Meet House #2

While many people in our lives are announcing baby #2, we’re pleased to introduce to you House #2! As our faithful readers know, we sold House #1 back in April and went on a sort of hiatus while we shopped for a new house. Now that we are 100% closed and back on our DIY project beat, we’re ready to start serving up some new posts for you. Without further adieu, meet House #2!

DIY and home improvement on a 1950s home

Woof, that lawn! Working on it :-)
All the Particulars
Style: Cape Cod
Age: 59 (circa 1955), completely updated in 2006/2007
Rooms: Living, Dining, Kitchen, full Basement
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1.5
Other: 1-car Garage
With this house comes several improvements as far as we are concerned. Just to name a few, here are the major differences between House #1 and House #2.

Here’s how House #1 stacked up…

  • Window Unit A/C
  • Old, outdated cabinets
  • Older washer/dryer
  • One teeny tiny bathroom
  • 1000 square feet (excluding basement)

Here’s how House #2 takes it up a notch…

  • Central A/C
  • Updated cabinets
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Fairly new washer/dryer
  • More than 1 toilet!
  • Much larger main bath with double sink vanity
  • 1500 square feet (excluding basement)

What’s on Tap?

  • Lots of cleaning – the previous owner had several pets, so we’re removing pet hair left and right until the place is completely spotless and to our liking.
  • Painting, painting, painting (you know how much we love paint)!
  • New carpets (upstairs)
  • New refrigerator
  • New custom shade for the master bedroom
  • Leveling paver walkway
  • Minor roof repairs
  • Garage clean up
  • Lawn rehab

And that is just to name a few. We’re hoping to finish up with the new carpets, cleaning and painting within the next month. Then we will get ourselves moved in! As we continue with our initial clean up and our eventual move-in, there is no doubt new ‘projects will crop up. Until then, enjoy some of these “before” style photos of the new place.

Getting ready to paint the living room…

  Living room renovation

Already painted the master!

Painting a master bedroom

Ripping up old carpets upstairs…

Ripping up carpets

An upstairs bedroom…

Before we start DIY projects

Another upstairs bedroom…

Before DIY and home renovation begins

The backyard…

Backyard DIY

Hiatus (Don’t Hate Us)

As we recently announced, we’re selling our house! With that being said, we are going on a hiatus until we get into another house full of fun DIY and home improvement projects to blog about!

So, to wrap things up (for now) here is a look back on all the work we did on our first house! It was a wild ride for sure, but we learned so much; almost too much! We accomplished so many things we never could have imagined to be necessary or possible, but we did it! This experience has been priceless, to say the least, and has equipped us with the know-how to make great decisions when buying our second home.

A Look Back on Our First House

When we purchased the house in September 2011, it was brown and dingy. That’s the best way to describe it. Check out the original listing photos from when we bought the house:

Real estate listing photos of our new houseWe tackled gutting a floor to ceiling pink PINK PINK! bathroom.

Bathroom before and after

We 100% re-finished our entire kitchen all by ourselves and it was mega cost effective!Kitchen Before and After

Final Painted Kitchen and Tile

We replaced every single door in our house and eliminated all things brown and dirty from the home. We went from brown, dingy luan to crisp, white 6-panel doors, giving the whole house a fresh, modern look.DIY home remodeling, painting trim

We removed all carpet and refinished the original hardwood floors.

Refinished hardwood floors

Our remodeled living room

Refinished hardwood floors

We removed some crappy, goofy awnings, painted and replaced all of our shutters, freshened up the front door with a new paint color, and gave the roof a good scrubbing, completely transforming the outside appearance of our house; talk about curb appeal (if we don’t say so ourselves)!

Old shutters and front door

Spray painting shutters

Updated shutters and front door

Roof Shampoo Before After

We had a ton of much-needed plumbing work done. Less glamorous, but oh-so-important.

