Our (Long) Renovation List

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I have made mention that Hubby and I are doing house renovations this year. I plan on blogging about a good deal of the process, mostly because I love to look back and read what we have done. And, if someone can learn from our mistakes, that is awesome!

On my interior list I have:

• Do something with the built-ins in the family room
• Get Hubby to do something with the built-ins in his office
• Install hardwood flooring in the living room, family room and Hubby’s office
• Paint Sonny-boy’s old room
• Replace the window in Sonny-boy’s old bathroom
• Replace carpet in Sonny-boy’s room, hallway, and if necessary, our bedroom
New dining room chandelier

And that’s just the inside! We are in discussions on what to do about the roof (which Hubby discovered has a class action suit against the materials), and the gutters. We will have at least some gutter work done if Hubby decides he can’t take another roof project this year (two of his rentals are getting new roofs).

So far, what has been accomplished:

• The built-ins in the family room are finished. I will have a lovely post about that cool process tomorrow!

• The rug is pulled up in Sonny-boy’s old room, the walls are primed, and Hubby has sprayed the woodwork. I took a few pics, and may share – but I’m not sure anyone really cares about the painting process. Eh, I may do it for my own records.

• The carpet in our bedroom was cleaned, and is does not need replacing! This is fabulous since we love that carpet, and the guys that cleaned it got out stains the last two cleaners could not. Needless to say, we found a new rug cleaners.

• The chandelier has been purchased. I scheduled an install, and there will be plenty of before and after pictures of this project!

My father used to complain to my mother that they “just” did a room or a project. My mother took to keeping a notebook as to what year what room was redone (painted, wall papered, etc) just to prove to him that it really had been 10 or 15 or 20 years since a particular room had been touched.

I said to Hubby the other day I now understood why my mother kept track. Hubby and I bought this house nearly eight years ago. The outside landscape and hardscape is unrecognizable from when we purchased, but the interior has only slowly changed. We painted everything the first two years, and now seven years later it is time to decide what rooms need more attention. I can definitely see why my father used to claim a room was “just” done – seven years later I feel the same about most of the rooms in this house!

Do you have renovations, painting, updating planned for your house this year? If so, what projects are you undertaking?

Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life


  1. Stephanie K says

    We bought our house 11 years ago and have been remodeling since then. It was a great bargain, it was a HUD home and had been sitting empty for nearly a year. I don’t think the former residents would recognize it, we’ve changed EVERYTHING. The downstairs has been finished now for a few years, but the upstairs is still an eyesore. The yard is completely changed, I think we have one tree that was here and one shrub on the side of the house still. I actually paid my parents to do the landscaping for a 10th wedding anniversary present to my husband, they did an awesome job and got things that I can tend to without too much stress. We demolished the old “garage” (it was so small, we could barley fit our push mower and our little car in it at the same time) and had a new one built that is just great. We can park my minivan and my husband’s giant truck (a Yukon) and the four-wheeler and all of the other stuff my husband “needs” in there (he did once manage to get all three vehicles in at the same time, but it was like playing Tetris!). This year I am really hoping to get my man to finally work on the upstairs, I’m so sick of seeing the drywall in my room. I am considering making a photo book of all of the before and after pictures that we’ve taken all along and giving it to my husband for his birthday. I hope it will inspire him to get to work upstairs! 🙂

    • That’s a great idea, Stephanie! Or you can be like me and “know” you took pictures, but when you go to make the blogpost, the before pictures are gone! I am still going to run it, but only have one before picture. Three were necessary to really get the visual impact.


  2. Oh Ann, you really hit the ball out of the park with this article. I built my home about 12 years ago and it needs several renovations done to it. Two weeks ago I had a new cedar fence put in and besides the wonderful smell it looks fanatastic. I will have a deck to match the cedar fence in September. I work for the fire department and 99% of those guys have other jobs, since they work 24 hours on and 48 hours off, and the deck fireman is so busy with roofing right now after the tornadoes that he has put me down for the first week in September. My house will be painted outside the first or second week in August. I had the whole house painted inside about six months ago and had new tile laid in my bathroom at the same time, (firemen did all of this). I have laminate flooring in the living room but I want my whole house to have vinyl laminate flooring, more expensive, but can withstand water and the dog. I can’t decide on a color yet. I want new ceiling fans in my bedroom and living room, something more elegant. Since the house painting and deck are this summer, then I am hoping by the end of the year to have the ceiling fans installed, (yes fireman), and the flooring will have to wait until the beginning of 2014. I really want new counter tops and cabinets in my kitchen but they really will have to wait for some time.
    Just a few things I want to do. I will try to take before and after pictures, it really doesn’t look bad, I just want to update, and send them to you.

