Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Big List is Born

It's time for the list. The BIG List. No, I don't have a head injury. When I discussed it before, here, I was averse to it. For good reason. The amount of work that needs to be done on this little house is OVERWHELMING, so overwhelming that I needed the caps lock on to type the word. The price tag, well, we're not even thinking about that because it makes me nauseous and prone to facial tics.

But, well, I got to thinking it might be a good idea to see what I've got done so far, and be able to compare progress in individual rooms. And as a way to strategize projects. Probably also as a way to incite panic and guilt in my psyche too, but you have to take the good with the bad.

So I started going from room to room and itemizing. The upside is that in some rooms, lists aren't really that long, or are in rooms that can wait almost indefinitely. The downside is that a lot of really big (roofing the house), difficult (removing asbestos ceiling tile) or expensive (roofing the house again) jobs are still ahead of me rather than crossed off. The good news is that the boys' bedrooms are mostly all done. That's good. It was a priority to me to have them comfortable as soon as possible in our new space. The down side is my bedroom is still under construction, and our main bathroom is kind of a wreck.

The list is after the text jump, so readers who have better things to do (and I hope you do) don't have to bother reading it. It offers a few clues to future blog posts, and also some things about my house you may not have known-- like the fact it has a darkroom, which is now mostly a bleak, mildewy corner of my basement. My other shameful basement secret is a toilet in the corner of the workroom. Just sitting there, exposed, with no other facilities (handwashing, anyone?) and certainly no walls for modesty. Mercy!

I expect things will be added and removed as my priorities and realities change. But for now, this is it.

I think the list will be helpful in the future, but it took a lot out of me just to write it down. Right now, I'm conflicted about it. I want to roll up my sleeves. I want to go lie down. Not to be a big Debbie Downer but at the moment, the last one is winning.

The Big List

Tile floor
Paint trim
Paint interior front door
Find area rug
Hang art
Organize coat closet

Living Room

Remove old carpet and pad
Remove carpet staples
Paint ceiling and walls
Paint trim
Install and paint new quarter-round, shoe-molding
Update electrical outlets with GFCI, recessed sockets where possible
Move wicker chair to screen porch/find replacement chair
Find rug
Finish lampshade on small lamp
Finish (or remove?) small alcoves on fireplace wall
Make/hang curtains
Find/edit/hang artwork for walls
Find mirror and sconces for above fireplace

Dining room

Remove carpet
Remove vinyl wallpaper
Paint built-ins and trim
Find additional dining chairs
Sell hutch/find more contemporary/period appropriate one (upright rather than horizontal?)
Find/hang suitable blinds
Make/hang curtains
Rearrange dishes/art in built-ins
Find/edit hang artwork on walls
Find/repair/doorbell operations?


Replace appliances except dishwasher
Refinish cabinets
Replace countertops
Clean cabinet hardware
Replace flooring with new vinyl, VCT, or linoleum/marmoleum
Make/hang curtains
Replace ceiling fan with period appropriate hanging light fixture
Replace doorwall with energy-efficient one, interior blinds or ?
Replace leaky eat-in windows with paned energy efficient window that matches rest of house
Replace dishwasher
Find/arrange/hang art and etc.
Reorganize pantry and countertop items

First Floor Bathroom: 

Short term:
Remove carpet tile
Install temporary vinyl tile
Install new quarter-round trim
Replace light fixture over vanity
Replace wall mirror
Replace toilet dispenser
Replace countertop
Replace sink/faucet
Replace shower curtain bar
Make/hang cafe-style curtain
Replace cabinet hardware
Find/hang/arrange art and decorative items

Long term:
Reglaze porcelain on tub, reinstall
Tile show and floor area
Install shower door with frosted art deco design
Install tile floor

Front room

Remove carpet pad
Revive/wax VCT flooring
Make/hang curtains
Repair/replace "TV nook" wall
Repair/revive wood paneling
Replace light fixture with vintage
Select/hang artwork
Find bench/coathook arrangement
Find vintage file cabinet/credenza for printer's table/filing system

First floor hallway

Remove carpet/pad
Paint floor/replace floor/tile floor?
Paint trim
Carpet runner
Organize hall closet
Organize hall linen cupboard

First Bedroom, first floor

Hang curtains
Hang blinds
Paint trim
Organize music studio in first closet
Organize storage in second closet
Update/repair electrical outlets
Hang art, decorative items

