A New Home

Buck, our son, and Lora his girlfriend have decided to start lives of their own.  We’ve known this was a long time coming…they’ve known it was coming.  I’m actually happy that they figured this out while there is still time for both of them to move on and make a better life for themselves.  For some time, they’ve been “staying together for the kids”.

In light of that, Buck has been looking for a house for some time.  I was very adamant that he needed to find a house in the same school district so they could more easily exchange the kids.  He agreed.

The town that they live in is small.  Houses just don’t come up for sale often…and he has a pretty specific need.  It needs to be a fixer-upper with a minimum of three bedrooms.  The three bedrooms because he has three kids, two girls, and a boy.  The fixer-upper because that’s what he could afford.

For those of you who aren’t aware.  Buck works in construction.  He does everything from supervising the building of apartment complexes to side jobs of building decks.  He is super handy and isn’t afraid of a remodel…or even a gutting.

At the end of June or early July, this house came up on the market.  He was at my house at the time with the kids and his realtor contacted him.  With the crazy housing market, he had to fly back to his town and look at it immediately.  He left the kiddos with me, looked at the house, and put in an offer all on the same day.

This is the house.  From the pictures he sent me…I thought it looked small.

I thought it needed some upkeep.  We later found out an older couple lived here.  It got hard for them to keep up with the maintenance.  The outdoors needed cutting and trimming.

All I knew was he was excited…

But, let me tell you, it was… a true fixer-upper inside and out.

The house was terribly dated.  The people had tried to do some updating and added on to the house but several of the jobs weren’t finished.  The house was chopped up and not open at all.  There was wallpaper and carpet that had to go.  The lighting was strange.  See the lights in the far room?

The house is actually really big.  On the main floor, there is a small kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, closed-in porch, and essentially four living room/family rooms.  There are also two bedrooms upstairs.

This configuration wasn’t going to work so what does Buck do?  Rearrange the rooms, tear down walls and give them a whole new look and feel…and how does one do that, GUT THE HOUSE!!

I went down a couple of days in August to help him and had the kids a few days so he could work on it and get it ready for workers to come in.  Although Buck could technically do the work himself, it’s easier for him to hire some of it out and to call in some favors…that’s exactly what he’s been doing.

He’s done so much.  Let me explain the layout a bit.  Behind the wall that the cabinet is on is the kitchen.  It’s small.  The front door is there too.  You can see Buck far off in the picture bending over.  That is the dining room.  The door you see is to go to the upstairs where there are two bedrooms.  Behind the staircase and off the dining room is a room he plans to use as a toy room (one of the four living rooms).

When I took this picture, I am standing in the room that had all of the light fixtures.  Buck took the wall out between the two rooms and is making one giant living room.

You can see where Buck put in all the overhead beams by where he is standing.  He opened that all up.  It was all closed in with narrow doorways between the rooms.  Now it’s open and really nice.

The gentleman who had previously owned the house was a ham radio operator and one of the “living rooms” was his hobby area.  It was never completely finished.  This room also has crazy lighting issues.  It also had a full glass door and a window into the bedroom next door.  It was weird.  Buck is adding a closet, closing the window, getting a new door, and finishing it, and this will be his bedroom.  The white light fixtures are going and can lighting is going to be put in.

Off the now giant living room is a door into the porch/plant room.

Here I am standing by the staircase door.  Buck’s bedroom is to the back left…the plant room is to the right.  It’s actually much bigger than this picture makes it look.

Buck debated about closing in the windows from the plant room to the living room but decided he liked the light they provided and liked being able to see out from the living room to the street.

This next picture shows the room that will be Lucy and Lilly’s bedroom.  It has a HUGE closet.

My main job in helping was to remove all of the wallpaper from this room.

It was this lovely dated blue wallpaper.

I ended up buying this…Wagner Wallpaper Remover Power Steamer.  This thing worked like a dream.  I have removed a lot of wallpaper in my lifetime.  I’ve hated most every minute of it…but this, I loved.  What a game-changer.  We used this scoring tool and this scraper with it.  I HIGHLY recommend all of the tools.  We got the room done in a little over three hours.  That was wonderful.

This is the backdoor hallway…

This is the door to the basement.

Being Buck works with so many different contractors in his work life, he’s been able to get some good deals.  He has a trim carpenter that he’ll be working with.  He had a package of trim for another house but that work fell through.  He ended up being left with the trim package and nowhere for it to go.  Buck ended up buying the package from him.  It will do most of the house but he’ll need more doors.  The guy is making them for Buck.  The package was about half price.

This is the bathroom.  It only had a shower and Buck’s kids still needed a bathtub.  So the shower had to go out and a tub is going in.