    • Oh pictures! I love pictures Candie!

      Sounds a lot like this place… a pretty big overhaul. We actually just had the window guy leave (I forgot to list it). When the previous owners redid the upstairs bath (Sonny-boy’s), they left the window. My niece is a glazier and told me two weeks after we had the dining room window and kitchen patio door installed two years ago that that window needed replacing. I meant to do it last year, but never got to it.

      Oh the reason the priors didn’t change the window was because they were in the process of a divorce when we bought this house, and that bathroom was gutted. Since Hubby decided to take out a mortgage on the house (I made him pay it off when he retired – it is the middle class in me), the mortgage company required them to finish the bathroom before we took possession. They had already ordered everything, so it was just the installer’s labor cost. We still closed in 32 days.


  3. Yes – the perfect post for me. We are in “renovation” black hole. We bought this house almost 1 yr ago (1 yr in June) knowing that it needed some structure fixes and complete renovation. It was livable but just barely. The house itself is almost 100 years old. The stuff in it is probably 50-60 years old. We need to gut our entire kitchen, add posts down to the basement cause there is not enough supports for the beam, fix the floors that have humps in it due to the lack of proper support, gut all 4 bathrooms, redo sheet rock (some of it is still plaster), get central A/C, convert from oil heat to gas, upgrade and redo the electrical work, painting, resand the hardwork floors, redo or add carpeting to the upstairs etc etc. How far have we gotten? Very very little. We are waiting for our architect to get back to us (after 9 months for back and forth), cause we need to file for permits. It’s difficult to get away without permits here. 🙁 We don’t want to be fined.

    We also had to redo the entire lawn last year since it was 99% weeds. So my dad, mom, me, DH tore up the entire lawn and reseeded it, filled in huge holes to make it level last year. It still needs some work, but it’s 70% better than last year. Our neighbors even complimented us. DH mows our lawn, and we are literally the only family in this neighbor that mows their own lawn. My dad helps us cut down trees and bushes that were so incredibly overgrown – that they covered huge windows and rotted wood on the window sills . Our garage is another mess as the roof has a hole in it. Our patio, driveway and front walkway need to be completely redone.

    In summary – pretty much everything needs to be redone. Why did we buy the place? It’s in a decent area and it was a good price (and for good reason – as listed above with it having to be basically redone). DH is doing the downstairs small half bath ourselves (it’s a tiny bathroom). We will redo sheet rock & painting & moldings and small stuff like replacing the light switches etc. But almost everything else that is big, we had to hire a contractor, architect, A/C & heating guy, electrician, plumber etc etc. I really wish we had enough money to completely gut the house and redo it. But alas – we do not have that kind of money and to afford the increase in taxes by doing that.

    So that’s my novel.. I would totally love to hear/read your journey. That would be a real encourage to me. 🙂 I am seriously considering redoing my front doors (we have 2 of them – old house style) and the little foyer that is into between the 2 doors. I am tired of waiting. The only thing that is stopping is the lead paint fear.

    • Liz we permit everything, but even structural work didn’t take more than a few days to get approved. WOW to 9 months!

      I love plaster and lathe myself. Yeah it may have bubbles or a ripple or a crack, but that is character! I stripped all the woodwork in my old house frying more than a few brain cells along the way. That house was built in the 20s, so I am sure there was lead paint. I never even considered it, just stripped the wood. It ended up looking beautiful.

      Good luck, Liz. It sounds like you have a super duper fixer there.


