Monday, May 20, 2013

House Tour

We've purchased our first house! And, I'm a little late in sharing that news. It's only been 2 months. Oh well, better late than never, right?

Dave and I started looking at houses last fall, and saw this one for the first time in December. We put an offer on it in January, but didn't close till March (it was a personal choice, there were no problems causing setbacks). Even though we closed the beginning of March, we didn't move until the beginning of April. So it's been kind of a lengthy process, but it's been a good one.

We love our little ranch, and it will be the perfect place to raise our family (oh yeah, we're going to have a baby in October!). Our favorite things about the house are the 2-car garage, the workshop out back, and the bonus room, that I'm planning on turning into a craft room/office. Well, actually our most favorite thing about the house is that it is OURS! We can make any changes to it that we want.

We've already started making some changes. Because we still had a lease on our apartment until last week, our attention has been split between the house and the apartment, and cleaning and painting the apartment took precedence over painting the house. But now we're 100% homeowners and 0% renters, and we should be able to tackle our projects full force!

These pictures, with the exception of the exterior shots, were taken during our home inspection. This is why the rooms are mostly empty, and what is there looks like it belongs to an octogenarian. Because it did. We have our things moved in now, and soon I'll start showing updates that we're making!

So, without further ado, our house tour!

The Front Yard

This is the front yard in February. It still looks the same, except now we have a plethora of dandelions decorating our lawn. 

To Do:
  • Remove some/all of the bushes under the windows.
  • Add a curvy flowerbed to soften the very angular sidewalk.
  • Paint the siding/garage door
  • Possibly add a lilac bush?
  • Treat the lawn for dandelions (our neighbors all have gorgeous yards, and we don't want our weeds to spread to their lawns, therefore making us the worst neighbors ever). 
  • Change exterior lights or paint and fix existing ones. (Several of the glass panes are broken, so we don't know if we'll be able to replace only the glass, or if we should just replace the entire fixture).
  • Replace ugly screen door with pretty glass one.
  • Paint front door.
  • Replace mailbox (and hopefully hang it lower; it's currently so high that I can't see into it to check the mail, I just have to stick my hand in and hope for the best).
The Dining Room

This room was the original living room, before the addition was added sometime in the 80s. Since we don't have a real use for a formal sitting room, and the kitchen isn't big enough to comfortably add a dining table, we're using this front room as a dining room.

It is the first room you walk into through the front door.

To Do:
  • Paint the walls a fun, bright color
  • Update/replace light.
  • Buy/build dining table and chairs.
  • Add a fun rug.
  • Hang art, mirrors, etc.
  • Possibly get a sideboard for wall by hallway?
The Kitchen

The kitchen was originally at the back of the house, so the door and window opening would have looked out into the back yard. Now they lead to the living room.

The room itself is fairly large for what is in it, which is not much. I think we have less counter space here than we did in our last apartment. There are three entrances into the kitchen, making it a tricky room to layout. There is a large doorway from the dining room, a standard one from the living room, and the door to the garage is also in the kitchen, on the wall to the right. Some day we would like to make this space more useful.

To Do:
  • Upgrade all outlets to grounded outlets. Currently, we cannot plug most appliances into the outlets along the walls (not along the cabinets), because our appliances have 3 prongs, and the outlets only have 2.
  • Paint cabinets white.
  • Paint walls.
  • Buy new stove. This is the only major appliance that's not relatively new. It works, but not well. It always burns my baked goods, and I have yet to make successful rice on the stove top.
  • Replace lighting. Currently there is a ceiling fan in the back right corner, a long florescent light near the sink, and some lousy under-cabinet lighting directly over the sink. I'm not sure what we want to do lighting-wise, but we want to have it make sense!
  • Add light switch coming from living room. Since the living room is the space we spend the most time in, it's very frustrating to have to walk all the way across the kitchen to turn on the light. There is currently a switch by the garage door and a switch in the dining room. Yeah, it doesn't make sense to us either.
  • Remove various retro paraphernalia from garage door. There is a phone jack mounted on a plaque like a hunting trophy and a keypad to an alarm system that hasn't worked in years. We have already moved the smoke detector, but it still needs a permanent home (currently it's hanging on an art hook in the living room. Not gorgeous).
  • Make the room flow better. We've been back and forth on how exactly we want to do this. It will certainly involve changing the window space into a door (then it will line up with the dining room door and make a more logical walkway). However, we aren't sure if we want to then drywall over the existing door and add a small island in the middle of the room, or knock down the wall and add an island/bar into that space (the stools would then technically be in the living room). We'll be sure to keep you posted.
  • Add pantry.
The Living Room

This room was an addition. The wall along the kitchen is the original exterior wall, and is bricked most of the way up. It is dry walled at the very top where the roof would have covered it, and then had ceiling texture sprayed over it (yuck!). The beams are non-structural. The carpet is new.

