Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Updated project list

I realized this morning that I haven't updated our project list in a while. I was thinking that we really haven't gotten that much accomplished since moving in last August, boy was I wrong! I managed to cross a ton of things off my list, but at the same time, I added a bunch too. I really hope that doesn't cancel it all out.

Here's our updated project list by room or area:

House Exterior

  • Weed and feed front lawn
  • Fix crumbling concrete patio and sidewalk 
  • Reseed front lawn
  • Weed garden bed 
  • Move bulbs to another part of the front garden/plant in pots to save for back garden
  • Re-mortar planter bed 
  • Plant rose bushes/shrubs in planter
  • Build window boxes for large front window
  • Gussy-up the front porch (buy a bench, add either some hanging baskets or a planter) 
  • Replace decorative trellis and handrail 
  • Repaint shutters, trim, garage door and house exterior
  • Take out shrub on slope, terrace and add perennial garden 
  • Take out shrub next to the house
  • Pull out myrtle on the left side of the house
  • Add landscaping rock or some other drainage material on the left side of house
  • Build slate planter around the main window garden (to match planter)

Back yard 

  • Cut down pine trees
  • Grind up pine stumps 
  • Take our shrubs and stumps  (we're not completely finished with this - there are still a few left)
  • Reseed lawn
  • Add chain link fencing 
  • Take out brick planters
  • Cut down broken pine tree (contractor) 
  • Take off canopy thing from garage door
  • Plant some large shrubs (possibly evergreen?) to create a natural privacy fence on the back edge of fence
  • Finish building the fire pit
  • Install picket fence and pergola (or archway) for perennial garden
  • Plant perennial garden 
  • Create paved stone deck off of garage 
  • Fence in alcove area for vegetable garden
  • Build raised beds for vegetable gardening 
Garage 
  • Organize garage admittedly, we're still working on this, but we've made some huge progress since AJ moved out
  • Replace door to the backyard 
  • Redo concrete floor
  • Redo drywall 
  • Install peg board and organizational bins/shelves for tools 
  • Paint 
  • Build and install folding work table 
Living Room/Entryway
  • Paint 
  • Install overhead light 
  • Finish back wall  (oh my gods I was so excited when this was finished)
  • Replace doorbell 
  • Install crown molding/baseboard and window trim 
  • Create mail sorter 
  • Build new tv console 
  • Figure out how to get a fireplace in there
Kitchen
  • Install dishwasher
  • Install counter top 
  • Install back splash 
  • Paint 
  • Create kitchen chalkboard
  • Tear out mini cabinet
  • Install trim around tile 
  • Install track lighting 
  • Install iron chandelier over dining area 
  • Build farmhouse-style table and benches for dining nook 
  • Use reclaimed wood (in garage) to make shelf on long wall 
  • Add crown molding/baseboard/window trim
  • Sew curtains for window
  • Take out scalloped wood piece 
  • Finish cabinet space next to dishwasher
  • Install new flooring
Master bedroom
  • Repaint 
  • Install crown molding/baseboard/window trim 
  • Install closet organization system 
  • Install bi-fold doors for closet  
  • Refinish dressers (or purchase new) 
  • Hang new curtain rods/curtains
  • Sew new curtains/quilt
  • Install possible 3rd window? 
Guest room
  • Paint
  • Replace overhead light fixture 
  • Install crown molding/baseboard/window trim
Sunroom
  • Add lighting
  • Insulate properly 
  • Fix carpet
Bathroom
  • Install fan
  • Install new tub tile 
  • Refinish tub
  • Install new tub hardware 
  • Fix hole in wall from previous light switch
  • Repaint/fix wainscoting 
  • Add cabinets 
  • Install new flooring 
  • Make alcove wider/deeper
  • Route plumbing/electric to new alcove 
  • Build double vanity 
  • Install double vanity/mirrors/lighting 
Attic 
  • Insulate
  • Install heating
  • Drywall 
  • Wire for electric outlets 
  • Replace windows 
  • Install carpet 
  • Install baseboard/window molding 
  • Create built-ins 
  • Paint 
  • Create office area? 
  • Install skylights?
  • Install master bath?
Basement
  • Move washer and dryer together for laundry area 
  • Replace furnace and water heater
  • Replace electric panel
  • Vapor seal 
  • Install sub-floor
  • Frame out rooms 
  • Run proper electric/plumbing for each room
  • Replace windows 
  • Install carpet and tile (where needed)
  • Fix stairwell 
  • Install drywall and drop ceiling 
  • Install baseboard/window molding and trim
  • Install overhead lighting
  • Paint 
  • Create half-bath
  • Create bar area 
What's funny is that the guest room is the most "completed" room in our house. Mostly because there isn't much we needed to do to it in the first place which is really nice. However, when we have a kid that room will become the baby room and we'll need to do some work (mostly in the realm of decorating and acquiring furniture). 

