Single Woman, Over 40, Limited Income, First-Time-Homeowner, Flips Home by Herself

Living room, 2 weeks BEFORE move in
Living room, AFTER 2 weeks of hard work




No JOKE . . . by myself!

July 21, 2014 I closed on my first home. What a great adventure. Although, by definition I didn’t “flip” the house, because I still live in it. What I accomplished was a transformation, and as my father used to say,

“Sissy, it’ll be like putting a little lipstick on a pig.”

Regardless of one of Pop’s favorite euphemisms, there is still much more I want to accomplish to make it an ideal space. But in the mean time, I’ve got one of the cutest little piggies in town!

I stay snug as a bug in the winter. In the summer I enjoy wood working in the back yard under the shade of my enormous Maple,. Often I take breaks in the front yard, sipping from a chilled glass of sun tea while I visit with Mr. & Mrs. Smith over the fence, or quietly watch my Zinnias grow tall.

I am so proud of my little home. Moreover, I’m proud of the fact that I found the confidence to believe it was possible. And guess what? I’m here to tell you, especially you ladies – that anybody can do this!

BEFORE moving in
Summer AFTER moving in












Alright, let’s get “the rest of the story” ~

First of all, when someone says, “I did it all by myself,” –  I’ll let you in on a little secret . . . that’s probably a lie.  We all need a little help, and I’ll own it, I had a few hands reach out to me. Although they certainly weren’t the ones I’d expected.

Here’s the full disclosure:

  • After day two of pulling up what felt like miles of stank-ass, nasty pet odor infested carpet (by myself), my neighbors took pity on me and helped yank out the rest of the living room carpet and haul it to the curb. So I had a little help there – thanks Matt and Tammy!
  • On day three, I managed to pack God-knows-how-many-tons of flooring into my old 1988 Buick Le Sabre, and then carry that same hernia-producing amount all the way up to my front door (by myself). No help there. Think that emergency back surgery I had in the fall of 2016 may have had something to do with that? Gheezzz!
  • Next, I decided because I’d made such a frugal laminate purchase, that I’d hire a crew to lay the floor. That was a good call. But not before negotiating a reduced price for installation if I pulled all the carpet tack and strip (by myself).
  • On day nine, I rented a hot-saw to cut a hole in my bedroom wall to install a back door. Ok, I may have been a bit over zealous on that one. . . do you know how heavy those damn things are? So I sweet-talked my cousin Michael into cutting through my cinder -block house and framing me in a back door, and – while he was at it – how about a bathroom window?!

“Don’t ever ask me to cut into this house again!” he informed me, after completing a beautiful job. “If you decide to do any more renovations to this little ‘cinder-BOX’ – we’re blowing the whole back end out to add on 6 or 8 feet. But what I’m NOT doing – is cut any more holes for you.”

Noted. Thanks Mikey!

And I agreed. It was a dirty, grueling job, but he turned out to be my most-favoritest cousin ever! So I definitely had some help there, too.

But the rest of it – yeahhhh, baby – all me!
Marigolds reducing the spider population
Front yard filling in beautifully





I’m proud to report that at the time, I was well into my mid-forties, single, still void of children (that I know of), and not in the most financially stable place in my life. But rather than giving way to excuses, I found validation.

I managed to purchase a home within my budget, and find ways to do the majority of the work to make-over my little house. I still look around and wonder who in the hell possessed me to get all that work done … and in just over two weeks!

Let’s review.

. . . because you can do it, too!

  • I pulled up 95% of the houses old, stinky carpet
  • Scored, tugged, ripped, and tore out linoleum flooring
  • Yanked and pulled up carpet tack and strips
  • Painted ceilings, walls, and trim – – – multiple times
  • Discovered that old, wooden wainscot needs an oil-base primer before applying multiple layers of paint. And sanding – – – fahgitaboudit!
  • I learned that your hands do eventually cramp up and physically quit working after days of painting, until finally you call your mama and beg for help painting the rest of the kitchen so you can meet the deadline for the movers. Thanks Mom!
  • The one thing I did for the first time in my life (and would definitely do again) is bite the bullet and hire movers. That was the cherry on top!

So when I tell people that I did it myself – I am confident in that statement. I’m also confident in my ability to encourage others to do the same. Don’t wait around for the right job, the right partner, the right time. Start looking, and start building your confidence.

Believe in yourself, surround yourself with confident people, and stay within your budget. If I can do this – so many women out there can, too. I’ve got my little piece of the American dream – and you can have yours just as easily!

…and I’m not done living the dream.

My back may have given up, but I’m not. So stay tuned, because I’m reaching out to HGTV and the Boise Boys to see if we can’t renovate this little Bench Beauty into a dream come true! ! !

Please enjoy my BEFORE and AFTER photo’s below.

Walls and floors_BEFORE
Walls and floors_AFTER





Desk area_BEFORE
Desk area_AFTER






Bedroom & Closet_BEFORE
Bedroom & Closet_AFTER








Back door_BEFORE
Back door_BEFORE
Back door_AFTER








Cutting out Back Door
Cutting bathroom window
Bathroom window / Back door
Bathroom during construction
Bathroom window_BEFORE
Bathroom window_AFTER













Blue shed in back yard
From Shed to Shop
Including the Old Maple Tree
From my back door
View from inside
Half a Maple in my Shop
Pulled out all shrubs, and replaced with grasses and Zinnia’s
Planted tall Pampas Grass against that old wood fence
Brought trailing vines with me when I moved from the North End to cover fence
Google view from when I first purchased
The decorative grasses took off
The Zinnias grew tall
The vines…
…took over as expected
Even through winter I enjoyed my front yard
The winter, however was unkind to my Pampas grasses
The fall wasn’t too bad
But the Snopocalypse . . .
… seemed to go on forever (2016-17)
I enjoyed the “Dali” art produced on my glass table
My favorite part was weathering the storms with Duggan, the cat-dog.