Checking things off

Lee’s brother and his girlfriend are arriving tonight for a short visit before the holidays. They will stay until Sunday. And then just before we ring in the new year, a friend of ours will be temporarily moving in to our rarely used basement guest bedroom. Needless to say, with our basement still untouched, we had lots to do to prepare for their arrival. Nothing like a deadline to have us checking things off the house to-do list!

We made a list in order of priorities of everything we wanted and needed to do before their arrival and I think we succeeded at checking most of them off the list. Here’s what we accomplished:

  • We finally ordered and installed the moldings in our living room (we had ran out of casing moldings from our initial order back in May and simply never got around to ordering more until last week) and wow, what a difference it makes. We are definitely kicking ourselves in the butt for not having gotten this done sooner;
  • Got up in the attic and added the Durovents which will ensure proper air circulation from our soffits to the inside of the attic and prevent our current and future extra attic insulation from falling into the soffits and blocking the air circulation. AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 01While we were up there, we also replaced our bathroom vent pipe as the old one was all bent out of shape and barely held in place with tape which cause all the humidity from our showers to be released into our attic rather than outside (which could have caused lots of issues with mold down the road). AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 02
  • Fixed the bathroom basement guest bedroom door handles as both were slightly misaligned and not latching properly;
  • Ordered brand new front and side doors. We realized during the fall that the wood around our front hadn’t been properly sealed in the past and was rotten. Even the door itself was starting to rot. A new door with a new frame was definitely needed. AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 03Then, with the colder weather, we realized the side door’s whether strip was damaged and not creating a tight seal around our door to prevent cold from coming in/heat from getting out as it should. This could have been solved by simply replacing the strip itself but as we knew we had to replace the front one, we decided to replace both of them at the same time and upgrade their looks. It took us a while to decide which color and which look we wanted for our doors but we finally decided to go with black (on the outside, the inside will remain white) and a flush glass door to let tons of natural light in but sandblasted in order to keep our privacy without having to add blinds or curtains. AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 04We should receive them by the end of this week, but will wait for her brother and his girlfriend to leave before installing them.
  • Then we got my dad to help us cover the top of our half wall using two cheap 2″ x 6″ dimensional lumber but making then look custom. He notched a grove in the wood so that it would sit astride the half wall (our pieces of wood looked like an upside down “U”) rather than just be on top of it then used a router along the top edges to make it look much more fancier and not at all like dimensional lumber. AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 05The pieces were already quite snug around the wall so we knew it wouldn’t move and simply nailed it using finishing nails  for good measure. We used wood filler to fill the holes and imperfections. AudreeLeeBlog - Checking Things Off 06Now we just have to stain and varnish it but we will wait a little as to not intoxicate our guests with stain fumes immediately upon their arrival.
  • My brother cut down the dead tree in our backyard.
  • Finally, we did a massive clean up of our basement which still had many unpacked boxes along with a variety of leftover construction materials and a crazy pile of tools. It had pretty much been our dumping ground for the last few months and was in a horrible state. Needless to say a few bags got tossed to the curb, a lot of boxes made it to our recycling bin, a extra full SUV load got donated and some stuff even got sold on kijiji putting 242$ back into our pockets! And the best part is, we still have a small pile of stuff to be put up for sale as well as a pile of items which need to be returned to the store (bought for the renovation but never ended up used), so more money will be making its way back into our wallets. This may sound like a simple job but it took about 2 days of our time.

This list of course didn’t include the  cleaning, grocery shopping, bed sheet changing, and other “normal” preparations for out of town guests.

Speaking of lists, I just went back to our initial list which we posted just days after getting the keys to our new-to-us home and crossed off all the thing we did. It is crazy looking back at those before pictures and seeing all the work we did! We only have a few things left to do from that list:

  • Adding a few inches of insulation in the attic;
  • Replacing the thermostat in the master bedroom;
  • Replacing the thermostat in the second bedroom;
  • Change the closet door and handle in our front entrance/living room;
  • Replace the old outlets and the thermostat in the front entrance/living room;
  • Replace the thermostat in the dinning room;
  • Add backsplash to our kitchen;
  • Replace the thermostat in the kitchen;
  • Add a door to the bathroom linen closet;
  • Replace the thermostat in the bathroom;
  • Change the stair covering and paint the stringers white (which we are saving to do at the same time as the basement renovation).

Not bad considering 6 out of those 11 are thermostat replacements which we will do all at once in the next few weeks.

What about you? Did you check anything off your house to-do list lately?

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