These pictures were taken back in early August.  The house is looking better already.  The electricians have been in…the guys are coming in to fix the walls next.  The flooring is ready and waiting.

After the changes, his house will now have on the main floor:
dining room
2 bedrooms
huge living room
plant room
toy room

There will still be two bedrooms upstairs.  I forgot to mention that there is also an oversized double garage with a work area.

This house really needed a flip and Buck is doing a great job with it!

Buck himself plans to move in October first-ready or not.  We’ll see.  It might take a few more weeks before everything is kid friendly and the kids start coming…but that’s okay.  Lora has been great working with Buck on that part.

As Buck allows, I’ll share more pictures of the progress on his new home.

I know for many of you, this will seem like a sad blog post…please don’t look at it that way.  This is a new beginning post.

I want to be totally clear.  Lora is still very much a part of our family…just in a different way.  We love Lora and are so thankful for all she, and her family, do with the kids.  It is such a blessing to know that the kids have good support from each side of the family.  So far everyone has been working well together to focus on the kids and make two good homes for them.  I am confident that will continue.

Our whole family wants the best for Lora, Buck, and the kids and I really think this is a good step toward them having the best life…one where everyone can find happiness.

21 thoughts on “A New Home”

  1. That house really looks great. I’m sure the children will enjoy their home very much. It’s nice that they are working together to give the children the best of both worlds. Can’t wait to see the finish process. ( our house still hasn’t been finished- just hard to find workers who stick with the job till completed- they take the money and run). Best wishes to all of them.

  2. You have written a beautiful blog post today showing your support for your family. I think the house is going to look wonderful. Hugs,

  3. I have two sons, one divorced and one about to be. Sadly it’s not the best relationship for either. Have to move on. Great job for Buck and you

  4. There certainly is a sad note in this blog, but it is great to look at it as a new beginning. I am sure once Buck is in the house he will have it fixed up and looking very cute – he has such a good role model. One thing for sure, all of you kids are such good workers and very talented.

  5. The house will be amazing for Buck and the kids. The renovation seems to be coming along well but not as soon as Buck or you could wish. Sorry to hear of the split up and my prayer is that God will protect the hearts of the kids as they go through this time.

  6. We all need a fresh start sometimes. This sounds like a very positive one for everyone involved. All the best to everyone.

  7. Hooray for Buck!! He’s already transformed his house into an HGTV project, very well thought out plan. I can just imagine how proud you must be— just the fact that he’s taking such positive steps to move forward. And your post is well written, as always.

  8. My divorce was final Feb 2021 after a very lengthy and mostly unhappy marriage. I went from 3300 sq ft to 1100 sq ft and couldn’t be happier. I am looking for a small house for myself and I sure wish I had Buck to consult. Great job on the remodeling job, it’s going to be nice!

  9. I love your positive outlook, Jo! It makes me sad when families fall apart, but sometimes, separate is so much better for everyone involved. Better for the parents AND the kids! Best of luck to Buck on completing the updates in time for the move to his new home.

  10. Best wishes to Buck and Laura and the kiddos. Parents working together to make the lives of their children happy and safe is essential. Good luck with the rest of the renovation!

  11. Buck is a skilled craftsman. I remember the cute house he renovated and sold some years ago. He is making a beautiful home for himself and the kids!

  12. So I can’t say I’m not sad that the relationship is over, especially when there’s young kids involved. However I am glad Buck has found an awesome house so close. Maybe Buck could invest in some child-safe plants for the plant room or maybe grow a sweet potato or two in a jar of water. That would create an awesome jungle-like atmosphere that young kids would probably enjoy.

  13. I am of the mindset divorce or in this case splitting up is not ever a negative choice or event in one’s lives. It is smart to not stay together when one has either grown apart or whatever the case may be. Never is it a positive choice to stay together for “the sake of the children”, in fact I actually dislike that phrase and mentality. Yay for new beginnings for the two responsible adults here AND for the kiddos!

  14. I think that house is going to be darling when it’s done – I liked the look of the outside, and it’s obvious Buck is going to make the inside fabulous! Sometimes relationships don’t work out, that’s just life. It’s wonderful that it seems to be amicable: best wishes to both of them (and of course the children) for a happy future!

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  16. When mom and dad are happy, kids are happy! It’s when parents weaponize children that children are irrevocably damaged. If Buck and Lora can be loving parents first and co-parent and be a team, everyone wins! Thank you for sharing what healthy separation looks like!

  17. When mom and dad are happy, kids are happy! It’s when parents weaponize children that children are irrevocably damaged. If Buck and Lora can be loving parents first and co-parent and be a team, everyone wins! Thank you for sharing what healthy separation looks like!

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