s done, even though its something we’ve been anticipating for a ridiculous amount of time.

Work is not nearly done though, now it’s just coming out of our pockets. Our leaky stairs are getting blasted out today and replaced with new ones.

We actually found our guy through We put in our job request and they sent it out for us to the vendors they have in their system. People called us!

After hearing about 4-5 bids (one of them having the audacity to bid $1500 more than everyone else, another saying he would do a ton of work in person, then sending us in writing a bid for just repaving the concrete), we settled on the guy who seemed like he bullshitted us the least. So far, he has been really communicative over email and phone, had one tiny slip up which he apologized for (he was 1.5 hours late to bringing us our contract), had a really reasonable bid, and a contract to match, including the shortest estimated completion time of anyone (taking that with a grain of salt, but he was pretty insistent on it). His was also the only bid which included granite tile steps, which set him apart immediately. Everyone else stuck to concrete and cement. Outside the box gets the money.

He is supposed to be starting today, so fingers crossed that it works out. This should be, um, fun.


4 thoughts on “The Before/After Shots

  1. Sounds (and looks) as if all the desires of your hearts are being met. So happy for the 2 of you. You made some terrific choices in your design throughout the house, especially the black and white bathroom!!

    • Thank you so much! That bathroom design was a fluke – we were *this* close to buying different tiles, and had even told our contractor to (and had almost paid extra because the shipping costs put those tiles out of our budget), when we randomly googled “cool subway tiles” for our kitchen and a picture of b/w stripes popped up. Luckily, our contractor hadn’t made the other tile purchase yet!

  2. Hi there!!

    I’ve been following your story for a while and have always meant to leave you a note. Congratulations for finally getting in there!! The place looks great. I know how you feel. I bought a house in Bklyn but not one that I thought needed a lot of work – new staircase, open a wall here, make a cut there. Somehow I ended up in a 95% full gut (no floors, walls, wiring, plumbing, etc.; 3 floors and a basement; 2 apartments). We went from an estimate of 4 months of work to an actual 9 months of work, all while I paid rent on a rental. And I had no idea what I was doing the whole way through. I like my contractor but there were lots of fights about slow progress and I just never felt like he was in any rush. And of course, we ran into issues along the way like finding out that the previous owners didn’t waterproof the foundation of the extension to the house so when it rained it poured into the area under the extension and then into the basement. We had to excavate the neighbor’s yard to waterproof my house. And then there were the DOB issues and the hurricane on top of that. And after I finally moved in (only b/c I told the contractor I couldn’t extend my super expensive lease anymore and was moving in on Jan 31 whether he liked it or not) the DOB decided to audit my architect’s work and they hit me with a violation for something that was on the approved blueprints and that I see in all new Wburg/Gpoint condo projects. So I had to resolve that. 🙂 Here we are 6 months later and I still have a list of touch-up points that the contractor has to address. LOL So, believe me I felt your frustration and I know the relief you felt when you finally got in! So, again, congratulations!! Wishing you tons of happiness in your new home!!


    • Wow, reading your comment just gave me flashbacks! When we found out we had to redo all the electric and plumbing, we almost lost it. I liked my contractor overall too, for but some reason, almost every contractor I’ve encountered seemed to be missing any sense of urgency. His subcontractors were even worse. I think I would have just given up if I found out I had to waterproof the entire foundation of something. Congratulations to you too!! Glad everything worked out for you as well and happy homeowning! Thanks for reading!

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