House Renovation: Part 1–We’re Moving In with my In-Laws


It all started last spring. My next-door neighbor sold his house, in about a week, for (IMO) an insane amount of money. I live just north of downtown in a neighborhood called Fall Creek Place, previously known as “Dodge City.” The majority of the houses were built in 2001, when a government grant encouraged builders to implode the previous houses that occupied the blocks and build brand new houses with an “old vibe.” As you’re driving up and down the streets, you’ll notice most homes fall under 1 of 5 designs, with some customizations here and there. Our next-door neighbor’s house is pretty similar to ours in style and specs, and the amount he received for it would have pocketed us a pretty profit! With dollar signs in my eyes, I started casually looking for a new house. But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you a little about our house…

My husband and I bought our house about seven years ago. We were months shy of getting married and looking for something close to downtown (where both of us worked at the time) with somewhat of a yard for our black lab. After looking at a couple duds, we went to a showing at our house and fell in love. The downstairs has an open concept, the backyard was big enough to throw a ball for the dog and have a few raised beds to grow veggies and the upstairs featured three bedrooms that would work perfectly for a guest room and home office. (For those of you really curious, the specs are: just under 1,400 sq ft, 3 BR, 2.5 BA).  When we bought this house, I pictured us being there for 5ish years. Fast-forward 7 years and a lot has changed…

The biggest reason for wanting a new house was space. The open concept that initially made us fall in love with the house was now crowded with toddler things. Despite being pretty minimalistic, I’m sure all of you with toddlers can relate that having a 3-year-old means there is stuff everyyyyyywhere. The open concept means there’s literally no place to hide the million pieces of wooden food, books, stuffies, and random crap that I swear magically just appears. I’ve always known I wanted to have more than one child, and the thought of adding another kid to the mix in our existing space stressed me out. After casual searches on Trulia (Realtors, I know, I know… Trulia sucks and doesn’t always give you the most up-to-date info, but it’s user-friendly!) I quickly realized getting a bigger house in our current neighborhood was completely out of our price range. And the thought of leaving our beloved Fall Creek Place made me sad. That’s when my husband suggested adding on.

ADDING ON?! What?! No. That seems stressful. It’s entirely out of my wheelhouse. It seems expensive. Only adult-adults do projects like that! Ahhh. Knowing that would be my reaction, my husband went ahead and set up a few introductory meetings with some architects to get some basic info—process, budget expectations, timelines, etc. Little did I know that over the next few months, my husband would slowly and methodically warm me up to the idea of adding on.

Now, in the middle of winter, our dream renovation (adding an extension to our downstairs and upstairs, including a nice patio area for outdoor entertaining, totally redoing our first floor which includes kitchen, dining room, living room, mudroom and entry, turning an existing bedroom into a playroom and adding 2 more bedrooms, and redoing all of our bathrooms) has officially started. What does this mean? Well, it means that we packed up every single thing in our house to put in storage, moved to the northside to live with my in-laws, and are anxiously hoping we have a mild winter to ensure the construction delays are limited. Oh, and did I mention I’m four months pregnant?!

All in all, I’m super excited (read: trying to stay positive, but also stressed AF!) for this project. Make sure you check back as I’m sure I’ll post updates on Indianapolis Moms Blog as things progress.