What started as a little Instagram page to update our families on our farm reno pretty quickly gained some attention that we never expected in the crazy world of the internet. One year, 200 posts, 12,000 followers and over 92,000 likes later here we are. In the spirit of our gram-aversary (yep, that means Instagram anniversary) we wanted to share five things we’ve learned through sharing our journey with total strangers on the internet. Here we go:
Now I don’t take this lightly when I say this – people really love old houses. A huge portion of our followers found us from Elizabeth with Cheap Old Houses sharing our story (her page is the actual jam by the way, stop what you’re doing and check it out if you’re living under a rock and don’t know what we’re talking about). We’ve also had alllll kinds of requests related to our old house not limited to; save the moldy wallpaper, recreate the moldy wallpaper, save the wood slivers from demo, save the straw insulation that filled our plaster walls – you get the gist. We love saving this old place, but at the end of the day we have to make our home safe for our family, and strong enough to last another 100 years.
We may actually not know anything at all. Every week, heck every day we learn something new about this project. I swear I could be a soil erosion specialist by the time this whole thing is complete, or plaster removal expert, demolition ninja, bird nest abatement professional, bonfire craftsman, scheduling executive, house moving connoisseur, beer drinking emperor or even a porta-potty ordering master.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s a huge pain to stop what you’re doing to take photos. Not sometimes, just about all the time. I do have to say there’s not a single photo we’ve ever taken, or have had taken of us that we regret. There’s a setting on most cameras (I shoot a Nikon) that has interval shooting and a self timer. So at the end of the work day we prop that baby up, set it to take something like 100 photos in a row, and run around like chickens with our heads cut off.
Okay okay, this one sounds a little harsh, but it’s the realest thing I’ve written. We’ve had so many messages come through saying things like “I can’t believe you didn’t save the crumbling plaster, why would you ever get rid of the unsafe basement, why would you ever take down the siding, I’d never spend that much money, your house is so big, your house is so small, why wouldn’t you just tear the house down, you must make a lot of money to be able to afford this, I wouldn’t take this on in my wildest dreams.” Every day we get messages like this and they used to drive me insaneeee. It’s so easy to say, but one year later I know that no one’s opinion of our choices and our home matter, as long as we’re happy in the end.
Sean has been sandbagging the insta game for months!! Twelve months to be exact. I was working the other weekend and asked him to post a few updates on our stories while I was gone all day. I’m not kidding this guy put my sad/awkward stories to shame! Complete with a whole house tour he totally killed it. Myself on the other hand, records at least three times before I get one decent take without deleting my video or dropping my phone.
Demolition is a riot. Except when you find living raccoon families in the walls or knock down one of the walls in the basement on accident. Then that’s not the greatest.
The best part about sharing this whole process with strangers is reminding people they can literally do whatever they want. We bought an abandoned house, slated for demolition that wasn’t even for sale. We get messages almost weekly saying, “You’re living my dream!” Guys – you can do this too. Sean likes to say, “we really have no idea what we’re doing, but we see an end goal and we’re figuring it out together as we go.” Save all the old houses – heck, build a house and paint it hot pink with zebra stripes. Everything and anything that you could possible want exists, now go tackle your adventure.