The month before my first child was born, my husband and I bought a fixer home in Los Angeles. Armed with youthful enthusiasm and a do-it-yourself attitude we set out to turn a run down 1907 craftsman house into our home. Little did we know that twenty years later we would still be working on this first remodel. Needless to say, the story of renovating this house has become the story of our family. It is the place where lessons were learned, challenges met, and frustrations vented. It is both the money pit and the savings account. It is the witness and companion to our children growing up and our hair turning grey.
The photographs in this selection are from the early years when the construction was the most invasive. When our son was three, we lived in the attic while we had the electrical replaced and ripped the lower floors down to the studs in some sections. The original kitchen of the house was in the basement, so every morning we walked down several flights of stairs across sub flooring to get to the bathroom and fix our breakfast. Later we moved from floor to floor to accommodate the work that had to be done. With more money or a different attitude, things might have been different, but to live in the construction is the choice that we made.
This, of course, is an ongoing story with another bathroom, a porch, and a staircase to finish before our original remodel will be complete. I’m looking forward to taking those last couple of photographs. Then, of course, all our improvements will be worn out and we will have to start again.