First Flip Update: What it's Really Like to Flip a House

For the past three months, moving forward on our house meant first going backwards. We had to remove tons of plaster, trim, drywall, fixtures, lathe, insulation, false ceilings....and the list goes on. It only takes a few seconds to type out, but completely demoing a room can an entire day, even with three people. The amount of tedious, repetitive and detailed tasks that demoing a hundred year old house entails is c-r-a-z-y. And if we are being completely honest, there are plenty of days that tearing down and cleaning up for the (somewhat literal) millionth time does not at all sound appealing. We don't want to do it. Not again. Not even a little bit.

But we show up.

Not saying that we have always have we been perfect in our consistency and persistency....because we haven't. There have been a few evenings where the overwhelmingness of the project & our shear physical exhaustion takes over our motive to work. But the nice thing in having three project drivers is that typically at least one of us is constantly pushing, encouraging, and charging on. 

The reality of the amount of work going into this project didn't hit us until we were about halfway through demo and it was already taking twice as long as originally planned....and that was supposed to be the "easy part." Its one of those things that you know is going to be more work and harder than you expect....but you also just really don't know what all of that means until you are going through it. With that being said, however, I continue to tell people over and over again that, yes, given the chance, we would still do it again.

Why? Because our skills, knowledge, endurance, work ethic and much more has grown astronomically in the past few months. The road has not been perfect, mistakes have been made, things have been redone, ideas haven't worked out, tempers have flared, and everything costs so much more (in terms of both time & money) than we could possibly imagine. It's easy to say, "We need to put a roof on." Seven words...and a few thousand dollars & three plus weeks of pieced together time slots to work and figure it out. And that's just one of hundreds of tasks yet to be done.

Hopefully this doesn't discourage or dampen a positive mindset towards home renos. Like I said, we don't hate it (parts of it maybe...but not all of it ;)), and we are still very optimistic about the outcome. But the reality is that the middle of this project is definitely been rough. Especially when after 3 months & 550 hours of labor you are just beginning to piece things back together. 

In order to try to cultivate a more upbeat outlook, however, we decided to make a list of things that we HAVE accomplished so far to show that even though it doesn't always feel like we are getting somewhere, we really actually are.

We have:

  • Cleared out FOUR 40 yard dumpsters worth of shingles, plaster, lathe, drywall, fixtures, ect. by hand

  • Replaced a load baring wall with an 18 foot, 4oo pound beam using just three guys and a pulley system

  • Built a 200 square foot addition on the top floor of the house

  • Re-Roofed the garage and 93% of the house itself

  • Framed in 4 windows

  • Removed 27% of the old siding

  • Resided nearly all of the back of the garage (thanks mom & dad :))

To sum up the flip experience so far: It's been a wild ride. A scary ride. A hard ride. But it has already proved to be a worthwhile ride; one we're not ready to get off just yet. Thanks to so many of you who continually give encouraging words and actions toward our family. There are not enough nice words that I could say to you for you to know how much it means, and it is our hope & prayer that we are giving back the same kindness to those around us. 


Julia Rocha