The Big Before and After…

It has been a whirlwind few weeks! We closed escrow in the middle of April and then had about 2.5 weeks to get the house livable before our lease was up on our rental. By “livable,” I mean we needed working toilets. And because the floors needed to be redone and that wrapped in with getting new toilets, it took a few weeks for it to be habitable. In that time, we also painted all of the walls, did a bit of work in the yard, and did a few others fixes, such as patching cracks in the wall (call me the Spackle Goddess!) and replacing some light fixtures, as well as taking care of all of the “Section 1” fixes on the home-inspection report.

So here, at long last, is the before-and-after post! The house is still a work in progress, but we have tackled many of the big things and are so pleased with the results!

Before: The fireplace in the living area when we first toured the house.
Before: The fireplace in the living area when we first toured the house.
Midway: The fireplace area after the painting and the floors were done.
Midway: The fireplace area after the painting and the floors were done.
After: With furniture, starting to look like a real home!
After: With furniture, starting to look like a real home!
Before: The sitting area of the living room when we first saw the house. Notice that you can't even see out the window to the backyard, due to overgrowth. Also, the window coverings were covered in cobwebs and spiders.
Before: The sitting area of the living room when we first saw the house. Notice that you can’t even see out the window to the backyard, due to overgrowth. Also, the window coverings were covered in cobwebs and spiders.
Midway: And overhead shot of the living area, after paint and floors were done and window covers were removed and discarded.
Midway: And overhead shot of the living area, after paint and floors were done and window covers were removed and discarded.
After: The living area with furniture, beginning to look like a home! Note that you can now see out the big window! The sun is shining in so you can't see much, but it looks out to our backyard and the golf course.
After: The living area with furniture, beginning to look like a home! Note that you can now see out the big window! The sun is shining in so you can’t see much, but it looks out to our backyard and the golf course.
Before: I don't think I took a picture of the dining area when it was full of about a bazillion books and a dining table covered several inches thick in paperwork, but here it is with all of the furniture removed. Notice the lovely light fixture....
Before: I don’t think I took a picture of the dining area when it was full of about a bazillion books and a dining table covered several inches thick in paperwork, but here it is with all of the furniture removed. Notice the lovely light fixture….
Before: Here's a closeup of the light fixture. I really, really disliked it. Theo thought it was "so beautiful--it's even gold, Mommy!" Alas, I had to overrule.
Before: Here’s a closeup of the light fixture. I really, really disliked it. Theo thought it was “so beautiful–it’s even gold, Mommy!” Alas, I had to overrule.
After: The dining room turned into a playroom, since we don't dine formally. The pizza-parlor light fixture has been replaced by a ceiling fan, since the afternoon sun beats into that room.
After: The dining room turned into a playroom, since we don’t dine formally. The pizza-parlor light fixture has been replaced by a ceiling fan, since the afternoon sun beats into that room.
Before: The downstairs bathroom. The shower/tubs were actually in great shape in this house. (I have no idea why!) However, the toilets weren't functioning (one BARELY worked, but the other two didn't work), they were filthy, and there was carpet in the bathrooms (which was, predictably, stained, particularly around the toilets). They definitely needed some work.
Before: The downstairs bathroom. The shower/tubs were actually in great shape in this house. (I have no idea why!) However, the toilets weren’t functioning (one BARELY worked, but the other two didn’t work), they were filthy, and there was carpet in the bathrooms (which was, predictably, stained, particularly around the toilets). They definitely needed some work.
Midway: Bottom-floor bathroom demo'ed! Bye bye, toilet!
Midway: Bottom-floor bathroom demo’ed! Bye bye, toilet!
After: Bottom-floor bathroom done! With a functioning toilet! (Well, they installed the wrong one, so if we ever need to fix the inner workings, we'll have to rip out the vanity. But for the moment, it works.)
After: Bottom-floor bathroom done! With a functioning toilet! (Well, they installed the wrong one, so if we ever need to fix the inner workings, we’ll have to rip out the vanity. But for the moment, it works.)
After: I don't have a "before" picture of the rather unattractive entryway light fixture, but here's the new-and-improved one!
After: I don’t have a “before” picture of the rather unattractive entryway light fixture, but here’s the new-and-improved one!

