Recent Reno – Post 6 of 6

Who’s ready for some before and after pictures? I know, I know, I’m super mean for making you read five whole blog posts and wait three weeks before showing you the before and afters (or well progress pics). Max and I had to work for it, so I thought it was only fair that you did too!

Remember when the LR and DR looked like this:

and this:

Well not anymore! Shazam! Now it looks like this:

and this:

Next up – the nook/landing. Remember back to this picture?

You should see it now!

We know the condition of the hardwoods could be better, but we love it!

Oh, and I can hardly remember when Elsie’s room looked like this:

and this:

Not anymore!

The other spare room has shown major improvements over its previous condition too! Shown here:

Buh-bye paneling and wallpaper – hello awesome paint and new molding!

Then there’s our room, which I hated when it looked like this:

and this:

and this:

Now I LOVE IT!!!!

My favorite part is that all of the colors go so nicely together. You can see how well they coordinate where the master and Elsie’s room meet at the end of our hallway.

We love the progress our big little renovation made to our house. All of the space feels so different, and it is actually looking like us and our style. We’re super happy with the way everything turned out. There are still many items on the “to-do” list which I’d consider as is par for the course for most DIY projects. Here are a few things that were left undone:

1- Filling in the holes in the molding from brad nails

2- Caulking the molding

3- Painting the molding

4- Actually hanging things on the walls (curtains, pictures, etc…)

5- Painting Elsie’s Room’s Ceiling

6 – Desperately need to pull out the SLR to take better pictures (Whoa!)


The first three items  encompass easily another whole weekend of work, and since we needed rest before getting back to the grind we just let it slide until later. Number four is already in work. I have purchased a lot of items that just need hanging and ordered some photo prints before Christmas.  So again, all these remaining items will just have to be sidelined to wait for some free time. I just have to remember that  life is about the journey and not the destination.

Recent Reno – Post 4 of 6

From my previous experience, the first several days were smooth sailing as far as old house renovations go. Day four was the beginning of experiencing set backs. We started out first thing in the morning by tearing up the carpet in the upstairs. At this point we discovered two fun things. First, we found our closet floor was covered by contact paper (OMG- who does that?). Second, we found out that the carpet installers GLUED down the carpet padding to the hardwood (seriously what were these people thinking?). We didn’t have time to care at that point, so we just kept moving by taking all the old carpet to the Gucci Dump

Next, we stopped by Home Depot to pick up all of the molding. We had already pre-shopped, and we knew we were purchasing contractor packs of 5 and 1/4 inch base molding for just about $1.10  a linear foot. We hadn’t concretely decided on a casing molding for all of the doorways and windows, but we landed 3 and 1/4 in width of  a fairly traditional style which was again about a $1.12 a linear foot.

This quickly added up to most of our budget, so we were careful to only re-do the molding on walls we knew we were keeping (there are some major wall moves and removals in the planning phases). We made the decision to remove and replace all of the base and casing molding for several reasons: the molding had been painted poorly many, many times; the molding was not coordinating throughout the house; the molding was not capable of hiding many of the imperfections in the drywall around the floor left from removing old school HVAC registers and paneling. The list could go on, but I won’t bore you. The first snafoo with the molding we ran into was getting the 16 ft long pieces/packs of molding to our house. We own a pick up truck, but Max was rightfully nervous about the extreme weather conditions (very windy) and crazy drivers in our area with us scooting along with 6-8 ft of molding sticking out behind our truck. We rented a 12 ft bed Home Depot truck for an hour to get the molding home, and we made it home with no damage to our load.

When we arrived at the house, my parents were already there hard at work removing the carpeting tack strips and staples. (SWEET!) I took on the task of returning the Home Depot truck and picking up our truck, leaving Max and my parents back at the house to work.  When I got home, all of the tack strips and staples were removed except for in the master bedroom. The master bedroom was double tack stripped, which at first didn’t seem too bad, but it definitely took double the time. Also, the installers used finishing nails ( the kind made for thresholds) made it that much more difficult to remove the tack strips. After finishing up with the removals, I tackled the contact paper in the closet, which luckily came up with no problems. This was not so much the case for the glue and double sided tape.

My mom and I spent more than a few hours with a bucket of warm water and soap just wetting and slowly scraping the glue and tape off the floor. It came up but there was still some damage to the floor. All in all, I’m happy because we did the best we could and we eventually plan on doing something to the floor down the line. Plus any angle I think about it from, the hardwood is still way better than carpet.

I’m sure you’re wondering where were my Dad and Max all afternoon while my mom and I were on glue duty? My Dad was showing Max how to measure and cut the base and casing molding. All I know is they were in and out a whole lot, every once in a while I’d hear, “it’s 38 1/4 and a line – what do you think?”, and someone would reply, “oh yea 38 1/4 and a line” then they would scamper around back to the saw set up. They got pretty  far before we decided to call it a night, but there was still plenty to be finished up the next day. Here are a few shots of the hallway and bedrooms with the base molding placed, but not installed. Also, some/most of the case molding is adhered to the walls, and the carpet has been removed.

Here’s the master bedroom:

Here is the spare room that I call Elsie’s room. There has been no molding around these doors and windows for months. Also, this is  the room I plan to paint stripes in at some time. As you can tell from this blog post, in order to make progress for the molding we had to remove a lot of the items we were storing in here.

This is the upstairs hallway, and it is apparent that the doorway at the end of the hallway was left incomplete at the end of this day.

And lastly, here is the stairway and nook.