L: As soon as our offer was accepted, we started planning our renovation. Within hours of getting our keys we were in the place ripping out carpets, and preparing to paint. The plan was to replace all the carpet in the bedrooms, and lay laminate floors throughout the kitchen and main living space.
We painted almost every room, and all the ceilings. We did all the work ourselves, with the help of our parents. Two coats on each wall...so much paint!
L: We couldn't find a replacement for the outdated brass heater vent, so instead we used spray paint to make it white. We updated all the wall plates and covers, as well as the lighting fixtures.
J: I have always been handy, but we researched and planned out every project we took on. Don't start something if you don't know what you are doing. Google it.
L: The kitchen looked ok, in the before photo, but what you can't see is the layers of dirt and grease. We replaced all the appliances, and cleaned every surface. I was worried at one point that I was going to scrub the finish right off the cabinets, but I wanted to be sure it was clean!
Q: What did you learn the most from doing the work yourself? What surprised you?
J: We replaced all the appliances, and we learned that you can't just walk into a hardware store and take appliances home the same day. They don't keep things in stock, and prices can vary wildly from store to store, even if it is the same brand of store.
L: Expect about three times the number of trips to the hardware store than you planned. One night I counted five trips to Home Depot, luckily it's close by. Overall the work didn't take as long as I thought, so we moved in ahead of schedule.
J: We want to work on the yard and improve the quality of the grass. Currently it is green, but it is comprised mostly of clover and weeds. It would be nice to have a better quality lawn.
We plan to have an arborist out to inspect the trees. We haven't decided on if we are going to keep them. They seem to be in good health, but there are so many pine needles to clean up.