Dec 19, 2014

the renovation: the plan of attack


If we were to make a list of everything that needed to be done in the house that we just bought, we'd need a piece of paper a mile long. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to identify our top priorities. By the grace of God, the timing has worked out so that we were able to buy the house before the lease on our apartment was up. So, we have (had, really) three months to get some work done before we need to move in.


Three months isn't a lot of time, so we decided to focus our attention on the kitchen and the bathroom since they were both in pretty bad shape and would be the hardest to renovate once we move in. Aside from the dining room, which needs a little more attention, the rest of the rooms on the main floor can get by with a good clean out, a fresh coat of paint, and refinished hardwood floors. The other two priorities before we can move in will be new plumbing and new electric in the entire house, which needs to happen before too much can be done to the kitchen and bathroom.


Our long term goals for the house include the mudroom/laundry room, the exterior, and the entire second floor. The mudroom will need some better lighting, flooring, a coat of paint and some storage solutions. Hopefully, it's issues are mainly cosmetic.


At some point, the original wood siding on the house was covered up with aluminum siding to keep maintenance down. In the best case scenario, we'd pull off the aluminum to find that the wood siding was in great shape and only needed a fresh coat of paint and a few boards replaced here and there.  Worst case scenario, we would replace all of the siding. The front porch decking and roof both need some work, and we'll most likely add a railing as well. Also, the roof and windows will eventually need to be replaced. We have a lot of landscaping ideas, too.


After thinking long and hard about the upstairs, we've come to the conclusion that it would probably be best to gut the whole thing and start over. The ceilings are low, and the three small bedrooms have small closets that aren't easily accessible. By gutting the ceiling and walls, we're hoping to add quite a bit more height and floor space, and we'd also like to convert one of the bedroom spaces into a walk in closet and bathroom.

All of that is going to be a tremendous amount of work! Fortunately, because of Riley's trade (electrician), he is capable of doing most of the work himself, which means it will get done faster and we will save an incredible amount of money on labor. He also already has plenty of connections for those jobs that we will decide to hire out. With his skill and connections, not to mention his sheer determination and motivation, our fixer upper is in the best of hands.

So far, the work has been going smoothly, with only one major setback.  The house was broken into the other night, and most of Riley's tools were stolen.  Not only does it feel like a punch in the gut, but it's also going to be one of those unexpected expenses that usually comes with fixer upper territory.  Fortunately, Riley should be able to borrow what he needs in order to keep progress moving while we work on replacing the tools and having the glass in our (beautiful, original!) doors repaired.  He's not the kind of guy to let something like this slow him down!

As of right now, the bathroom and kitchen have been completely demoed and gutted, so I have lots to share about that next!

4 comments:

  1. Ugh, bummer about his tools! That sucks, but at least he can borrow what he needs for now.

    You're lucky that you have some overlapping time to get bigger projects done! We didn't have that so no major reno happened at our place (because I'm not living in rubble), but I'm excited to see how the kitchen turns out.

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  2. Two years ago, someone broke into Jordan's truck and stole, among other things, his entire tool belt. I know how expensive each one of those tools are! What a bummer. Sounds like you've got a good man for the job, though! I won't lie: don't envy your project, and while I think it's awesome that people buy houses to fix up, that is not at all a desire of mine :)

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    1. Aw man, that's awful about his truck! Riley's always worried about that happening. I do have the right man for the job! Haha, it's certainly not for everyone though, and as long as you know ahead of time that it's not for you that's just fine!

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  3. Your home seems to be in need of a long process of renovation. It seems that every corner needs to be remodeled. Anyway, I’m very excited to see what you're going to do in there. Do share it to us, once everything is done. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your home restoration project, Allison! All the best to you and your family!

    Melba Collins @ Vermeulens

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