 

Before: Bottom-floor bedroom.
Before: Bottom-floor bedroom.
Midway: Transformed into a sunny yellow office!
Midway: Transformed into a sunny yellow office!
The bottom-floor bedroom (turned office) is still a work in progress. It's currently full of boxes and such. So I have no "after" picture for you, but you can enjoy this picture of the lovely view out of the office window!
The bottom-floor bedroom (turned office) is still a work in progress. It’s currently full of boxes and such. So I have no “after” picture for you, but you can enjoy this picture of the lovely view out of the office window!

 

Before: Stairway light fixture. Several bulbs were burned out, and I thought it was rather ugly. So rather than deal with the bulbs, we decided to do a quick replacement.
Before: Stairway light fixture. Several bulbs were burned out, and I thought it was rather ugly. So rather than deal with the bulbs, we decided to do a quick replacement.

 

After: Stairway light fixture is a simple pendant light.
After: Stairway light fixture is a simple pendant light. Though I have since removed the sticker from it. 😉
Before: The boys' bedroom. This is only one small corner. There was a LOT of stuff in it. A LOT. This is just a fraction. However, we could tell that under all the "stuff," it was a pretty big room.
Before: The boys’ bedroom. This is only one small corner. There was a LOT of stuff in it. A LOT. This is just a fraction. However, we could tell that under all the “stuff,” it was a pretty big room.
Before: Here's another corner of the boys' room. Lots of stuff...
Before: Here’s another corner of the boys’ room. Lots of stuff…
Midway: Boys' room painting is halfway done. The mountains will have more colors and shading to make them look more realistic.
Midway: Boys’ room painting is halfway done. The mountains will have more colors and shading to make them look more realistic.
Midway: Another view of the boys' room.
Midway: Another view of the boys’ room.
After: Theo's part of the boys' room. Shading on the mountains isn't done yet, but it'll be done when the painter's back is healed and she can get back over to finish it.
After: Theo’s part of the boys’ room. Shading on the mountains isn’t done yet, but it’ll be done when the painter’s back is healed and she can get back over to finish it.
After: And Sam's corner of the boys' room. You can see that it's a BIG room! Even with a bed, a crib, a large changing table, a desk, a large dresser, two nightstands, a toy box, and a chair, there is STILL quite a bit of room! Should suit two growing boys pretty well!
After: And Sam’s corner of the boys’ room. You can see that it’s a BIG room! Even with a bed, a crib, a large changing table, a desk, a large dresser, two nightstands, a toy box, and a chair, there is STILL quite a bit of room! Should suit two growing boys pretty well! (Bonus pug appearance!)
After: I don't think I had a "before" shot of the boys' bathroom, but it was pretty nondescript, other than a really damaged vanity (the door on the front), which is still really damaged and will eventually be replaced. But here is the "after"--Theo picked out the shower curtain, which I love!
After: I don’t think I had a “before” shot of the boys’ bathroom, but it was pretty nondescript, other than a really damaged vanity (the door on the front), which is still really damaged (you can see a glimpse of it here) and will eventually be replaced. But here is the “after”–Theo picked out the shower curtain, which I love!
Before: The master bedroom when we toured the house.
Before: The master bedroom when we toured the house.
Midway: The painting in the master bedroom is done and the carpet is replaced!
Midway: The painting in the master bedroom is done and the carpet is replaced!
Midway: Another shot of the paint in the master bedroom. No "after" shot yet because it's still rather a mess of boxes and such.
Midway: Another shot of the paint in the master bedroom. No “after” shot yet because it’s still rather a mess of boxes and such.
Before: Master bathroom. Carpeted. With mysterious stains around the toilet. Enough said. ;-)
Before: Master bathroom. Carpeted. With mysterious stains around the toilet. Enough said. 😉
After: I don't think I have a full shot of the master bath yet, but here's the toilet/shower/tub part. A working toilet! Floors with no stains! Wahoo!
After: I don’t think I have a full shot of the master bath yet, but here’s the toilet/shower/tub part. A working toilet! Floors with no stains! Wahoo!
Before: Impenetrable bramble in the backyard.
Before: Impenetrable bramble in the backyard.
Midway: Bramble half hacked out. The pest inspector told me it was a prime nesting spot for varmints, so I was determined to clear it.
Midway: Bramble half hacked out. The pest inspector told me it was a prime nesting spot for varmints, so I was determined to clear it.
After: Goodbye, impenetrable bramble!
After: Goodbye, impenetrable bramble!
Before: Lotsa bushy trees in the corner of the backyard.
Before: Lotsa bushy trees in the corner of the backyard.

