Home Improvement in Baby Steps

  • August 18, 2017
  • By Kathy@MoreCoffeeLessTalky
  • 21 Comments


I had grand plans to move out of this neighbourhood by the 10 year mark but the Toronto housing market exploded and jacked up home sale prices beyond $1M pretty much everywhere.  If I wanted to buy another home at a decent price (read: under $1M), I'd have to move to ButtFucking Nowhere, Ontario.  Ain't gonna happen.  The day I spend over $1M on a house, I expect sprawling acres of land and a huge ranch-style home; not the regular homes that I live in.

So my next alternative - make my old home into a new home.  I'm hitting the low-hanging fruit first and working my way up to the bigger ticket items.

Finally update Kayla's work area.  Kayla had a small workstation in the kitchen (homework/computer etc) and it's pretty much remained the same since she was 2...as in she'll still sit there but she outgrew her table and her knees come above the table top.  I saw her trying to craft at her table the other day, laughed and said: girl, it's time to get you a new desk.

A trip to Ikea happened and we picked up her new desk (that was on sale, holla).  It's been assembled and a peg board is next to be installed.  I hope to have a workstation similar to this (design still under construction but you get the jist):

Target completion date:  mid-next week.

New front door.  When you have a new build, you get standard shit....and it really is shit.  For a couple of years now, I've wanted to get a new door but it wasn't until the end of the previous winter that I really noticed how awful my door is when it comes to energy efficiency.  Ok, I noticed it before but was too lazy to do anything about it.

This week, we've already gotten 2 quotes and another one today with a decision made by the weekend.  I'm leaning towards something like this:

Target installation date:  October 2017 (takes 6 weeks from start of manufacturing to installation).

Couch for the living room.  Since Kayla was born, she's basically taken over the living room.  This meant very little decor since kids destroy everything and her barbie house/toys took up space.  At this moment, we only have 1 couch, a cheap Ikea coffee table (although I have to say, it looks decent) and our TV so needless to say, we rarely entertain because there's not much room to sit.  Now that she's older and has pretty much outgrown her toys, I'll be buying another couch for the adjacent wall and finally hanging up some prints.  I'm looking at a big, comfy couch similar to this:

Target purchase date:  end of 2017.

Kitchen.  This is the big ticket item that I probably won't seriously get to for another year or two.  I have many ideas of how to do my kitchen, many ideas that I've shared with my fellow ahole bros.  Kitchen inspiration ideas is a black hole because you always want more...always.  What begins as a simple 'cabinet upgrade' turns into a total kitchen gut, many fights with your spouse and a $50K bill.

I have some ideas of what I want but I'm still convinced that I'll be moving out of here in the next 5-8 years so we can't go too crazy.  Here are some things that I definitely want in my kitchen 2.0:
Farmhouse sink. I love these so much.

This faucet!

Two tone kitchen minus that hideous table


or French country influence


Other things that need to get done:
--Roof shingles. Like, why must it cost so much? Estimates are around $8-10k FOR SOMETHING THAT I WONT EVEN BE ABLE TO SEE OR TOUCH.

-- Closet organizer for Kayla. It's dated; as in she's had the same one since she was 2.

-- Print photos and actually use the frames that have been sitting on the floor for the past 3 years #dontjudge.

-- Somehow convince my husband that our dining room is NOT a bike shop and move his bike shit someplace else so we can actually have dinner in there without having to look at that fucking bike shit.

What are some home improvements that you're planning/have done?

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21 comments

  1. I want a colored peg board SO BAD now!!!!!
    I've been on the want & need for a new kitchen & bathroom faucet so bad!!!! Heck, I want to redo EVERYTHING in my house. Being there 15 years, I feel like everything needs updating.

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  2. I still want to do stuff around our house and it's pretty new. Thankfully the door is great sooo that's one thing? lol. We need a new air conditioner, $6k, and drywall work in my bathroom plus a plumbing thing, hoping for $2k there. And then deck next spring, $10k. I'm already over it all!

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  3. Ugh dont get me started on the standard complete shit they put in new homes. You are paying ALLLLL this money...and yet its so basic and cheaply done. Makes no sense. I love love love everything about the kitchens you picked. It is exactly what my dream is. A two toned french country inspired white kitchen is exactly what I want. We just bought new furniture for our living room and a king size bed a few months ago. But you are right about kids destroying the living room. Zoe has officially taken it over with all her toys.

