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Why My Renovation Feels Like a Bad Episode on HGTV


HGTV is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. I love the beautiful renovations, but I often look at the homeowners and shake my head. How could they not have an emergency fund for their renovation? Why are they changing things last minute? Why don’t they ever trust that Scott or Jillian or Bryan or Hillary will make their home amazing?

While I’m definitely not on HGTV, my renovation is starting to feel just as dramatic. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show that has been this last week of renovations.

The Renovation Dream Begins

The story actually starts a bit further back when we first decided to take the plunge and tackle the home’s first major renovation to make it livable–the bathroom. I feel like if we were on HGTV they would label this home option the “Mellow Yellow Bungalow” and would definitely be making fun of the yellow fish wallpaper.

We knew we had asbestos in the attic and soon discovered that it was part of our plaster and popcorn ceiling too. *cue dramatic scene of frustration* If that wasn’t bad enough, just as we got in all the quotes, the Hermit got laid off and everything had to be put on hold. *duh duh duh*

Related: When Life Gives You a Plan F

Please say my music peeps who read this blog know exactly what sound effect I’m trying to make.

Actually, no one ever gets laid off on HGTV, but if they did it would make for very dramatic, if complicated television.

The Renovation is On Again

Six months pass, we recoup, and start the whole process over again. Everything seems to be going just as planned. *cue positive sounding music and witty voiceover about things working out* We have meetings with contractors, emails are exchanged, and everything is going according to plan.

[clickToTweet tweet=”My renovation has all the drama of an HGTV episode, but no celebrity contractor.” quote=”My renovation has all the drama of an HGTV episode, but no celebrity contractor.”]

In fact, was are so wise that we call to confirm everything the week before the renovation starts. Ha ha ha, we won’t be like those silly HGTV homeowners. We even have a renovation emergency fund, because with a house this old you know there are going to be surprises.

The asbestos people arrive, we take a camping trip, and everything is still going to plan. The job takes a little longer than planned, but no worries, we’ve got a gap week scheduled in where I’m going to refinish our floors.. . it’s all good.

The asbestos company gives me the go ahead to enter the house again. I eagerly enter the house excited to see my gutted attic and bathroom and then. . . *cut to commercial.*

Disaster. . . HGTV Style

Wait, this can’t be right, my hardwood floors that I’m supposed to be finishing this week are ruined. Okay, this isn’t good, but their insurance will surely cover it.

I pop my head in the bathroom only to discover. . . a bathroom. Why is my bathroom still here?!? I call the asbestos company and I am TICKED. How could this possibly happen? I even emailed a week earlier before the job started to confirm that they were removing the tub, toilet, and sink.

*cue homeowner screaming and crying in shock and disbelief*

*homeowner wants to cry and puke at the same time.*

My other contractors are coming in exactly one week and there is no possible way they can do their job unless the bathroom is gutted. This was the whole point of the renovation.


Things Work Themselves Out. . . for Now

Long story short, both the contractor and I didn’t understand each other, but thought we did. Asbestos company is moving heaven and earth to get the rest of my job done on time, and things should hopefully not be delayed. If they are, it will be by a day or two at worst.

Hurray for asbestos free attics!!

Side note #1: next time your contractor says that your job’s start date needs to be delayed by a day or two, it’s probably because of a job like ours.

Side note #2: No, I’m not going to publicly name the asbestos company. Even though there were issues, I was treated very fairly at every point, so they do not deserve a public shaming.

*announcer asks, Will Kristen and the Hermit get the renovation done on time? Will the budget be broken? Can they handle the strain of extra time on their renovation? Will the company have a decent insurance broker? (Trust me, it makes a difference!!)*

Tune in next time to find out.

Related: Check out our home tour of what is done so far.


Want the latest renovation updates?  I’ll be offering sneak peaks on my Facebook page, so make sure to like and follow to get the latest.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!