Mista Lista: To Do/Ta Da List

Mista Lista’s back with the promised post about the KaZoo Get it done already To Do/Ta Da list of home repairs and improvements.  Here’s a breakdown of what made the list, organized by space.

Note: Some things are already crossed out because the KaZoos did those in the last couple of months.  Some things are half-crossed out because they are halfway done.  Don’t you love it when you can already cross something off the list you just made?  Do you ever write things on your list just so you can cross them off and feel that inflated sense of accomplishment?  It’s okay to tell Mista Lista. He understands. 



  • Add locking hardware to gate latch (currently just a wire/nail setup) (2)
  • Cut down imposing magnolia in side yard (2)
  • Trim trees, shrubs, and grasses (2)
  • Remove sago palms in the way of mowing (2)
  • Replace rotted fence board (2)
  • Test/correct sprinkler aim (2)
  • Clear easement behind fence to keep weeds out of our yard (2)
  • Remove overgrown (ugly) hedges (2)
  • Remove scalloped landscape edging (3)
  • Add new plants, mulch, and edging (3)
  • Shadowbox wood fence (3)
  • Upgrade fence (4)
  • Add sunporch? (4)
  • Add pool? (4)

Paved Areas, Garage, and Attic


  • Fix garage door keyless entry that cannot be reset/changed for some reason (1)
  • Install paddleboard storage to get paddleboard out of the living room (2)
  • Install carpet squares for walking path around garage hazards (2)
  • Build garage racks for storage (2)
  • Uninstall wire shelving and cut to fit Master Bedroom Closet (2)
  • Pressure wash driveway, front sidewalk, and back patio (2)
  • Patch cracked concrete (2)
  • Fix attic stairs (2)
  • Find new home for plywood hurricane window covers to maximize floor space (3)
  • Install pegboard, hooks, etc.  for functional storage (3)
  • Add floor to attic for functional storage (3)
  • Paint (3)

House Exterior


  • Change locks (1)
  • Make key copies (1)
  • Install missing roof flashing (2)
  • Replace a couple of missing shingles (2)
  • Replace weather stripping back door (2)
  • Remove corrosion from back door (2)
  • Buy hurricane shutters to replace plywood (3)
  • New wind standard roof (3)
  • Replace front door (4)
  • Replace garage door with wind standard garage door (4)

House Interior


  • Install new smoke detector batteries (1)
  • Change air filter (1)
  • Install Nest thermostat (2)
  • Install carbon monoxide detector (2)
  • Install reverse osmosis system (2)
  • Replace windows with energy efficient windows (3)
  • Color correct light fixtures and door knobs (4)
  • Color correct faceplates/sockets/switches (4)

Foyer, Hallways, and Linen Closet


  • Tear out carpet and vinyl tile (1)
  • Scrape ceiling (3)
  • Paint walls and trim (3)
  • Upgrade flooring to hardwoods/real tile (3)
  • Redesign guest linen closet to function as coat closet (we have two linen closets but no coat closet!) (3)
  • Wainscoting, beadboard, board/batten in foyer (some sort of special wall treatment) (4)

Front Bedroom (Guest Bedroom/Home Office)



KaZoo Family Note: There will be a forthcoming post about why this bedroom became high priority (and thus why a lot of things on this list that would normally be Phase 3 items were bumped up to Phase 1 items)!

  • Buy wooden dowel to “lock” broken window (1)
  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Scrape popcorn ceiling (1)
  • Prime and paint ceiling (1)
  • Prime and paint walls/trim (1)
  • Replace carpet with hardwood (3)
  • Upgrade shelving in closet (4)

Guest/Hall Bathroom


  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace toilet (3)
  • Replace shower head (3)
  • Replace sink hardware (3)
  • Replace vinyl tile floors with real tile (3)
  • Replace lighting (4)
  • Frame out mirror (4)

Side Bedroom/Nursery


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Install ceiling fan (2)
  • Replace ceiling (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Upgrade to hardwood floors (3)
  • Upgrade shelving in closet (4)

Living Room


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace carpet with hardwood (3)
  • Fix gas fireplace (4)
  • Apply new ceiling (Beadboard? Planked?) (4)

