What's going on with our house?

Would you like to know why nothing has gotten done lately?
 Despite spending the last four years of our lives renovating and then renovating some more we still aren't done with our house. And it's only a three bedroom, one bathroom, 1,200 sq-ft little place! I'm sure I've said it before but I'll say it again: I had no idea what we'd be getting into with this place. I thought things would be as simple as some primer, paint, and new carpet, but when you can see things that haven't been taken care of, chances are there are a lot of thing's you can't see that haven't been taken care of either.

So far we've:

- Scrubbed, primed (twice), and painted (twice) just about every square inch of the house
(To get out the smell of smoke, and then to change colors)

- Scraped off the popcorn ceilings and re-textured them
(To get out the smell of smoke) 

- Replaced the carpet (twice) and added laminate wood floors to the main level (mistake)
(To get out the smell of smoke and replace the flooring for the first time in 30 years, and then to upgrade)

- Replaced all the trim and doors (but not the jambs)
(The trim was damaged beyond repair and all the doors reeked of smoke)

 - Completely demoed the bathroom and put in all new things
(The sink/ toilet/ bathtub were all in utter disrepair, the fan was choked with soot, there were clouds painted on the ceiling [likely by a child], and the drywall was crumbling and falling apart, damaged beyond repair)

- Sanded, primed, and painted every one of the kitchen cabinets and replaced the hardware (hinges and handles)
(To get out the smell of smoke and to get rid of the grimy and dirty old hardware)

- Put up a glass tile backsplash and failed spectacularly, tore out the freaking drywall and replaced it and then added a subway tile backsplash sucessfully
(That was 100% my bad)

- Replaced the kitchen sink
(It was heavily stained and N-A-S-T-Y)

- Replaced all the light fixtures
(They were outdated and tinted with smoke)

- Added beadboard to the family room
(The previous owners had glued fake wood paneling to the walls [which they then painted and SPONGED over] and after taking them off the drywall was so damaged it was add more paneling or have them replaced or retextured)

- Had new windows installed
(The old ones wouldn't open, were cracking and falling apart, and added a significant cost to our heating bills and quality of life in the summer)

- Had the house painted and some siding repaired
(It hadn't been painted in at least 20 years and there was significant damage)

- Stained the deck
(It was built and then never stained or sealed)

- Completely re-did the landscaping/ sprinkler system
(It was a complete hot mess before, are you surprised)

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm pretty sure that sums it all up. If it seems like a lot, well, it's felt like a lot! Especially on our poor bank account. I don't even want to know how much that all cost us added up. We will definitely not get it all back when we sell the house, but beggars couldn't be choosers and we were definitely beggars when we got this house.

And yet there's still more to do:

- All the doors need to be painted

- All the paint (walls and ceiling) needs to be touched up

- All the ceiling texturing is going to have to be re-done
(N is a very, very handy person but one thing he is NOT good at is drywall, and while the ceilings definitely look better than they did with the popcorn finish- and the don't smell!- they will need to be re-done before we sell)

- The bathroom is going to have to be re-done
(What I said about drywall reigns true for the bathroom too, while it's certainly nice to use there are unsightly drywall seams and some mistakes that happened placing the tile- I think we'll get a slightly nicer sink in there as well)

- The kitchen needs new cabinets
(All my painstaking sanding, priming, and painting did NOT make the poor cabinets look any better, though it did rid them of some stink. Unfortunately the insides of the cabinets still stink and are decaying, and the tops of our wall cabinets all have serious water damage- probably from plants being stored up there. I would really like to just take a sledgehammer to them all and put in some brand spanking new ones from IKEA, but N is on the fence right now. I'm totally over the fence though so you know how that usually works...)

- We need banisters on our stairs
(The ones that came with the house were ugly and damaged so we tossed them, right now we're banister-less and I don't mind it, but we do need new ones)

- The laundry closet needs to be fixed and re-done
(This is purely a pet project that N is totally against but dammit I will do it!)

- The front and storm doors need to be replaced

- The deck needs to be sanded with a heavy duty sander and then re-stained and all the railings need to be replaced because they are broken/ warped/ not to code/ totally sketchy
(Uggh uggh uggh I don't even want to think about this!)

