2019 Home Goals

Another goals list! I love reading these posts on other blogs, but personally, I love writing them because it motivates me so much! We have so many ideas for things to do in the house, but we’re also going to keep it realistic. During the course of the year, we’re going to have a 3 year old and a 1 year old living here, so I’m sure it’ll be crazy, but I’m also looking forward to finding our new groove in life as a family of 4 (6! with doggies).

While I’d love to say the KITCHEN was number 1 on my list, it’s sadly not going to happen this year. Our budget won’t accommodate it this year, but hopefully soon. Our life has taken some interesting turns that we didn’t originally plan for (me not earning a paycheck anymore) so we have to alter our game plan a bit. Mainly though, we’re trying to take advantage of the unique situation we have of us ALL being home, and David being able to work from anywhere. So we’re really eyeing up some travel and vacations this year while we all have this time together and before Connor heads off to school in a few years. Family time is really the priority this year 🙂

But, while family time is the priority, we couldn’t get through this year without some home project fun. It’s a great outlet for David and I to dream, design, and execute all these projects around the house together.

So this year, we’re going to focus on some smaller projects, ones that we didn’t finish last year, and also maybe planning for a bigger one next year!

Built ins

Ok, so this is a carryover from our 2018 home projects lists. Guilty. BUT, we’ve really been excited about getting these done. We have the base cabinets installed and painted. We have the TV bought and mounted on the wall. We’ve planned out where the shelving will be.

Now, I’m just waiting on some warmer and nicer weather to take all of the cabinet doors and counter top outside to paint using our new paint sprayer. Rolling cabinet doors is no joke (we did our entire SC kitchen this way!), so I’m really looking forward to getting a super smooth finish with the paint sprayer.

Once that’s all finished and we’ll finalize the shelving plans and buy/cut/paint all of that wood. I’ve also been on the hunt for the perfect overhead lighting (or library sconces as I’ve realized they’re called.

Family Room Curtains

Ok, also a carryover from 2018. BUT. I’m totally adding it to this list, because I FINALLY finished them. In 2019. So it totally counts. More details coming soon, so that I can share what a headache these have been for me (2 years in the making!).

Mini Dining Room Makeover

Last year when I was pregnant with Layla, Connor went to his Grandparent’s house one weekend, and David was doing a lot of molding work in Layla’s nursery that didn’t really involve me too much. So I took advantage of that free time to do a mini makeover on our kitchen. It wasn’t much work but it made the WORLD of a difference to me. I still have to share this project, but it really inspired me to tackle a mini makeover on our poop colored dining room this year. I’m excited, I have a dark, moody green/blue in mind and can’t wait to experiment with it!

Staircase/Foyer Completion

So I think this will probably be the only flooring project we aim to do this year. The hallway floor upstairs is done, and the foyer flooring is done, so the ugly carpeting connecting the two areas on the stairs has GOT TO GO. We think it’s going to be a decent project to install the wood treads and risers so we’re trying to not get too ambitious. We’ll see what surprises it has in store for us.

Also, in the foyer area, I’m brainstorming some guest coat hooks and a bench setup to make it a bit more visitor friendly. Although, I feel like, that no matter what system you have in place, people tend to come in and just set stuff down in your kitchen anyway haha.

Master Closet/Bathroom Planning

This one is going to be our stretch this year. The way our house is laid out, calls for some unused space behind our master closet walls. Long term, we were hoping to reconfigure it to relocate the master closet to make our master bathroom bigger. It was always something we envisioned doing once the kids were a lot older, but the more we talk about it, the more we want to treat ourselves and give ourselves a “retreat”. Because, really, these younger years are when you need a retreat place the most. We’ve done so many projects for them, their bedrooms and the playroom, that we really want to do something that is 100% for us. And we want the time to enjoy it before we’re old haha.

It’s hard to explain the whole thing without going into diagrams, design, and floor plans, but I’ll be explaining a lot more in an upcoming blog post. The awesome thing about it though, is that we were chatting with our neighbors (who have the same style house as us, just backwards) about this idea and they had already done it! Here we were, thinking we were brilliant. So, we still need to tour their place and take a bunch of pictures, but it will be so cool to see it already completed and how maybe we might want to do it differently.

Overall, we just want to come up with a plan, design, and get some estimates to see what this kind of projects is going to run us.

Garage Organization

This is a MUST for my sanity. Literally half of the garage looks awful, and everything is just thrown in there. We’re really hoping when the weather gets better, that we can just have a fun weekend outside in the driveway with the kids while purging and tackling this reorganization. We’ll see. But I’m determined to get this cleaned up and less hectic.

