The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Hood: Part II

Today’s post is a continuation of Wednesday’s post about our new range hood installation.

Daffy Duct
After the hood was attached to the wall, next on the list was installing the ducting to ventilate the hood.  This entailed having a hole cut in our new roof, a roof cap installed, a hole cut in our ceiling, and ducting installed from hood to cap.  This is where things went from bad to worse.

photo 4

Per the instructions from our roofing contact, my dad drew the location of the hole on our interior ceiling.  While my dad and Chris were both traveling for their respective jobs, the roofing team came out to do the cutting plus roof cap.  Unfortunately, when the team leader began cutting the ceiling hole, he ran into a roof truss in a place where there shouldn’t be one. If we had cut the hole ourselves earlier, we would have known about this issue and would have had more time to troubleshoot (that’s what we get for following instructions, I guess), and there I was, with the roofing crew, trying to figure out what to do.  Note: My declining Spanish proficiency was not a help here.

The truss was a few inches out from the wall, right in the middle of where our duct needed to go, rather than sitting along the top of the wall as it ideally should be. Because of the thickness (or lack thereof) of the interior wall, we couldn’t run into the wall and up through its middle without hitting the plates for the wall studs.  We couldn’t go to the left or right because of studs (and the same truss issue); plus the gas line was running up the right.  Thankfully the roofing team leader spoke decent English, so the two of us were able to brainstorm a solution.  The only viable option was to cut the hole in front of where our hood needs to connect to the duct.  Now, rather than getting to use our awesome stainless steel chimney, we were going to have a funky pyramid hood with awkward ducting coming out of its top and curving into the ceiling out in front of it like a trumpeting elephant.  Less good for ventilation because it required two elbows rather than a straight shot, and major ugly.

There was no turning back at this point, and not seeing any other options for venting through the roof, we implemented the trumpeting elephant plan.  The roofers cut the ceiling and roof holes and installed the roof cap.  What complicated our situation even more was that we don’t have an accessible attic space above the kitchen, so we can’t connect the duct to the roof cap inside the attic space.  To work around this, the roofing crew had to cut an even larger hole in our ceiling so that we would have just enough room to work inside the headspace to install the ducting.  The picture’s kind of dark, but if you look closely, you can see the truss on the inside left of the big hole.  The original circular pencil marks show where the desired hole location was, the small hole is where the roofer began cutting until he ran into the truss, and the large double-bubble hole is the final hole cut to work around the truss plus extra work space.image (8)

Now we had a gaping hole raining down insulation on our range until Chris or my dad could get home to help install the duct (I am way too short to reach anything remotely higher than the hood itself).  While waiting for this phase of the hood project, I painted what I could reach in the kitchen.  The color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.  


Later that evening, Chris and I finished the painting and the ductwork.  We used one 5 foot section of 6″ rigid metal duct cut into two straight sections for each end (our range hood called for 6″ sized duct), two 6″ elbows, a clamp for connecting to the hood, and foil tape to bind and seal all the seams.  We had to measure, mark, cut, assemble, and tape everything down below in the kitchen before putting it through the hole and attaching it. Tricky, tricky.

image (7)

It doesn’t look as bad as we thought it would because we were able to use part of the hood chimney to hide some of the duct, and the current plan is to create a soffit above our future upper cabinets that will hide the rest of the exposed duct.  We aren’t huge fans of soffits above cabinets and do like the industrial look, but the metal foil tape doesn’t really have aesthetic appeal for us.

Sugru to the Rescue
You may have noticed the dangling power cord in the picture above.  Before we could actually use our hood, we used sugru to patch the insulation on the wiring.

image A little goes a long way, so we also patched some other electronics like those wimpy iPhone power cords while we were at it.


It worked fairly well, thought it leaves a funky residue where you use it (and on your hands) and doesn’t bond as seamlessly as I hoped (note the slight roughness on the right in the picture below).  Of course, this could be a user problem, rather than a product issue.  This was our first time trying it, so with successive uses maybe our technique will improve. Chris was more satisfied than I was.


