Today I thought it would be a good idea to check in on the 19 house projects we chose to work on in 2019, and basically what we’ve been up to for the first seven months of the year. I’m going to be Frank here (feel free to be Roxanne), I don’t feel like we’ve really accomplished all that much. We’ve had some wins, we’ve had some losses, and we’ve had a few out in left field type of projects. So here we go…
#1 Mini Master Bathroom Remodel | Grade B-
Okay this one. We had good intentions, I swear, we really did. In early spring, Colby and I both took a day off from work to tackle this one. We didn’t go into it with a 100% solid plan, but the general idea was to get in there, remove the old closet and nasty sink, assess the empty (except for the toilet space), figure out a cost effective solution from there, and make a run for supplies to get started. Well, we got the bathroom gutted and did a 180, deciding to renovate the bathroom for real. We’ve got a plan (stay tuned) but house rules state no indoor projects happen on nice sunny days. It’s Vermont and summer lasts a hot minute so we’re not wasting precious sunshine working on a bathroom. The problem is, we can count on one hand the number of rainy weekend days we’ve had this summer. Alas, not much progress but it’s coming I swear. Just envision wall to wall subway tile with those wide plank floors. Swoon! You can see it, right? Amongst all the construction debris?!
#2 Replace Second Floor Windows | Grade F
To be honest, we haven’t started and probably won’t get to this during 2019. Let’s just say, lots of medical bills this year depleted our window fund. AND homegirl has expensive window taste. Moving on.
#3 Heat Second Floor Bedrooms | Grade F
We had such good intentions of tackling this project this summer but again, that dang sunshine has been keeping us from it. But I’ll choose lake time with the family any day over ripping into things.
#4 Set Up Rowan’s Big Girl Room | Grade D+
We almost bought a bed for Rowan while on vacation a few weeks ago. That counts as progress, right? I’ve kind of been waiting on tackling this one until the windows were in and the heating ducts were extended to Rowan’s new room. But since those haven’t happened, it’s time to really get a move on with this one. Toys, books, and stuffed animals are taking over our lives…I mean…living room and it’s truly time to get Rowan into a space of her own that’s bigger than a closet. Rowan will take over the guest bedroom space while we have further plans of adding a guest bedroom on the first floor.
#5 Edible Garden Expansion | Grade A+
Major winning here! This is by far, the biggest house project success this year and where we’ve spent the majority of our time. I’ll do more detailed posts about what we did, but the general break down is: added two peach trees to the orchard, more than doubled our raised bed capacity, and built a grow room in our basement complete with a potting bench and shelves with grow lights. It’s been paying off in major ways too. We’ve already harvested about $950 worth of produce and most of our heavy hitters, like tomatoes, have just started to ripen.
#6 Build Compost Bins | Grade A+
Done and done. This spring, Colby built a pretty basic three bin compost system that we tucked behind one of our outbuildings. She sure isn’t fancy but she’s effective. We’ve been really good lately about adding bolted greens, grass clippings, leaves, and horse manure from the ponies to the compost bins as we go along. This system makes it so much easier to add fresh material while letting the other bins compost down to a usable medium. Hopefully this is the last year we buy compost for our gardens.
#7 Finish Painting House Exterior | Grade F
I don’t really know why we haven’t finished this one. It’s not like there’s a ton of painting left to check this off the list. Just the front and one side which are the EASIEST sides! Grandma, come kidnap Rowan so we can tackle this!
#8 Plant Trellis/Fence Garden | Grade A-
Oh, this one is close. Oh so close. For Mother’s Day this year, Colby and Rowan took me to our local garden center where I picked out some plants for the fence garden. We came back and Colby helped me plant them in the garden along with transplant some climbing roses we had growing wild in another area of our property. The one nagging step was to edge it because the plants constantly get taken over by our driveway and the wild growing hill behind our house. There’s currently a box of edging sitting in our kitchen that arrived this week. More details coming soon, I swear.