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  4. I love that two-toned kitchen! The windows make me so happy! I sort of want to just burn my house down & start over. Built in 1940, 850 sq ft ~with~ an addition (which is by no way up to code), no basement, minimal closets, etc, etc. My "linen closet" is a shelf in the shower stall in our bathroom that has a hole in the floor. Yeah... sigh.

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  5. I feel like if you put some money into upgrading the kitchen, you could definitely get more return when you decide to sell your house! The previous owners of our house were going to get new counters but then decided not to before they put the house on the market... and I'm sure if they would have upgraded SOMETHING, they could have gotten more for the house. I LOVE that second one. We want to do subway tile like that in our kitchen but the husband doesn't like black/dark countertops for some reason... I think they look awesome! Ugh... the price for roofing is ridiculous. You need a hail storm to come through that way insurance can pay for it, haha.

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  6. That couch looks ah.ma.zing. I just want to flop into in...
    Also, I LOVE farmhouse sinks. I think they're so classy and useful! I want one, too!
    Good luck with everything! These are some awesome and exciting improvements!

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  7. Love the workstation.

    I want to make updates to this home but since we don't own it I meet resistance from my husband all the time so that never happens.

    Someday I will own my own my but like you I am not paying crazy prices unless I get some SPACE.

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  8. There are so many things we should do but I don't want to pay for them. We have a covered deck off our back door that is wood and some of the boards are splintering badly... but the idiots who had it put in had the cover supports built ON TOP of the wood, rather than going to the ground, so if I replace the deck, I have to replace the top, too. All I can see are dollars signs so I haven't even gotten an estimate.

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  9. I'm obsessed with that craft space and those kitchen designs! I'm all about light and bright spaces! Hope you're able to get all these accomplished! :)

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  10. It's crazy how expensive houses are in some cities. I've always thought that meant the jobs paid better in those areas to keep up with the cost of living, but 1 million on a normal house is ridiculous! Love love love Kayla's workspace, and that couch!!!

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  11. We're all set to re-do our bathroom (our ONLY bathroom) this winter, so I've fallen down the black hole of Pinterest. And I love the farmhouse style. So I think we'll be going in that direction.

    I love all your kitchen inspiration. :)

    We just had to get a new front door because our old one was original to the house from the 1950's and was so warped I couldn't even open it myself, and had to use the garage to get in the house instead. We were appalled by how much they cost. We got a plain white one and plan to paint it ourselves once we decide on a damn color.

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  12. So jealous of that craft area! Haha. Super cute. Good luck with all your house renos!

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  13. It's so crazy how much a front door can update a place. It seems so easy, but we painted ours when we sold our house and it completely changed the look of our house.

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  14. Kitchen always improves value and you'll have 5-8 years to use and enjoy it. I say yes!

    We need to do front and back doors. They are freaking expensive.

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  15. I've had frames waiting on photos since we moved in spring 2016. It's time consuming to pick out photos!

    I would really like a new front door and I'm hoping that the builder replaces the backdoor with the 1 year warranty since it is crooked and started to stick and now the door and frame are messed up...

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  16. What an awesome upgrade for Kayla, love the pegboard. I hear you on the photos and frames, right there with you, friend.

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  17. So im obsessed with all things home these days. I cannot wait to read all about these updates. The home station for Kayla looks great. Love the kitchen designs as well - that adds so much value to a home so I say splurge on it!

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  18. YES THAT FAUCET.
    I'll send you lots of pictures and videos when it's installed so you can feel like it's your faucet. mwahahaha.
    i feel you on the black hole of kitchens. we were going to do the bathrooms at the same time and now i laugh at my idiocy. we spent more on the kitchen than we'd planned (isn't that always the way) so we had to kick the bathrooms to the curb. aint no biggie of course.
    boring adult purchases are never fun, like the door or shingles, but they do make you feel good once you do it, right? saving that energy = saving that money = spending it all on the kitchen ;)

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  19. We just ordered new kitchen cabinets and I almost passed out when we paid because YIKES. I hope it's worth it though! I love that front door!

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  20. Ooh I love all of these ideas. Like, all of them. I like how you are mapping them out, it seems totally do-able. JESUS that is expensive for housing. It makes me feel better about life, lol. Housing here is not nearly so expensive! Though it is expensive for our state/region... so it had seemed bad. I take it back. :P We are living in my inlaw's lower level, which I think you knew, but it obviously leaves us not needing to do home improvement, but I want to get rid of more things and keep organizing, so when we do move again it is easier than last time. Moving makes me want to murder people. Xo - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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