Annie’s Renovation Reality: The List


912 Circa 2008

I can’t remember if I mentioned it on here before or not but Jason and I were planning to head to Chicago for July 4th with my sister and her husband but the plans fell through so we won’t be going after all. Sad, yes, but we looked at that weekend as a chance to do some much needed things around the house. This past weekend we talked a lot about what the next steps of our home renovation will be. Since we’ve paid off a few credit cards, we feel that a few smaller projects around the house are doable and we’re so ready to see some changes. I’ve mentioned that we’re renovating our home a few times (here and here) but have never shared the full scope of how grand this task is. Let me share some of our story.

This conversation that was just had between Jason and I pretty much sums it up:

Me: How many houses would you say we looked at before we picked this one?
Jason: 8,462… or maybe 40.

In other words, too many. Some of the houses we looked at were “too done” (i.e. the most we had to do was paint and landscape) and some of the houses were not livable (i.e. foreclosures without so much as a toilet). Finally, in August 2008, we found this house and it was our happy medium. It was bank-owned and no one had lived in it for a few months but it was all hardwoods except the kitchen and bathrooms and was livable! It had fantastic bones. After moving in, Jason took out all the bushes in the front yard (shown above) and some in the backyard and sold the awful carport. We primed all the walls and painted the kitchen cabinets, bought new appliances, and installed new ceiling fans in the living room and bedrooms.

Then much of the renovations stopped in May 2009 when Jason lost his job. I had lost mine in January so here we were sitting on unemployment and unable to put any money toward the house. Fast forward to June 2011, I had just been laid off for the second time and Jason has been working contract for a year… and he proposes! Later that year, both of us are finally hired full time but we have a wedding to pay for. Then, after only 6 months, I go through my third lay off. Now I’m coming up on my first anniversary with my current job, Jason is coming up on his second, and we are in full debt pay-off mode. After 4.5 years, we are back to putting the house renovations towards the top of our priorities list! My original plan was to have been moved out by now but that’s the way things happen.

So, coming back to Fourth of July weekend, we are hoping to get permitted and start building our deck! I don’t have much faith that the city permitting office will get back to us in time but the thought of finally getting started on it is super exciting. So below is our long laundry list for our home. This is semi-shortened. Our room to-do lists include more but this definitely gives a good overall idea. I’m also really excited to get to share our plans, photos, and progress with you all. We have people ask us all the time how the house is coming along so I’ll post when I can about what’s happening. Until then, if anyone wants to volunteer to help with ANYTHING let me know! Jason and I will be doing all of this ourselves (minus the electrical and other things that professionals absolutely must do) so it’s a great learning opportunity. Plus, for helping us, we will supply all the pizza, beer, Chinese food, homemade desserts, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, whatever you want!

Annie’s Renovation Reality To-Do List:

Living Room:
– Install new ceiling fan
– Tear down some of the wall leading to the dining room
– Take out front door
– Install built-in shelves/ window seat/ desk unit where door used to be
– New windows
– Install patio door
– Crown molding

Dining Room:
– New front door
– New window
– Agree upon, purchase, and install new lighting
– Crown molding

– Hook up gas line
– GUT!
– Brick in current window and half of door to turn into over-the-sink window
– Install tile flooring
– Install hood vent, over the stove microwave
– New fridgedishwasher, stove, cabinets

Outside Laundry Room + storage/ Water Heater / Hall Closet / Half Bath:
– Gut half bath
– Open to laundry room
– Purchase and hook up new stackable washer/dryer
– Brick in laundry room door
– Move plumbing to move and stack w/d
– Demo hall closet and close in to create one big room
– New tub, shower, toilet, vanity, laundry doors
– Purchase and install tankless water heater

Take out chimney in closet
Open closet and install pocket door
– New window
– Crown molding

Second Bedroom:
Move door back
– Open closet and install pocket door
– New windows
– Crown molding

Master Bedroom:
– Move closet to other wall
– Demo current closet
– Move door to hallway to create master suite
– New windows
– Crown molding

Master Bath:
– GUT!
– Take out closet
– New standing shower, vanity, toilet
– New window

– Build shed
– Build deck
– Build patio
– Move firepit
– Install fencing
– Landscape front and back yards
– New roof
– New siding
– Paint exterior
– Replace iron railings on front porch with wood
– Paint front porch
– New exterior lighting


3 thoughts on “Annie’s Renovation Reality: The List

  1. Pingback: Garage Sale Tips, Tricks, ‘n Lessons Learned | under the oaks

  2. Pingback: Annie’s Renovation Reality: The Bedrooms | under the oaks

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