Tag Archives: house diy

Our House One Year Later

This summer we passed the “one year” mark since we moved in – whoa!

Which means… I’ve been intending to write this post for the last 4 months.

But summer doesn’t really count as time, since I’m morally obligated to run to the sunshine’s every beck and call. Especially here in New England. It only lasts for a few months. This is not an apology for my overdueness. Just a statement. So there it is.

In some ways it still feels like we just moved in. In others ways (especially looking at the photos!) I can’t believe it’s been so short a time! I thought I’d take you on a tour of our house – as it when we looked at it in March 2011, and as it is now-ish.

To avoid making this epically long, this post will just be the first floor.)

Hallway

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

This photo of the hallway is from the MLS. In the hallway we’ve repainted everything and replaced some of the trim. And the door! Also, you can see that there was a radiator BEHIND the front door (isn’t that weird?)! We ripped that out immediately!

Our plan here is to add molding and board and batten.

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

The biggest change in the hallway is that our coat closet seems to have disappeared! We took that space and added it to the kitchen for our recessed fridge.

Powder Room

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

This is a tiny little room that we completely gutted.

We ripped out EVERYTHING. We moved the toilet and installed new drywall, new molding and a new tile floor, as well as a new sink/vanity. Now I need to order some window treatments forĀ  that room – because hellooooo neighbor.

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Living Room

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

This room is my favorite. Because it required the least work!

We tore out the old brass fireplace doors and one of the radiators. Besides that, this room only needed some paint!

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Can you see why I’m excited to move our television into the other room?

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Why yes, those are new couches! Green and gray stripes.

Sunroom

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

You just saw this room. There was nothing about this room we wanted to rescue. So it all went bye-bye.

The future of this room has yet to be written.

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Dining Room

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

This room was the FIRST thing I worked on when we got our keys to the house. I ripped down this wallpaper within the first 10 minutes! We painted and added beadboard wallpaper. We also painted all the cabinetry and ordered new custom cabinet doors – which still are not all attached. Someday soon!

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Kitchen

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

The kitchen. Oh, the kitchen.

We de-wallpapered, painted walls and cabinets, installed new custom cabinet doors, a sink and a granite countertop. All of our appliances are new (sadly only a stove came with the house, and that died). We refinished a raw wood sideboard and kitchen island. both from The Mill Store.

We gutted the pantry and installed new shelving and an in-pantry microwave. Last, but not least, we ripped open the wall and made a cubby for the fridge.

We have some detail work left in this room, but all the work has been totally worth it!

Front Porch

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

Notice we also moved our huge rhody bush.

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

I can’t wait to enjoy our new porch next summer.

We rebuilt the exterior structure of the porch and gave everything a fresh coat of paint. We ripped out the ceiling fan and existing ceiling, and replaced it with a new beadboard ceiling, molding and a new light. Our new front door is now a lucky shade of green. (We don’t miss that ghetto padlock. Not. at. all.)

Stairwell

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

One Year Later

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

DesignLively - DIY Renovation Cottage

I will leave you with our stairwell and the promise of giving a 1 year later update to the 2nd floor. Before spring. I promise.

In our stairwell we tore up the old runner, removed the handrail and re-painted the treads and the walls.

It’s hard to believe so much of the last year of our life seems to fit so neatly in one little post. 365 days can go a longggg way.

This Way to Narnia

Well, technically lamp posts are the way home from Narnia.

Regardless, we have a lamp post in our yard. I’d like to think Mr. Tumnus lives in the tree nearby, but he hasn’t made an appearance yet.

The lamp post in the yard was slightly worse for the wear.

Please overlook the terrible photo. I thought I had one of the lamp post, but all I could find were these pictures I took when we had our huge dumpster and it was in the corner of this one.

Don’t worry, you’re not missing much.

While the post was worn looking, the glass was a little cracked and the CFI lightbulb was quite charming, the basics were still in good shape.

Instead of replacing the new pole, we gave the existing (already installed, working and sturdy) one a facelift with Rustoleum Rust-Prevention glossy black spray paint.

