happy new year friends! as i wrote in my 2017 wrap-up post, our home project to-do list is going to be much shorter in 2018. wanting to feel at home in our new space somehow translated to so many projects last year, i think in an attempt to bring our new home up to the standard set by our old one. of course, we lived in our first house for nearly seven years and we’ve lived in our new house for just seven months. it takes time to get things the way you want them, even if you know your style and exactly how you want things to look in the end, much longer if you’re figuring these things out for the first time.
we want 2018 to contain progress on the house, of course, but also to contain a family vacation in tofino, a trip to vancouver, breakfast at pluto’s and a harbourcats game or two. there is still so much of our new city and new province to discover, outside of the insides of all the nearest hardware stores. so without further ado, here is our 2018 project list:
1. renovate the den
three small words for a pretty big project. my dad and i demolished the den last year, leaving us with original plaster walls, original fir floors and original trim, all of which need replacement or repair. in 2018, we’re going to work some magic on every square inch of this room, leaving us with a beautiful office / den / guest space.
2. kitchen updates
we have a few loose ends to tie up in the kitchen. we want to resize the cabinet above the fridge (so that the fridge fits in its cubby), patch some drywall, install a hood vent above the stove, source a huge piece of art for the wall, replace the baseboards and casings and replace the countertops, sink and faucet.
3. bathroom updates
we’re going to install new baseboards and casings in the bathroom along with a 1950s turquoise toilet that i found beside a dumpster in the parking lot of a chinese restaurant. we also plan to replace the small countertop to match whatever we choose for the kitchen.
4. paint exterior of the house
power wash, scrape, prime and paint. we’ve already booked a company to help us with this big job in april and we’re looking forward to giving our house a face lift on the outside. our original house numbers were hiding in our basement, so i’m also going to clean those up and put them back on the house, where they belong. and no exterior refresh would be complete without new exterior light fixtures.
5. front landscaping
our house is a 1177 square foot bungalow sitting on a 5500 square foot lot. we have quite a bit of land and it’s mostly grass and concrete; the previous owners weren’t big gardeners. we’re not fans of the way things look and we miss our garden shed, flagstone patio and perennial plants in toronto. it’s going to be a multi-year job to landscape our lot fully, but we want to give some attention to the front yard in 2018.
6. window and window coverings
last year when we installed new casings around all our windows, we left one window out — our front window (living room), which shows signs of water damage. we want to replace that window, replace that window casing and then order window coverings for the windows that don’t have them yet (living room, den and kitchen).
7. screen doors
we don’t have air conditioning, so we want to be able to prop our front and back doors open for a thorough breeze. the temperatures don’t get too high here, but we really baked last summer without any window coverings (something we started to address, but didn’t quite finish last year). our existing screen doors are ripped, installed backwards or otherwise impractical, so we’d like to install new ones, ideally after the exterior painting project but before july.
i’m aware that this actually sounds like quite a bit of work for a family that’s supposed to be scaling back. it is, in fact, a fraction of what we accomplished in 2017 and in nearly double the time frame, seeing as we moved in in the middle of may last year. the other piece is that, with a young child in the mix, we’re not doing nearly as much ourselves as we did at our first house. our main role in this particular house renovation project is project managers — figuring out what we want, a timeline, finding trades, scheduling them and cleaning up the mess. that’s a huge job and one some people get paid handsomely to do professionally, but it’s also a far cry from actually scraping the exterior of our house ourselves.
we’re excited to take on 2018 and, barring emergencies (like a furnace that decides to quit), we’ll not be tackling any projects that didn’t make this list. hoping this really helps to simplify our year while still allowing us to make progress here.