Nfld. & Labrador

Uncommon couple blogging through home reno

Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas bought their first home together five years ago, and they've been renovating and blogging ever since.

'We had never really lifted a sledgehammer before,' says Chris Nicholas.

Chris Nicholas and Becki Peckham moved in to their first home in June 2011 - and have been renovating the house and blogging about their experience ever since. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

When Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas bought their first home together in St. John's in June 2011, they had never done any home renovations before, and planned a few small updates for their home.

It didn't take long for those small updates to turn in to a major reno.

"The first day we were in our house, we decided to knock down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, and other than consulting somebody if it was a load-bearing wall or not, we had never really lifted a sledgehammer before," Nicholas told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show

"That was sort of our first foray into it."

Peckham said at first they planned to only change the cupboard doors in the kitchen, but as they started making more changes, they ended up doing a full kitchen renovation, even removing walls and stairs and replacing drywall.

Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas's significant home renovation started in their kitchen, where they removed a wall. (Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas/Submitted Photo)

Adventures of the Uncommon Common Law

In the five years since, the couple has renovated much of the house and started a blog called Adventures of the Uncommon Common Law.

"We decided to blog about it just to track it, kind of as motivation to get the projects done," said Peckham.

As the work went on, Nicholas said he really bought in to Peckam's vision for the design of the house.

Nicholas credits Peckham for having a specific vision for the renovations to their home. (Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas/Submitted Photo)

"Becki had a fairly specific vision, I was just along for the ride at the beginning, but then I kind of signed on as well," he said. 

"When she showed me all the mock-ups that she had and all the ideas that she was coming up with, I was like 'well, I kind of like this.'"

Peckham shares the credit, however, and said that Nicholas does the bulk of the construction work. 

"I don't think the whole renovation would have happened if Chris wasn't there, because he was the one who took the reins and did most of the labour," she said.

Peckham says Nicholas is a perfectionist, re-plastering and sanding the ceiling in his office eight times within three months. (Becki Peckham and Chris Nicholas/Submitted Photo )

The couple said every job had its own challenges, and they've been learning on the fly. There's been a few stressful times, but no real tension between them.

Peckham said that Nicholas is a bit of a perfectionist, however. 

"He's so anal," she said. "He re-plastered and sanded his ceiling in his office eight times within three months."

International contest winners

The Uncommon Law blog has shared all those challenges and has gathered a considerable following.

It received an extra boost after the couple won the Creating With the Stars online design contest in 2014.

"We were one of two Canadians in the contest, and so since that, we ended up getting a lot more traffic to our blog and a lot more followers," said Peckham.

Peckham and Nicholas continue to update their renovation progress on the blog.

They suggest painting as one quick-fix home reno - for those who aren't willing to undertake years of work an an online bog.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show