So with everything continuing along full-steam-ahead on the house (thankfully *knock on wood*) and our closing date now in less than a month (just over 4 weeks away, 8/22), we have officially felt comfortable enough to start looking at home improvement projects and setting our “Honey Do” list. Now granted ours is more of a five-year-plan set up haha.
1. Painting: We know we want to paint Ducky’s room as soon as we move so we’ve already looked at colors and the 2 colors for her walls have been chosen. We have an overall cream/beige color then the accent wall (which is also the window wall) will have a light spring green. This color scheme will go with both the yellow and purple that we have picked out for her crib sets. We have several long-term goals for painting but those fall under the “let’s live in the house a while first” category and will happen as we go.
2. Bathrooms: Both of the bathrooms in the house are full baths but the size is a little on the small side and the set up is that (to me) awkward one where the tub is on one side and the sink and toilet on the other. So we have a plan to redo the master bathroom first (short of replacing the tub and fixtures, we’re talking major overhaul). I’m still trying to figure out what we want to do with the main bathroom in the hallway, mostly because it is the main bathroom and the one that will see a lot of use, I’m trying to pick what I want to do with it that I won’t hate in a year! The master bath was easy because I’m going with a similar sort of idea as what I want to do in the master bedroom.
3. Fencing: Our first major expense I want to take care of is fencing in the backyard. This is not only a privacy and cosmetic thing, this is also for the dog. He deserves a yard to run around in. First thing is going to be getting the property surveyed and going from there. There is a LOT of work that needs to be done in the yard but as we don’t think we’ll be moving out of that house any time soon (we’re talking 15-20 years even barring some major life changes) I’m not hugely worried about the yard. I have started making plans and breaking those into steps. The backyard needs to be seeded; we need a shed; and we’d both like an entertaining area. These are things that can be taken care of next spring/summer/fall.
4: Roof/HVAC: We are moving into the house knowing that both of these will need to be addressed in the next five years. As such we have a plan in place to have them addressed in the next 3 years. We don’t want to do it in the first year because we want the house to be “lived in” for a while so we learn the house and it’s nuances. Plus that gives us time to save up money (these are both fairly hard expenses on their own but factor in just having moved, commuting, and having an infant and I would rather wait and save the money to make sure we know what kind of budget we have before taking on a major expense like that, even if we get an installment payment plan). Waiting until the 2nd/3rd year also gives us a chance to price-shop and really make sure we’re getting a good deal from a reputable source, plus a good warranty/maintenance plan/whatever.
5. Kitchen: My personal 5 year goal is to have redone the entire kitchen if possible. Not full gut and remodel because it doesn’t need it. I want to repaint the cabinets, replace the fixtures on them. We have ugly formica counters so I want to replace/paint/tile those. There is a wall and door that (if I can manage it without compromising structural integrity) I’d like to get rid of entirely to open the kitchen to the side exterior door and the 2 pantries (don’t ask about that, just nod and go with it). We will also need a new fridge, not only does the house’s fridge have a giant dent in the door (we know exactly where it’s from and it’s part of why I want that wall mentioned earlier GONE), it is a bit older and not as energy efficient as current available models. But I can wait a few years on the fridge. Like I said, 5 year goal.
6. Basement: 90% of the basement is unfinished. There is a single finished bedroom in the basement. There is framework set up in the basement for a bathroom (including the plumbing having been installed) and for a laundry room and a third ‘spare’ room. I’d like to take down the framing for all but the bathroom (none of these are support structures, those are very clearly obvious in the basement) to open up the space until we decide how we want to use it, plus that gives us more storage space. There is also under the stairs that has to be finished. Our priority in the basement is the bathroom (since, again, it is already about 20% done). Then we’ll work on the laundry space. I don’t feel like a need a ‘room’ just for laundry so I’m already looking at turning it into more of a ‘closet’ sort of functionality. But that’s for down the road in a few years.
Like I said, plans. Lots of plans. Putting together a whole notebook of house-related stuff. Pricing fencing, washer/dryer, fridge, paint expenses, lawncare stuff, sheds. Things that most people don’t think about but when you don’t have them and you know you’re going to need them…it’s easier to walk in knowing what you want and what your price-point is so you can shop around for good bargains.
We’re walking into this with big ideas and hopes but we also know we are undertaking a lot so we’re trying to not put the cart before the horse on any situation for home improvement.
Have you undertaken a home improvement project lately? What did you do? Did you have a budget and if so, did you stay on budget? And tips, tricks, or ideas you want to share?