It did seal the hole in the insulation, and after waiting the requisite 24 hours for it to cure, we cooked dinner with our new hood running for the first time.


The new hood works amazingly better than the previous hood. So quiet, yet so powerful.  The light is soothing yet sufficient.  We also had a huge thunderstorm that same evening, and nothing rained down our hood.  Except insulation, which is still dribbling from the part of the ceiling hole not filled by duct.  I guess we know what’s on the to-do list next….

If you have a precision eye like I do, you may have noticed that the hood looks slightly off-center to the range.  It is.  We plan to move the range ever so slightly to the right when we redo our kitchen cabinets, so it will end up right underneath the hood at that point. It is realllllly tight (scrapingly so) right now, so we want a little more room for our range.  Plus, that whole section to the left of the range  (one micro-sized base cabinet and the pantry) is going to be redone in a more useful way down the road.  Get excited!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Hood Part I

Once we removed the old recirculating range hood and upper kitchen cabinets, we began the installation of our new hood. Based on the title, you can probably surmise that things didn’t go as smoothly as we hoped.  Everyone loves a tragic comedy, right?

Eckeltricity (For all you Arthur Weasley fans out there)
You may recall from our post about the old hood that we discovered someone mutilated our wall with a drywall saw and covered it up it was hardwired, rather than having an outlet.  Our new hood required an outlet, so a new outlet was in order.  IMG_3109

Since our range itself did not have a dedicated outlet either (not sure who did the electrical work for this home originally, but wow), my dad graciously offered to help us install two new outlets.  We purchased the necessary materials from Lowe’s (2 old work boxes with wings and 2 white outlets–we already had some white face plates on hand) and set to work.


First, my dad did the outlet for the range.  Because a stud was between the existing outlet we had been using and where we would want to put an outlet (hidden from view behind the range), we elected to just mount the new outlet just to the left of the range, which actually doesn’t look bad and allows for easy disconnection, something that came in handy when we were doing the rest of the hood installation (and will again once we reno the kitchen later).  You can see the new and improved outlet location in the picture of the range hood install further down (no spoiling the surprise yet!).  Plus by making it readily accessible, we can use the other socket for another kitchen appliance, and who doesn’t want more useable outlets in the kitchen?

The outlet for the hood was a bit more tricky.  We had planned to put an outlet above and to the right of the great white shark attack existing hole along a stud, but the wire they had originally used to hardwire the old hood wasn’t long enough.  Upon exploration of the wall interior, we discovered that what had appeared to be a wire running from the ceiling down to the right of a stud was actually pulled through a stud from the left bottom. So after adding another unnecessary hole in the wall, we pulled the wire back through to its origin on the left bottom and ran it up into a newly cut hole on the upper left of the hood.  It helps to have wire coat hangers and people with small arms (me) to pull the wire through outlet-sized holes in the wall.  To make sure the outlet would be hidden by the chimney, we drew its exterior sides on the wall to make sure we stayed within the chimney’s perimeter.

photo 2

Patchwork Wall
We then applied some serious joint compound and patching tape to the wall where all the cuts in the drywall were. Not the prettiest, but a lot better than the holes.  After waiting for this to dry and sanding it down, we were ready to install the hood itself. There may have been painting, too.  You know I can’t resist a sterile wall when there’s cans of beautiful paint waiting to be used.

Hardware Hiccups
You may also remember that when we bought our range hood off Craigslist, we had to buy a separate mounting installation set.  When you buy the hood brand new, a template for drilling holes at the right locations is included for easy install.  Not so when you buy the replacement installation set. We used kraft paper to make our own template by laying the range hood down on its back on top of the kraft paper and tracing the holes with pencil.  We then taped the template to the wall over the stove at the right height and marked where the traced holes were.  So far, so good.

The directions said to hit a stud with just one of the screws for stability, but none of the hole locations lined up with a stud.  What?! To remedy this, my dad measured and drilled two additional holes in the back of the hood so that we could hit two different studs.  If you already have to drill new holes, why hit just one stud when you can hit two?  This meant we needed more hardware than the mounting set provided, but this turned out to be the least of our troubles.  Chris rounded up a few sturdy wood screws left over from a different project, and we were back in business.

