I am sharing a quick before and after of my sister’s floors today.
When Jessica and her husband first bought their house, it had cheap carpet throughout. A few years and three kids later, that carpet had seen better days. They knew there were hardwood floors under the carpet but they had no idea about the condition. Before deciding on all new carpeting, they wanted to see what the hardwood looked like.
A little scary, right?
After the carpet was removed, they almost thought the floors were in such bad shape that they couldn’t be saved. They were dirty, paint splattered and worn, but fortunately, they were perfect contenders for refinishing.
I think they look as good as new now! It amazes me what a difference there is in the before picture compared to how they look after. Jessica and her husband are so glad they decided to have the floors refinished. Its made them want hardwood floors in their next home too. The hardwood it so much better with her kids, and much easier and quicker for Jessica to clean!
While visiting my sister, we took on several projects. One of them was to start the makeover on her family room addition. The room has been a sort of catch all over the years, but during their kitchen renovation, it took a turn for the worse. The majority of the kitchen construction took place in that room, so it ended up covered in saw dust, spilled paint, random scraps of cabinetry, trim and all sorts of tools…. it was a huge cluttered mess!
Our goal was to clean the room out, then tear up the old carpet so that we could install new flooring. The new flooring is in the room already, getting acclimated to the new space. Jessica and her husband chose an engineered strand woven bamboo flooring product from LW Mountain. Its an easy product to install yourself, the floor is designed to float which is a good thing considering the mess we found under the carpet pad (more on that when I get to the subfloor). All this flooring needs is a level subfloor, a moisture barrier and underlayment, and then the pieces just click together.
So, here is where we started:
Then about two hours later, we had this:
We cut the carpet into sections with a utility knife to make it easier for us to carry the rolled up carpet to the curb. To speed up the carpet removal process, Jessica worked on one end of the room while I did the other. Once we had the carpet and padding pulled out, we called it a day. We were a mess… it was hot that day, hot and humid mixed with dust made for a very unpleasant pair of sisters.
Later that night, Jessica’s husband took us out to dinner as a thank you for our hard work. Thank you Randy.
I’ve been away for awhile. I traveled to the Chicago area to visit my sister Jessica for her birthday week. While there, her and I tackled all kinds of projects in the hopes of getting her house a little closer to putting on the market.
One of those projects was to update her entry door with a fresh coat of paint in a happy yellow. We used Benjamin Moore Yellow Raincoat. Just as a side note, you should always make sure that both partners are on board with a paint color, in this case, my sister chose this shade because she loved it even knowing her husband hates yellow. Boy was he surprised when he came home that evening!! It was her one and (most likely) only shot at a yellow door since they are selling asap.
At this point, they had already updated the door hardware to a sleek brushed nickel, but the rest of the door left much to be desired. They have plans for a new door bell and a new screened door, one with a smaller frame and full glass to allow an unobstructed view of the door.
To start, we gave the door a good scrubbing with soapy water. Then, once everything had dried, we taped around the new door hardware and half moon window with Frog Tape. A quick coat of primer and we were ready for paint.
I’m kinda loving the new happy yellow door. It definitely catches your attention now. I think first impressions can be so important when selling a house. You want the potential buyers to remember your house. And the nice thing about paint is that if you really would rather not have such an attention grabbing color, its so easy and affordable to change it up.
When we moved into this apartment nearly two years ago, Toni asked me what I thought about getting a dog. I know he’s been wanting to have a dog for years now, but since we live on the third floor in our apartment building, it didn’t seem like a great idea. Not unless we lived in a house. So we held off on getting a pet for our family. In February, Toni mentioned one of his coworkers had a litter of puppies that would be ready sometime in March. The timing seemed perfect, since we should be closing on the house the first week of April. So we decided to go for it. We picked up our little guy when he was just 6 or 7 weeks old, he was born on Superbowl Sunday. He was sooooo tiny. I fell in love instantly.
We named him Govani, or Joey for short. He is a clever little guy, he can open the kitchen cabinets to sneak puppy treats already, and he has learned how to push the bedroom doors open. In the few short weeks that he’s had us, he has been growing like a weed. He’s more than doubled his size!
