Home Renovation: Fresh Cement and Rain

We recently gave the exterior of our home a revamping. Notice the pictures? I know what you are thinking, it sure needed it! Yes, it did! In the process, I requested for my husband to remove those brick boxes because I felt like it limited our space. In fact, I often joked that it seemed like we had to walk in a straight line as we walked in. I felt like we were the duck family as we assembled ourselves in a straight single file line. No thank you! So, we removed the brick. It was something I’ve wanted to do from day one, but we’ve focused on the interior of our home for 3 years. Since we will be hosting a birthday party soon, we knew we had to revamp the exterior of our home.

Now that I’ve provided an unnecessary amount of backstory on the home, I apologize, I am heading into what I’ve learned about pouring cement and how the rain affects it. Goodness! I am doing this to provide guidance because I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake. And, yes, it may seem like common sense, but common sense may not always come so naturally, I know, the shame!

Here is the story. After we removed the rocks, dirt and bricks, we hired a neighbor to help us pour concrete, since he had all the necessary tools. Sadly, we didn’t check the weather. That night, after a wonderful session of concrete pouring ended, we went to sleep. Unfortunately, we didn’t check the weather and woke up to pouring rain. Even worse, the rain hit the fresh concrete with force because we do not have gutters above our threshold causing extreme downpour on that area. The concrete was ruined! The rain created a little lake of water through the concrete therefore exposing gravel. Luckily, the neighbor just charged us for extra concrete and used a quick dry concrete to just patch it up. It turned out well, but after the devastation happened. This could have been prevented if we would have simply checked the climate or covered the area with tarps or umbrellas. Word of advice, check the climate before you pour or cover the area.

Phase 2: The dining room

The dining room is a place to gather for more formal dinners. Growing up, I used to dream of the day where I would prepare elaborate dinners and have dinner parties. My best friend and I used to talk about this all the time. Then, reality hits. You have kids and realize that throwing dinner parties can be quite expensive. So, we currently limit ours.

For the most part of the renovation, which really means installing the floors because we are still renovating and updating, we resided downstairs, in the dining room. Notice Sarah, my daughter, dancing. Let me just say, it was so difficult. There were days I felt like throwing in the towel. Mr. Renaissance, my husband, would remind me of the end result and how great things will be once we are done. It is far easier said than done. Now, I can look back and reminisce, but at that time, the end result seemed a lot farther than I wanted to admit. Our daily lives consisted of dusty, concrete floors (no matter how many times I vacuumed), two mattresses on the floor–in the dining room, a restroom and dust EVERYWHERE. All over the place. We lived out of the suit case, ate sandwiches a lot, and practically lived in one room. . .the dining room.

The final pictures are the current dining room. We are still working on a few things, notice the picture frames at the end, I will be hanging up these with term inserts on the sad, lonesome wall above the bar cart. I will post an updated picture once it’s completed. It may not be wonderful wall art to most, but to me, I love it! Mr. Renaissance will also be putting in wainscoting (like we did in the bedroom), we will paint the dinner table and I will be reupholstering the dining chairs.

Phase 2: The formal living room

The formal living room used to be separated by, what I like to call, a dinosaur wall. We knocked it down because the formal living room felt incredibly small, separating the family room and formal living room. I didn’t like the wall. It obscured the view from the family room to the entrance, which I don’t like. I felt like if someone was knocking on the door, I wouldn’t be able to see it if I turned.

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Phase 2: The rebuilding of the family room


Before: MLA picture of the family room before the purchase.


Before: A horrible picture I took of the house still owned by the previous owners.


Before: An open house picture of the house.


Before: Yay! We bought the house, but this “dinosaur” wall was bothering me.


Before: My hubby knocking it down.


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Home: Phase 2 – The conquest, the rebuilding, the exhaustion of the kitchen.

There is one thing I realized during the live-in renovation of our house. . .if the kitchen or the master bedroom isn’t completed first, your whole life is chaotic. The moment the kitchen and bedroom were ready, I felt a great — GREAT weight lifted off my shoulders. I instantly felt a ton of weight released into an obis. If you can’t cook or sleep in peace, life is simply horrible.

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Before: Our home, phase 1: The teardown. . .arrrrggggg

My husband and I purchased our home a little more than a year ago. We purchased it in dire conditions. Notice the –as I like to call it– “dinosaur” wall in the middle of the two living rooms, the blue-green carpet, the multi-colored room, the standard oak kitchen cabinets and vinyl floors. Unbelievably, there was carpet in the . . .gasp. . . master bathroom (I didn’t take pictures)! You will find my two kids, hubby and my –not knowing–pregnant self knocking the “dinosaur” wall, pulling the carpet and removing all material down to its bare self. Oh, the agony of long, tiresome days, but, nonetheless, we managed to strip it all. What an indispensable relief. Soon, the long days of work, school and weekend renovations became followed by the selection process, budget planning and quote assortment, but, for the sake of this post, I will keep this as phase 1: the teardown.

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