Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home owners = home renos

So this summer we found a house that fit our budget and decided to take the plunge to buy a home. Basically everything needs to be updated, so we are thick in the middle of home renos. It is actually a lot of fun for me and I am kind of glad that everything needs to be done, so now we can make it how we like it. We were able to get 10% added to our mortgage for home improvements, so we are working away at that. Because we are super cheap and doing all the work ourselves, we have been able to stretch it quite far. 

Originally we planned on building an addition......not enough money, so we decided to renovate the existing house, and then eventually refinance and build an addition. We are working on the main floor first.

Here are the pics from when we first looked at the house:





My mom and dad helped out the first weekend and ripped out the carpet, sanded the textured walls (luckily they hadn't ever painted them so it sanded off easily), removed cupboards, and painted the walls this color. These pics are before we painted.




We removed the lino in the kitchen and hall so it was level with the livingroom to prepare for installing our vinyl flooring. Luckily John's brothers are nice and have been helping out a ton.

 We found oak cabinets with granite countertops on kijiji (someone was re-doing their kitchen) for $800 and finally got them in a configuration that worked.

We had to take out a window so that we would have more cupboard space and a hoodfan above the cooktop.

 We got rid of the hideous, cast iron - weird shaped sink, so we had to cut the granite to fit our sink

 John did the plumbing for the sink, hooked up gas for the stove (and bbq), and hooked up the electrical for the hoodfan, stove, and wall oven. I have been working at painting the cabinets white (even though many have questioned my desire to paint oak....gasp!) I'm loving how it's coming along.

Our kitchen in all it's messy glory!

We installed this vinyl flooring from Costco online in the livingroom (and will do the whole main floor with it)

It is a lot darker than I thought it would be, but I like how it looks.

This weekend, we were able to get the last of the granite installed, and John is working on a floor to ceiling cabinet for the corner by the fridge.

Our curtains finally arrived, so now I can actually turn on the lights at night and not feel exposed. I ordered these from JCPenney and love them. I still need to put them up in our livingroom though.

What's left for the main floor:
- finish painting cabinets
- flooring for kitchen, dining, hall, and bathroom
- install backsplash (marble in a herringbone pattern)
- install the raised counter on peninsula for barstools
- replace tub and surround in bathroom
- paint bathroom (still trying to decide on colour)
- paint and install baseboards
- replace windows (eventually)

We've also installed carpet in the bedrooms and plan on doing the hall and stairs. So far we've spent a little over half of the money - but a lot of that is purchases for things yet to be done.

Upstairs we plan on:
- making the room that should have been a bathroom into a bathroom with a tub/shower
- baseboards and finish carpet
- paint bedrooms and hall
- replace hall windows

Basement plans:
- seal walls
- drywall
- level floor so we can install vinyl flooring
- replace windows

So, we'll see how much we can get done with the money we have allotted, and then just keep working away at it when we can. If you've made it through this monstrous post, you're nice. I plan on updating our progress semi-regularly.....maybe. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I have not been very regular with this blogging business, but I'm going to pretend that I am and just blog about today.

Today felt like a good day. It was nice outside, so the kids were outside a lot. I feel better when they are outside. Scout only escaped once, and came back home just as I was getting in the van to find him. I had Parent Preschool today and then my visiting teachers came for a bit. The kids played outside all afternoon until Hadley had ballet. After ballet, they played out there until supper and then after supper until bedtime.

 I'm loving this weather! I spent a bit of the afternoon working on our yard which has had a few years of neglect. The lawn is super bumpy and weed filled, but we're hoping to get it looking a little better this summer. Today I just worked on this little gravel section between our carport and the fence. Every year it gets covered with humongous weeds, so we're going to clear it all out and get rid of weeds somehow.....weed killer I guess?? Anyway, today I just cleared out a bunch of wood and dried up weeds. It's looking better, but there's still a lot of work!

Lovely, eh? Ha. Hopefully that will be the "before" shot to something beautiful.

Here's the rest of our yard.

We want to cut down the big pine tree because it is growing around the power lines and then John wants to build a treehouse on the stump. We got another trampoline from my parents that we might set up, and a table and benches for the firepit. There may not be much room left in the yard after that........

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hadley's room part 1

I'm still working on Hadley's room (at a very slow pace), but I thought I'd start sharing what I've done so far.

Here is her room a few months ago (the "before" pics). We are renting and this is what the house came with. Lovely.

I found this room on pinterest and decided with Hadley that we were going to do her room pretty much the same. I'm good at copying.

I patched up holes and painted the ceiling, then painted 3 walls a very pale blue. It almost looks white. I like it, but would have been happy with it being a little more blue. I painted the accent wall white.

We decided to do a chevron striped wall instead of the grid one on our inspiration blog, and it took me about 27 hours to figure out how to do it. I was using all my trigonometry skills and finally figured out that it was very simple. Each up and down of the stripe forms an imaginary equilateral triangle because I wanted the angle of the stripes to be 90 degrees. Anyway, I drew it out to scale and decided to have the base of my "triangle to be 20 inches and the height to be 10 inches  I don't know if that makes sense, but here is the picture I drew. I wanted the stripes to be big, but not too big and I wanted an odd number. This worked out good enough and I liked the easy numbers.

I drew a grid of 10" x 10" squares on the wall using a large level and a pencil. A chalk line thing would be easier, but I was worried about washing the lines off after, so I stuck with a pencil (which ended up being hard to get off too)

Then I taped the diagonal lines, making sure that the thickness of the tape was in the white stripe section. I put pieces of tape on the white line, so that I wouldn't accidentally paint it.

Then, time to paint!

Then time to take off the tape!

After getting the edges all painted too, and fixing a couple spots, I attempted to wash off the pencil. It wouldn't come off with soap and water, so I used Mr. Clean magic erasers. It worked but left streaks because it took off some of the shine. You can't really tell unless the light hits it right, so it doesn't bug me too much.

I am so please with how this wall turned out! It took a long time to do, but it looks just how I wanted and was relatively simple to do.

Stay tuned for more of Hadley's room!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

John got old

John turned 30 last month. After trying to come up with something special for his birthday, I came up with this wall collage. I found all the pictures of him and put up a picture for each year of his life. I'm not sure all the pictures are right, but I think it's pretty close.

I think that Hadley and Elijah look a lot like their Dad. What a cute little guy!

It is weird to think that John and I have been together for a third of his life! It still feels like we are 20. Man I like that guy.
 Aside from this, I threw together an impromptu party and we had a fun night with friends and family.

Friday, February 15, 2013

our valentine evolution

I found cute ideas on the internet for Valentines and let the kids pick what they wanted to make. Hadley picked these robots:

Brian picked these airplanes:

And Elijah picked these guitars:

And after hours of cutting, gluing and stapling, I vowed I would never do that again.

I toned it down quite a bit and just found some simple printables that could have a small toy attached.

I picked 3 different ones and the kids chose which ones to use. Easy peasy, right?


Boxed Valentines. John was so proud.