To Do:
  • Scrape all that yucky texture off the walls.
  • Remove 3/4 trim from brick wall. Ok, we've actually already done this, and boy is it ugly underneath! Its not worse than the trim, however. Hopefully once we remove the texture we can mud and tape up the crack (yup, there's a gap between the drywall and the brick) then paint the whole wall one color to make it look more cohesive. 
  • Remove corner trim. Again, we've mostly done this. In the two interior corners, there are large gaps. We'll hopefully be able to fix these by mudding and taping as well. 
  • Hang art. I'd love to do a gallery wall on the brick, but I'm not sure if I'm crazy. You know, since it will be 1,000,000 times harder to hang art on that wall than any other wall in the whole house.
  • Build covers for the baseboard heaters. The rooms in the addition have baseboard heaters, because for some reason the central heating/AC vents were not continued throughout. The heaters work quite well, but we'll see how miserable this summer is without AC. 
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint/stain the beams. They're currently untreated and very rough looking. Like, if you ran your hand along them I think you'd get a splinter. I love the character they add, but they could be brought into this century a bit.
The Office

This room is off the living room, and behind the garage. It doesn't count as 4th bedroom because it has no closet. I'm super excited about this space, because I can have a dedicated craft room/office without having to worry about also making space for guests/future kiddos.

To Do:
  • Scrape all that yucky texture off the walls.
  • Remove 3/4 trim. Mud and tape as needed.
  • Paint walls fun bright color (pink??).
  • Paint shelves white.
  • Build baseboard heater cover.
  • Collect many many pretty boxes (the shelves may be good for organizing, but stacks of un-contained craft stuff is not so pretty to look at).
  • Build a closet against brick wall. To do this, we will have to modify/remove the shelves. I know, most people drool looking at these shelves, but there are some things that aren't meant to be looked at, and/or don't fit on shelves anyway. Plus, adding a closet makes it technically count as a bedroom. Score!
The Mudroom

The mudroom is on the opposite end of the living room, situated behind the laundry room. The door opens out to a concrete patio in the back yard.

To Do:
  • Do something with the cabinets. I'm thinking remove them and replace them with something more useful/less likely to bonk your head. They're at a rather funny height.
  • Remove door between living room and mudroom (done).
  • Eventually remove the wall between the mudroom and the living room, making a more open space.
  • Eventually tile the floor (who wants mud in the carpet?).
  • Paint the walls.
  • Paint back door?
The Pantry

The pantry is in the back of the mudroom.

To Do:
  • Turn into second bathroom. To do this, we need to to many things:
  • Remove plywood shelves. Re-purpose for workshop/shed/garage storage. 
  • Move wall up to approximately even with current mudroom door.
  • Tile floor.
  • Box in heating pipe.
  • Install lighting.
  • Install plumbing.
  • Decide: shower stall or bathtub? We are pretty sure we want a full bath instead of a half bath.
  • Paint walls.
The Hallway

Now we're back to the front of the house. The hallway is off the dining room to the left. All the bedrooms, the laundry room and the bathroom are in this little space.

To Do:
  • Paint the walls.
  • Update light fixture.
  • Remove doorbell from the Brady Bunch. It doesn't work anyway. 
  • Fix attic fan.
  • Paint fan and vent to blend in with ceiling. 
  • Change closet doors at the end of the hall from bi-fold to double doors. Build in shelves and use this larger closet as linen closet/general storage.
  • Change linen closet door (very front of hall, on the left) from bi fold to single door. Move linens to end closet and use this as medicine cabinet/general storage.
  • Hang art? There may not be space next to the 7 doors.
The Laundry Room

Because there is no basement, the utilities are also in this room. They make the entrance very crowded, and less than gorgeous. The laundry hookups are also along the same long wall as the utilities, which means that when the washer and dryer doors are open, I can't actually stand in front of them because they nearly touch the wall (we have energy-star rated front loaders).

To Do:
  • Remove cabinet on right (done. I nearly bonked my head too many times for comfort so down it came).
  • Paint walls.
  • Build in utilities? I would love to put the utilities into a closet (with vented doors of course) so that they aren't the first thing you see.
  • Move washer/dryer hookups. Our machines will just fit next to each other on the back wall, and if they were there I could actually reach the clothes inside them. What a novel idea!
  • Build counter top over washer/dryer.
  • Paint floors.
The Bathroom

There is only one bathroom in the house currently. It was also the very first thing we tackled (even before we moved in). Because it was the only room with wallpaper, we figured our best bet was to remove it immediately. 

