I Have Become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator

I Have Become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~

Typically when I post a blog it is something I hope is inspiring, informative, pretty and polished. In other words I share my shining moments, my proudest efforts and my Sunday best. But you and I know that real life doesn’t work that way. During the past year I have had my share of bigger challenges and smaller issues and a couple of months ago our home was affected by water damage.

There are a few things that I have learned over the years that give me strength and perspective when things like this happen in life and they are:

  • Life is never perfect.
  • Life will always have its challenges.
  • Always maintain dignity.
  • Look for the positive things amongst the negative.
  • This too will pass.
  • What is the lesson that can be learned?

This latest challenge has given me a new title in life. I have become an “Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator” that is teaching me all kinds of new lessons.

Let me explain…

We recently had a water damage to the house caused by a newly installed but defective kitchen faucet. It was a higher end faucet from a well respected company that had been installed by a professional plumber. Unknown to us the defect in the faucet caused water to flow back down the faucet and make its way into the the kitchen sink cabinet, flow in behind and down to the basement ceiling and down one basement wall. My husband was downstairs and happened to look up to see a very water soaked ceiling with a water stain about 3 metres long and growing. The ceiling had become so soaked that it had started to drip onto the basement floor.

It is amazing how much damage water can make. This was definitely a home insurance claim. There was damage to the kitchen sink cupboard, countertop, and sink. There was damage to about one third of a wall and one third of the ceiling in the basement.

Shortly after the insurance claim was filed and approved the restoration company came in and ripped out everything that was damaged by the water. They brought in two huge fans and dehumidifiers, one for the basement and one for the main floor. These ran nonstop for five days to dry out all of the water damaged areas. All of the basement furniture and other items were packed and moved to the garage and spare basement bedrooms. They took away the damaged kitchen sink cupboard, countertop and sink. As a result, the dishwasher had to be dismantled and is now sitting in the garage. The kitchen drawers and cupboards under the countertop were emptied and the items were stored in boxes and plastic bins in the kitchen.

The water damage occurred the third week of May and it took about a week to complete the restoration work. As I write this it is now the third week of July and the renovation work has just begun in the basement. It looks like the kitchen won’t be done till the end of the summer.

Now why do I call myself an accidental reluctant renovator? There are several reasons. Prior to this accidental water damage I quite liked how my kitchen and basement looked and wasn’t looking to make any major changes. I prefer to do small projects and minor improvements. This restoration/renovation was not in the plan and I ma feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the work that needs to be done.

I do have to say there are a lot of good things happening with this project. I am fortunate to be working with an awesome insurance adjuster and project manager. Mark, the project manager is taking care of coordinating everything that needs to be done and is consistently keeping me informed. That is so nice not to have to do all of that myself. I get to make the big decisions about what kind of granite I want for the new kitchen counter, what new paint colours, lighting, dishwasher and new paint colours. I do have to hang around the house to allow the various tradespeople to come and go so they can do their work.

What are the lessons so far? I am learning about different types of products including granite and kitchen sinks. I am really enjoying working with an excellent project manager respecting his excellent communication and organization skills. Lastly, I learned that a project like this takes a long time to complete so it is not worth it to complain or get upset. It is what it is. When everything is done it will probably have taken four to five months but I am confident everything will look amazing and most importantly be restored.

I thought I would share with you some photographs showing what my kitchen and basement look like temporarily. I will warn you though there is nothing that you want to pin on Pinterest. I do plan to do a reveal when everything is completed to show the restored and renovated new spaces so stay tuned for that.

Come take a look to see how…

I Have Become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator

This is what the kitchen looked like before the water damage. Here are other images of my home in the article Ten Tips For A Smart Eco Friendly Home.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Before image of the ktichen

Here is my temporary kitchen sink that I have been using for a couple of months now. It is a plastic laundry tub. Now I know why most sinks are stainless steel. This plastic stains easily and repels liquids making it very hard to keep clean.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Temporary kitchen sink while restoration and renovations were completed.

This is the space for the dishwasher.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ The dishwasher was removed during the four month restoration and renovation.

My husband placed a piece of plywood covered by a bath towel where the kitchen counter used to be. This is where we put the dishes to dry after they have been washed.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Temporary kitchen counter made out of a large piece of plywood.

This bin is for the dirty dishes…

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Plastic bin used for collecting dirty dishes.

This is what the kitchen counter looks like without the countertop. I just happened to have these extra plastic bins and they have been very handy.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Temporary kitchen counter during restoration and renovation work.

This is where we keep the cutlery, knives and measuring tools for cooking. These white bins are resting on top of a big piece of cardboard.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Temporary cutlery storage in plastic bins during kitchen restoration and renovation.

Everything that was stored in the cupboards under the damaged kitchen counter are now in these boxes…

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Kitchen cupboard storage in cardboard boxes during the kitchen restoration and renovation work. I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Temporary small appliance storage in cardboard boxes during restoration and renovation work in the kitchen.

I don’t have a before photograph of the basement but this is one where you can see how much of it was damaged. This is the rec area that is furnished for watching TV.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Ripped out basement

All of the openings including the window were covered with these zippered plastic sheets. These are a bit of an obstacle course trying to get through especially with a full laundry basket on your way to the laundry room. There are actually three of these and they have been up for two months now. But they do help to keep the dust downstairs.

I Have become An Accidental Reluctant Home Renovator ~ Zippered plastic covering at the stairs and entrance ways to keep out the dust.

Thanks for allowing me to share my latest challenge. As you can see my life is far from perfect. Have you gone through an accidental unexpected home renovation?

 Take Care,


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  1. says

    Ohh you poor thing…I am so sorry! I really hope things go a lot quicker for you….That is rough being without a full kitchen. I think my grocery budget would go berserk by ordering takeout…lol
    Christine recently posted…Rattan Blind DIY UpdateMy Profile

  2. says

    You poor thing! It’s one thing to choose to do a renovation and to prepare to be inconvenienced but when you are forced into it, it’s not quite so fun. I hope the end result is well worth it!
    Paula recently posted…Tequila MojitoMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Paula for your empathy. You totally read my mind that this unexpected reno is more of a hassle because it was unplanned. But I do feel very fortunate the insurance and the restoration company are taking care of everything and I end up with a freshened up basement and some new kitchen features! It is turning out to be a positive thing!
      timewiththea recently posted…Carrot Mandarin Orange SaladMy Profile