  4. OMG nice topic Ann. We are just a few weeks shy of getting this house when my in laws passed away 6 years ago. This home was built 50 some years ago and since my hubby is a carpentar he did most of the work on this house for his parents and my father in law took as good of care as anyone could imagine, being ex military and working in maintenance ever since then. We have removed so much wallpaper and layers upon layers and got rid of over 50 some years of tar and nicotine. We had to change over the HVAC when we first moved in since it was already contracted and needed to be done before they died. We had to remove all their appliances, every single one, and replace them and go through everything here to try to make Grandma and Grandpa’s house into ours. But we are stopping there because we still are arguing over if my loving brother in law is going to ever sign this house over to us… I have made minor changes and still want to do major but will not until my name is on the house. The home we lived in before we moved here we totally gutted that place and I mean totally gutted down to the bricks. Ann I am allergic to the horse hair in plaster and lathe and got to find out the hard way. I am also allergic to the brick dirt and got styes in both eyes helping hubby. He is great and specializes in historical restoration so a 1900’s house was perfect for us and we had that place perfect, it just needed windows and we moved in here and it feels like we are starting all over again. We had a little damage to some raised beds and fencing and various things in the yard from the recent hurricanes so we will fix them up and just work on maintaining everything the way my father in law would have. This house needs another bathroom and a total kitchen gut and some repairs to the exhisting bathroom. I too always get permits because my husband is a carpentar and he just likes to do it right. He demos, I clean up, He renovates, I clean up. He finishes, I clean up. We do well together. LOL.

    • Debb are you ok when it is whole? Is it only when it cracks? What about new plaster and lathe? (Not sure how far down that New England tendency goes.)

      Again I wished you lived closer… not only are we having the floors installed, but all the trim in the living room too!


      • Ann as my son would say I am allergic to LIFE. I am not sure if I was ok with it whole, it was removing it that became life threatening, LOL. I just get a little mask if I am not sure. I thought the same thing when I started a cleaning job recently. I was wiping baseboards and thought of you. 🙂

  5. Sounds like lots of fun going on at all of y’all’s places.. There are a few walls that could use some paint on them but Im not sure they’ll get any this year.. I can hope & pray.. but Im sure Im the one who would be doing it so Im not counting on it getting done.. I may actually hit one room.. we’ll see.
    We need a new roof & M’honey has been talking about it.. but he has to just decide to do it.. If he doesnt do it this year he’ll do it next.. hes been talking about it for a while.. I have no clue what he’s waiting on.

    Our house is a 100 year old beach bungalow that was in super bad shape when M’honey bought it 25 years ago.. He gutted it & redid all the wiring, walls, plumbing just after he bought it. After I moved in 15 years ago, we got rid of a mudroom that was falling off the back of the house, an ancient barn/shed that the original owners lived in while they built the house, built a 2 car garage, a deck, my little back yard sanctuary and a driveway. We also put new pipes in to the city drains, new (not replacement) windows, new siding and added a rail to the front porch.. It looks nothing like it did when I moved in. We’ve also redone the entire bathroom and added tile in the kitchen… so we’ve been thru our fair share of work on the house over the years.
    I’d like to pull up the carpet in the living room and sand down the old wood floors that are under there and redo them. We have wood floors in our bedroom and the computer room but they all need redone & they would be beautiful.. they’re mostly just functional at this point. 😉 Maybe someday!

    • We got our first roofers quote yesterday, Kim… be grateful your honey can do it himself! Yikes, it is expensive.

      There is nothing like wood floors in my opinion. I keep telling Hubby I regret listening to him when we first moved in, and keeping the carpet in the living room and office. It is a much bigger project now that we are in the house, although I did schedule it yesterday, so there is no turning back now!


  6. Stephanie says

    I wuld lve to see pics Ann. We are doing some renovations again this year too. We are getting a new roof, updating light fixtures, painting and refinishing hardwood. We do some renovations every year. This will be the most though since we moved in. Would you mind sharing the carpet. cleaners?

    I love this topic. Also, for ideas I found this cool site called houzz.com. I have found so many lighting ideas from it.

    • I sent you an email with the carpet cleaners name and phone number. In the email, I also asked about your roof. 😉

      houzz.com overwhelms me. And makes me feel like I have no imagination or talent! LOL


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