 

Midway: Growing pile of trimmed branches behind Sam's car.
Midway: Growing pile of trimmed branches behind Sam’s car.
Midway: We had to start trimming the bushy trees because it turns out we need to replace the iron fence.
Midway: We had to start trimming the bushy trees because it turns out we need to replace the iron fence.
The iron fence is full of missing pieces that leave holes big enough for pugs to escape to the golf course. (Ahem, one naughty pug may have already taken a joy-romp out on the golf course....)
The iron fence is full of missing pieces that leave holes big enough for pugs to escape to the golf course. (Ahem, one naughty pug may have already taken a joy-romp out on the golf course….)
And there are bent posts that have broken at the bottom and no longer stand correctly.
And there are bent posts that have broken at the bottom and no longer stand correctly.
Also, safety hazards, like jagged, sharp, half-rotted, rusted pieces of iron sticking out. Not so great for curious pugs or children...
Also, safety hazards, like jagged, sharp, half-rotted, rusted pieces of iron sticking out. Not so great for curious pugs or children…
And pieces that have rusted and rotted and crumble when you poke them with a stick.
And pieces that have rusted and rotted and crumble when you poke them with a stick.
And parts where the trees have actually grown through the iron fence and cannot be pulled out!
And parts where the trees have actually grown through the iron fence and cannot be pulled out!
After some pruning and trimming, many branches are removed to give the welder access to the fence, and we have opened up a nice view to the golf course!
After some pruning and trimming, many branches are removed to give the welder access to the fence, and we have opened up a nice view to the golf course!

I know, I know…you’re wondering where the pictures of the kitchen are! Well, it’s still very much a work in progress. Our new stove hasn’t come in yet, and there are still a lot of boxes and such waiting to be unpacked. So you’ll have to wait on the kitchen. But I will say, I love the bold green paint we ended up choosing for the walls!

There’s still so many little projects to do with the house, but I think we’ve done a lot in three weeks! We love the new floors—both the plank vinyl and the new carpet. The plank vinyl, like laminate or wood, shows the dog hair and dust pretty easily. But we have a Roomba robot vacuum, and I just set that to run every day, and then I Swiffer to get any dust and dog hair it missed. The boys love the floors because they can run their cars very fast on them! And Sam seems to like the slap-slap sound his feet make on the floors—he never walks in the downstairs, he always runs and stares at his slapping little feet! (No, he hasn’t yet managed to run into anything. He’s surprisingly coordinated for such a little guy.)

In due time, we’ll replace the faucets (a couple of them leak, and all are very dated) and the towel bars (they’re functional but just dated—and an easy, inexpensive update to make it look spiffy!). Someday down the road, we’d like to replace the bathroom vanities. One is quite damaged, and the others are fine but just dated. Soon, we’ll replace the window coverings that we removed downstairs (the spider- and cobweb-infested ones). Currently, we’re living in a fishbowl. But our location is pretty private, so it’s not a big deal. We’re also looking at replacing all of the windows, because the seals are broken on several, the frames are cheap and not holding up that well, and the sliding-glass door doesn’t exactly close all the way (you can see light shining through it where it’s supposed to be sealed). But at the moment, that iron fence is our first concern. We had hoped it would be the HOA’s responsibility since it is shared with the golf course, but no—it’s ours. However, it has to look the same, so we can’t replace the wrought iron with something less expensive. But that’s okay—the wrought iron looks nice, so we’ll pony up the $1,700 to replace it. The welder has even told me he can move the smaller posts slightly closer together when he rebuilds it, so that the pugs won’t be able to squeeze through to the golf course. (Ahem, no more joy-romps, Zoe!)

We’re also looking into getting ceiling fans in the upstairs bedrooms. It gets very hot up there (particularly in the master), and there is no overhead lighting. So hopefully we’ll be able to get fans with light kits installed.

And then there are doorknobs and all manner of other little touches to update. But those things can wait. At the moment, our fixer-upper house has become much more of a home, and we are in love with it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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