The Empty Nest Home Renovation is Delayed… a little

Original Backyard home renovation
The original backyard – There was a super odd looking (and useless) planter in the middle of the pool deck. All of the back of the house has changed with new windows and doors and the second story addition.

The Empty Nest home renovation is…DELAYED, but just by a little.

I know many of your heads are nodding and you are silently saying “I told you so”, but we do have a slight delay of our home renovation. We cannot blame it on El Niño, we cannot blame it on the contractor, we cannot even blame it on me.

building the wall home renovation
Without the planter in the middle of this small yard, it will add more usable space. The new wall being built will add privacy along that side of the yard.

After we finished the outside sandblasting, a few of the windows of our poor little old house started to crumble in a few places and this is understandable. There were five windows, two in Craig’s office, one in the downstairs bath and one in the upstairs guest bath that really just could not be repaired. We made the tough decision to have these new custom windows ordered. They will probably take 4-6 weeks to get them delivered.

This now slows the process down (a little) and we probably won’t move in until around June 1st. That is about 6 weeks later than we anticipated. Bummer.

I plan to look at this bump in the road as just that, a bump in the road. Considering all of the changes we have actually accomplished, it is quite remarkable that this project has progressed so successfully.

The truth is that I wasn’t really ready to move back and leave our daughter Alex. I know that she wasn’t ready either. We have enjoyed our time living in Seattle so much and living so close to her has been a dream. She will have a difficult time when we finally make the move back to Pasadena and I know Craig and I will too.

Although we are delayed, many parts of the house are still in motion.

Laundry room tile floor is finished and it is so so so cute. What a happy little room it will be!

laundryroom home renovation
This is the view to the backyard from Craig’s office. The tiny guest bath is in the foreground and then the laundry room is near the door. The tile is slightly lighter in color than the photo shows. I just love the little Dutch door out to the backyard too.


We expanded the downstairs shower by taking a little space from a funky closet that is behind it. This little area in the closet was virtually unusable so we put it to good use in the shower. This bathroom will be the perfect spot to come in from the pool and rinse off. We chose a simple, white matte-finish subway tile so as not to take away from the adorable floor tile.This is a sturdy cement floor tile and the idea behind choosing this particular tile design was to have an updated Spanish feel. I think we have accomplished that!

building the wall home renovation
This wall has a “window” as well.


The new backyard wall is being finished and we have put in a “window” in the center that will mimic the one that is in the front of the house. The backyard is starting to take shape and it is very exciting.

 home renovation
Until the house has new stucco, it will still look like a war zone.


front wall-1
The opening on the upper left of the wall is the “window” and it will have decorative iron bars. The large square on the right will be for the mailbox. The new decorative wood door will go in the opening between.


Cabinets will be installed this week and next and I cannot wait to see them!

This adventure has been quite a learning experience. It has definitely tested my patience, but I have to say that I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished thus far. It is not easy to make decisions about your living quarters when they don’t yet exist. How do I know what I want or where something should be? How high should this or that be? What is the perfect size and shape table for this room? Trying to figure out just how we want to use the living spaces has been challenging, but it is going to be incredibly cool.

I do laugh at Paul our contractor, it totally annoys him that Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper can do a complete re-do in just a few weeks! Obviously there is a lot going on behind the scenes and it cannot possibly go that fast, but Paul just shrugs and says “They make me crazy! My wife always asks how come your jobs take so much longer.”

TV does not always mimic reality, and the reality of home renovation is that it takes time and most often there are lots of hurdles to jump over before the house is completed.

Thanks for your interest, I can hear you cheering!


More posts about the Empty Nest renovation:

It’s Time for a Fixer Upper Update

The Challenges of Moving Into a New “Old” House

Our Empty Nest Renovation and 6 Months in Seattle

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10 thoughts on “The Empty Nest Home Renovation is Delayed… a little”

    • Thank you Laura! I wish I could take credit for the Dutch door idea – but the architect is super clever. She has created quite an efficient and clever small space house.

    • Noel – Aren’t you kind! Thank you for noticing. I consider this quite a compliment from you, I so admire your artistic talent!

  1. We found a leak in our water heater….the space under our house was full of water, and our wood floors are damp. Mold is in the wall. Mold is not something Randy should be around. We may be doing some renovating! I told my daughter we might make some changes and she said, “you can’t”. I asked why not? “Because then it wouldn’t look like our house anymore.” She wants it frozen in time…forever the same! Maybe we should have it bronzed.

    • Tam that’s funny. I can’t imagine that you would make changes she wouldn’t like. Our daughter moved to another state, she lost her ability to have an opinion about our house. 🙂

  2. Hi Suzanne! Wow! Such an incredible job that it’s not surprising that there are a few delays happening. Just imagine how AWESOME it will be when it’s done. Glad you caught these things early on and what a treat that you’ve been able to enjoy the time with your daughter. ~Kathy

    • Thank you Kathy,we thought the same thing. Although it will take a little longer in the long run we will never feel it. Time is a wonderful gift. So true

  3. I love your tile, so fun! With renovations, it is best to expect the unexpected. Whether it be the weather or a surprise in the house like outdated wiring that needs to be replaced. You need to have a bit of flexibility. Everything is looking great though, thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Laurie! It is so nice to here the validation from someone in the industry. This project has been such a learning experience, but everything is turning out so wonderful! Thanks for reading and for your comments.


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