Since we decided to walk away from the house we had under contract, we are now looking for a new place. In May when our lease is up on our apartment, we will go month to month, rather than sign a new lease. We need to move into a house so Joey can have a yard to play in. Joey has been an excellent motivator for us.
Posted in Life
Tagged Govani, Pets, Puppy
It’s hard to admit that the house we have been under contract with for over 9 months is not going to be ours. We’ve known this for over a month, but I needed time to come to terms with it. I needed time to grieve before sharing. We came so close. Closing was set for the first week of April…
Then we got the news that our financing was not going to work. We were trying to purchase the house with my brother using a 203K loan. The house needed some major renovations just to get it to a livable state. We bid out the work that needed to be done and discovered it needed far more than expected. The addition on the back half of the house needed a completely new roof, the pitch was all wrong… it caused a lot of water damage to the house. We were floored. Shocked. Angry… then saddened. I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone.
My brother shared the news with us that he was still going to try to get a house, but with my youngest sister and her husband. I was happy that he was still trying. I was happy for my sister, too.
We considered giving up, signing another year long lease for our apartment, or maybe finding a house to rent for awhile… But that just wasn’t what we wanted. We got our hopes up with the dream of home ownership. I had mentally renovated and decorated the entire house. I had dreamed of hosting big family gatherings there. I couldn’t give up, So I researched, and then I filled out paperwork for a new loan. Maybe now we can do it on our own?
That house was just not meant to be ours. I know that there is a house out there waiting for us, we just need more time to find it.
I’ve gathered a few pictures to show how this kitchen looked before the renovation. The kitchen was not terrible before they started… Not a dream kitchen, but not terrible.
It had somewhat updated oak cabinets that had mostly been painted white. The counter tops were not the prettiest choice, with the chipped unmatched edges and boring beige laminate. Some of the appliances had been updated, but none of the finishes matched.
Jessica snapped a few pictures of her kitchen right before they began tearing everything out. Just ignore the clutter.
What do you think of the before kitchen? Would you have worked with the existing finishes? I think if I had her kitchen, I might have left the cabinets and just freshened the space with new flooring, counters, paint, and a pretty tiled backsplash. I can’t wait to share her finished kitchen with you.
It’s been a long time since I updated anyone on the progress of the house we are trying to buy. The reason is, there was not much to report… Short sales are well known for taking a long time to close, and ours is no exception, even though we’d hoped it would be quicker. When we put our first bid in, the amount was pre-apporoved by the sellers bank. So we had high hopes of it going through fast, especially since ours was a full price offer.
But then we discovered a few issues, mainly the roof needed to have a repair done on the back half of the house and the house is required to be connected the the city sewer instead of the current septic system. We were fully prepared to tackled all of that, but at the last moment, the bank transferred/sold the house to a different bank, and we had to start over, from the beginning with the new bank. At that point, our mortgage approval expired, so we also had to get approved again for our home loan. It was just one thing after another… but we had news yesterday that everything is back on track and fully ready to move forward.
One of the biggest changes is the mortgage product we decided to use. Originally we went with an FHA loan, but with the needed repairs, we changed to a 203k loan. That type of loan is used when renovations or repairs are needed on the house you plan on buying. It works out perfectly for us, since we need to repair the roof and have the sewer connected. Plus, we will be able to get flooring for a few rooms that had the flooring removed by the previous owners. The good news is my brother and I are frantically trying to get bids for both the roof and the sewer turned in by this coming Monday so we can set our closing date.
Sneak peak at the house’s back side (taken last October)
I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to go by slowly while we dream of paint chips and appliances… and gardening!
I’ve got another update to share with you all from my sister. She and her hubby have started their kitchen renovation… Her kitchen is completely gutted!
They waited until just after the holidays to start, that way they could cook their holiday meals for the family. Now they are living off of takeout until they get the new cabinets and appliances in.
As a reminder of where they are going with the new kitchen, check out this post, where I shared the mood board.
Last Friday, I shared my sister’s dining room. Well, the painting progress anyway. She shared some new pictures with me this morning. The walls and trim are completed, and the room is mostly put back together. With the new wall color and the trim refreshed with white paint, the room looks almost brand new again.