So that’s all? We’ll see how the year goes! Wish us luck!

MOLD. In the basement.

Ugh.  Literally the worst discovery ever.  Especially when you’re 30 weeks pregnant.

We have a pretty large finished basement that serves many purposes… gym, bar, bathroom, storage, workshop, garages, and theater.  The theater and workshop are the most heavily used of the spaces, because projects. And mindless weekend movies after bedtime. 

We’ve talked before about how we bought all of the flooring for this house at almost 3 years ago at this point.  About 2500 sq ft of flooring, and only some of it has been installed.  So we still have a lot of flooring boxes laying around the house, hidden under beds, and in the basement.  So we have stacks of boxes around the theater haha.

Basement Floor Plan

One day, we were headed downstairs on a weekend to watch a movie after Connor went to bed, and something on the wall near the boxes caught my eye. It was black.  And my stomach immediately turned.

At 30 weeks pregnant, I immediately backed away and pointed it out to David.  We both agreed, it was mold.  It looked like it traveled down under the boxes, in the carpet, too.  And we got discouraged and ignored it for a little while haha.  David got a little motivated to find a band-aid, and found a dehumidifier on Craigslist and went to buy it.  We DIY a lot of stuff, but with both of us having asthma, we really didn’t want to even touch this.

I was in complete denial of this whole situation.  I kept ignoring it.  I HATE when these things pop up; unplanned projects and surprises are my worst nightmare.  I’m a planner.  So I was really no help in this project.  David finally started to contact some waterproofing companies to come in and give us an opinion/recommendations/quotes. And MAN, just like the load bearing wall removal project we did, the contractors thoughts/opinions/quotes were ALL OVER THE PLACE. 

Overall, we had 4 contractors come in, and here were their views.  All agreed, that there was probably a crack in the foundation (not uncommon) that was allowing water to leak in down the basement wall, which was causing the moisture and therefore the mold.

Mold spot and location of sump pumps
The blue lines show where we thought the existing trenches to be that ran to the sump pumps.

Contractor 1:  A mold remediation/waterproofing company. We called, and they said we needed to get a “mold inspection” from a mold inspection company before they could come out and give us a quote.  So we called the mold inspection company, and they said they would come out and confirm that it was indeed mold, do some clean-up, and give us a certificate… for $400.  Seriously?  That wasn’t even the repair work.  We decided to skip it… it’s obvious it was mold.

Contractor 2: A waterproofing company. The guy who came out was quite a Chatty Cathy.  But, we learned a bit from him about basement moisture and air circulation tools that we should consider for the future.  His base recommendation was to dig out another trench in this part of the basement to allow the water flow from the front wall to the sump pump over in the garage.  This would cost about $3000. He also recommended that we grade the front landscaping away from the house, which was also needed, but not included in his work.

Proposed new trench shown in green

Contractor 3: A basement waterproofing company.  He recommended going all out, ripping all the drywall out inside, repair the crack, also dig out the front landscaping and repair the crack from the outside, and also dig out the trench both ways, as shown in the picture below.  Cost would be about $9500.

Dig out trench both ways

Contractor 4: Another waterproofing company. Clean and trench both directions like the picture above, except to add an additional sump pump in the storage room (see below).  Cost would be $5000. 

New sump pump shown in yellow.

Contractor 4: A basement waterproofing company. Basically he came and took a look at the wall and poked around.  And he made us feel like idiots.  Plus made all of the other contractors look like idiots.  Because he found that the trench already goes all the way around the house, and there was no need to dig a new one or add in another in the storage room.  He said that we did indeed have a crack, but it really wasn’t that bad (ie, not really that detrimental to the house or having the basement wall cave in or something).  He recommended to give the crack a direct drainage line to the trench, and seal it so that the moisture doesn’t reach the insulation or joists. patching the crack with system they created. Cost would be about $900.

So we finally decided to break it all open and finally take a look since we decided on a contractor (we were kind of reluctant to do this along the way because we weren’t sure what we were going to stir up, and we wanted to use the room in the meantime).  This is what we found.  You can kind of tell that it had been “patched” or filled in before, and it didn’t last.  Nor did they reveal that information to us when they sold us the house. Sigh.

David got in and moved the electrical and stud out of the way (it wasn’t a structural support, it only to hold up the drywall) so that the contractor could come in and do his work.

He moved away all the flooring boxes when he was ready to clean. It cleaned up pretty well with a strong bleach/water solution and a scrub brush (with some breathing protection).

