Step by Step ProjectsTips from the ProsAffordable Remodel
When my wife and I bought our house she said the inside had to be done first! We (I) have remodeled most every room and we added on a formal dining room and library just over a year ago.
We are now in the process of doing the outside. We just had a new shadow box fence with two arbors installed, to replace a worn out, crooked fence that we inherited. I've built octogon borders(4x6 treated timbers)around all of the trees to hold mulch. Want to add landscaping, build a retaining wall (to divide the back yard into two level tiers) and maybe a water feature. And, maybe, just maybe, try to grow some grass!!!
We just moved from a house in the city with one evergreen tree in our yard (about the only tree in the neighborhood) to a suburban house built in 1954 with a 2/3 acre yards with many mature trees. So raking/mulching leaves must get done. We also need to:
- buy, finish, and install oak baseboards & quarter round
- install a couple ceiling fans
- organize our two car garage so we can actually fit a car in it
- prune dead branches off trees (will also need to have professionals come in to cut down a tree or two that look like they won't make it through winter)
- remove several unsightly bushes
- wage war on clover and other weeds the previous owner let overtake the yard
- clean chimney
- replace front entry door (and drywall around it)
- prep snowblower for winter
- prep riding lawn mower for storage
- replace toilet with elongated bowl
- and many more things I can't think of right now (some because, being a fairly new home owner, I don't know of and others because they haven't been discoverd yet)
How could I forget this one! We are woefully short on insullation in our attic. I've been adding to it by running 8" thick rolls across the joists. I'm about one-fourth of the way done.
Our garage has almost no insulation above it. Our house is built with 2x4 trusses. I'll have to remove the floor that covers about one-third of the attic, raise the floor level by scabing on 2x4's, install 8" of roll insulation and then put the floor back down. That should really help with heating/cooling and the electric bill for the freezer, fridge and water heater in the garage. This is NOT going to be fun. :-(
This year, my husband and I have vowed to tackle our hideously overgrown side yard. Sadly, the yard was once a garden before suffering from a few years of neglect. The intervening years were enough to turn it into a weed patch with a few surviving flowers and shrubs covering what used to be a crescent-shaped brick walkway.
I moved a few salvageable plantings this spring, and will do so en masse this fall. I suspect the neighbors will be stopping by for some of the ample leftovers! Our plan is to have a scorched-earth policy as we remove the old garden to just part of the yard, and sod the really awful weed section in the middle. I will be building a nice stone wall for the new garden, and killing off all the weeds currently covering the old brick walkway. My ultimate goal will be to build a small patio in the center of the grassed section. We'll see how our energy holds out!
I began renovating my kitchen back in May to roughly double the usable size of the workspace. Things are looking good, but now I am at the point of a installing a backplash. We are looking at subway tiles, glass tiles, even looking into recycled aluminum. Not sure what we want to do, but the gears are turning.
Also, off the kitchen, we installed a 6ft slider out to a 3.5ft drop to the backyard. Thoughts are steps down to a raised patio or a screened in deck (pesky mosquitos!). If we choose a screened in deck, we hope to at least frame it in the fall. We are looking into composite for the decking but not sure about the framing. My wife and I are not extremists, but we are struggling with the arsenic-issue with pressure treated lumber and the related advancements with regards to Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in the wood. What about high quality redwood for the framing? What are the best alternatives? How will it affect our budget? All good questions that we would love TOH to help up out with.
We are expecting our third baby in September, boy #1!!, so these projects are high priority. Thanks and I am looking forward to more TOH topics. Take care.
My Wife has signed us up for a HOLIDAY HOMES tour that features local old homes "decked" out for the holidays!! I think this is her way of motivating me to complete the TO DO LIST that has been hanging out there for months! right now we have a major exterior stucco repair on the west wall of our house that we are starting this weekend and painting that wall after stucco is repaired. i will be insulating the attic and installing correct canister lights that can be in contact with insulation, patching and painting walls, repairing a large section of our plaster ceiling in the living room that took on some water damage from our flat roof 1950's addition, will be priming and elastomaric sealing the flat roof, scraping and painting the old tongue and groove sofits, installing a historically correct (looks right anyway) hallway door, oh yeah.... and carpets cleaned after all this madness!! we still want to pull the carpet up and see what condition the orginal red oak floors are like but that wont be this fall!! We still have the VINTAGE retro cool steel cabinets in the kitchen, that handle our 3 children EXCEPTIONALLY well!!! but a kitchen remodel is also on the list.... down the road i hope!!!
I am considering insulating my house side walls that are plaster and lathe type on a stone foundation with stucco second and third floors with a foam insulation. Any suggestions on what would be the best way to do this??
Sealing up the gaps. We live in an 85 year old floating home that was originally build as a slum. Many of the windows don't seal completely, same for doors. We've fixed most of the major issues - like you can no longer see the water through the floor anywhere and the wall cavities are no longer exposed to under the house, but there are still little gaps to be sealed after the warm season is over. Mostly caulk saver does a pretty good job.
There is also "gardening" - cleaning up the containers that are not going to come back or pruning the ones that will.
Winterizing the boat... it never gets so cold that this is a real chore - especially since I leave it in the water, but I do need to make sure the gas tank is full and everything is ready to sit for a while.
-Tony (Seattle, WA)
MY must-do list in the fall??!!:eek:
You don't have enough room here for my do my list. For starters:
We're moving 150 miles north of here, into a 1930's house in a small town of 1300 +/- people. Sooo, there is the move, packing up house and home, and the shop and storage units. I am a furniture repair/refinishing/repurposer and die-hard collector, so you can imagine. All those tools, all those projects, all that stuff, and whatever else there is (A LOT!) Then I get to unpack, sort, set up and store all that, plus help the wife re-do the house to her specs, then rewire & re-plumb the house. You wouldn't believe the wiring! Then! figure out what to do about the basement cellar walls that are leaking and bowing inward. THEN! insulate. THEN! THEN! Then I lay down for about a year and recuperate. Then, start again. Anyone want to help?? :o
Maybe I should just rent a room in the old folks home.
We live in Seminole Florida , like a lot of people bought at the wrong time . We began to do home renovations when husband became ill . He came down with rheumatoid arthritis and border line leukemia , he was in the process of demolition of kitchen and bath ; both are torn apart (good thing i stopped him when i did ).He is in real trouble with his hands to finish. He goes for intravenous chemo for three hrs. every month . We purchased some glass block for a walk in shower , when he became ill , since then we have drained our life's savings just to pay the mortgage .Our kitchen is in bad shape he tossed two kitchen doors and drawers and one cabinet (all Formica) . He then started on bathroom , took down walls , tossed the tub and vanity . We now live in a one shower 1 toilet with a beat up Formica vanity home . Would love to have a new kitchen and baths to invite my Mom down for Thanksgiving shes 81 yrs old . I haven't told my husband I'm sending this to TOH , he would be embarrassed . Thank you Lena Pissano