What The Baeumlers Wish They'd Known Before Starting Renovation Island

Canadian husband and wife team Bryan and Sarah Baeumler moved to a Bahamian island with their four kids to convert a 50-year-old hotel into a dream resort. Sounds like a dream job, no? Well, sure in some ways the Baeumlers realized their dream, because the blood, sweat, and tears they put into the six month project yielded the 18 room and 22 villa Caerula Mar Club. The process was documented on the couple's HGTV show Renovation Island.

Of course, the Baeumlers had their reservations going into the massive project. "People told us it couldn't be done," Bryan admitted to People. But the experienced renovators pressed on — they had already starred in successful series in Canada. The determined team would soon run into a multitude of challenges. If only they'd known how hard it would be to pull off such a massive feat!

The Baeumlers didn't know how hard it would be to coordinate things

"Logistics have probably been the most challenging part of the project," Sarah admitted. "We have small airplanes coming into the island, and a few ships a month with materials and products from either Nassau or Miami, which means we need to plan weeks ahead for what items we need on-site. If we're missing something, it's either not coming for a few weeks, or we need to charter an airplane at a great expense to get it here." Based on these delays, their schedule would get pushed back again and again.

Beyond the challenges of getting supplies from point A to point B, getting used to life in a completely new environment was, as Sarah put it, an adjustment. "Our perspectives have changed," she shared, along with an example of how: "Stores are small and don't always carry the variety we're used to back home, but you get used to it and adapt. If we're out of milk, we can't always run to the store to get more, sometimes we need to wait a week until the next ship arrives, so we drink water or juice."

There's an upside of things not going exactly as planned

Meanwhile, according to Cheat Sheet, other unexpected challenges hit the renovation especially hard. Hurricane Dorian ended up affecting the families of many of the people working on the project — although the specific island where the resort resides was not badly hit. Then came coronavirus, which has forced the family to push back their plans to open Caerula Mar Club until October 2020.

Still, the mom of four told People that her perspective shift actually reduced her stress level. "You start to realize that you don't need everything instantly available at your fingertips to survive and be happy."

She adds the family of six had to try to live harmoniously together in just 550 square feet! Although this couldn't have been easy, ultimately the Baeumlers feel the closeness brought them, well, closer together.

The Baeumlers also underestimated just how much work would go into the renovation — and how hard it would be to achieve their desired results on fixed budget. Sarah describes the original state of the property as something out ofThe Walking Dead. But in the end, she also said she has no regrets. "We definitely underestimated the challenges," she admitted. "But most people work 51 weeks a year so they can spend one week in paradise. We're here every day!"