The Remodel

Click to expand each section, there are many images and videos on this page.

Progression videos

The first look at the house and was taken 7/13/2014. We hadn't done much in that time, so it's a good baseline for how we recieved the house and property.


First look at the outside only and was taken 7/25/2014


1 year in


2 years in


2 1/2 years in


5 years in


5 years in - outside update

The beginning

Here are some additional pictures of the upstairs kitchen and bathroom. Both have been removed now, not that I don't like pink, but come on now look at these

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

Pre demo

We had to get the house 'cleaned up' for final inspection from the bank's appraiser. Since it was as-is from the foreclosed bank, I did the repairs. Fairly minimal overall, except 3 steel beams that had to be added to the basement wall.


We didn't have to paint, but this room is going to need to be liveable for awhile, so painting it ended up being a good idea.

9101

The list included adding trim around 4 windows and the back door
Adding 3 pieces (half-pieces or smaller) of drywall to walls with exposed studs
front-door didn't open easily
the (then master) bathroom floor was missing pieces of linoleum
the back of the house had a strip of missing siding

9101

9101

The demo

The minute the appraiser left...

Let the tear-down begin

Trust me, putting up drywall and mudding on a wall I knew was going away was frustrating, but had to be done and we made quick work of it


We already signed up for Google Fiber, so had to tear off the previous era's means of TV

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

The stairs

The stairs were very '1926' and needed to be replaced. They were narrow and dangerous.

Once we had the walls removed on the main level. I built the new supporting wall and cut the upstairs rafters out. Then framed the stairs.

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

The Kitchen

The cabinets in the kitchen were gross. Some had mold, most had deep grease stains that we tried to clean, but they were bad.

Of course, I had to change up the layout, swapping the stove and sink to different sides, moving fridge to other side and removing the old basement stair way door.

The wall between the living room and kitchen I felt would look better has a half-wall with a bar. It opens the kitchen up to more light and definitely makes it feel bigger.

Once we tore up the original floor they had these staples that were incredibly difficult to remove, so we used rugs over winter so we didn't step on the ones we missed. In the end, we pounded the rest of them flat into the floor and put linoleum over it. The pictures are missing the old sink area which had to be completely replaced due to water damage.

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

9101

Other indoor progress pictures

The future master bedroom is was a workplace (circa 2014-2016) and had all the tools and supplies organized in it.

0801

I wired an outlet on the outside and we put up some holiday decor (Christmas 2014)

0801

0801

The gas never got turned on because there was a leak (which I found out later and fixed). But due to some technical issues, I needed to make quick work with something to heat the house over winter. This worked very well. Can't say I know too many people that heat their house with Diesel fuel. See 'the furnace' for an update.

missing

The bathroom floor was temporary sticky tiles we got at Lowes for $.49, but I stumbled into some nice mosiac tiles thanks to my neighbor so we used it to give our bathroom floor a make over. This was our first time doing tile and it turned out quite well. We used ditra underlayment and it was easy to install. With some patience we got the tile cut and glued down. The file thing was grout, we bought the grout/sealer in one and it went down without any issues. Overall, pretty easy and I'd do it again to another room. (Spring 2019)

missing

missing

Septic was draining very slow

Pretty much since move in we noticed water wasn't flowing as efficiently as it should be. I had the line snaked in the fall, but it still wasn't great over winter. In the spring we had to replace 25 foot of line from the main back toward the house. Luckily I knew a guy who knew a guy and we got it done cheap. We dug down about 9 feet right to the brick main line. We added 2 clean outs, just below the surface so we could snake easier should the tree roots pose a problem down the road.

missing

missing

Outside

Up until this point my focus has been on the inside of the house, the pictures above I think make this apparent, but the outside couldn't be neglected any longer.

Before moving in, I found a deal to have some trees trimmed up and a few stumps removed. However this brush was still laying around and I hadn't had time to move forward with anything else.

The lawn was mostly weeds, so getting Scott's Lawncare out to treat it was a must

My parents then visited and helped with the 'vision' portion as well as clean up

Dad was not impressed by my solar landscape lights, so better ones were installed

The well was turned into a fountain/pond and left to look 'rustic'

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

The Wall

The embankment along the driveway was washing into the driveway and it was hard to get grass to grow on it, while also keeping it mowed. We opted to remove the mostly dead tree, old concrete steps. We also opted to give the driveway some breathing room for vehicles.

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

The Furnace

Up until this point we had relied on a series of electric heaters and the diesel heater for winter. It was noisy, smelly and cold since we couldn't keep the whole house a consistent temperature. We pushed for the refinance in October and got the funding needed to put in a whole new HVAC system in November 2017. This included all new duct work for both stories as well as Furnace, AC and humidifier. It took them 5 days in total to complete the work and we're very happy with the results. Our house had never been this comfortable. We have a gas bill now as the furnace was the first gas appliance, but even with this, our utility bill is so much better than previous winters.

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

The Pond

Well, we got bored one weekend and decided to dig a pond in the backyard. It wasn't completely spontaneous as we had been thinking about it, but we started laying out some measurements and decided to go 10' x 8' by 2' deep. The liner is just pond-liner from Lowes and put some rocks in there for the fish to hide around. We currently have goldfish. The waterfall was slightly more complex and took a couple of weekends to get working right. We wanted the waterfall to be part of the same water system as the pond, so it could act as an agitator. Once the base was built, we sealed the corners and used rocks to help guide the water. We're still working on more ideas to camouflage the plastic better.

Our neighbor was moving at the time and gave us the brick for a patio. We used it for a retaining wall to build up the side of the pond for a patio area. This gives us a place to sit and watch the fish and birds. It can be very relaxing to watch the wildlife, who knew. We also made bird houses.

missing

missing

missing

missing

The Living Room Floor

The living room floor had been neglected for awhile (like many other things) and needed attention. My first thought was save it and restore it, but if that didn't work I could cover it with the snap-together flooring we'd used elsewhere. My brother had some experience refinishing floors so his wife and him visited to help us out. We rented a floor belt sander from Menards and went to work. As you can see I may have over-done it with the plastic to start, but I wasn't sure of the dust levels so I went safe and it made clean-up very easy.

We did not stain the floors. They had enough color and texture to them I figured whatever color they end up will be good enough for me. We just coated using Minwax floor poly 3 times. I couldn't be happier with them, they look so good and letting their aged imperfections bleed through gives it character. You can't buy that original aged look, not for $200, which all this cost in the end. Not only do we no longer get splinters walking across it, our first mopping after it dried didn't destroy the mop head for once.

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing

missing