DIY House Addition: Month 9 Wrap-Up

It’s a pretty sure bet that when I’m talking about DIYing a house addition and/or living in a garage, I’m going to make some sarcastic remarks about the state of our mental health. It comes with the territory. I’m going to break form a bit this month and just say this: Month Nine was the month of supreme confidence. As in, there was such a feeling of, “Don’t worry babe, I got this” that I did the same thing I do whenever life gets too easy: Added more stuff to my plate.

First, I had to admit in a big way that fifteen years ago when my orthodontist was all, “If you don’t wear your retainer you’re going to have to come back here for braces every few years” he was not bullshitting. And now half of my teeth are in what I’ve been affectionately referring to as “oral traction” for the next four months, and my food intake is limited to things I can swallow without chewing… so basically water. It does good things for my temperament.

And then MysteryMan and I decided to put the 60 hours of residential builders classes we took last winter to use by signing up to take the official exam and get our licenses (assuming we pass.) Basically we’ve got two weeks to re-learn everything there is to know about construction codes and how to frame a house.

Meanwhile, back at the house, we’re making some good headway on things like heat and drywall, and at least one of us is finding things like picking out the exact right tile for the bathroom so the universe doesn’t implode a slightly more difficult task.

Month 9 Progress: Heat, Showers & Taping Seams

Let’s take a look at how the interior is looking now, (which is basically just like last month, except the drywall seams are done-ish):




There has been some significant progress on the bathroom showers as well, the most notable thing being the completed show pan (making it totally ready for tile that I haven’t ordered yet).


Here are the things we’ve accomplished from last months list:

The list was much longer than that, and here are some of the items we expect to wrap up in the next week (in construction speak, that means 2-4 weeks, depending on the weather… builders classes? not a complete waste of time):

  • Picking out bathroom tile – I have the wall tile for the master shower, and a good lead on the wall tile for the full bath
  • Texturing walls- Expected to start next weekend
  • Painting ceilings- Expected to be finished next week
  • Framing in the master bath tub – Expected to be finished this weekend
  • Ordering cabinets- Expected to be finished this weekend

We’re also adding to that list:

  • Tile started in master bath
  • Trim and stain picked out for windows
  • Interior doors ordered
  • Paint color picked out for master bed/bath

Month 9 Injury Report: Wolverine or Cement Board?

The biggest thing to report this month is that either a rabid animal attacked me in my sleep or I somehow managed to make 10 perfectly parallel scrapes on my arm while hanging tile board in the shower. You decide what’s more likely.


Month 9 Financial Status: That sound you hear is my tears echoing inside an empty piggy bank.

If you want a more in-depth look at our financial “plan” I talked about some of the thought process in Month 6. I plan to lay our financials bare in a “how much did DIYing this save us” post soon, but I can only look at so many receipts and spreadsheets at a time before my eyes start to bleed.

We’ve officially crossed the threshold of “using money from the sale of my old house” to “saving up for the tile I want to buy for the shower”. We have an exceptionally small mortgage (hence payment) so we can save up the money pretty quickly, but it will likely be the end of the year before we’re buying kitchen appliances. I’m getting real good at cooking meals on a hot-plate though.

Month 9 DIYed and Didn’t: I win?

We’ve reached that time in the house building process where I get to do the heavy lifting with finish work, and MysteryMan gets to wander around with a bewildered look on his face wondering what he should do now. After nine-months of non-stop mental and physical work, it’s hard to let go… I think the football playoffs have been easing his transition though.

Here’s what we tackled ourselves:

  • Tile board in showers
  • Filling in screw holes and drywall seams (on the walls, not the ceiling)
  • Electric in the basement (with the help of our Chief Electrician)

Here’s what we had professional help with:

  • Finishing the drywall on the ceilings and inside corners
  • Installing the shower pan
  • Making the geothermal system work

It wasn’t the craziest or most exciting month in the process, but things will start shaping up around the house pretty soon.

4 Responses

  1. Just found your blog and added it to my reader, and am at the moment printing your post on dry wall work since I am going to be mounting a cabinet into my daughter’s bathroom wall this weekend and will need to do some patch work.

    Nice blog…


  2. I think the hardest part of any major DIY is the letting go of some part of it and letting someone else do it. I find its best to busy myself with something totally not related to the DIY (aka hockey playoffs) and you can be sure there is not one damn thing being done in this household by moi during April-June if when the Penguins are playing. And for the hubby during Dec/Jan its= Go Steelers! I’m sure Mystery Man will appreciate if not totally approve of the team choice 😉

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.