Christine Bates Remodels her own house

Riley Neil, Features editor

For most teachers and students, the first week of school is challenging enough. With the stress of  whole new classes and having to once again set an alarm, most do not want any added pressure.  However, Spanish teacher Christine Bates found herself on the first week without a working toilet or shower in her house.

“I’ve ripped out basically everything you possibly can rip out of a house. I am redoing the floors, the kitchen, the bathroom, and repainting everything. The bathroom has been one of the major projects as when I first got it, all it had in it was a tub and carpeted stairs leading up to the tub,” Bates said.

Bates first bought a fixer-upper house to make it into the house she always wanted by DIYing it. She has always enjoyed watching HGTV and doing hands-on things. She was also heavily inspired by Pinterest and realized it wouldn’t make sense to pay someone to do a project that she was capable of doing herself.

“Overall, I just like to learn how to do things instead of having someone else do them. I guess that is the teacher in me. The housing market around here for my age is also very cookie cutter and that is just not my style. I wanted something that has more character that I could adjust things without paying at the top of my budget for, with it still having things that I don’t really like about it,” Bates said.

Renovating houses has become more popular since the Internet and Youtube have been around. Being able to fix and create things on your own is a skill many people have become interested in.  Renovating also teaches one to budget.

“I think everybody should learn how to fix things and do at least basic carpentry. If you just learn how to work basic tools and watch some Youtube videos, there is so much you can learn to fix that people pay hundreds of dollars to have somebody come and fix it. It also makes you feel empowered when you are learning things and you don’t have to have someone else step in,” Bates said.

There are many things Bates has learned in the process; learning that the timeline of renovating a house is not predictable being one of them.  Unforeseen issues always seem to come up, making every project stretch out longer. She has also learned things such as patience and knowing when to roll with the punches, because you don’t have control of everything. These lessons carry on into every part of life.

“The biggest thing I would advise is to know when to surrender and call the pro. I waited too long because I really wanted to do things myself and now am living without necessities, honestly. Don’t try to do everything by yourself all at once, it’s just not doable,” Bates said.

Even with the challenges, Bates still wants further on into building a house in the future. For now, however, she can’t wait to see the finished project of her current home..

“Seeing it all come together is what I am most looking forward to. I have collected things over the years and did a big Ikea trip, and seeing the pictures I have had in my mind come together is exciting. Also, there are a lot of little projects that I can start on now that I have seen on Pintrest for years but can now finally be a reality,” Bates said.