Until we weren’t.  The mounting set of screws and anchors that Bosch provides are incompatible with each other.  Seriously.  We now needed either new screws to fit the anchors Bosch gave us, or new anchors to fit the screws they gave us.  Basically, the screws weren’t the right length to pop the teeth of the anchors at the right place for them to grab into the wall correctly. And for you skeptics, my dad actually convinced us to “sacrifice” one of their anchors just to prove he was right.  Yup, it didn’t work.  The screws stuck a mile out of the wall and wouldn’t go any further in.

photo 3

Chris ran to Lowe’s (we live five minutes from a Lowe’s, so it is our usual go-to store for last minute home improvement needs) for the right sized screws and grabbed some washers to go with the wood screws for the new holes my dad drilled, but the screws he bought didn’t fit the Bosch anchors either.  In fact, he couldn’t find a compatible size of screw for these miserable anchors at all–everything was either too short or too long.  No just-right Goldilocks solutions to be found.  Chris and my dad ended up sawing off the end of the stupid Bosch screws to be the right size.


Now we were back on track.  Once we had engineered a solution to the hardware hiccup, we were able to mount the range with as much ease as you can mount a ginormous range hood.  In the next post, we’ll give all the ugly details about the ductwork.  In the meanwhile, we’ll leave you hanging with the hood and the new outlets.  IMG_3094

A Shingle in Time Saves Nine

Buying a fixer upper usually means that there are some things that need fixing immediately, some that can wait a little longer, and others that can wait years until your ideas and finances blend seamlessly into masterful renovations.  When we received our home inspection prior to buying the house, the inspector said we were missing some roof flashing and some shingles that would need repairing.  He also made an offhand comment that he would probably consider replacing the roof in the semi-near future and gave us the name of a roofer he would recommend we call to do the repairs/reroof.  There was a history of past leaking, as evidenced by the ceiling stains, so we knew this was something to keep in the back of our minds.


Once we found our new and awesome range hood, we knew we would need to cut a hole in the roof for the roof cap for its venting, so we decided to get a repair estimate  and potentially a reroof estimate for the roof so we could be saving up.  Some of our neighbors, including my parents, had some roofing repairs or reroofs done by a different company, and our insurance agent recommended a third person.

We called each of the three recommended roofers, and the first person who was able to come out to give us a quote was from the company my parents had used.  After ten minutes on our roof, the guy who came out to do the repair estimate (we’ll call him Bob) said he could not give us a repair estimate in good faith because we really needed a reroof, citing several things that were warning signs to a professional roofer that our roof was reaching the end of its short life (apparently our 15-year-old home came with only a 15-year shingle, so the math isn’t hard to do). For example, the home inspector had noted patches for leaks, but Bob mentioned that there were four different colors of shingles used, which to him was a red flag that whoever did the patching didn’t even try to get a close match of shingle, which could mean cutting corners in other ways, too.

Basically, Bob said we could sink a few thousand into quality repairs, but we’d need to reroof in a couple of years at best, so that money (at least a fifth or more of the price of a reroof) would just go down the drain.  Bob said he’d get the reroof estimator to provide us with a quote within the next couple of days.  Not that we didn’t trust Bob (he had confirmed our own mounting suspicions), but I also asked my dad to look at the roof (my dad has done roofing before, like so many other things).  I didn’t tell my dad what Bob had said, but after he came down from the roof, his report matched Bob’s report exactly.  We compared quotes with the company our home inspector had recommended, and the company for whom Bob worked came in with a slightly better quote.  The third guy never got back to us.2014-08-06 19.08.32

Even though dropping $10k for a new roof wasn’t really something we wanted to do right away, it makes more sense to have a new roof protecting all the other repairs and updates we want to do on the inside. Within a week of signing a contract, we had a brand new 30 year dimensional shingle roof.  From the front of the house, you can’t really tell much of a difference, but if you look closely, you’ll notice two things: The new roof is a slightly lighter gray color than the original, and the ridge caps are slightly more elevated because they are vented.  If you were to do a fly-by, our roof no longer looks like a patchwork quilt done by a kindergartner.2014-08-07 16.17.53

