diy improvements

As much as I would love to reveal beautiful magazine-worthy after pictures, I don't have any, yet*. We've lived in this house just over a year, and although we have taken lots of baby steps to making it better, they are not the sexy, drool-over-images changes. They are like the foundational underwear before the great outfit and accessories.

This is our running list of home improvements and repairs.
I've listed dates where I could remember them.

Update: I'm adding links to specific posts as they are written for more details on each baby step along the way.
Family Room
Phase 1
Remove coat closet and install exterior door to garage (1/11)
Paint wood paneling
Replace electrical switchs

Phase 2
Remove gas stove and brick hearth (8/11)
Remove ceiling beams, ceiling fan, and ceiling tiles (8/11)
Remove wood trim and paneling (8/11)
Remove old drywall and insulation and replace with new (8/11)
Replace, consolidate, and rearrange electrical (8/11)
Mud and sand new drywall (8/11)
Install bead board ceiling
Install overhead lighting
Install media outlet for wall mount TV
Remove banister separating family and kitchen, replace with a half wall (1/12)
Replace stair tread stepping up to kitchen (3/12)

Trim window and doors (3/12)
Replace front door (3/12)
Install new baseboard
Install new crown moulding (2/12)
Paint all of trim
Remove old carpet and lay new flooring
Apply final coat of paint on walls
Purchase new furniture and window coverings
Dust and vacuum sawdust and drywall mud-dust countless times

Phase 1
Take down old curtains (1/11)
Hang pot rack (1/11)

Hang utensil rack (1/11)
Take down granite back splash on side wall
Remove ceiling fan and replace with new fixture (4/11)
Install garbage disposal (2/11)
Install new outlets and electrical switches and covers (2/11)
Find and relocate under cabinet lighting (2/11)

Remove wall paper and chair rail and trim (6/11)
Replace microwave, Craig's list (10/11)
Replace trim throughout -started 3/12

Phase 2
Demo entire kitchen
Open up to dining room
New cabinets, appliances, flooring

Upstairs bath
Remove window valance and shower valance (1/11)
Fix shower leak (removed, re plumb, replace existing tile) (2/11)
Install new electrical outlets and switches and covers (2/11)
Install overhead light/exhaust fan (3/11)

Remove tub surround  tiling (12/11)
Replace wet drywall with new backer board (12/11)

Cleanup exposed electrical (12/11)
Tile and grout bath surround (12/11)

Paint bath tub (12/11)
Replace trim throughout
Bump out and replace everything, except new work

Master bedroom:
Installed overhead lighting (3/11)
Replaced and installed new electric outlets and switches (2/11)

Replace trim throughout

Boys' Room
Replace closet door hinges
Remove wall paper border and curtain valances
Paint and decorate
Replace trim throughout

Girls' Room
Remove wall paper border
Remove wall shelving

Remove window valances
Paint and decorate
Replace trim throughout

Powder Room
Remove window valance
Strip wallpaper
Remove tile
Replace sink, vanity, lighting
Remove and replace flooring
Replace trim throughout

Replace overhead lighting and light switches (4/11)
Replaced all door handles with matching (2/11)

Replace trim throughout

Living Room
Fix ice melt water damage, replace and repaint window trim (1/11)
Replace outlets, switches, and covers (2/11)
Replace trim throughout

Dining Room
Replace outlets, switches, and covers (2/11)
Add dimmer switch (2/11)
Paint mirror
Replace trim throughout

Sun room
Consolidate outdoor wiring (8/11)
Paint walls
Add window treatments
Replace ceiling fan
Replace trim throughout

Paint playroom (5/11)
Remove ceiling (5/11)
Install new carpet (5/11)
Build guest bed frame 12/11)

Install new tank less water heater (2/11)
Relocate gas lines (2/11)
Replace current plumbing stack (2/11)
Remove old plumbing stack and pipes (3/11)
Frame and finish entire space

Install wall shelving and organization (ongoing)
Closet removal

Replace back door with previous front door
Convert to one door opening


Clean out and reorganize pool shed (5/11)
Garden plot (5/11)
Remove and rebuild enlarged front steps (6/11)
Seal front steps
Yard cleanup and maintenance (summer/11)
Install roof heat wiring (11/11)
Seal driveway (2/12)
Take out and replace landscaping

Annual Maintenance
Blowout sprinkler system (10/11)
Open pool (5/11)
Close pool (10/11)

Sell washer & dryer
Storm clean up (11/11)
Sell boys' bedroom furniture set
Sell old microwave and TV
Donate scrap metal
Dispose of bathroom demo

*I make no promises that any photos will be magazine worthy. We are just hoping to improve upon what we have.


  1. Do you have any in progress pictures? I used to hate not having beautiful completed spaces on my blog either but I really liked Young House Love's idea of showing even the small improvements step by step and listing the still to-do's. I love seeing the progress in any home. So now I post as I go and it makes it so much easier too. No hiding anymore. :)

  2. Hi Laura thank you for visiting the wednesday baker. I see you are busy with family and the dust. I have been in this situation, I purchased a old cape built in the 50's that needed a lot of tlc. After all said and done walls were removed, all new bathroom, floors, lights shelving, etc every room was renovated, everything except the stairs were touched in someway.........a lot of work, time then he asked me to marry him and I said yes. Sold the house after 6 years of 24/7 work that he did most of the work on. Its great to have a handy man who can do anything, plumbing, electric, floors, remove walls finish work. I miss that house because of all the hard work that went into it, but I have a wonderful hubby and we are trying hard to transform a split level to be as country as I can..................andi

  3. Would love to see updated pics. Your improvements are amazing!


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