0 The Plan: Phases of Our Home Renovation

By now you may have noticed our main goal was to update our home on the cheap. We had a plan before we purchased the house and even provided an update at the bottom of this post. You see, all along that little plan was part of a bigger picture which we broke down into Phases. A boss of mine always called it ‘bite-sized manageable pieces.’

This brings us back to Phase 1 which was the only phase we allowed skimping and cheaper-than-cheapskates updates, besides the bathroom. We figured we would eventually gut the first floor in the future.

Phase 1 also had a rigorous deadline which was to get all our main objectives completed before we moved in at the end of May. We purchased the home at the end of April which left us with a little under 6 weeks to get our baby ready to live in. The rest of the summer would be spent finishing the first floor in time for fall relaxation and then begin Phase 2.



Main Objective: get the house ready to live in (the before-we-move-in-priority list)
 -Replace the locks. Here.
-Install a mailbox and have postal service inspect. Here.
-Take before pictures and video throughout the house. Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.
-Clean and scrub the whole first floor.Living Room and Office | Kitchen
-Paint the walls and ceilings for the entire first floor. Living Room and Office | Kitchen
-Remove all carpeting and seal whatever material is underneath. Living Room and Office | Kitchen
-Convert the bath tub into a functional shower.
-Monitor the status of the water heater (it's 20+ years old).
-Monitor the attic and house for rodents and put preventative measures in place.
-Convert the second bedroom into a walk-in closet including washer & dryer with floor reinforcing.
-Replace the counter tops in the kitchen.
-Move old unusable appliances to an unused, easy-access portion of the house/garage.

After assessing our mental list and working on the house for a few weeks, we decided we couldn’t keep the bathroom as is and decided to start from scratch. We also had some additional kitchen tasks. So we added the following:

Bathroom
-Fully gut the Bathroom
-Remove the window (because we’ll eventually add an addition off the back of the house)
-Change the entrance
-Update the pluming
-Update the electrical
-Change the layout of the bathroom entirely
-Make the bathroom structurally sound
-New drywall, tile, light fixtures, sink, vanity, toilet, shower, heated flooring, and fan

Kitchen
-Paint the cabinets Here.
-Replace the kitchen sink
-Remove old appliances
-Purchase and install appliances
-Remove dirty old ceiling fan

Move In, then:
-Gut the attic
-Install trim throughout the first floor
-little updates in each room to hold us over until the next phase (like pressure washing years of dirt and grime away).


Main Objective: update the big four- heating electrical, water, and structure
-Prepare the basement for dry utilities because our basement has a few minor leaks.
-Replace 20+ year old water heater, ours was from 1988
-Replace old furnace for an energy efficient one
-Replace the support columns in the basement
-Replace the basement beams
-Update the electrical.
-Tear-down chimney
-Flip the stair case. The current stair case layout from the basement to 1st floor and 1st floor to 2nd floor just doesn’t make sense.

The rest of the Phases are not in any particular order. Although some have a logical order, for example the addition must be done after the garage since the addition requires us to cut into the existing garage.


Main Objective: Build a new 2nd floor.
-Fully gut the entire upstairs
-Measure and come up with the best layout to maximize our space
        - We hope to fit two bedrooms and a bathroom.
        -One bedroom would serve as a temporary office, the other as the temporary Master Bedroom
-Rework the dormers and make all gables match
-Choose the supplies and build the new rooms


Main Objective: Build a new Garage to fit future toys and all vehicles
-Research local zoning, codes, and obtain permits
-Plan for the best location
-Measure and come up with the best layout to maximize our space
 -Get an estimate the cement slab (we have a friend we hope to use)
-Choose the supplies and build the garage of our dreams
-Tear down the old garage before starting the addition


Main Objective: Build a master suite with additional basement
-Research local zoning, codes, and obtain permits
-Plan for the best location
-Measure and come up with the best layout to maximize our space.
-Get an estimate the basement foundation (we have a friend we hope to use)
-Install French doors leading outside
-Possibly include a formal entryway/mudroom
-Turn the basement into an entertainment/storage


Main Objective: Exterior
-Reside the house
-Build a wraparound porch/deck
-Cut over grown trees
-Plant new trees
-Plant and maintain a garden


Main Objective: Complete the first floor
-Fully gut the Kitchen
-Choose the supplies and build the kitchen of our dreams
-Expand the living room
-Build a fireplace
-Create a formal dining room
-Move the office downstairs into the old 1st floor master bedroom
-Remodel the laundry room.

First off, we intentionally made the plan flexible so that if something from Phase 3 was super discounted or a you’ll-never-see-prices-this-low-EVER sale, we would pounce tackle at the first chance. As far as how we decided to structure the plan, we just decided to spread out major costs between various phases to make the budgeting process easier. We also remind ourselves nothing is set in stone and that our vision can change MANY MANY times.

Also, my boyfriend tends to overbuild so while most things may be fine as is, such as the beams, we usually have underlying reasons. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

We are the type of couple to bounce thoughts (big, small, bad, or genius) off each other to solidify each area until we’re confident the house will truly be ‘us.’

As you can see we have big plans for this little ‘ol house and we can’t wait to save up for each big phase while tackling small things along the way. 

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