The reroofing took the crew only 5 hours (they arrived at a bleary 6:30 a.m., climbed on the roof at 6:45 a.m., and were gone by 11:45 a.m.). They were crazy efficient and did a fantastic job cleaning up, too.  A few things to keep in mind when having your roof repaired for which we were unprepared, though:

1.  Free-falling Objects Overhead
Although we didn’t know it, some of the screws in the original light fixtures and living room ceiling fan were loose, so the vibrations from the roof work loosened them up further until a few fell to the floor. The dome light over the sink actually fell completely off the ceiling, but thankfully my dad caught it mid-fall while he was in the kitchen nibbling a muffin (I ply my dad with baked goods in exchange for his handyman services).

2. Dandruff or Debris?
The vibrations also caused some of the popcorn on the remaining popcorn ceilings to come loose, showering everything from our clothes in the closet to the duvet on the bed in a fine dusting of popcorn.

3.  Off the Walls
My parents have had wall art fall during a roofing before, but thankfully ours just tilted in places.  Pieces that were propped up against walls slid down, but again, nothing fell or was damaged.  We would still recommend taking valuable pieces off the wall just in case, especially if they are near furniture that you don’t want damaged.

4.  Burned/Broken Blooms and Branches
The roofers did an excellent job of tarping the yard around the perimeter of the house so that materials (especially nails) raining down during the removal of the old roof would fall on the tarps for easy clean-up and for fewer opportunities to contract tetanus when working in the flowerbeds in the future.  However, we were getting a roof done in Florida on a sunny August morning, so I realized that the tarps were going to act like greenhouses, essentially burning up my plants.  Fortunately, they removed the tarps as quickly as they could; only then did I discover that the tarps and falling debris had broken some of the branches and blooms on my new plants.  I was able to salvage the broken basil, though; it is now growing roots and will be its own entity. Hooray for happy accidents. 🙂


They’re supposed to be sending someone out today to cut the hole and install the roof cap for our new range hood, so hopefully we’ll have a finished and functional hood to show you soon!  We’ll also be getting a wind mitigation inspection (paid for by the roofing company we used) so that our new and improved roof will help lower our home insurance premiums, which will (over time) defray the upfront cost of the new roof.  Here’s hoping that a shingle in time saves nine.

Master Bath Updates

Mista Lista’s last post gave you a sneak peak of some painting happening around the ‘Zoo if you were looking closely.  Painting a whole house is s a slow process, especially when you are trying to work full time (Chris) and work part time/finish your dissertation (Amy).  Between the two of us, we’ve managed to paint five rooms (and one room twice–more on that in a future post) since the beginning of March.  Isn’t it amazing the difference that paint (and furniture and bedding) can make?





Our master bathroom is feeling a lot better now that it has been painted in Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray and has a new toilet.  We’ve adjusted to the plastic seat, which is apparently a good thing since we can’t find a non-plastic Kohler seat that would fit with our toilet should we want to swap ours out at some point.  We love the chameleon nature of Comfort Gray: As the light changes in this room, it shifts from gray to green to blue.  In the shadowy water closet/shower area, it even looks like a marine blue.


Oh, and did I mention we have a new shower curtain, too? I found this at Target last Friday for $19.99.  IMG_3097

I wasn’t supposed to be shopping for home things since we had to shell out big bucks for the roof this month, but my mom had a coupon for $15 off a home purchase of $75 that she wasn’t planning to use.  While I was at Target purchasing essentials like toothpaste, I took a tour of the home goods section and found this new quilt for the spare room bed. It coordinates nicely with some pillows I made last summer.  It will likely become the quilt for the guest room bed once this room becomes a nursery, but right now I’m happy that the fabric helps the random assortment of antique white, white, and black furniture and the Drizzle paint color (Sherwin Williams) come together in a more cohesive, intentional way.



Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the quilt was $69.99, so I wouldn’t get to use the coupon if I didn’t add something else from the home section to my cart…and that’s when I heard this shower curtain calling my name.


Even without the coupon, the $20 shower curtain is still a bargain compared to the $50 one we had considered buying from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Another change to the master bath involved the addition of some much needed storage in the form of a maple Cubeical that was previously snoozing in a closet waiting to be used somewhere.  IMG_3102

Even though our master bath has plenty of storage in theory, the deep wire rack shelves in the linen closet and the lack of counter and drawer space make storing small bath essentials difficult.  We barely have room for soap dispensers and toothbrushes on the countertop. Seriously, builder, what were you thinking?! Ever notice that builders frequently make choices that don’t consider how a space will actually be used, other than for basic verbs (eat, sit, sleep, pee)? ALL. THE. TIME.

Cubeicals are hardworking little things around the ‘Zoo, let me tell you, from books to crafts to bath storage.   This one tucks away nicely behind the door, so you wouldn’t know it was there if I hadn’t just told you.


The open storage is much better for accessibility and makes the best use of the otherwise dead space on that long, empty wall. IMG_3104

I’ll continue to play with the arrangement of items stored here, but for now, it is helping make morning and evening routines faster.  Chris even commented on how he liked having everything stored in the Cubeical.  Yessir, we are making progress when the hubs actually likes and utilizes the organizational changes the wife makes.

Demolition Diaries: Kitchen Upper Cabinets

Today’s diary entry is another chapter in the range hood saga, which began here.

We knew we would need to take down the cabinet over the existing range hood because we were installing a chimney hood, but after reading the installation manual (yes, we do that), we discovered that this range hood is supposed to have an extra 3 inches on each side of it, which meant taking down the two uppers on either side.  At some point we plan to replace the cabinets anyway, so this wasn’t too disappointing. Plus, this will give us a chance to try open shelving in the kitchen!

On Monday, my dad came over and helped us demo and do the electrical work we mentioned in the last post.  We kept the old cabinets intact as much as possible (sorry, no crowbars in this demolition diaries entry!) so they could be reused elsewhere–most likely in the laundry closet that just has a wire shelf.IMG_3082

Our process:

  1. We pulled the range out from the wall (we have a 5 foot flexible gas line, so we just unplugged the electrical cord and moved it out from the wall) and covered it with thick towels to protect it from debris.
  2. We used materials around the house to build up a structure underneath the first cabinet (we started on the left and worked our way around to the other side) to support the weight of the cabinet.  We used an “Ames Lawn Buddy” rolling garden caddy (on another towel to prevent it from rolling) and three college textbooks, which turned out to be the perfect height we needed.  Other things like an old cooler would likely have worked, too, but we have a relatively new cooler that I didn’t want to damage.
  3. We took the doors off the first cabinet and labeled these so we would know which doors went with which cabinet once they were all in the garage.
  4. We scored the caulked edges of the first cabinet (edge by wall or where spacer strips were used to fuse cabinets together) with a pocket knife.
  5. We took the whitish caps off the screwheads and undid the screws of the first cabinet, a little at a time.  Our screwheads were very corroded and a few of them required a hammer-tapping-screwdriver action to get them to loosen.  Two screws would not unscrew at all.  For these, my dad used a drill with a metal bit to rout out the cabinet around them (just enough for the screwhead to pull through with minimal damage to the cabinet), and then he wiggled the cabinet away from the wall.
  6. My dad held up the cabinet while I pulled the stack of stuff out from under it.  The cabinet over the range he handed directly to me, but the others he set gently on the base cabinet before transferring them to the Lawn Buddy, which we used to wheel them out to the garage.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for each cabinet.

Our cabinets around the range were EXTREMELY sooty (Yikes!), and there was evidence of water damage where someone had plants on top of the cabinets and watered them regularly, resulting in little drips down the walls, swelling of cabinets, and bubbling/peeling of the thermofoil (Ugh.).