To Do:
  • Remove wallpaper (done).
  • Paint walls (done).
  • Remove large cabinet over toilet (done).
  • Replace sink and vanity (this was not strictly necessary, but we found a new all-white one for $50 (!!!) and it makes a huge difference) (done).
  • Replace towel and TP hardware (done).
  • Replace tiny medicine cabinet with large mirror.
  • Paint door and trim white (80% done. The trim is all done, and the door is technically white, but needs to be redone. Dave decided on a whim to paint it, but since we had company coming two days later, it didn't get fully finished before we had to replace the doorknob).
  • Make new shower curtain (our old one is sage green, and we painted the walls lime green. They don't play together well. I am almost done with the new curtain).
  • Hang new shower curtain close to the ceiling (I'm making an extra long curtain, and hoping that it will make this tiny space feel a tad larger). Also, we got a curved shower curtain rod. It was really the only thing Dave asked for on our bridal registry 2.5 years ago, and he was pretty bummed that we never got it. Now that we have a house, we upgraded!
  • Update lighting (possibly paint existing fixture).
The Master Bedroom

There isn't anything about this bedroom that makes it "master" other than it is slightly (like, maybe 2 sq.ft.) bigger than the second bedroom. Also, the fuse box is in the closet, which isn't something you want kiddos playing with!

To Do:
  • Remove curtains, hang new ones.
  • Paint the walls.
  • Possibly build in a dresser through wall into guest room closet (closet is extra deep)?
  • Find a way to make the closet more useful. We were spoiled in our last apartment, and had a massive walk-in closet to share. Now we can't fit all our clothes in the small closet. We need to find an organization system that works for us.
The Guest Room

This room is directly across the hall from the master bedroom. Someday it will be used as a kiddo room.

To Do:
  • Remove curtains, hang new ones.
  • Paint walls.
  • Get unbunkable bunk beds. This way, we can have two twin beds in this room for guests, but can stack them down the line when it is inhabited by our small fry.
The Nursery

The nursery is next to the guest room, across from the laundry room. We decided to make it the nursery because it is so tiny.

To Do:
  • Remove curtains, hang new ones.
  • Paint walls.
  • The rest of our nursery plans are currently on hold, as we are waiting to find out if our bundle of joy is a boy or a girl. I'll make decor choices around that information.
The Back Yard

This is our backyard as of this afternoon. I didn't have any pictures from before, because it was snowing buckets during the inspection.

To Do:
  • Add raised beds for fruits and vegetables (probably behind the workshop, but we don't know for sure yet).
  • Pull weds around workshop and replant beds with strawberries. Move hostas from these beds to front yard. 
  • Fix gutters.
  • Build firepit. We love s'mores!
The Workshop

The workshop is a freestanding shed in the back yard. If Dave decides he prefers working in the garage and we are able to organize the space properly, we may turn this into a playhouse.

To Do:
  • Empty of previous owner's junk. Decide what, if anything is worth keeping.
  • Pour cement or otherwise fix the foundation. The workshop does not appear to have a foundation. As a result, the floor is rotting and molding.
  • Run electricity. There are currently fluorescent lights installed in the ceiling, and outlets in several places, but there is no electricity dedicated to the workshop. The previous owner simply ran an extension cord to an exterior outlet on the house. Not so safe! 
  • Organize the interior and make it a pleasant, useful space in which to work.
  • Paint the walls.
  • Paint the siding and door.
  • Fix gutters. 

The Deck

The deck sits right behind the bathroom and master bedroom.

To Do:
  • Strip, sand, stain/paint deck. It seems to be sturdy, but is very ugly.
  • Remove bushes. They're full of thorns!
  • Remove saggy step. Build new step the length of the deck.
  • Add pergola. I'd love to include string lights and curtains.
  • Build/buy deck furniture. It should be a comfortable place to enjoy the outdoors. 
Whole-House To Do:
  • Paint all trim and doors white. Fix and replace trim where needed.
  • Spray paint door hardware silver/brushed nickel. 
  • Replace all wooden, metal and beige outlets, light switches and cover plates with white ones.
  • Remove curtains and replace with new ones.
Well, there you have it! An extremely long-winded rundown of our house and our plans for it. I hope you enjoyed it! What is your favorite part? We just love being able to make plans to make it feel like us. Do you make crazy long lists of all the things you need to accomplish? Or are you more of a wingin'-it kind of DIYer? Do you have any suggestions for things we should consider? I'd love to hear your thoughts!