Also when that happens, our attic will become the new "guest room." We're still debating over the possibility of installing a master suite upstairs (which would essentially be the guest suite since we'll be still sleeping downstairs next door to the kiddo), but it will depend largely on space and cost. We won't really have a good idea if something like that is going to work until we talk to a contractor and install the drywall. 

The great part about our house is the flexibility it offers. We can use our rooms for multiple purposes. It would be too difficult (if we decide to go this route) to turn the attic into a full-fledged guest suite and use the current guest room as our office until we have a kid. Once that happens, we can always move the "office" into the basement. 

If we decide not to put a full bath in the attic, then we will use that space as our permanent office area (it will be sectioned off) and build a second full bath in the basement. Yeah, I know it sounds a little weird, but we have PLENTY of space in our basement for a full bath. We're planning on at least putting a half-bath in there, and figure that we can add a sleeper sofa (for when Garry has friends over for late-night gaming sessions) and some other comfy and stylish furniture to create a fun space for friends and family gatherings. We also have a huge dining table that we need to possibly refinish that we can use for family gatherings. So in reality, our basement will become a recreation room/bar/family dining/laundry area. 

It is going to take a LOT of work friends. Luckily, Garry was offered a job and we'll be able to set aside anywhere from $500 - $1,000 a month toward projects. It will still take us a few years to get to everything, but I think we should have this project list completed in about 5-7 years, considering the amount of money and work it will take to finish the basement in particular. 

This year, we're hoping to complete at least:
  • Fix crumbling concrete patio and sidewalk 
  • Reseed front lawn
  • Weed garden bed 
  • Move bulbs to another part of the front garden/plant in pots to save for back garden
  • Re-mortar planter bed 
  • Plant rose bushes/shrubs in planter 
  • Pull out myrtle on the left side of the house
  • Cut down broken pine tree (contractor) 
  • Take off canopy thing from garage door
  • Plant some large shrubs (possibly evergreen?) to create a natural privacy fence on the back edge of fence
  • Finish building the fire pit
  • Install crown molding/baseboard and window trim on first floor
  • Create mail sorter 
  • Install trim around back splash tile 
  • Install track lighting in kitchen
  • Install iron chandelier over dining area  
  • Sew curtains for kitchen windows/bedroom and living room
  • Repaint bedroom  
  • Replace overhead light fixture in guest room 
  • Install new tub tile 
  • Refinish tub
  • Install new tub hardware 
  • Fix hole in wall from previous light switch in bathroom
  • Repaint/fix wainscoting in bathroom
  • Paint bathroom
  • Drywall attic
  • Wire for electric outlets in attic 
It looks like a long list, but the first few items I'm planning on tackling this weekend and the backyard items on that list will hopefully be taken care of in the next two months. The only two "large" projects on our list for this year include installing the electric boxes and drywall in the attic and installing new tile in the bathroom and refinishing the tub. Everything else is a "Saturday afternoon" project. 

I talked to my brother who recently purchased his first home with his wife and they were lamenting about "how long" it's taking to save up money to start the projects. The thing is, Garry and I do a lot of work ourselves, prioritize what needs to be taken care of and take care of as many "free" or "low cost" projects as we can (like painting or small-scale decorating projects). We also shop sales and take advantage of coupons  when they become available. Saving money is important, you need to make sure you have some cash to fall back on if something unexpected comes up, but you need to invest in your home to build equity also. This is why it's important to not pay too much for a house - so you can have the funds to do repair and upgrades and still have some left over for fun stuff too (then again, some of these projects are considered "fun stuff" for us... call us weird).

Our plan is to have the bulk of the major projects taken care of  before we have a kid - that way all we need to do down the road is some updating and maintenance and that extra money can go toward spoiling taking care of our kiddo. We know it's unrealistic to have the basement completely finished (although that would rock) but at least having it "finished" (dry wall and flooring installed) would be a great place to be. 

Also, we have a lot of amazing friends who are willing to help us out for the low low price of throwing some food on the grill or ordering a pizza and some wings when we're all finished. They're awesome like that.

Anyone else have a crazy list of seemingly endless house projects out there?