DIY craze: From home remodel to life remodel

It all started with a beat up house in Bellevue, Nebraska. A one story house that was previously home to three families at once. A house that could eventually be a home with a little tender love and care and a lot of elbow grease.

Carrin and Todd Brewer, who had been searching the city for a place to move their family, found themselves in front of the sad little house one day. 

Todd and Carrin’s home after remodel in Bellevue, Nebraska

“The price was unbeatable and we knew we wanted to make it our home,” Carrin Brewer said. “Between my husband and I we knew the Thjob wouldn’t be easy but would be worth it.”

The house needed to be gutted and rewired. Every room needed work.

Soon enough, the couple found themselves joining a growing number of people who have become DIYers — do it yourselfers. DIY has become a major trend, made popular by YouTube channels, blogs and HGTV shows like “Flip or Flop.”

For the Brewers, it was new territory.

“It was something neither of us had ever even attempted before,” Todd Brewer said. “We took down walls and added bedrooms, plus so much more.”

The project took five years — a year of work before the house was livable and another four years of living in a construction zone, Carrin Brewer said. 

But the end of the project was just the beginning of the DIY journey for Carrin Brewer.

“We just remodeled our kitchen last summer,” she said. “The projects never stop around here, but I love it.”

Todd Brewer said he’s gotten used to his wife’s DIY obsession. Many times he’d come home to find a new project — like the time a bathroom was torn up because Carrin Brewer decided she wanted something different. 

“My husband probably thinks I’m crazy,” she said, “but he’s always just as happy with the final outcome.” 

Inside the Brewer’s home, the majority of the decor is hand-made. Most of the furniture is from thrift stores that Carrin Brewer reupholstered, and many items have been “flipped” to serve a different purpose.

“When people visit my home, they ask where I get certain furniture or wall decor. It is so cool to be able and tell them that I took the time to make it myself,” she said. “It’s even cooler that people think it’s good enough to buy at a store.”

The Brewers learned many tricks and tips along their house remodel journey — but the biggest lesson was how much money they saved.  

“I think this major project really set off my DIY attitude,” Carrin Brewer said. “I learned how easy it is to do projects on my own, but also how much money it really does save.”

Although Carrin Brewer was in her 30s when she discovered her passion for DIY, her house is proof she’s made up for lost time.

“It is honestly very rewarding, and just fun to do,” she said. “DIY-ing is something I know I will be doing until I physically can’t anymore. Not a lot of people can say that about their hobbies.”

And it all started with a beat-up house in Bellevue, Nebraska.

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