Water Damage, Demolition, and Where We Go From Here

Over the weekend, while Robert and I were in the living room folding laundry, we heard Olivia yell from the front of the house, “Mom! Dad! There’s water coming out of the walls!”

We ran to find the drywall in our stairway bubbling out with water pouring down the stairs.

I immediately felt my stomach drop as Robert ran to shut off the HVAC system that was leaking all the way up in the attic.

We just had 90% of our HVAC system replaced a few weeks ago and knew immediately it was the culprit. So we called our HVAC company and USAA homeowners insurance to see just how bad the damage would be, crossing our fingers that we caught it in time.

No such luck.

Our house is now partially ripped down to studs, but we’re so thankful Olivia noticed it or else it could have been much worse.

Yesterday, the water mitigation company showed up with fans and dehumidifiers, and we’ll have to navigate where to go from here.

Originally, back at the start of the New Year, we had our master bathroom renovation on our house goals list. We’ve been chipping away at a lot of home improvement projects that we’ll share more about here soon (like our backyard, a few components in our living room, and our dining room).

But then, as Murphy’s Law would have it, our old HVAC system failed, followed by foundation issues that could only be fixed to the tune of an accumulative $26,000 we financed. (Insert loud gulp.)

Thankfully, the damage is being covered by the HVAC company and our homeowner’s insurance. But a full bathroom renovation? Not so much.

Last summer, we did this quick bathroom refresh to tide us over until we felt prepared to do a real reno.

Now, we’re faced with the questions, do we just put the bathroom mostly back the way it was without paying out of pocket? Or do we go ahead and do the bathroom renovation we’ve been wanting to do even though that will be a heavier financial hit but cheaper now than if we waited until later?

So we’re going for it. We don’t really see a way around it.

It’s scary and overwhelming, and I’ve definitely shed a few tears amidst all of the unknowns. But we’re excited and thankful… oh so thankful for a mostly intact house, our family that is safe, and loved ones showing up with so much support when we’ve needed it most.

I am so grateful for all of you, for every comment on Instagram and Facebook, for every message in my inbox. In a time like this, I want to curl in a ball and hide to process everything, but I feel so unbelievably blessed by y’all.

It might be more quiet than usual here as we try to sort through our next steps, but we’ll be back. And we’ll be able to see those silver linings in hindsight one day soon.

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  1. God’s got this! Pray for His wisdom and leading and don’t get ahead of His perfect timing. Stay in the Word so that you can feel His presence and joy as you go through this trying time…together as a family. We will all keep ya’ll in prayer!

  2. God always provides…just do your part, let the contractors do their part, and leave the rest to Him!

  3. Last summer we had a flood and massive multi floor repair so I feel your pain. I found your blog then and used a lot of inspiration from you to do some awesome improvements along the way during the repairs and tried to make lemonade out of the flood of lemons. Not fun while it’s happening but seeing what y’all are capable of I’m sure this will make for some great projects you will love.

  4. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for you for wisdom as you move forward and continued grace for the day to day. 💜

  5. Sending you lots of prayers. You are beyond amazing. Just think you will have a bathroom you really have wanted at the end of all this. Sorry, it happened. As, you say you are blessed with your families health. Take care

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your water disaster. Dear Olivia to warn you. I know that this is a setback but you and Robert will make the right decisions for you and your family, albeit hard ones. Good luck and wishing you all the best. It hurts me to see the damage when I have watched through the years all the hard work you have put in your house .

  7. Sendings lots of ❤️ & 🙏🏻 your way. You are such an inspiration to so many and my absolute favorite blogger. I know that you & Robert will turn this into something amaaaaaazing!

  8. The same thing happened to us about three days after the new HVAC installation. Not the one in the garage, but of course the one in the attic. Hope it all goes smoothly for you.

  9. Go for it now. So sorry for your disaster, but in a few years you will look back and realize it was the right thing to go for the reno rather than just the fix. You may not feel like it at this moment, but you are young and will enjoy the outcome of your hard work.
    Blessings to you, little sister.

  10. An unfortunate turn of events, but the silver lining is that your master bath will be remodeled and I know it will be stunning. Will miss you in the meantime. Hang in there!!

  11. I’m so sorry to see that you had water damage. This will be a distant memory soon – and your home will be put back together and so beautiful again. Wishing you the best.

  12. What a terrible shame after all your lovely work,but as we know you will rise above and do even better.

  13. You are in my prayers. We bought a house 4/2020 and had a short list of priority projects (roof, proper venting of fans, garage doors). Then we discovered an exterior issue to the tune of $11k. Then in 10/2020, we discovered mold in the entire lower level (family room, laundry room, hall, closets, floor). This began a mold remediation and gutting and rebuilding. 30k+
    And now we think our foundation is shifting.
    Anyway, I totally feel the feels, and can say taking it one day at a time is best. Again, praying!

  14. You are handling this with such grace! I am like you and don’t do well when things don’t go according to plan. I am blessed with a great husband who balances me out like yours does. I can’t wait to see the end result. It will be beautiful!

  15. Hi,

    We were facing the same question after water damage. We made the decision to go ahead and tackle the full remodel. It was a little painful upfront but saved us quite a bit in the long run. It’s hard to do make-do in-between remodeling because one thing always leads to another in even minor redos. Better to just get it done, emotionally and financially. We were happy we did.
    Good luck to you!

  16. Good girl! You made a very smart decision. Since everything has to be redone anyway….now’s the perfect time! A financial hit now, but down the road, you, and Robert will be glad you did.

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