WHAT HOME REMODELING IS REALLY LIKE. 3088 4160 Indoorsy // @fortheindoorsy

You know what makes home remodeling SUPER FUN? The amount of surprises you get. It’s like it’s your birthday every day except for you never get what you actually want and all your presents suck. And you have to buy them.

But if we’re going to continue with the present metaphor (and we are ‘cuz why not?), I have to admit the unwrapping is pretty fun. If you’re not following me on the metaphor train here, I’m talking about demo. We have torn up a lot of our house. One might could argue we are taking it too far, but trust me when I say there are very few things you could do to this house to mess it up.

So what is a house renovation like? Basically, home remodeling is like excitedly unwrapping a present, quickly seeing the gift you got is terrible, and realizing that there is no gift receipt. That’s what it’s like.

Like all the super-cool YouTubers, you can find our house haul below:


bedroom wall

As if the bedskirt curtain wasn’t enough of a gift! Consider this the before picture.

molded insulation

And consider this the during photo. When Zach and his dad pulled out the batt insulation, it was wet, as was the particle board behind it (which I’m sure has some technical name that I don’t know). Granted, we kind of anticipated this since the paint was peeling, but we definitely didn’t think we would have to rip out the entire wall and get new siding. Which brings me to my next point: we’re getting new siding because our current siding is letting water leak in. While this is definitely an added expense we hadn’t budgeted, we aren’t too mad about it since we aren’t major fans of the siding we have now. To remind you, it looks like this:

house exterior

And this is the siding we’re ordering:

wood siding example

Note that our house will never, ever look like this, but maybe we can consider them long-distance cousins. You know, like that relationship you have when your fun fact is that you’re the great-great-great-great granddaughter twice removed from Abe Lincoln. Like that.

Everyone told us we definitely need to get Hardie Siding over vinyl, since it is nearly indestructible and requires no maintenance once installed. Hardie is a fiber cement lap siding that won’t leak and has a wood grain look. But we really like the look of real wood and have been seeing it all over Austin in remodels and new builds. The only problem with real wood is that it’s not as durable as Hardie, but ultimately we just didn’t want to spend money on something that we didn’t love.

Enter WoodTone. We found it online but their website has a total of about 0 information on where to get it, which made us think that it could probably only be purchased through a builder since Home Depot and Lowe’s didn’t have it. Then at the advice of our friend, we went to McCoy’s and voila! It was tucked away in the back! So we ordered it. Once it’s installed you’ll be seeing it here. So that’s the story of our siding surprise. On to the next one.


Another surprise we weren’t anticipating — the aftermath from our termites’ last supper. termite damage in bathroom

I’ve indicated all the damage with the plethora of yellow arrows in the photo. It’s crazy because you can very clearly see where they came in through the drain line and ate their way to our bathroom. One of the contractors came in and said the bathroom is essentially supporting itself since they ate the bottom of the load-bearing beam. We’ll have to have the whole shower reframed, so that will be super great. I hope they ate themselves into a food coma for eternity.


There are lots of gnarly repairs we’ve found during our home remodeling escapade. We’ve unscrewed a light and seen scotch tape on the wiring and you’ve seen the tape from both of the bathrooms. #tapefixeseverything By far, the biggest pain we’ve had has been the laminate filler tile that was gorilla-glued to our subfloor. Luckily, it was only in the bedroom (how’s that for optimism?!), but it still took three men and an entire day to remove (Thanks, Jose & Scott!). We think it was laid to mitigate the sloping from the foundation issues, but whatever kept it in place really kept it in place. We ended up renting a mini jackhammer from Home Depot for $80 just to remove it. I’d also like to note this little jackhammer was definitely not designed with ergonomics in mind, and the guys were basically crawling along the floor to get this stuff up. It was horrible. And there is still pieces of tile just glued to the walls from where it would fracture, fly across the room, and then land. If you ever end up in the home remodeling space and find yourself with this tile, I have no advice — only pity.

subfloor with filler tile and floor tile

TILE (round 2).

And as soon as we had finished with our first tile-on-tile fiasco, we encountered it’s ugly step brother, tile-on-formica. This was much less of a pain, as we just kind of scraped it off, but I still will never understand why you would lay tile over everything. #tileandtape

tile on formica


So that’s our overview of all the fun surprises we’ve encountered in home remodeling. The gifts we ended up with were new siding, new siding, filler tile, and formica. I will say I’m happy to not get the one gift I thought we would receive: asbestos. Our insulation is fiberglass and our popcorn ceiling is drywall texture, so I can only complain so much.

Until next time,

Z + B

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