If you like to organize, you probably know that a space sometimes has to go from cluttered to disaster before it can be well-organized, and such is the case with demolition of spaces, too.  So here’s the messy middle of our kitchen demo thus far:



Messy Middle:


Next up: wiring and patching and sanding and priming and painting and….you get the picture.

Demolition Diaries: Cleaning up the ‘Hood

When we bought the ‘Zoo, we knew that most of the things in the kitchen needed to be replaced sooner or later, starting with appliances for functionality.   The ‘Zoo came with these gems of a hood and range, you may recall:


Substituting the existing fridge with ours and installing a new gas range were major improvements, but after Chris began cooking on the gas range, he realized the ineptitude of our recirculating range hood meant another appliance purchase.  Best way to describe it? It performed at two settings: wimpy and wimpier, accompanied by a whining sound to mask its false industry.



Meanwhile, I was still living in the city, so I began trolling Craigslist for possible options, where I spotted an ad for this Bosch chimney hood for $350 (retails for $899-$999).  The price was a little higher than what we would pay for a nice recirculating hood at a big box store, but it was also a much better hood than those we could normally afford.  Plus, it’s better to vent outside, especially with gas, so we thought it might be worth investigating.


(Picture courtesy of Houzz)

I called to ask some questions and found out it was being sold by a kitchen/bath design store because it was installed in a kitchen model but never used.  It had some scratches that didn’t seem too noticeable, so we decided if it was still available the following weekend, we would take a look.  Why wait, you ask? We wanted to give the purchase some thought since it was really more than we’d originally planned to pay but knew it was a great deal.

Sure enough, the hood was still available the following weekend, and it was way more functional than our existing hood.  After I pointed out a gouged out section in the insulation for the electric cord that had not been mentioned in the ad or when I called to inquire about it (they hadn’t noticed it because it was on the side of the cord you couldn’t see without really looking closely and feeling around), they agreed to knock the price down to $325.  We walked away with the hood for $358 (we did have to pay tax because we bought it from a home design store but thought it was worth it).

We also had to purchase a mounting kit ($11.97) and brackets (2 @ $7.99 each) plus $8.99 shipping because the person who uninstalled the hood from the model kitchen didn’t keep all the parts.  We also purchased some Sugru from Amazon for $22 to patch the insulation instead of buying a $27 plus shipping for a replacement cord, bringing our total purchase to $416.94.  Compared to buying it new at the lowest retail price we could find, we had a total savings of $482.06.

Time for Amy’s demo dance (yes, this is a thing)!

Last weekend, we uninstalled the old wimpy hood and discovered this awesomeness:


Apparently the builder’s crew didn’t install an outlet for the hood and couldn’t find where to hardwire it, so they hired a woodpecker drilled holes in the drywall until they found electrical.  Then they didn’t bother to clean up their mess because it was hidden by the old hood. Classy, huh?

This means we will be installing a new outlet and doing some serious dry wall patching in addition to taking down the upper cabinets so the new range hood can be installed.  While we’re doing electrical work, we’ll go ahead and install the outlet for the range that was missing (you can read more about that here).  Keep your wires fingers crossed that all goes well!

Mista Lista: Home To Do/Ta Da List July with NEW PICS!

Mista Lista’s back with another update about the KaZoo Get it done already To Do/Ta Da list of home repairs and improvements with NEW PICTURES (about time, right?).    As always, some things are partially crossed out because they are halfway done/in progress. Some things have been added to the list, as other needs/ideas have surfaced in the last couple of months.

