Welcome to my DIY disaster!

Howdy! I’m Ryan, and welcome to the Lee Street House of Awesome!

Back in 2001, I bought my first house… a 1950s Tucson bungalow on Lee Street. It was a great fit for a single guy who didn’t know a lot about houses. All my friends said it was “cute”. Not exactly what I was going for, but it was solid and I saw it had potential. My first-ever DIY home improvement project was banishing the peach kitchen walls behind a much more manly cobalt blue, and replacing the nasty pink tile and dog-hair-infested carpet with glueless laminate.

Boy was that fun!

Over a decade later, now with a wife and two kids, we’re still in the same house on Lee Street. On the inside, it already looks nothing like it did when I first moved in. But it’s still small, under 940 square feet with one bathroom, and that about the size of a typical walk-in closet. I think most families would have moved up, but we decided to stay. Our goal is to transform an ordinary old bungalow of no particular historical value and with very little curb appeal into our house of awesome… and try to keep our sanity in the process!

This blog aims to document that transformation. Mind you I am not an expert or a professional at remodeling. I have a day job and it’s not in the construction field. Construction is just what I love to do. I’ve gotten a lot from other folks who blog their home remodeling adventures, so this blog is partly to give back. I’ll share what I learn, but I’m fumbling my way through most of what I am doing. The fact that I narrowly escaped having a useless seven-cubic-yard reinforced concrete lump in the back yard is testimony to that!

Of course I’m not doing all this alone. I have help:

Andrea. My lovely wife. She's a social worker for a local adoption and foster care agency. She's also really good at cutting tile.

Ian and Ellen. They are great helpers and good listeners. Unless they get distracted. Which happens often.

The Cats. We have two kitties, Sammy (the fat, lazy, grey cat) and Sabrina (the spunky, friendly, white cat). Both are completely useless and are of no help on the job. Sammy yowls all night and Sabrina claws the woodwork I’ve refinished. Despite this they still demand to be fed, paid attention to, and cleaned up after. If they weren’t so darn cute and furry they’d be branded as takers and thrown to the coyotes.

Sabrina and Sammy


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