Spring 2019 Home Update

Friday, March 29, 2019

To help keep me on track with some of our 2019 home goals, I wanted to share some quarterly updates of progress we've made on our fixer upper. We hustled our butts this fall and winter and ended Q4 of 2018 by making a huge dent in our project list and putting a ton of sweat equity into our home.

Now that we've had time to budget, plan, and dream about what we want to accomplish with the home in 2019, our theme for this year is "curb appeal." One of the biggest downsides of this home when it was on the market was the paint, the landscaping, and the all around "blah" factor of it. 

They say the best time to make landscaping changes was 5 years ago, and the second best time is today, so we figured focusing on landscaping and exterior projects this year would be a good place to start so we have time to enjoy the fruits of our labor and then have beautiful, lush landscaping to enjoy in a few years.

All that said, here's our quarterly update of 2019 progress so far: 



Y'all, it happened. We got this sucker painted and ho-ly mo-ly it looks sooooooo much better. When we bought this home, we were told it had just been painted last year, so in our minds we figured we'd just wait to paint it since it should have been in good condition. What we didn't know was that the gutters on the house were basically useless, and the paint job they had done before was incomplete/incorrect. To protect our siding, we knew we needed to fix this right away. We hired a local contractor to install extra large gutters to handle all the crazy rain we've had this winter (we filled our 150 gallon rain barrel in 25 days), and replace rotted siding, caulk all the nail holes, and properly paint our home. 

You may recall that our initial photoshop renderings of the house was a dark grey tone -- unfortunately, that color didn't get approved by our HOA since it was too similar to our neighbors. So, we selected our second favorite, a dark moody blue by Sherwin Williams called Slate Tile. We selected Alabaster White trim, and a fun, playful yellow for our front door called Pineapple Cream. If you're friends with us, you know we kind of have a thing for pineapples. Not only are pineapples the southern symbol of hospitality, but we also got engaged in front of a big pineapple fountain in Charleston. Pineapple Cream had to be our color!

I can't tell you what a dream it is to pull up to this house every day and see THIS image instead of the drab before. We are so thrilled, our neighbors are thrilled, I honestly believe the house is  thrilled, and everything worked out perfectly. 

Exterior To Do: 
  1. ✅Paint house & trim 
  2. ✅Paint front door 
  3. ✅Paint stair railing 
  4. ✅Paint garage doors to match house
  5. ✅Replace exterior light fixtures

Remaining to do: 
  1. -Re-landscape front yard (work in progress, currently!) We plan to aerate and seed as soon as the last frost passes us in a couple weeks. Hopefully by the end of the summer this front yard will look a lot different!

This space has some minor to do items left, but here's a refresher of what we did: 

2018 Accomplished:  
Replace flooring on main floor
Remove carpet and re-finish stairs
Improve/repair railing (currently a little loose)
Take down curtains
Replace rotted trim on exterior
Paint the room a new color
Paint the spindles & risers white
Replace lock with smart lock/touch pad
Spray paint nickel hardware black
Add a coat drop area

Remaining To Do: 
-Replace entry light with something more stylish
  1. -Scrape popcorn ceilings in entry and hallway ( I want to do this so badly, but it makes such a mess I really have to psych myself up)


2018 Accomplished:  
  1. ✅Replace carpet with hardwood floors 
  2. ✅Make windows operable
  3. ✅Replace light with something more stylish 
  4. ✅Paint room
  5. ✅Get an indoor/outdoor rug for easy cleaning
  6. ✅Add window treatments

  7. 2019 To Do: 
  8. -Possibly re-cover ceiling. We've decided in this room instead of scraping the popcorn ceilings off, we want to do an "accent" to cover it like this.  We may or may not get to it in 2019, but it's on the overall project list.


Here's the room from when we moved in:

Here's where we are now: 

Living Room To  Do: 
  1. ✅Remove carpet and replace with hardwoods 
  2. ✅Paint walls & trim 
  3. ✅Remove the crooked curtains & patch curtain holes -- ask me about how we found a huge leak from the seller screwing curtains into our shower pipe.... 
  4. ✅Replace back door (this is something we actually negotiated for the seller to take care of)
  5. ✅Make windows operable
  6. ✅Re-face fireplace tiles with sticker tiles 
  7. ✅Add blinds to windows
  8. ✅Add screen door to back door 

Remaining To Do: 
-At some point we need to repair the fireplace trim, and install a low profile ceiling fan. Not sure when we'll get to that.

