This interview is from the January 2011 issue of CreativeHands News.
When I asked Janice for an interview, she said, “I just took a quick look at some of the projects, I really don’t think I should even have mine on here, my cabin doesn’t compare to the house’s I have seen.” But I think she is a perfect representative of what HomeRefurbers.com is all about.
1. What has brought you the greatest joy during the renovating of your cabin?
I guess the greatest joy would be working with my husband on this place. Although he probably wouldn’t say that. I’m like a drill sergeant and always want to know what we’re doing next. He says I’m killing him. Getting the help we sometimes need from family and good friends has been a lot of fun too. Not to mention the compliments we get from everyone that comes out and sees the place.
2. What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge I would have to say has been dealing with the floods. We had a major flood in 08 and we started the room addition in 07. In March of 08 the flood took our road out. The farmer couldn’t fix the levee and the road until 09 so we had to walk in or boat in for a year. That was hard bringing in supplies.
We had to boat my kitchen cabinets in just to get them out of my house and make room here. I lost my frig and stove in the flood, so after several months of living out of a cooler we finally brought out the new ones. Had to bring them in on wagons. That was a challenge!
But really our biggest challenge has yet to come. The old cabin was originally built by my dad in the 50’s. He later added a screened in porch, then a bathroom. We had an outhouse until the 70’s. Well, over the years of floods, the bathroom stilts are all leaning. We need to straighten this up with come-alongs or tear it off and rebuild it. I’m not looking forward to that. We are so close to being done, I really just want him to straighten it up and put new post in. We’ll see, maybe this Spring.
Other then that, my biggest challenge was the mudding and taping the ceiling. I hate it and so does he. I opened my big mouth and said, I could do it. I never want to do it again. We gutted the old cabin and that’s as far as we’ve gotten with that part. But I can guarantee, no drywall is going in downstairs.
Since the place is so big now we had to put in central air and heat and I love it. But the air conditioner has to go on the roof because of high water. That was also a challenge. I couldn’t even watch them get that up there. They had to use a tractor and put it in the bucket to lift it up there. My husband and my brother stood on the bucket with it and lifted it to the roof. I thought for sure someone was going to get hurt doing this. They barely had enough room for their feet with the air conditioner on the bucket.
Oh, so many challenges really, too many too mention. My husband has scaffolding 3 sections high. But to reach the peak of the roof when he was putting the trim up he stood on a 5 gallon bucket on the top off the scaffolding. That’s when we decided to buy one more section. I wasn’t there to see that either, thank God.
But back to the biggest challenge, really was dealing with the floods the past 3 years. Sometimes we go 10 years without a major flood, but like in 93 he had flooding for 3 years. I hope we’re done now for awhile.
3. Besides the financial element, tell us why you and your husband decided to renovate your cabin yourselves?
As far as why we decided to do this ourselves, I guess would be just because we both enjoy doing things ourselves. I really don’t know of any other reason other then money.
_Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Janice. I think many of our “CreativeHands” members can relate to your story – well, maybe without the flooding!
-- ~ Debbie, Ontario Canada