We also purchased a new lamp… topper? What is the appropriate vernacular here? Lamp head? Lamp shade? Lantern?

Yes, I believe we have a winner with “lantern”.

We found this one on sale at Lowe’s with brought it down to about $40 with a 10% off coupon.

Moose changed the lantern one afternoon and we were in business!

Considering new posts go for upwards of $100, I think this will do just fine!

The Narnian time-continuum shall continue.

Winter Prepping our Fixer-Upper

We got our new driveway this week!! As you can see the caution tape is still up.

Our old driveway was old. See #6 of this article for more info!

Since the door was rotted out when we purchased the house, we also had a new garage door installed (from Home Depot).

I know we’re in the throes of Autumn, but around here most of our glorious burning leaves have fallen off the trees and are shriveled and brown all over our lawn. (This is the best time for leaf crunching.)

The last month we’ve put all of our focus on the EXterior of our house to prepare for winter. We’ve already had our first snowfall (and a big one at that) but fortunately it melted quickly, therefore giving us more time to prep outside before the long and snowy winter arrives.

1. Gutterball

Our colonial-style house has a traditional crown molding trim on the outside, which apparently most people didn’t put gutters on back in the day. We had gutters installed about a month ago – greatly decreasing the chances of flooding our basement, yard and garage. This is something you will definitely want to get a few estimates for – we had some people estimate our gutters as high as $8k! It definitely pays to bring in the competition. Although this was not a cheap (or DIY) project, it will be worth the investment as it should help prevent any kind of flooding in our yard that has deteriorated the foundation of the house from 60 years without gutters.

2. Screen it

We had a screened porch on the front of our house that leads to our front door. The screening was pretty old, full of holes and needs to be replaced. A few weeks ago I ripped out the screen and coinciding 100000000 staples. Now I just need to repaint the porch with exterior paint and then we will rescreen in the next few weeks. We are also going to install a new light and a beadboard ceiling.

3. Energy Audit

Last weekend we had an energy audit in our home – sounds exciting, eh? eh? A local representative came to our house (for FREE) and spent about 3 hours going through our home. He was able to tell us where we were losing energy efficiency and how to fix it. He also replaced all the lightbulbs in the house with the new CFI bulbs. The best part is, the government subsidizes a huge portion of the updates we can make. For example – the energy auditors will set us up with someone who will blow more insulation into our house. Most of the cost is subsidized and the amount we spend will pay itself off in our first winter in this house! Plus, being green is cool these days. Haven’t you heard?

4. Driveway

Somehow we didn’t think shoveling our 30 year old, crackling and crumbling driveway would be that fun in the winter. This was obviously not a DIY project, but another project you should definitely get multiple quotes for. We actually have 2 driveways to our house – one in the front and one on the side. We decided to redo the one on the side (that leads to our single car garage) and we widened it so we can park 2 cars side-by-side in the winter and not need to worry about the huge one in the front yard!

Also, you can’t really tell from the photo, but we had a drain put in the driveway so water will be drained away from the house and not into the garage!

5. Yardwork. My new least favorite word.

We have been preparing the yard as best we can for winter’s harsh friends called ice and snow. We’ve been trying to blow our leaves every weekend – because the last thing you want to deal with in the spring is a yard full of sopping leaves that have been buried and frozen for four months. We’ve filled in a few ditches with excess dirt and, as you saw in my post last week, we’ve been trying to turn our fallen trees into firewood as quickly as possible.

6. Concrete work

Moose has been patching up the concrete sidewalk to our deck and we also brought in a professional to help of resolve some foundation issues on the exterior wall of our walk-our basement (this was something we knew we would have to fix when we purchased the house).

7. New Windows

Okay, so we haven’t really done this one in the last few weeks, but when we moved into the house in June we had all the windows in the house replaced. The old ones were NOT efficient. Most of them couldn’t even open. Our new windows will be keeping a lot of heat on the INSIDE of the house. This was not a DIY job nor was it cheap, was it has definitely been a worthwhile investment.