Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Joys of Home Ownership--17 Improvements

when Gerard and I were married and bought our first home together, it was very exciting. I remember driving by just to look at it and taking a picture to show my friends at work. It was the first time either of us bought a house. It was one big hassle getting all the paperwork done and then paying it off, but we did it!

We were very pleased with our purchase. We moved in 11 years ago to this day. It was a beautiful sunny day but oh was I exhausted! We were supposed to go to a wedding that night and I just couldn't force myself to go. We both just conked out instead. I was never so tired in all my life!

After we moved in we began to see things that should be done. I started making a list of the improvements we wanted to make and every year, we would add to our budget one big project. It's really amazing how much money a house eats! It seems like there's always something that either needs repaired or that we want to fix up better. Looking back over the years, we've really accomplished a lot as you can see by the list of things we did below:

1)New sidewalk and driveway: This we did after my dad fell in our driveway. It was cracked and weeds would grow in the cracks.

2)Waterproofing and sump pump in basement: We could see water stains on the basement walls in certain areas when we moved in and the paneling was bowed so the first thing we did was sink money into waterproofing half the basement--the worst part. Later we did the laundry room side after we had already put down the Nature Stone so we had to have that patched up.

3)Painted den & carpeting: The den was a dark blue when we moved in and the carpeting was very worn and faded so I repainted it bright yellow and we got new carpeting.

4)All windows replaced slowly but surely 3 at a time. Lots of air used to come in through our old windows and the big windows on the front of the house in the living room and dining room wouldn't even open. We chose Air-Tite Windows Co. to replace them--averaged $500 each. We are happy with our new windows and they pull in to clean. The big ones can actually be pulled out to clean.

5)Nature Stone for the basement floor (done in 3 sections). We liked how the Nature Stone looked but it was expensive. We did the laundry room first and then the pool room. The other rec room area had brown carpet and we just did that part when we had the basement systems put in last month.

6)Den bathroom sink, floor, walls: This bathroom had a very old ugly sink when we moved in but since we didn't use it often, we let it go for awhile. I was glad when we replaced the sink and put new tile on the floor. Litt's Plumbing did the sink and floor but I painted the walls myself to brighten it up.

7)Basement shower and sink: Later, when we had the other side of our basement waterproofed, they had to tear out the old shower to dig around the edge inside of the basement to finish the waterproofing so we got a new shower and new sink installed at that time. We also had the bathroom and laundry room walls painted a pretty blue.

8)kitchen cupboards. Our old kitchen cupboards were gray and pretty ugly. I didn't like them. We had Thiel's resurface them instead of taking them all out and building new ones. This saves a lot of money and they still look very nice! Even this was thousands of dollars.

9)Fence along driveway. We had a wooden picket fence along the drive in back when we moved in that was wobbly and in need of paint. I chose to replace it instead with a vinyl picket fence from Henry Fence Co. We had to get our neighbors to sign that it was all right with them!

10)Upstairs carpeting for man cave(spare bedroom)from Empire. The old carpeting had a couple big stains and was worn pretty thin so we finally got around to replacing it.

11)New roof on house and garage. This we did in March of 2007 because some of our shingles blew off and others looked like they were curling. When my dad dad, the realtor recommended the roofer she uses.

12)Front Door. Our old front door looked okay, but a lot of air came in around it and I didn't like the screen door. We got our door from Thiel's and are very happy with it. It's much sturdier and looks very nice. The screen can be moved up or down and the storm door can just slide over the screen part.

13)Replaced basement paneling and plaster ceiling with basement systems walls and drop ceiling. This was all done by Owens-Corning in just three days and we are thrilled with it!

14)New carpeting for living room. We are waiting to schedule when this will be installed, but it was included with our Basement Systems price. We decided to have them do it because we were planning on getting new carpeting for Christmas and they said they would take out the old and move the furniture for us without charging extra. That's why we decided to go with them for it. They usually do it as part of the basement refinishing, but since we were getting the Nature Stone to match the rest of the basement, they said they could put it in the living room for us.

15)Somewhere along the way we got a new Rheim furnace and a hot water heater too!


Visit to make your own!

This just goes to show what can be accomplished over time with a plan of attack! What improvements have you made to your home?


BeadedTail said...

Home projects seem never ending sometimes! Since we moved into our 30 year old house 5 years ago I've removed wallpaper and painted every single room in the house, we tiled the master bath, entry way and kitchen, painted the exterior of the house, all new windows (20 of them at once!), two new sliding glass doors and this summer we remodeled the kitchen for the price of a new car! Still need to remodel bathrooms and put in new carpet but that'll be next summer's projects! We'd better stay put for awhile and enjoy everything we've done!

Daisy said...

You sure have done a lot to your home! I'll bet that really makes you feel more love towards your house, too.

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of work!
We're going to be adding on soon..I can't wait!

Karen and Gerard said...

Beaded Tail: You did a lot too! I guess that's what happens when you buy older homes.

Daisy: Yes, I like our home and plan on staying for a long time so want to make it nice.

Signe: I thought about adding a sunroom on to the back of our house because I used to have one at my old place and miss it, but it would be too hard to have it like I'd want. Since we don't have a back door, we'd have to cut one into the wall. I just don't think it would be worth it.

The Author said...

Your home is beautiful and you have made it even more lovely.

Anonymous said...

That I'd have to experience as soon as Johann and I settle down.

You got a very neat and beautiful home.;)

Anonymous said...

"Man Cave" was a term invented by the HGTV Network. Find out the real deal at

Be A Man.

- The Founding Father

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