And god only knows what condition the yards are in right now after it was so dry last year and Hank has been completely destroying our back yard. I love him enough to sacrifice the yards beauty but we JUST put in new sod two years ago so I am going to have a major sad if it's totally gone to hell.

Right now my main concern is the kitchen. N has said that he doesn't think replacing our cabinets is going to add significantly to the value of our home and I completely disagree. They are a DISASTER. It is a blight on the rest of our renovated and decent looking house, and I know it will be the biggest downside to getting people interested in paying what we want for the house. The kitchen is very small, and there aren't a lot of cabinets. If we can get some new IKEA ones in there for a few grand that will be well worth it. I have a friend who re-did her kitchen with IKEA cabinets and it is gorgeous. Seriously a dream. I am going to get N to go into that store with me sooner than later, mark my words!

What's holding us back from getting all this house stuff done is the other project list we have to tackle- the one that deals with cars. Right now we have a Wrangler that needs to be finished up and gotten the hell out of here, my Commander that needs to be fixed, the OTHER Commander (the one N just put a motor in) that now needs a new transfer case, and of course N's poor pet project Camaro that needs lots of TLC and he has negative time to deal with it. Right now just about our entire savings account is tied up in two of those stupid cars (the Wrangler and the other Commander) and it's been a really obnoxious monkey on my back- and I'm sure N is feeling it too.

I follow a lot of home renovation/ decorating blogs that seem so fun! They take an already nice house and then transform/ upgrade it into something breathtaking. We're not doing that. We're going from cheap to cheap (except the window$) and really just trying to repair things. It's been exhausting and not the least bit fun. Don't get me wrong though- I am BEYOND grateful to have our own house, in a wonderful (if redneck) neighborhood, in an incredible location! I would just rather not sink one more cent into this house and I know we have no choice.

And did I mention we need a new water heater? I need to stop thinking about all this now. ;)


  1. Isn't home ownership so fun sometimes? We have been pretty lucky with our house so far and haven't had to do too much, but dang it still adds up. My favorite was when after we had been here for about a month last year the HOA send us a notice that we had to paint our house (along with the rest of the neighborhood). $2500 after closing/moving expenses was so not fun! At least the neighborhood looks nice, and it's taken care of now though I guess.

    Are you guys thinking about moving? Or you just wanna finish up your projects?


    1. Uggh my parent's HOA is the same way! They live in a suburb called Highlands Ranch that has a community wide HOA and they are so obnoxious! It does make everything look really nice though- something that we don't see in our neighborhood, haha!
      We're thinking about moving in a few years, but mostly I just want everything finished because I'm sick of living with every half done or half assed. I'd just like to get it all out of the way so we can start actually saving money for our next down payment!

  2. Suburb/community wide HOA? Damn, I thought ours were overpowering lol. HOAs are definitely good for somethings, but man can they be annoying too....
    I totally can understand that, I like to just get things DONE too. :-) Do you know what's gonna be first on the list?

    1. I'd like to get the kitchen done first for sure. I've been pricing out cabinets on IKEA and I think it may be doable with our tax return/ once we sell at least one of those stupid cars N has been working on, and as much as I'd like that money to go into our savings, I just think it'll be a good investment in the house. I'm going to try and paint the doors this summer when it's nice outside, and N said he wanted to do the deck this year too but we'll see. The problems in the bathroom are just astetic so those can wait until we're getting ready to sell, same with the ceilings. Hopefully we can fit in everything thing else between now and when we're getting ready to sell but nothing is set in stone. Especially if I get surgery, I have no idea what'll happen.

    2. Sounds like you have a good game plan.. you'll have to let me know how painting the doors goes. I want to paint ours too, but I'm scared that I will make them all streaky and then just get frustrated and quit... and then have to look at ugly streaky doors for the next ten years or whatever lol.

    3. Since we're going to re-do the deck anyway I think I'm just going to lay the doors on the deck and paint spray them. I've found some brush painting tutorials on Pintrest but I don't know if I'm skilled enough to not totally mess them up, haha!

  3. Sounds like you’ve done a lot of work! Homemaking can be addictive, so I see where you’re coming from. Then there’s the fact that you also have to protect your house. There’s just too much risks to consider, so you can’t be too sure. Well, I hope you’re doing good with your projects so far. Good luck!

    Jayson Bass