Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome to Lucy's House!

We bought our first house!!

It's a 1920, 2-story bungalow in seacoast Dover, New Hampshire -- our first real home. Coming from countless apartments in various towns for years, we're excited to be planting some permanent roots. And with our 95-pound (and still growing!) Saint Bernard puppy Lucy, we needed to give her some major room to roam.

In apartments, we've never had the freedom to paint, nevermind renovate, and have had to just live with whatever the place is like, regardless of style or function. But no more! Now, as makers of our own destinies, we are free to transform our 1,500 square foot "character home" into what ever we want. No more living with ugly paint colors, unusable kitchen layouts, dingy floors, and old bathroom fixtures!

I thought I would create this blog to document our struggles and (hopefully) victories when it comes to decorating and remodeling our very first home on a limited budget.

Here is our (ambitious) game plan for the house:

-Strip wallpaper throughout the house and paint -- the old, dingy wallpaper is a theme that runs through most of the house and hasn't been changed in probably 50 years. After the paper is off, we'll likely have to do lots of patching, sanding, priming, and finally painting.

-Major kitchen renovation -- this will be a major investment and likely the biggest project that we take on. Our plan involves knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, opening it up into one big space. Then we'll add a breakfast bar, new cabinets, countertops, lighting, and hardwood floors, and install a dishwasher (!!!), since the kitchen currently doesn't have one.

-Reroute washer hookup -- the washing machine is currently hooked up in the basement, but the dryer hookup is in the mudroom off of the kitchen. Don't ask me why! We plan on redirecting the plumbing so that the washer can claim its rightful place in the first floor mudroom.

-Refinish upstairs hardwood floors -- the three upstairs bedrooms have original hardwood floors, but they've seen better days. All they need is some refinishing and they'll shine again.

-Add a half bathroom -- our second biggest renovation would involve adding a half bathroom on the first floor. By expanding the kitchen/dining area, there will be a perfect spot left over to add the bathroom. The only bathroom is currently on the second floor, so adding a half bath will increase the home's value and be super convenient!

-Fence in the backyard -- this is priority #1. Lucy needs a safe place to roam, bark, and eat sticks. We plan on completing the backyard fencing before we even move in our furniture. Plus, we'll be adding a kiddie pool in a nice shady spot for Lucy to cool down this summer, so stay tuned for that.

-Replace patio -- the current patio is poured concrete, and it's in rough shape. Our plan is to build a wooden platform deck over the existing concrete slab. Nothing too big, so we can maximize the green space, but big enough to fit a table and chairs and a grill.

-Remove or re-purpose oversized shed -- the existing backyard shed is about twice the size of our detached garage. It's a monster! One idea is to remove it completely to free up some more yard space. The other idea is to open it up into a covered patio space.

This "laundry list" is just the start of our plans, and I'm sure that things will change once we get in and start living in the house. It's a huge amount of work to take on, but we plan on picking away at everything one piece at a time, and keeping this blog up to date while we do it!

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