Second bedroom, first floor

Hang blinds
Hang curtains
Paint trim
Hang art, decorative items
Organize first closet
Organize second closet
Repair/update electrical

First Bedroom, second floor (master bedroom)

Remove carpet/pad
Remove vinyl paneling
Remove drywall on South wall (bathroom plumbing leak)
Sand floor
Sheath drywall in entire room
Replace drywall on South wall
Update/repair electrical
Plaster/sand in alcove
Paint ceiling/walls in alcove
Paint floor in alcove
Stencil floor in alcove
Plaster/sand in room
Paint ceiling walls in room
Paint floor in room
Stencil floor in room
Install baseboard molding, trim
Paint trim
Select/arrange/hang art and decorative items
Make/hang curtains
Organize/paint closet
Replace ceiling light with vintage or vintage-look fixture

Second bedroom, second floor (twin's room)

Remove carpet/pad
Remove plywood paneling
Remove built-in bed/drawers
Repair plaster
Prime/paint ceiling and walls
Hang curtains
Find nightstands
Find lamps for nightstands
Paint trim

Upstairs stairwell/hallway

Remove carpet/pad
Revive/wax VCT tile
Paint walls and paneling
Retrofit and hang vintage curtain
Paint/repair/stencil(?) stairs/risers
Find Rug
Select/hang/arrange art and decorative items
Organize upstairs linen cupboard
paint trim

Upstairs bathroom

Short term: 

Switch out cracked/leaky toilet
Switch out vanity fixtures with vintage ones
Remove carpet squares
Prime/Paint/rehab old vinyl floor
Prime/Paint/rehab old vanity
Find open shelf system for toiletries
Find vintage laundry hamper
Repair/sand/prime walls
Get rid of towel bars and find hooks
Arrange/hang decorative items
rehab old medicine cabinet/mirror

Long term:

Replace vanity with pedestal sink
Install mosaic tile flooring

Basement lounge/study

Demolish old wood paneling
Demolish old ceiling tiles (professional asbestos remove)
Refinish/revive original VCT floor
Update/repair electrical
Make/hang curtains
Find vintage dresser/credenze for TV consold
Find/arrange/hang decorative items
End tables
Coffee table or ottoman
Sofa (use existing love seat)
Book/display/storage shelves
Find computer table

Basement laundry room

New energy efficient washer/dryer
Countertop over new w/d for folding
repair missing vinyl floor tiles
Clean and paint cupboards

Basement Darkroom

Short term:

Clean out junk
Bleach walls
Moisture barrier paint

Long term:
Full shower bath?

Craft/work room

Clean out junk
Bleach walls
Moisture barrier paint
Paint floor
Organize/tools and craft area
Make/hang curtains
Task lighting
Hang storage shelves
Repair/update electrical, install adequate lighting
Decide what to do about toilet in the corner?


Inspect fireplace and chimney
Replace attic fan with solar/powered, more energy efficient one
New roofing/insulation/attic ventilation
New basement casement windows
New storm windows, whole house
Replace hot water heater

Outdoor property

Remove unwanted plants, shrubs
Rebuild/replace driveway retaining wall
Edge front perennial bed with permanent stone edging
Landscape front perennial bed
Edge front foundation bed with permanent stone edging
Landscape front foundation bed with shrubs, ornamental tree, and perennials
Develop landscape plan for back yard
Trim/limb up cedar tree in back yard
Decorate/furnish patio/outdoor dining area
         -Refurbish donated table
         -Find patio dining chairs
         -Plant containers
         -"Paint" an outdoor rug on the patio surface
         -Other decorative elements
Build fence on back property line
Plan/build vegetable garden (raised bed)
Plan/build perennial beds along garage foundation, back property line

Short term:
Replace deck railing with something more historically appropriate to the house, white paint
stain deck flooring

Long term:
Demolish deck
Install brick patio with wrought iron railing


Clean garage attic
Paint garage
Roof garage/properly ventilate
Plan/organize potting shed
Organize garage storage


  1. Phew! Long list. I found one you didn't cross out, though. Remove carpet squares in the upstairs bathroom. I did that! :D

    1. You are right, and there were two more (switch out vanity lights and replace leaky toilet) that have already been done too! Score! Three more off the list! (I'll take my little victories where I can. :)