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Thread: Remodeling/Updating Your House

  1. #1
    Sitting on the couch eating bon bons! Eli's Avatar
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    Remodeling/Updating Your House

    I am not one to spend money on decorative stuff especially with the cats. But we've done nothing except remove some wallpaper and paint when we moved in back in 2005.

    As I was walking through the house I realized that it doesn't work. For example, we have a dining room with a table we never use. The table is a catch all. The kitchen is dated and don't even get me started about upstairs.

    Anyway, how often do you update? What does your budget look like? How do you prioritize what rooms get the attention? What are things you try to do yourself? Really any helpful tips are appreciated.



  2. #2
    3:21:44 Peachy's Avatar
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    When we bought our first house in 1997, we redid almost everything in the house except the kitchen cabinets. The doors, trim, flooring, windows, everything. Dh is insanely handy/talented, so he did 99% of the work himself. I think the only thing we hired out was stubbing in the plumbing in the new basement bathroom.

    We bought this house in 2008. It was new construction so we didn't really have to do anything at the time besides paint the walls.

    We replaced the carpet in the master bedroom about 5 years ago or so. All the carpet in the house was the cheap builders carpet, and the carpet in the bedroom started to show bad traffic patterns so that was the first to go. We just replaced the carpet in the living room, hallway and one of the spare bedrooms last fall. Our next door neighbor owns a flooring business, so we were able to buy the carpet at a discount through him, and since dh gave him some good deals on tires for their vehicles, our neighbor didn't charge us for installation. They swap deals like that quite a bit.

    Dh installed a backsplash in the kitchen 5 or 6 years ago. I still love it!

    We've repainted the living room 3 times, and the kitchen and sun room twice. I'm happy with the colors we have now, so I don't anticipate changing anything in these rooms anytime soon. I would like to repaint the master bathroom and bedroom just to get a new look. I've been looking at the same shower curtain for 9 years, and it's getting on my nerves. The issue is convincing dh to do it, since he's the (wall) painter in the family! I also want to change the bedding, but I haven't found anything yet.

    Most of the money we'll be spending on updates will be outside. Dh really, really wants to build a pergola over the patio this year, and at some point we need to figure out what to do about our driveway and front step. We've got large chunks of concrete breaking off. I don't even want to think about how much money that's going to cost us!

  3. #3
    Premier Sponsor Mare's Avatar
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    We bought our house in 1999 and have been updating it constantly since then.

    We have:

    Closed in the 1/2 vaulted ceiling in the living room to make a bonus room at the end of the upstairs hallway
    New siding and garage doors
    Remodeled all 3 bathrooms that we originally had
    Added hardwood flooring on the first floor
    Replaced flooring elsewhere
    Replaced the front door
    Replaced a tie wall in the back and front
    Ripped out rock walls and tie walls in the front
    Ripped out trees in the back
    Removed an above ground pool
    Put in a decorative pond, removed a decorative pond
    Refinished the basement including putting in a 1/2 bathroom
    Added a storage room in the basement and a gun room for DH
    Remodeled the kitchen and laundry room including removing a supporting wall I between the kitchen and dining room
    Replaced and expanded the deck
    Remodeled the master bedroom and added a walk in closet
    Replaced the main stairs with wooden stairs (still in progress, need to trim them out)

    There are some things we need to re-remodel including 2 bathrooms.
    We need replace the remaining tie walls in the back, but that will be about 30K and we don't have it now.

    I think we have spent about 90K on this house in renovations. We will never get it back out when we sell it, but we did it to make it what we wanted.

    As far as priorities, it mostly came down to first of all necessity and then what I couldn't stand anymore.

  4. #4
    Premier Sponsor Mare's Avatar
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    I forgot we replaced all the interior doors and trim too. Gah. It's been a lot of work.

  5. #5
    Premier Sponsor Peanut's Avatar
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    We just move.

  6. #6
    Full Sponsor Erin's Avatar
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    When we bought this house, we made a list of ALL of the things we wanted to do. Then basically, prioritized it. Not a formal process, just a casual conversation about what is important to whom and how much. Part of the appeal of this house was that the kitchen was updated and the basement was finished. Those were two costly updates that we didn't have the money for (or at least didn't want to undergo the process) with our old house.

    We just put in hardwood floors through out the 1st floor and hired that out. I do most of the painting, and we haven't made a ton of other updates. DH is not handy. At all. Our next project that I think we are planning for June is to tear out our deck and put in a BIG patio with nice paver Unilock stones. I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger because of the money, but we spend A LOT of time outside and also like to entertain. The small deck isn't cutting it.

    People in my neighborhood are ALWAYS updating and renovating. Lots and lots and lots of money poured into it. It's annoying. Not everyone, but a lot. Partly because the houses were generally built in 1988 and are reaching that "tastefully dated" stage.

    Side story, I was at a woman's house this past Friday who just completed a complete 1st floor renovation with a new kitchen, along with a huge master bathroom update. Their shower could fit my whole family. I just looked around and thought "Dear God, where do they get the money?" Having updated stuff is less important to me than, I would say, most others in my neighborhood. My least favorite part is when the updates feel competitive like a game of "keeping up with the Jones."

    eta: oh, forgot that when we had the house painted last year we completely changed the color, removed shutters, etc. Looks FAR better, if I do say so myself! :)

  7. #7
    I flunked typing coachgrrl's Avatar
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    Our house is 17 yrs old and was updated when we bought it. In the last year we put in hardwood floors, added a ceiling fan to our outside pergola. I'd like to do some painting at some point

  8. #8
    3:21:44 Peachy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachgrrl View Post
    Our house is 17 yrs old and was updated when we bought it. In the last year we put in hardwood floors, added a ceiling fan to our outside pergola. I'd like to do some painting at some point
    Ooh, pergola + fan sounds like an idea I could get behind. How do you like it?

  9. #9
    Full Sponsor Erin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peachy View Post
    Ooh, pergola + fan sounds like an idea I could get behind. How do you like it?
    Add an outdoor TV too!

  10. #10
    No groundhogs; just prairie dogs RobinAnn's Avatar
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    At this point, we're considering a move so there really won't be any updating; probably just refreshing.

    After years with rambunctious puppies/dogs, we need new paint throughout. Need some drywall repair. Stucco needs to be redone. Can't think of any "improvements" I'd do in the next couple of years for "us". Maybe downspouts on our gutters and a bit of earth moving to make a dry creek for drainage from the house.

    We did have a new roof and new garage door put on due to hail damage. We've done a huge amount of landscaping and irrigation work. We had a 8x16 shed (and chicken coop) built.

    If we were staying, I'd replace my Corian countertops with a different color/design that I like better than what we have.

    Generally, I've been like Peanut and have moved before needing to do real work to a house. (I'm actually looking forward to trading down in house and if needed, paying for a full kitchen upgrade in the cheaper house.)

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