I grew up watching my mom and grandma painting, grouting, making brick stairs on the outside of the house, and doing other small projects.  They had fun at it, laughing and spending afternoons together. One of my big goals this year is to become more handy with house projects and renovations.  Over the last few months, Jeremy and I have done a mini house renovation!

I've sawed through walls and ceilings, used circular and chop saws, used an air compressor and nail gun, rewired power for lighting, installed and textured sheetrock, helped design a kitchen island, and done a ton of artistic staining and finishing work.

Spot the differences!

House renovations before-after
House renovations before-after
House renovations before-after
House renovations before-after
House renovations before-after
House renovations before-after

Round 1 of house reform:

  • Removed old blue carpet
  • Refinished existing hardwood floors (only job we hired a professional)
  • Installed a whole-house attic fan
  • Installed recessed lighting in kitchen
  • Ripped out non-load-bearing wall between kitchen and living room
  • Built a kitchen island
  • Walled in pocket door with insulation
  • Removed wallpaper
  • Repainted kitchen
  • Replaced all baseboards, 5 window trims, and 16 door trims (remove old, cut new, install, caulk, putty, paint)
  • Installed in-wall speakers in living room

We started by ripping out the awesome blue carpet in the front half of the house, which had existing hardwood floors underneath.  We also ripped out all the baseboards and trim so the floorboards could be sanded and refinished right up to the wall.  The original baseboards were sunk into the expansion gap (the floor refinisher said he'd never seen this in 30 years) and nailed downward instead of straight into the wall, which made them a pain in the ass to remove--we had to cut them at the floor level using a hand-size oscillating multi-tool and pry them out of the gap.

House renovations removing carpet
House renovations removing carpet
House renovations removing carpet staples
I'm pretty sure whoever installed the carpet 20+ years ago was laughing at the fool who'd be taking out their staples.
House renovations
Fitting 2/3 of the house into the back 1/3.

Pleasantly surprised at how good the hardwood floor, circa 1940s, came out!  You don't find top-nail flooring like this anymore, especially with the border boards running the opposite direction.

House renovations refinished hardwood floor

Demo day to open up the wall between the kitchen and living room!  We were too covered in slime when removing the '70s tribute wallpaper to take photos.

House renovations knocking out wall
House renovations knocking out wall
House renovations knocking out wall
Sharpie method.
House renovations electrical light switches
Relocating light switches.
House renovations recessed lights
Installing recessed lighting in the kitchen.
House renovations walling in door
Walling in and insulating the pocket door between bedroom and kitchen (our bedroom used to be a formal dining room).
House renovations applying wall texture
Texturing the kitchen side.
House renovations applying wall texture
Patching and texturing the bedroom side.
House renovations applying wall texture
House renovations caulking
Caulking, lots of caulking and puttying.
House renovations installing in-wall speakers
Installing in-wall speakers.