We haven’t had much in the way of big dramatic changes at the house so far, namely because we’ve been spending our time and money on little but important stuff — new light fixtures, stopping up leaks, drywall, patching things, fixing problems before they become worse. If we could have spent all that money on paint and furniture, yeah, things would be looking different, but instead we have the same old ratty walls BUT a safer, warmer, more efficient space. It’s a bit of a bummer for someone who is visually-oriented but there’s only so far the budget can stretch and we’ve determined that a lot of this stuff is falling into the ‘live with it for now’ category.
If we didn’t have a baby on the way I’d probably be happier about it, but really, does the baby care that the living room is two different colours? No. Our room is comfy. Her room is on its way to being done. Our 33-cubic-metres-a-month water leak has been fixed. The furnace is fixed. The woodstove works. People raise babies in huts — that’s my mantra. I care a little bit about people coming over to see the baby and wondering WTF is up with our house, but I don’t think they’re going to be there to visit the house — it’s like when I hit the point where I didn’t care about wedding details because whoever is there to stare at my toenail polish is there for the wrong reason.
ANYWAY. I thought I’d revisit our giant to-do list, almost two months in, because I think we’ve accomplished a lot more than I realized. As a reminder, this is our ‘lifetime of the house’ to-do list — think of every project you’d ever do in a house, and it will seem less insane. There is no time frame attached. Also remember — our house is decidedly a fixer-upper.
(New/changed items are in bold)
This is all very much ongoing stuff, to be done as we complete each room. We’re thinking about leaving the living room as paneling now, but who knows. Our discovery of original hardwood was an exciting find that could make our floors awesome — if we go that route we’ll need thicker baseboard anyway, so any new trim is going on nice and chunky.
- Replace paneling with drywall — IN PROGRESS (
- Replace popcorn ceilings with non-popcorn ceilings, or otherwise fix them up.
- Replace laminate flooring (possibly by refinishing original hardwood!)
- Replace all doors with ones that are level/clean/not scary
- Replace switches and plates and all of that stuff with a) things that match and b) things that are appropriate for what they encase — IN PROGRESS (
- Paint or replace trim and baseboard, consider installing crown molding – IN PROGRESS (
- Put in LED lighting everywhere we can – IN PROGRESS
We have done basically nothing out here. The inside felt more important. I suspect next spring/summer will be our time to tackle the outdoors!
- Limb the giant tree out front so grass can hopefully start growing underneath again
- Cut back the other pine-y tree so it is less sprawling
- Clean up the front garden beds and make them less hospitable to spiders!!
- Clear out the spaces between the bricks on the front path and fix crooked brickwork
- Paint the front door and install new hardware
- Get a new door knocker
- Paint the stair railings
- Get new house numbers
- Replace exterior lights
- Deal with the paint/stain spatters all over the eavestroughs
Remove clogs in eavestroughs
- Build a porch/verandah/something covered between the front door & garage
- Fix up the garage — a proper floor, etc., and fix the door so it actually is openable (the springs are busted)
- Cover up the rim joist the previous owner exposed
This, and the hallway, are really low-priority. We have all kinds of stuff lying around in both — drywall chunks, boxes, etc. — so it will probably be one of the last things to get painted, upstairs.
- A new light fixture
Clean up & paint the hall closet
- Replace closet door
- Hang hooks or art or something by the door
- Find a rug/runner
- Replace flooring to match living room floor, when we combine the rooms
This has not had a lot of progress and like I said, it might end up staying as is, just cleaned up & with our furniture in it. It really only needs a wall fix and some paint, but it’s a huge room. If we don’t get to it before baby comes we’re hanging the curtains anyway.
- Fix the wall with holes all over it
- A big area rug
Build or buy side table(s)We bought an IKEA table — Matt still might make one eventually Buy a big storage ottoman to use as a coffee tableWe couldn’t agree on an ottoman (can’t afford real leather yet!) so went the IKEA route as well — again, Matt might make a new table eventually
- Build or buy some shelving/storage
- Get some lighting — table lamp(s) and/or floor lamp
- Hang up art!
- Throw pillows
- Figure out window treatments
- Get a big basket or container for blankets
- Replace the giant window — it’s the only window in the house that needs re-doing, luckily!
- We’d eventually like to replace all the paneling with drywall
- We want to remove all of the hall/kitchen wall except for the part directly behind the woodstove
Again — not touched at all. My plans for this room still basically remain the same, though.
- Build/buy a giant farmhouse table — our little old table looks hilarious under that giant light
- Build/buy seating for six
- Build/buy a console table or hutch for under the window
- Sort out window treatment
- Replace the light fixture with something pendant-y
- Get a rug for under the table
- Hang art
- Set the table with linens and maybe a centerpiece
- Get a rug for the slider door
Also not touched, also not many changes to the original plan.
- Find a runner?
- Hang art
- I think it might look nice with a chair rail or board and batten, but I wouldn’t want to tackle that ’till the paneling is gone.
- Finish painting/lining linen closet
- New light fixture
- Find a new place for the LACK shelf — I’m OK with it but Matt hates it there.
Do you see that photo above?! That’s paint! My dad showed up for a week’s visit just in time to be greeted with a bucket of primer and a bucket of paint. Matt had jusssst finished sanding, so Dad took on the paint job, and it’s done! It just needs trim and the closet to be fixed up, and then we’ve re-arranged our plans so that I can actually set it up (we’ll be removing boxes from the office and storing them downstairs so Matt can use it as his staging place for the bathroom/office reno, rather than the nursery).