July in Florida is HOT HOT HOT so to escape the intense heat and humidity, we mostly worked on the inside of the house (and went paddle boarding).  In case you forgot, we are busy people who work jobs, have pets, and live in our house while renovating it (and while also trying to enjoy the fact that we live at the beach!), so our home does not look like a designer home from a magazine, especially since these pics were taken with a smartphone (we hope to get our real cameras out soon!). Without further ado, I give you the ‘Zoo:



  • Moving gate latch to the inside of the backyard (Surprise! We discovered we did in fact have a gate latch already, but it was put on the outside to allow free access to our backyard to any interested parties…what-tha-what?)  We now realize how the neighbors were able to show other interested buyers the backyard while we were looking at the inside with our realtor!) (1)
  • 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 and grasses and snakes, oh my! (2)
  • Remove scalloped landscape edging (3)
  • Add new plants, mulch, and edging (3)
  • Replace odd flower bed between entry and driveway with brick pavers so that we aren’t stepping out of our car into the flower/weed bed (2)
  • Cut down magnolias in backyard (3)
  • Paint faded mailbox (2)
  • Shadowbox wood fence (3)
  • Line fence with crape myrtles for low maintenance privacy and shade (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)
  • Organize garage shelves and floor areas so we can find things we need to knock out things on the to do list (2)
  • Install second paddle board rack for Amy’s new board (2)
  • Take out rest of yellowed sunbursts in garage door (so much better!) (2)
  • Install pegboard, hooks, etc.  for functional vertical storage (3)
  • Add floor to attic for functional storage (3)
  • Paint (3)

House Exterior


  • Change locks (1)
  • Make key copies (1)
  • Replace weather stripping on back door (2)
  • Remove corrosion from back door (2)
  • Buy hurricane shutters to replace plywood (3)
  • New wind standard roof (1)* Note that this used to be a 3.  Post to follow (cue the womp, womp chorus).
  • Fix sad looking house numbers (2)
  • 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)
  • Recaulk windows (2)
  • Install reverse osmosis system (2)
  • Replace windows with energy efficient windows (3)
  • Color correct light fixtures and door knobs (4)
  • Replace cracked/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 wood-look 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/Amy’s Office)


  • Buy wooden dowel to “lock” broken window (1)
  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Scrape popcorn ceiling (1)
  • Prime and paint ceiling (1)
  • Prime walls/trim (1)
  • Install MBR ceiling fan so there is a light source and air circulation (this room gets stuffy!) (1)
  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (1)
  • Install curtain rod (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (1)
  • Install wood-look tile (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 wood-look tile (3)
  • Replace lighting (4)
  • Frame out mirror (4)
  • Replace vanity/countertop (4)
  • Replace molded shower/tub combo with tub/shower with tiled walls (4)

Side Bedroom/Craft Room/Future Nursery


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (2)
  • Install curtain rod (2)
  • Install ceiling fan from Living Room (2)
  • Replace ceiling (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Install wood-look tile (3)
  • Upgrade shelving in closet (4)

Living Room


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (2)
  • Install curtain rod (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace carpet with wood-look tile (3)
  • Take out existing ceiling fan (for bedroom 3) and replace with awesome fan (3)
  • Fix gas fireplace (4)
  • Apply new ceiling (Beadboard? Planked?) (4)

Dining Area


  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (2)
  • Install curtain rods (2)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace light fixture (3)
  • Replace vinyl tile with wood look tile (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)
  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (2)
  • Install curtain rod (2)
  • Upgrade range hood to functional one vented outside (instead of recirculating) (2)
  • Add electrical outlet for gas range behind it (currently having to plug it into a counter height wall outlet to the left of the range, maxing out the length of the electrical cord-ugh!) (2)
  • Upgrade dishwasher (3)
  • Paint walls/trim (3)
  • Replace light fixtures (3)
  • Reconfigure island (3)
  • Move refrigerator to where panty is and put new awesome pantry where fridge currently is for more functional layout (right now we can barely open our fridge door against the wall) (3)
  • Replace vinyl floors with wood look tile (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 tile with wood look tile (3)
  • Upgrade shelving (3)

Master Bedroom & Master Closet


  • Tear out carpet (1)
  • Replace ceiling fan with awesome fan (2)
  • Remove hideous wood-look blinds (2)
  • Install curtain rods (2)
  • 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 wood look tile (3)
  • Upgrade shelving in closet to non-wire rack closet system (4)
  • Build out coffered ceiling in MBR (4)

Master Bathroom 


  • 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 tub plus tile shower (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)