Dining Area


  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace light fixture (3)
  • Replace floors (tile? hardwood?) (3)
  • Install built-ins for china storage/buffet serving area (4)
  • Apply new ceiling (Beadboard? Planked?) (4)



  • Install our refrigerator (2)
  • Upgrade to gas range so normal family cooking can occur (2)
  • Upgrade range hood to functional one vented outside (instead of recirculating) (2)
  • Upgrade dishwasher (3)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace light fixtures (3)
  • Reconfigure island (3)
  • Replace floors (tile? hardwood?) (3)
  • Install wood cabinets (4)
  • Install new countertops (4)
  • Install new sink and smart faucet (4)
  • Install tile backsplash (4)
  • Upgrade pantry to be cabinet pull-outs instead of wire shelves (4)
  • Apply new ceiling (Beadboard? Planked?) (4)

Laundry Closet


  • Install our washer and dryer (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace vinyl floors with real tile (3)
  • Upgrade shelving (3)

Master Bedroom & Master Closet


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Scrape ceiling (3)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Change closet configuration to allow for two levels of hanging (using extra shelving from garage) (3)
  • Replace carpet with hardwood (3)
  • Upgrade shelving in closet to non-wire rack closet system (4)
  • Build out coffered ceiling in MBR (4)

Master Bathroom 


KaZoo family note: After living here a few months, we’ve decided this room needs a full renovation fairly soon, primarily due to condition and layout (not sure what/if the builders were thinking). We are constantly running into doors, banging doors into other doors, trapping someone in the awkward toilet/tub/shower area while someone is opening the linen closet, and tripping on the “helpful” tub step.  We are also scared of the toilet, especially since the window is RIGHT OVER THE TOILET.  We can totally hear the neighbor getting his trash can and talking on his phone as we sit on the toilet.  The window glass does have some sort of shape-hiding treatment, but it isn’t really frosted in a concealing way. Plus, with the light on in the separate toilet/tub/shower area, our neighbors can easily tell (from their living area!) if we are cleansing our bodies and colons.  You can only cover waist-down in the shallow tub even if you are a small person like Amy, which renders the tub fairly useless for baths. The shower curtain leaks water into the floor because the shape of the tub + step surround separates the curtain from the liner too far, even if you use sticky tabs to adhere the liner to the shower surround.  And how did the original tub and toilet not match? Seriously? One is white, the other off-white, but both are original.  You will notice that most upgrades in this room have earned priority phase 3 instead of their usual phase 4 designation.


  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace toilet (3)
  • Replace shower head (3)
  • Install more towel rods and robe hooks (3)
  • Replace vinyl tile floors with real tile (3)
  • Tear out awkward linen closet stealing space from vanity (3)
  • Tear out awkward doorway to toilet/tub/shower area (3)
  • Replace 1 old-person shallow tub/shower combo with 2 person garden tub (3)
  • Tile bath surround (3)
  • Steal space from torn-out linen closet to replace micro-sized “double” vanity with actual double vanity (3)
  • Replace mirror (3)
  • Replace lighting (3)
  • Replace sink hardware (3)

There’s work to be done for sure.  Henceforth, at the end of every month, Mista Lista will do an update of the To Do/Ta Da List post of what the KaZoos have accomplished (and what’s left to tackle).  We hope this will be good motivation for the KaZoos to turn the to do list into a “ta- da” list as soon as possible.  Plus, we suspicion that as we settle into our house more, we will have more ideas for nifty upgrades like cool shelves in the guest bath to help with storage and maximize the dead floor space around the toilet, so the to do side of the list will probably also grow.

You probably noticed that nearly all the to dos on this list are “fixed” items, or items that would typically stay with a house if the KaZoos ever needed/wanted to move again.  Mista Lista and the KaZoos don’t consider buying furniture, draperies, accessories, linens, rugs, etc. home improvement: Although they definitely make a house feel more like a home, they are a more portable kind of investment than ripping out your gas fireplace to take it with you (although we’ve seen houses where people have done that (!)).  No worries, though: Mista Lista’s working on lists of those needs/wants for each space, too, because that whole where’s-the-furniture-and-stuff thing is about to change, too (countdown to truck packing: 8 days!).


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