We haven't done much with our kitchen other than work on spray painting some of the door knobs to a matte black, and painting the walls.  We definitely want to improve this kitchen at some point, but everything is pretty new and in good shape, so while I don't like how it looks, it's functionally fine and we're going to focus on other areas that need attention more urgently. I think in about 1-2 years we will likely add a tile backsplash, and possibly replace the counter tops. 

This is my inspiration for what we'd like to do down the line! 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅Remove & replace tile floor - this was an unexpected 2018 project, and I'm SO happy we did it!
✅Convert coat closet to pantry 
✅New refrigerator
✅Convert coat closet to pantry

2019 Accomplished:  
✅Paint & touch up trim around baseboards 
✅Finish pantry trim & paint

Future Goals:
-Remove fiberglass backsplash & replace with tile 
-Paint cabinets white
-Replace yellow counter tops 

Just for fun, here's the pantry from before: 

Here's what it looks like now: 


And here's where we are now: 

Some of you may recall we had a big leak over Christmas when we found out a curtain rod had previously been drilled into our shower pipe. Insurance covered everything, thank God, and we had extra drywall leftover from that repair, so we used it to cover the "baby jail", as we called it, in our nook. It really took the house out of the 1980s if you ask me. 

2018 Accomplished:

  1. ✅Buy kitchen chairs & table 
  2. ✅Add bamboo shade to picture window 
  3. ✅Scrape paint off windows
  4. ✅Move curtains off window frame and re-hang curtains

  5. 2019 Accomplished: 
  6. ✅Paint walls (hoping to get this done in the next couple weeks!)
  7. ✅Drywall the spindle window 

To do: 
  1. -Replace hanging light with something more stylish

Much to own surprise, I've managed to stay focused on the projects I've started downstairs and have really focused on getting those finished. For now, all of the bedrooms upstairs are still beige, beige, beige. We hope to tackle at least one room with fresh paint in 2019, but we'll see. We just haven't been super motivated to get to these rooms yet, but they definitely need it. Staying focused is the hardest part of this process though, so we're trying to set goals and stick to them without getting distracted! To save some time, I'll spare sharing pictures of these spaces for now since they're pretty bland. Once we start working upstairs, I'll make sure to take a lot of before shots :) 

Upstairs Bathrooms: 

Aside from house painting, the only other "big" project we have planned for 2019 is removing the bathfitter shower and re-installing a bathtub in the guest bathroom. Not only are we bath people, but we also know a bath tub is really important in a family friendly neighborhood like ours if/when we re-sell this home. It will probably happen sometime this summer. We've gotten a few bids, and they were better than expected, so we are currently saving for this and hope to have it installed by fall 2019. 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅ Not a lot! Just moved in and took down all the silk, beige curtains

2019 To Do:
  1. -Replace guest shower with bathtub 

The back deck:
We had really high hopes of turning our back porch into a screen porch at some point in the future, but the bids we have gotten for that have been exorbitant (the cheapest one was $14,000!). I didn't expect it to be that high, so we are tabling this project for now and will decide if it's something we want to do later. For now, we've added a screen door so we can at least enjoy some fresh air in the living room :) 

Adding another item to keep track of -- 

Spenser has been designated the Tzar of Outside. I have a bit of a black thumb, don't really like digging in dirt, and would 100000% be more keep to outsource landscaping work than do it myself. Spenser on the other hand absolutely loves working outside, so we've decided this is his turf! He's set some big goals for himself in 2019, and has already made some good progress. A little list of what he's accomplished and some of his 2019 goals below below: 

What he's accomplished: 
✅Remove 8 front hedges 
✅Remove Crepe Myrtle Stumps 
✅Paint mailbox 
✅Plant mounding perennials around mailbox 
✅Stone edge around mailbox 
✅Aerate yard 
✅Get rain barrel 
✅Remove ivy from back yard 
✅Sow some moss seeds down front yard to help with drainage 

To do: 
-Remove Nandina shrubs 
-Remove ivy from crepe myrtles
-Hedge Crepe Myrtles 
-Plant new trees 
-Plant new shrubs 
-Edge, mulch, and landscape front  yard

Thanks for reading along with this novel of a post! It's been really fun keeping track of everything we're doing and having a place to go back to look at how far we've come! 

Cheers to the journey! 

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