When I was a kiddo, my parents decided to do just a few house updates to our 1970s Texas home. About a year later, the few projects had turned into major diy in multiple rooms. They describe such house renos as pulling a thread on a sweater--it starts small but there's really no good place to stop. This past year, Austin and I purchased a 1924 home in our favorite neighborhood--near to a park, my parents' home, and the university. It has rental property in the basement (our main motivator to sell the house we were in - as we could leave for Alaska and have our home still occupied with rent money coming in), hardwood floors throughout the main level, a wood-burning fireplace, charming old windows, south-facing sunroom, and large and mature trees. However, it's the eyesore of the block. Below is the image of our house I just found on Google's street view. Note that the "hedge of protection", (what Austin lovingly calls the awful bushes) that completely obstruct the passerby's view of the home. It's a bit scary.
A little anecdote to demonstrate how scary this place looks... My parents were gone on Halloween but I ran by to grab some items I'd left there. During the three minutes I was in the house several groups of trick-or-treaters rang the doorbell of their lovely home, though the porch light was not illuminated. My parents live near a park but certainly not on a major through-street. I then drove straight to our house and saw herds of children wandering our avenue. Austin was busy working on the interior of our home and accidentally left on the porch light. However, despite the masses of wandering children and universal "come on over and trick-or-treat" beacon aside our front door, none ventured past the bushes. Perhaps they didn't see our house beyond the brush border? Perhaps they were afraid of our house, itself?...
On the agenda for renovations...
Kitchen: Tear out cabinetry and install Ikea cabinets, rip out parquet floor and refinish hardwood floor or install black & white cafe-style vinyl tiles, install new back splash, move a pantry wall (and electric) one foot to accommodate the fridge, install plumbing and 220 wiring for washer and dryer, build a vent hood and vent through the attic, re-texture and paint the walls, install new lighting.
Living room, Office, Bedroom #1, Bedroom #2, and Hallway: repaint walls, ceiling, and trim, install picture rails/crown molding, refinish the floors, and paint fireplace.
Bathroom: Tear out floor to get to plumbing, reroute plumbing for a new fixture configuration, refinish old free-standing pedestal tub, install new sink, put down white hexagon tile flooring.
Exterior: Repaint the house a colonial blue, paint the front door bright yellow and trim white, remove the ugly shrubs and replace them with others that cannot grow to such heights, take off the carpet on the front porch (and stain/paint the concrete?), build bench/railings along the edge of the porch, reroof the garage, build privacy fence.
And I think that's all. I'd like to say we're like the cool people on TV that do all of the work ourselves...but we're not. We'd like to move in before the kiddo is born and our pace has been pretty slow thus far. We've had a number of friends and family aid in most of the processes and we've paid those who're professionals. However, Austin has done a ton himself and I'm constantly amazed at what he knows. Did he know how to rerun electric or plumbing before? I don't know. Maybe he learned it on this house. But I love that he tries and, so far, hasn't hit any big hurdles.