Checking the List (Our Six Month House-iversary)

Can you believe it's been a little over six months since we moved from the condo to our new/old house?  How time flies!  We've been working hard and I'll admit that some weeks it was a challenge to work long days and then come home to work on projects for the house.  I wanted to take a step back to look at how far we've come.  We still have a long way to go, but the progress motivates us!

Remember the day we moved in?  It was one of the most tiring days I can remember, but I'm glad that I took some "before" pictures so that we can now track our progress.  After the first two months, we were already making headway and I walked around the house with a camera to record it.

This time, I'd like to go back to some of the things that I wrote soon after our move.  This is an excerpt from an early "to do" list and it has already been updated once in red.  My current update will be written in bold and to make it easier still (or more complicated... I can't decide whether it's better or worse this way) I will highlight everything I have cut and paste from past posts:

Initial "To Do" List:

  • Corey will need to update some of the electrical work. Not a glamorous task but necessary and important.  Still a priority according to our insurance company.  This will be done in the next few weeks!

  • And I am happy to say that the major updates are all complete!  Sure, we still have work to do and new fixtures to add, but the knob and tube is gone!  I'm glad to check this off our list.

  • We discovered original hardwood underneath the laminate and carpet. Who has two thumbs and is excited to use a floor sander? This girl! (I say with my thumbs pointing at my chest.) Corey is skeptical but I'm going to attempt this project on my own. I'm still not sure whether I want a dark, light or natural stain. Our current condo has light floors but the dark dog fur really stands out against it. Feel free to weigh in.  Yes, we found hardwood in the closets... then, when we ripped the downstairs floor we just found regular sub floor under the laminate.  But then we found hardwood under THAT!  We're diving down the rabbit hole in terms of flooring and hoping to have all the hardwood exposed by the end of the day!  We are going to have the hardwood professionally refinished, as I mentioned in my last post.

  • We are so glad we had our floors professionally finished.  We did take on the initial work ourselves... which turned our to be quite a chore.  One night, we were up until after 3 am still removing nails from the subfloor, but it was worth the effort.

  • The upstairs bathroom is wheelchair accessible. (Actually, the entire house is and we plan to donate the wheelchair lift and stairlift.) We had considered just finishing the shower nicely but decided we wanted a tub. I found a fabulous clawfoot on Craigslist which was being sold by a couple in Trinity Bellwoods who were also refinishing a 1926 house. They had an extra clawfoot tub and I just couldn't resist. It seemed so perfect finding a tub from the year our house was built! It will need to be painted but I already have some ideas.  This is still a priority, but floors come first so that we can start to move our furniture and boxes out of the basement and begin to unpack

  • While we've made some progress on the bathroom, we're not as far along as we'd like to be.  I think we may start the real work over the weekend.  Until then, we have a new vanity, but our tub is living in the third bedroom.

  • We have a lovely front porch which we would love to enclose to create a mudroom. It would give us some storage for coats (the house does not have a coat closet) and I think we may have finally found a home for our church pew which currently resides in our dining room.  Hahaha.  We may need to take our time budgeting (time and money) for this one!

  • As we had thought, the porch is low on our list of priorities.  We have added a light, but that's probably all we've done.  I think there's still a mudroom in our future, but for now, we have created storage space and a welcoming entrance in our front hallway.  Corey has also reminded me that we actually did end up moving our church pew to the porch!

  • The back yard is begging for a new fence and some trees. We want to plant some trees right away so we can enjoy some shade in a few years. Our priority right now is cleaning all the garbage, debris, broken glass, exposed nails and sheet metal from the yard.  A fence is still a priority but once the yard is safe, Barkley can enjoy it.  The existing fence isn't great but we know Barkley won't try to jump it so we'll just supervise him outside. 

  • We are living with the old chain-link fence (which is sturdier than we had thought) for now, but we have made our yard a little more attractive and hospitable than it was when we first moved in.  The top picture gives you an idea of the work we have done so far.  I suppose we'll progress a little further next year.  We did plant cedars along the chain fence, which provide a little privacy on that side.  Those of you who have been following along will also know that Corey cut down those giant trees in the middle of the yard!

  • Since I'm not budgeting for a kitchen renovation just yet, I'm thinking of purchasing a lovely hutch (A friend and client of mine is selling one and she was sweet enough to offer it to me. She said it could use a "fresh coat of paint" :) ) and painting it white. It would offer me some extra storage as well as a chance to display some of my pretty dishes. The existing cabinets seem to be in good condition (although not my taste) so I'm thinking of painting them white and changing the hardware for now.  The beautiful hutch is here (thanks Janet!) and once I moved the fridge and positioned the hutch, our kitchen started to appear larger.  I actually think it's slightly larger than our condo kitchen.  There is no painting going on here just yet though.

  • I have yet to paint the hutch, but we are using it as storage for now.  I'm counting it as a check anyway, since I may not ever paint it and I'm pretty proud of the fact that we've already added a dishwasher and replaced the fridge.  The kitchen is actually farther along than I thought it would be at this point!

    Add to this list:  I actually wrote this before the move and have since modified in red...
    • Have a company install central air.  I don't know why I left this major change out of the last post, except that we're not doing it ourselves.  We have hired a company and they will likely start next weekend.  Unfortunately, most of the duct work in the house is not going to be usable so this will cost more $$$ than we thought and likely take at least a week to complete.
    It took just under a week, and did end up costing a pretty penny.  Still, on cold fall nights like this, we're very glad to have done it!

    • Create a closet for the master bedroom.  We're going to do this as affordably as possible for now.

    I smiled when I read this one, since we just finished our master bedroom closet!  I can't believe we lived without a proper closet for nearly six months.  We must be troopers!

    • Install wall-mounted bedside lighting.  Soon.

    I wasn't kidding when I said "soon".  I just checked and I believe Corey installed these during the July storm.  I still need to do some patching around the switch plate, which I expect to do before I paint.  Check!

    • Create built-ins for the living room.  Soon

    This was another item that made me smile.  It was such a HUGE project but we are still thrilled with the result and it was even featured on Apartment Therapy!

    • Find or build a garden shed for Corey.  Maybe next year.  This is not a place to spend money at the moment and we discovered a very functional crawl space under the family room, which will give us storage for gardening tools for now.
    This item just wasn't a priority for this year.  I think we may shop for one next spring... or fall...

    Overall, we're thrilled with the progress we've made to date.  What better way to celebrate our six month house-iversary than to look back and breath a sigh of relief.  It is really happening!  Just a little more hard work...
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