Considering I began this blog smack dab in the middle, I thought I would take a few hundred words to recap what we completed prior to this documentation and to write down our “to do’s” for the rest of this calendar year.
As I have mentioned before our home was not exactly a head turner when we purchased it. It had been neglected for some years and therefore needed quite a bit of love. Our plan of attack had three parts – necessary repairs, additions and renovations.
Repairs – These were items specifically mentioned in our structural engineers report and were necessary to make our house safe and liveable. They included updating the electric, installing a sump pump, re-grading the exterior, installing a French drain, replacing the basement windows, anchoring the basement walls and adding insulation. As you can see most of the required repairs were due to water damage. We live less than a mile from a creek and have a high water table. Water is unable to get in through the solid concrete floor of a basement, and therefore rises up, pressing on the concrete blocks walls. Over time that pressure can push the walls in and weakens the mortar leaving places for water to come in and can also collapse if ignored long enough. Anchoring the walls pushes them back out to flush. The French drain keeps water from building up in the walls and the sump pump pushes that collected water out and away from the house. Re-grading the exterior keeps water from settling around the foundation and the new windows are well sealed to keep water from seeping in. All of this work was completed by professionals.
Additions – We really love the layout and large rooms in our 1700 sq foot ranch. But it wasn’t quite large enough. So we have finished another 900 sq feet in our basement that includes a 4th bedroom, large family room, bathroom and coat nook. Nearly all this work was completed by professionals, but we did all the painting and installed flooring in the bathroom and hallway to cut costs.
Renovations – Given the extensive needs above we completed all of the cosmetic updates ourselves and on a small budget. I will run this down room by room.
Entry Way – Replaced the floor with this penny tile
Hallway – Painted and installed new lighting
Living/Dining – Painted, made new window treatments
Kitchen – New appliances, added additional storage and reused cabinetry, updated lighting and flooring. Added new countertops, sinks and a backsplash. Paint. Made the banquette.
Powder room – Paint. New mirror, sink and faucet and toilet.
Main bath – Replaced the floor, toilet, vanity and mirror. Installed wainscoting and paint. Added recessed lighting. Reglazed old pink tub white.
All bedrooms – repainted and new lighting.
Most of our short (within this year) “to-do” list is exterior upgrades. We were able to add some landscaping to the front last year and added a new mailbox, house numbers and lighting. This summer we are repainting (the majority of the house is brick but we do have sided gables and of course trim.) We also plan on adding an arbor and landscaping to the shady side of our house. We are widening our driveway by adding a decorative brick border. A deck and patio are in the works for the backyard as well as some much needed landscaping. The deck and patio will be done by the pros but everything else we will DIY. We are also hoping to add a fun surprise for the boys – perhaps a treehouse?!
Our interior projects are more manageable than before. We want to dress up the fireplace by adding trim and a mantle. We plan to add a built-in bench and hooks to our coat nook. I also have a fun headboard project for our oldest son’s room. Our kitchen cabinets would benefit from a fresh coat of paint and I am replacing the old hinges on them a little bit at a time.
Our long term “to do” list (anywhere from 1-7 years down the road) includes finishing two additional rooms in the basement – a craft room/second laundry room and a bonus room that can be used as a guest room. I’d like to update our first floor laundry room with fresh paint, built -ins and new lighting. We also plan on adding a small addition to the back of the house to expand our master bedroom and add an en suite. At that time we may also renovate the kitchen and add a small hearth room to it.
So that is where we are. Do any of you keep a running list of your “to do’s”? Anyone out there looking forward to the weather FINALLY cooperating so you can get some outdoor projects completed? Any favorite plants that you love to use in your landscaping?