After living in our 1970s Victorian style home for ten years, we did a whole house renovation inside and out. The kitchen and bathrooms were gutted, doorways were widened, and new floors were put in throughout the house.
Hello friends! Stew and I would like to welcome you to the year 2012 where we embarked on a whole house renovation. You’re probably wondering if we were crazy for doing it all at one time, while living in it, and the simple answer is Yes!!! We were totally crazy doing it that way, but at the end of that year itwas like having a brand new home inside and out in house we already loved.
How it all began…
We had lived in this house for ten years with just minor updates while we worked on paying off major college debt and making double house payments. In the meantime, we had two boys who kept us plenty busy. During this time we did plenty of dreaming about what we wanted done to the house and how we wanted it to look and function.
In 2012, we finally embarked on our long awaited dream remodel. We loved this house and poured our hearts and souls into making it our dream “forever” home. So on the interior we chose a timeless, classic look which also fit the style of the exterior of the house.
In the bathrooms we went with traditional white subway tile for the showers, tall bead board on the walls, and black and white hex tiles for the floors. For the kitchen and baths, we chose quartz countertops which looked similar to marble without the fuss and expense that comes with marble. And we chose to enlarge doorways and take down walls to improve the function our old 1970s house.
During this remodel series of posts, you will see we did a whole heck of a lot with our house. But we had a budget and we stuck with it. And remember, this was going to be our forever home…
The Outside Renovation
Roof and Gutters…
In January 2012, we had a new roof and gutters installed. Our roof was only 5 years old, but the previous year we had one hell of a hail storm and it wrecked the roof, gutters, and shutters. The hail also broke some of the spindles on the front porch, sliced open the screens on our windows, and ripped paint off the front of our house. We had to wait for 9 months to get the new roof because everybody in the entire county was having to get a new roof, too.
In the picture below you can see the white trim around the bay windows is looking rather sad. The paint was off the floor on the front porch, too. That hail storm was unbelievably scary and I was surprised our house didn’t have more damage than it did.
Next came new windows…
Our wood windows were original to the house and most of them couldn’t be opened. The wood had swollen so much with our humid weather that they had actually warped over time. Same thing with our solid wood doors. That’s the one bad thing about wood windows and doors. Ironically enough, our new neighborhood requires wood windows. Go figure.
The first design decision…
Stew and I had gone back and forth with what style of windows we wanted. I preferred panes while he wanted none– because panes would block his view.
We finally compromised with diamond shaped panes on the upper half of the windows and nothing on the lower portion.
In renovations, you know it’s all about the compromise… if you’re wanting to stay married at the end of it!
What’s going on inside and out???
After the windows were installed, things really started moving quickly. The painters worked on the outside, transforming our giant yellow and black bumble bee of a house into a pretty little blue cottage.
At the same time, the kitchen and one bathroom was gutted by the tile guys. There was a different group of subcontractors who demolished a couple of walls, put up a header beam for support, and widened another doorway. On top of all of the demolition and chaos that comes with it, we had supplies stacked to the ceiling in every room. Oy!
And of course, let’s remember that we have boys who are 5 and 7 years old, an old little dog, a young border collie puppy, a snake and a bearded dragon…all living in this mess for most of 2012.
By the way, don’t judge us for our previous bright colors inside and out. We did develop taste over time!
The Exterior Paint
Ahh, I love how these pictures make things look like they happen over night. I can assure that was never the case. Things progressed at a snail’s pace and there was a hitch in every single area we remodeled. Some were big issues while others were just annoyances.
Let’s talk about the painters…
On the exterior of the house we had some rotten boards that had to be replaced. Since we had our house painted before we weren’t surprised by this. But I was surprised when these particular painters couldn’t get the boards to align properly. Our previous painters didn’t have any problems so I was wondering what the heck was up with these fellas.
The painters worked for a couple of days on replacing just a few boards. They tried and failed and then would try again.
Lord have mercy. It looked like I was the one who had replaced those boards.
Come to find out it wasn’t their lack of skill that was causing the issue. It was their indulgence of margaritas at lunch which was.
Since I was the one running this renovation I fired those margarita loving painters and found me some sober ones. The new painters fixed the exterior issues and came back later to paint the interior. They did amazing work by the way.
I just love this shade of blue, especially when paired up with white trim and ivory shutters.
Now I have to tell you, Stew was a little worried about the shutter color, but he compromised this time. And he ended up loving the finished look as much as I did.
The Front Porch
We knew the old house had things which needed to be fixed, but we didn’t expect the front porch to have issues. The top rails of the bannister was rotten underneath that bright white paint.
And guess what?
Bannisters with turned posts and fretwork are extremely expensive. As in budget busting expensive.
So we found a look we could live with even if it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We also had our porch guy build a longer step going up to the porch. Not only did it add character, but it also made the walk up safer.
We had started this journey in January with the roof followed by the gutters. In March we started the true renovation part. And in this picture it was mid-summer. It was a longgggg journey my friends!
Don’t you just love the vintage chairs? The matching glider and rockers were on the back porch. I had bought them from an old farmhouse estate sale and had them sandblasted and then powder coated.
This picture was taken shortly before we moved. We seldom ever get this much snow here which I’m thankful for, but it did make for a pretty picture!
This is the back of the house in early spring.
We had a cute little windmill I had painted and a picnic table underneath the willow tree.
Here is the storage shed being moved in. The company we purchased it from painted it to match the house. How awesome is that?
The screened in porch with my vintage furniture.
And awesome ceiling fans…
More vintage furniture…
And new garage doors were put in…
Hope you enjoyed the exterior makeover of our old house. I’ll be posting our kitchen and bathroom makeovers soon.