Replace paneling with drywall
- Put in floating shelves and cubbies (to cover up mismatched floor for now) in nooks
Paint New light fixtureBought one at IKEA Area rugIKEA Window treatmentI bought curtains earlier, and a rod/finials/brackets from IKEA
- Clean up closet & closet door, paint
- Move in crib, dresser, chair & any other furniture
Procure crib beddingI have two basic sheets from, you guessed it, IKEA, and my friend Michelle is making a pretty sheet, too
- Hang art
- Find/make & hang mobile
Paint New light fixture Buy a bed frame Window treatment New bedding (duvet cover & sheet sets)
- Find a runner for the end of the bed
- Hang art or mirrors
- Stain closet doors OR find a new door solution
- Sort out nightstands
- Buy or build an end-of-bed storage bench (this may be scratched in the future)
- Consider curtains
- Find a large wall mirror and shelf to go underneath it
- Find better pillows
- Find accent pillows
- Find a throw
- Find a decent-looking hamper?
Nada done in here — it’s full of boxes and painting supplies. It’s going to get some drywall as part of its role in the bathroom redesign, but that’s about it for now.
- Fix patchy walls, take down the shelving and paint
- Close in door and move over to accommodate expanded bathroom
- New light fixture
- Replace legs on homemade desk
- Eventually get/build a new desk & move old one to craft room?
- Get a filing system going
- Buy new desk chairs
Here’s another exciting new picture — yes, it’s a toilet. It’s the old, horrible toilet, evicted. We now have a modern, dual-flush, NOT BROKEN toilet. It took Matt and my dad two evenings to get it installed because apparently the old one was so old that parts of it were literally disintegrated. My dad says it was the weirdest toilet he has ever encountered and he doubts we could have got replacement parts for it even if we wanted to salvage it. I’m very happy to see it gone.
- Extend to remove weird vanity nook (again, more on this later)
- New vanity/cabinets
New shower curtain New bath mat
- Hang art
- Find a place to hang towels
- Get low-flow showerhead
- Frame out mirror
- New light fixture
- Replace floor; probably tile
- Eventually replace tub; tile up wall
- Buy a curved shower curtain rod
- Prime/fix/whatever all of the horrible mold we found behind the toilet (eww)
This is another didn’t do anything and probably won’t for awhile room, sadly. Mainly because I lost all my steam/painting ability a few weeks ago and Matt has far more important things to do. I still think we’ll do Phase One at some point but if we jump right into Phase Two because we waited long enough that’s fine by me! I did rip out the desk, though, which is actually what caught me up into not making any more progress — that whole wall needs to be patched as a result and I need help doing it.
- Paint cabinets
- Secure counters/cabinets as we can
- Replace hardware
- Paint walls
- New light fixture(s)
Rip out weird desk New linensOurs were all rust-stained from our previous house. I just bought basic towels/cloths but it’s nice to have something new!
- New dishes
- Hang art
- All-new cabinets
- All-new countertop
- Replace appliances
- Cabinet lighting
- Set up an island/breakfast nook?
Does ‘get drywall dust all over carpet’ count as progress?
- Fix screwed up weatherstripping
- Rebuild the stairs so they’re less steep
- Any other safety stuff Matt says we have to do
Again, this is not a priority, as we get closer to winter and snow. Matt does have a chainsaw now which will help clean everything up, next year.
- Fix drainage problems/add path to front
- Fix up stain and/or re-side
- Fix up places where stain should not be
- Re-stain/paint the clothesline stand or move it and do the same
- Rip out the wooden deck and replace with a flagstone patio connected to fire pit
- Build some kind of shelter — a pergola or trellis or what have you
- Set up an outdoor cooking/eating area
- Landscape the hill
- Build steps or a path up the hill
- Put a gazebo, swing, or something else up on top
- Landscape the rest of the yard
- Install a vegetable garden
- Replace 10×10 shed
- Outdoor lighting
- Cut down big ol’ dead tree
[Insert picture of our new washer and dryer here, hah.]
Replace old washer/dryer with energy-efficient stacking pairMatt got us a deal from Sears. Yay!
- Install better storage
- Paint walls & floor
Fix dangerous lighting situationThere is a junction box now! The circuit is still weird though.
- Get new light switch covers/conduits
So what does this all boil down to? Well, in two months we:
- patched, primed & painted our bedroom
- filled & painted our bedroom trim
- installed a new bedroom light
- installed a bedroom blind
- painted the bedroom closet & reinstalled shelving
- bought bedding
- bought & finished a bed
- replaced one toilet and fixed another
- fixed a bathtub (should be done tonight)
- replaced a showerhead
- drywalled the entire nursery
- primed & painted the nursery
- bought all of our nursery furniture & most accessories
- replaced plugs/outlets/switches
- pulled a built-in desk off the wall
- got the furnace fixed
- got the woodstove cleaned up
- bought & installed a new washer/dryer pair
- fixed basement lighting
- painted two other closets
- cleaned out the plants growing in the eaves (thanks Dad!)
By the end of this month this list should also include painted & installed nursery trim, and progress made on decorating the room itself. The bathroom/office drywall is coming down the pipe, too. So it wasn’t all done in a weekend’s worth of work, no, but it’s all progress.