Mold under the flooring boxes
Destroyed flooring 🙁

So we didn’t get any pictures of the contractor doing the work, but the system that they used to repair the crack leakage is called FlexiSpan and the information on it can be found HERE. Basically, it acts as a double protection, as it provides a drainage channel down the wall to direct the water down to the trench and therefore the sump pump. And then, that channel is then sealed with a polymer that is flexible to allow for slight foundation movement over time and prevents water escaping.

You can see the result below.

We’ve been letting it air out for about 6 months now, to ensure that it wasn’t going to leak again, and to allow for the wood to dry out. That’s also just because we’re lazy and haven’t felt like finishing the job up yet 😀

Unfinished/finished theater

We’re really happy with our decision and very happy that we brought in so many contractors to really give us some good recommendations and background on the issue. If we hadn’t brought in so many, we wouldn’t have learned some good tips about air circulation, trench design, necessary natural light needs, and good yard/landscaping grading tips to keep water away from your foundation. We have some work to do in the yard over time, but I think our basement leak is in a good spot now. Eventually, we’ll put the drywall back up and patch it up, but #ain’tnobodygottimeforthat.

Checkout that big beautiful stack of hardwood floors.

One day, we’ll make this theater look amazing. But for now, it’s functional for us to watch movies. And also store hardwood flooring 😀

2018 Home Goals – Update!

So I had most of this post written a few weeks before Layla made her appearance… but I slacked on taking some pictures for it. Blah blah blah.  Well, we’re back!  I must say getting this post up and chatting with David about some things around the house, we are kind of itching to get another project done… maybe we’ll pick something off of this list?!  Anyways, to be continued.  But enjoy this project update post… and maybe we’ll be able to knock something else off!

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BabyHam 2.0’s Nursery

Alright, here’s the reveal!  We showed you our design plans back in THIS POST.

And then showed you a little DIY project I did for some over the crib decor:

Some before action…

And now, here’s the finished room!

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Nursery Decor with a Hula Hoop!

I’ve been a little lazy on the blogging lately… actually a little lazy with a lot of things.  I had a nesting spurt go on for like 2 weeks, but the last few weeks, I’ve started to feel like I’m in first trimester again and all I want to do is nap and relax. ::yawn::

It also doesn’t help that we recently came across a small patch of mold on one of our basement walls and are trying to decide what to do.  So we’ve had contractors in and out of the house for the past few weeks. Sigh.  More on that soon.

But I need to really just enjoy some “free time” right now before things get busy with TWO little ones.  The nursery has been done for a little while, but I was dragging my feet on this little DIY project and also of taking pictures of the room.  BUT!  The time has come.  First I want to talk a little about this over the crib decor, and then next week we’ll reveal baby girl’s room!

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Excuse My French… Drain

We’ve had a water problem for awhile, and we’ve known about it since we bought the house.  We talked about it a bit in this project goal post HERE. Now, I know water problems scare people away, as it almost did us. BUT, we knew we could probably get a handle on these.

The driveway to our home leads up to our garages, which are technically in the basement since we’re on such a hill in our neighborhood.  To the left of the garages, next to the stairway, is a wall that basically holds in the dirt/landscaping on the first floor level of our home.  The builders of this home in the 90s had a a major flaw in this design that took awhile for it to come to light.

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Nursery 2.0 Plans

I’m so excited to be working on a nursery with some girly touches!  I mean, I absolutely LOVE Connor’s room, but this one lets me add in some touches of floral 🙂

For Connor’s room, we went with an adventure/navy blue theme.  I wanted something that was basic enough that he could grow up with for the next few years and not have to make any major changes.  That’s our goal for baby girl’s room too!  If you want to check out some more details on Connor’s room, you can read about the plan HERE and the execution HERE.  Here’s a reminder…

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2018 Home Goals

So, it’s not a big deal that we’re starting our 2018 goals in mid-April, and are kind of considering the end of the year in August, right?  I mean, after #BabyHam2018 arrives in August, it’ll be kind of crazy, and then next thing you know, it’ll be Thanksgiving and Christmas… essentially no time for major house projects.

So without further ado, here are our goals for things to finish this “year.”  Please, hold us accountable hahaha.

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These shelves are looking pretty spicy.

Did that corny title grab your attention to this blog post?  I thought so.  😀

After we finished taking the wall down between our living room and family room, to make one big room, I had my eyes set upon the kitchen.  We have lived here for a little over 2 years now and we have a pretty good idea of what we really want and need for our future kitchen renovation.

Remember, we wanted to go from this:

To this:

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Built in Cabinet Shopping

Last week we talked about our plans for the new built ins in the family room, and how I’ve been dreamily staring at this picture…

and trying to figure out how to turn it into this picture…

I eventually got here, with the help if the Ikea kitchen planner tool.

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