#9 Remodel Potting Shed Interior | Grade F
We haven’t even started this and we need to…stat! The shed is getting extra out of control and desperately needs a good hoeing out. Originally, our plan was to convert the shed to a potting shed but in the great garden expansion of 2019, we’ve decided to add another outbuilding to our property, a true potting shed in the garden. It makes so much more sense. But we still desperately need an overhaul of this building to store camping and fishing gear, other lawn equipment, and seasonal items like hammocks and sleds. We don’t have a garage or a barn so we’d like to make this outbuilding work like one.
#10 Finish Painting Potting Shed Exterior | Grade F
Oh curses. The poor shed is still a three tone wonder: brown, blue, and black. Maybe I’ll get to it this year?! Maybe!
#11 Set Up Recycling Shed | Grade A-
Okay, let’s have a heart to heart here about finishing projects. This is by far, the easiest project to tackle because it’s about 90% finished. The recycling/trash storage addition to the shed is built and mostly painted. I think it needs one coat of paint on the doors, a shelf on one side, and bins to be procured. WHY HAVEN’T I FINISHED THIS?! All caps equals me yelling at myself. I have a problem finishing things. Please tell me I’m not the only one?!
#12 Finish Pony Barn | Grade B
This house project is getting there. Slowly. Colby has been creeping along building a super mini barn for the ponies and we can officially say the pony barn is all built with one exception. It still needs shingles. Working in the construction field, Colby has been holding out hope of coming across a few bundles of cast off shingles from a job site that he could use since we need so few shingles for the pony barn. But alas, none have cropped up. The fence and gate is built too. The last steps are adding a window or two (maybe), a door (maybe), and painting it.
#13 Set Up Outdoor Dining Space | Grade B+
This one is close too and I have grand intentions of completing this task by next weekend and sharing it with you all. There are some chairs to paint and lights to hang and then boom…time for a dinner party! Who’s coming over?
#14 Move Treadmill To Basement | Grade F
Precisely zero progress. Moving on.
#15 Finish Painting Kitchen Cabinets | Grade F
And more non-progress. Although I’m looking forward to working on this during the frost-filled seasons.
#16 Finish Decorating Keeping Room | Grade A-
This house project has been oh so exciting. We did some serious course correcting with this space and moved Colby’s office in here. The room is coming together swimmingly and the last major piece (the rug!!) came a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first high quality rug (aka…not a Target or Rugs USA rug) I’ve ever bought and it was worth the wait. We’re down to the final details on this project like switching out the Hitachi Tools mouse pad for a neutral one and then it’s time to share all the dirty details with you.
#17 Build Rowan an Outdoor Playhouse | Grade F
We haven’t even started this one or thought about it. But we did recently acquire a hand me down swing set that’s kind of replaced this project. It needs some love but it’s pretty exciting to think of ways we can refresh and trick out a standard, home playground for Rowan. We’ve had the playground now for a few weeks and Rowan absolutely adores it. Every day since about April when we’ve driven by playgrounds she’s pointed them out to us. One day, while Rowan was at daycare, Colby and his cousin moved and set up the playground, which we hadn’t told her about. That night after daycare, when I pulled into the driveway with her, she sees it and says, “playground”. I responded with, “yes Rowan, that’s your playground.” Her eyes got big after I parked and asked, “my playground?!” and just kept saying, “ooooh, oooooh, oooooh” over and over until she could escape her car seat and run up the hill to it.
#18 Finalize Dream Kitchen Design Plan and #19 Relocate Entry Door & Replace Bay Window | Grade F
Ugh…this one. Being a super indecisive person I keep flip flopping between wanting to start in on a major kitchen renovation or just giving it a for now makeover. I can’t decide. With the rate we’ve been finishing up projects around here, I’m more inclined to do a for now makeover instead of starting the full kitchen renovation because who knows how long it will take us to begin it let alone finish it. Stay tuned.
And with that, I’ll wrap up this little progress report post. I kind of dreaded going into this post because I felt we hadn’t actually finished anything. Which is kind of true since only two of the nineteen items are done, done. But we’ve made so much more progress than I actually expected to make this year and there’s still five-ish more months to go. Let’s do this!
Pssst…Okay, so I’ve been HORRIBLE about blogging this year, I can’t deny that. But I’m starting to work it into Rowan’s weekend nap time routine. So hopefully next week I’ll bring you the great garden tour of 2019 followed by a patio update. Just don’t hold your breathe!