When we began the search for a home, we knew we would want to find ways to make our own mark and make it feel truly “ours”.
With new construction, we got a say in customizing several things, but we didn’t get to do much of the work ourselves. We knew as we were building there would be changes and upgrades we’d make later on, but we had to draw the purchase price line SOMEWHERE initially and we knew several items on our wish list could be done ourselves, and for a fraction of what a contractor would charge us.
No, it won’t all get done in the coming year, or even two, but we’ll certainly get started. It’s anyone’s guess really, but our hunch is that we’ll be in this home for around seven years. This is much longer than we’ve been in any other one spot, but also – we know we won’t be here forever. We’re keeping this in mind as we select our projects and figure out to what degree we want to dive in. We are hoping most of the projects will only add to eventual resale value and in the meantime, make the home even more enjoyable for us to live in!
Project #1: Built-in bookcases in the living room.
We fell in love with some built-ins in older homes we toured throughout our home search. We could have had the builder add these in for us, but we wanted to do them ourselves and get them just how we want them. These will be one of the first things we get done and I’m anxious to have the extra storage for books, DVDs, photo albums above, and cabinets below for entertaining dishes, extra glassware, etc. I anticipate a hubby-authored post on this adventure! 🙂
Project #2: Finish the basement
This is obviously a bit larger task than building a couple bookcases. The key to this one will be working in stages – both to spread out the cost and our level of sanity. We plan to frame one month, drywall another (we might hire out that part!) but eventually we’d like to finish the basement level to include a media area to gather a big group to watch movies and football games, a small wet bar area, an unfinished storage closet, and a half bath. As the house stands now, the main floor doesn’t have much more square footage than our current townhome’s first floor, so within a year, we’ll be ready for the extra lounge space to spread out with friends and family.
Project #3: Hot tub cove
Now we’re getting pretty far out as far as our current funding and schedule haha, but eventually we would like to add a small hot tub in the “cove” under our deck stairs on the back patio. We had this on our original wish list as a “someday it’d be nice to have a spot for one” kind of way, but we weren’t sure how much sense it would make until we found out our house would have an unplanned walkout basement. We are pretty encouraged by the possibility of scoring something on Craig’s List or through ReStore which would make this a much more affordable reality, sooner than later.
Project #4: Upgrade the master bath
No house is perfect and we agree that while there are many “scores” to the floor plan we built, the number one place we miss out is in the master bathroom. It’s the exact same layout as our upstairs hall bath – your basic single sink vanity, toilet, and shower/tub combo. There’s not much room to make it any larger, but we would eventually like to upgrade it by taking out the shower/tub combo that is in there now, and tile in a nice glass-door shower, very similar to what’s shown here. This layout is exactly like our bathroom and the shower wouldn’t be anything crazy grand, but it would certainly be a step up from what’s in there now. I’m sure there are people wondering why we didn’t have these things done when we originally built the house. The short answer? We made lots of changes NOT counting these – and they all cost money ha. We were maxed on upgrades for the time being and knew we could wait on these items. We talked about doing a shower only in this bathroom at our original specs meeting, but to accomplish this with the original amount budgeted for this bathroom still would not have gotten us what we wanted, so we elected to go standard for now and take on this project ourselves down the road.
Project #5: Beadboarding in the powder room
The photo above looks exactly like our half bath on the first floor – minus the beadboarding and extra chair-height set of molding. Add it to the list! 🙂
Project #6: Laundry sorting cubbies
Page showed me this one and I couldn’t get on board fast enough. Our laundry room is technically a “room” I suppose – but not a large one, and we’re all about using any vertical space we can. Eventually we’d like to build a base like this to go under our washer/dryer that will fit three laundry baskets for sorting and storing garments that need to go to the dry cleaners.
This certainly isn’t every little “to do” but it’s the bigger things on our list that we look forward to working on in the coming months and years in our new home. You can be sure there will posts chronicling each adventure – the good, the bad, and the ugly! 🙂