These first two pictures were taken standing in the entryway to the kitchen. These shots of the room also show off her newly refinished hardwood floors. I am so glad she was able to have her floors refinished, they were in such bad shape before that she and her husband weren’t sure they could be saved. I’ll share a before picture of the hardwood floors soon, but that picture belongs to the living room.
The next two pictures show the room from the archway in the entry of the house.
I am loving how the neutral tones of the room set off Jessica’s black painted furniture. I am a sucker for contrast (and texture) so the bold black dining table and chairs pair perfectly against the crisp griege backdrop.
Another thing I am loving about the new paint color is how it makes the room appear so much larger than it actually is! This is a tiny room in person, with just enough space all around the table to walk comfortably. The previous color was a rich jewel tone red. It was quite lovely and made the room feel cozy and warm. But the red took up a lot of visual space, making the room appear both cozy and small.
It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room.
My sister Jessica had two goals in choosing the finishes for her kitchen renovation. The first was to appeal to as wide a range of buyers as possible, and the second was to keep it relatively inexpensive. The kitchen is getting a full renovation, with all new cabinetry, counters, back splash, stainless steel appliances, tile flooring and paint.
Here is a little mood board with the final choices for the cabinets, counter top, and back splash:
Cape Cod Kitchen Renovation Mood Board
- The cabinetry is from a local bargain home supply company, Norm’s Bargain Barn. The cabinetry is made from maple, in an Espresso finish.
- The glass mosaic back splash tile was scored at Classic Tile on clearance, so unfortunately it may no longer be available. It would have been a splurge item, but the 50% off clearance price fit the budget.
- They went with an affordable laminate for the counter tops. Wilsonart Milano Quartz Laminate from Lowes.
The kitchen is the heart of the home so it makes sense (cents!) that kitchens are one of the best rooms to update when getting a house ready for resale. I love the richness and depth of the finishes Jessica chose for her kitchen. It will really warm the space up and make it ready for a new buyer to fall in love with her house!
Once the kitchen is complete, I will have more pictures to share!
I’ve decided to add a new series to my blog. I am going to add a segment addressing the updates my sister is doing to her little cape cod style house. I’m making this change mostly because I haven’t had any projects to post for several weeks. And because I adore what my sister Jessica and her husband are doing to their house.
To bring you all up to speed, Jessica and her husband are getting their house ready to sell. After four kids plus a live in room mate, they have outgrown the house and are searching for their dream home. But, while they are searching they are updating as much of their current house as they can.
Today’s cape cod update deals with neutralizing paint colors. When selling a house, it’s a great idea to create a blank slate for a purchaser to visualize themselves in that home. Painting a room in a neutral greige (beige/grey) makes the space feel current and clean. Jessica chose to use Bulldog primer tinted to Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter in her dining room, which started out as a rich shade of red. While the red was quite beautiful in her dining room, unfortunately that color is not for everyone. The new wall color brightens up the room and once the trim has been given a fresh coat of white paint, the room will be fresh and crisp.
Once the room is put back together, I will have some after shots to share.
It’s nearly 2013… Just a few hours away. I don’t know about you, but after a series of disappointments I am completely ready to put 2012 behind me. I look forward to the changes the new year will bring.
I wanted to share a conversation I had with my husband earlier. We went to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute essentials for ringing in the new year.
Toni ran into the drugstore for a pack of cigarettes, leaving me in the car running, it’s cold here! I always get nervous about being alone in a running vehicle, so I locked the doors and waited for him to return.
Toni: Bella, why did you lock me out?
Me: So I’d be protected…
Me: You know, so no one could car jack us with me in the car. They’d be getting a free woman, free car, and they’d drink all our champagne!
Toni: Oh, you are right…
Me: Just think about it, you’d come out of the store, realize the car is gone, then think I’d left you. But what really happened is that I was kidnapped, murdered, and then abandoned in some far off field. You wouldn’t know until the next day when the police knocked on our door to let you know they’d found the dead body of your wife.
Toni: Yeah, who knows how many maniacs are out tonight, it’s New Years!
Me: Exactly! You see why I locked you out of the car now.
HaHa, I hope you all have a fantastic new year!