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We can’t be the only ones noticing that all of the renovations on TV and online seem to be snowballing. Whatever happened to those budget decorating shows and use-what-you-have makeovers? And who remembers when a blog post might have just been “I ordered some new art” instead of “here’s the entire before & after of our kitchen gut job!” Our own projects certainly have ratcheted up over the years too, so this week we’re discussing how we all got here, if we might be approaching a tipping point, the understandable craving to scale back, and how bloggers & design TV are contributing to the escalation. We’re also breaking down some surprising features of something you’ve probably already got in your toolbox, and we reveal how we finally found some momentum in our beach house backyard projects. Hint: it rhymes with schmot mub.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherTuneIn Radio, and Spotify – or listen to it below! Then use this page to check out any links, notes, or photos we referenced. Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the post to see the player.


  • Woo hoo! Our hot tub is in, despite the rest of the beach house’s backyard looking extremely unfinished. This is the Jacuzzi we got and you can hear more about why/where we got it in Episode #104.
  • Before it was delivered, we had to get some electrical installed, along with a 4″ concrete pad for it to sit on (which will eventually be surrounded by a paver patio). Below is the view from our back door. You can see the stack of pavers that our contractor Sean dropped off for us (we laid a temporary path to keep our feet from getting too muddy, but didn’t snap a photo of that yet).

  • For reference, this is the general layout we’re headed towards in the beach house backyard. It’s not totally to scale and we ended up putting the hot tub closer to the back corner so we’d have room between it and the shed for a seating area.

  • You can see our outdoor shower placement above. It’s right next to the back steps in the corner and this is what it looks like so far (we’re still on hold for a privacy surround to be built – but it’s coming eventually!). It’s just a simple outdoor shower kit that Sean put up for us.

  • You can see how the base turned out, which we described a bit more in the episode. They built a container with treated lumber, layered a base of bricks and sand for stability, poured pea gravel over the bricks for drainage, and topped it all with some Azek planks so it’s comfortable to stand on (Azek is a composite decking material that will never rot). We’ll stain the wood surround to match the back steps and we plan to use the same color Azek elsewhere in the backyard (like as steps to the hot tub and a few planter boxes) so everything should tie together.
  • I also mentioned getting bad poison ivy when demo-ing stuff in the backyard after we first bought it. If you want to hear that story, it’s in Episode #27.
  • And I thought I’d end this section with a “hot tub after dark” photo, where you can see the garden string lights that we hung (it’s the spare set we didn’t end up using in our own backyard). They’re just kinda randomly strung in the trees at this point, but we’re planning to drape them off the shed once it’s built. Thankfully even this temporary hanging job ups the charm-factor back there.

Take Five: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Tape Measure

  • The tape measure pictured above is a Stanley FatMax 25′ Tape Measure, which has served us well.
  • I wasn’t able to find the exact “self-centering” tape measure we used to have, but this one seems to be the current version of it. It clearly lists the half measurement under each number on the tape (for example, under the 2″ mark it says 1″) so you can quickly calculate the middle of your measurement. It’s really helpful for weirder measurements when your brain is too tired to figure that stuff out yourself.

Big Renovation Fatigue

  • Here are the articles we referenced about “big renovation fatigue,” as we’re dubbing it:
  • And what do you guys think?
  • Here’s the link to that little guest bathroom makeover we mentioned from our last house: Our $51 Bathroom Makeover (it wasn’t $130 like Sherry guessed – it was actually just $51!)

  • Speaking of small renovations, here’s where you can read more about the “Phase 1” approach that Sherry mentioned us taking in a lot of our renovations.
  • We also shouted out some other bloggers who have taken on second properties as fixer uppers to renovate and use as vacation homes, rentals, and beyond:
  • We also mentioned designers on Instagram who are doing amazing whole house renovations and then decorating every inch of them like: Amber InteriorsStudio McGee
  • And, if you’re really interested in it, here’s the post about ordering a duvet cover and another post about it arriving. Oh 2010, you’re hilarious.

We’re Digging

  • First things first, here’s that link to our new Book Club page where we’ve rounded up all of the books we’ve recommended on the podcast over the last two years (not just creepy/murdery ones).
  • And this week, as you heard, I was digging Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, the same guy behind another fave: The Kind Worth Killing. I was captivated by it, and it does weave in a little bit of real estate (there’s kind of a The Holiday situation that kicks off the mystery)
  • But if you need something lighter, check out Nailed It! on Netflix to crack up and feel better about your own baking shortcomings. Trailer below!

If you’re looking for something we’ve dug in a past episode but don’t remember which show notes to click into, here’s a master list of everything we’ve been digging from all of our past episodes.

And lastly, a big thank you to Agility Bed for sponsoring this episode. Remember to get $150 off your hybrid mattress order with the code YHL150 at AgilityBed.com. They’ll ship it to you for free and if you don’t like it, you can return it within the first 100 nights, no questions asked!

Thanks for listening, guys!

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