Correct 2 Inch PVC Washer Drain

Correct PVC Stack in Basement

We raised a barn, Amish-paradise style. Just kidding, but we did build a shed ourselves which we still feel is quite impressive…at least for us!

shed floor level ground

completed Rubbermaid resin shed

We earned our green thumbs :-)

Hosta Sprout Close Up

Front Yard in April

Planting hydrangeas gardening tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we painted

Painting acoustic ceiling tiles

And painted

Yellow Office Sunbeam

Office Painted with Wave's Crest

And painted some more…

Living room paint colors

It took us awhile to warm up to this house and to get it how we wanted it. But in the end, we will truly miss it. It’s hard to leave all of this great work behind, but we are moving on and moving up! Time for bigger and better. And we can’t wait.

Thank you to all of our super-devoted readers, the one-time readers and those who would occasionally stop by. We will always be posting on Instagram and Facebook, so you can keep in touch with us there. We look forward to connecting with everyone here on the blog again just as soon as we get into house #2. Until then!

I Shutter to Think…

Let me just start by saying…I have NO IDEA why we did not do this so much sooner. I’m just going to come right out with this before and after:

Old shutters and front door

Updated shutters and front door

BAM! Now that’s a house! As you can guess, we decided to revamp the entire look of our house, but we had no idea it would have this big of an impact. It was definitely time to say goodbye to that dingy purple and hello to some bold shutters that pop. The results with this project were overwhelming to us. And the steps we took to get there were super simple. I give you…

How to Give Your House a Facelift

If eyes are the window to the soul then the shutters on these windows must be eyelashes and we just applied the blackest of the black, most voluminous mascara on the market! These shutters are seriously popping. Our neighbors have all taken notice and everyone agrees – they look great! And this shutter project only cost us about $100. How, you ask?

We bought several cans of matte black spray paint from Lowe’s and Home Depot. Lowe’s is our home improvement store of choice but they only had a few cans of Valspar Color Radiance in the matte black we wanted, so when we needed more spray paint, we had to run to Home Depot and ended up with several cans of Rustoleum Painter’s Touch, also in matte black of course. Both of these spray paints are fine for indoor/outdoor use, are heat and water resistant and quick drying for sure.

Valspar Color Radiance Matte Black

We started with the back and side of the house because we figured if something went wrong, at least it wouldn’t be visible to all passers-by. We removed each shutter, one-by-one, cleaned them with an all-purpose cleaner and laid them out on a tarp, slightly elevated thanks to several rogue bricks we had laying around.

Spray painting shutters

From there, we sprayed each of the shutters once, letting them dry for just 1 minute and then sprayed a second coat. The drying time was so fast, even with all that New Jersey humidity lingering in the air. Once the shutters were completely dry, we hung each back in their positions. We numbered the back of each one according to their position on the house going from left to right so putting them back up was a cinch. That’s it! So easy and the spray paint only cost about $3 – $4 a can. This whole portion of the project took about one full day to complete.

Spray painted shutters

The front of the house is where things got a little tricky. The day after we completed the back and side of the house, we began to tackle the front. We removed every shutter, numbered the backs, cleaned them with an all-purpose cleaner and spray painted shutter #1 when we realized, these shutters juts weren’t going to cut it. Many of them had holes in them and for the most part they had all seen better days. The quality also just wasn’t there. The shutters in the back of the house were so much nicer than the ones on the front of the house (which actually doesn’t surprise us at all because that’s just how things go around here). We decided we were going to have to change our plans and purchase new shutters for the front – that’s 6 new shutters.

Here we are thinking each of these shutters would run us around $30 a piece…not true! As it turns out, shutters are sold in pairs (why didn’t I think of that?) and it cost about $30 per pair, so around $90 total. That, with the spray paint, this entire project cost us around $100 to complete and the results are priceless (or at least we think so).
In short, we purchased the new shutters and spent just another hour or two to get them positioned on the house with no trouble at all. The new ones even came with cool little snap covers for the screws, so the end product is clean, sophisticated and really gives that buttoned up look we were aiming for.

If you’re looking to give your house a facelift, refinishing or replacing shutters is definitely a great place to start. We refinished the shutters that were in decent shape and replaced the ones that just weren’t going to cut it and it really paid off.

Updated shutters and front door

You may have also noticed we painted the door and that’s a whole separate blog post so stay tuned to learn more about the color and the story behind it.