Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

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Okay, dear friends, I’m finally ready to share renovation and home improvement plans for the new house.

However, before we get to that, let’s talk about all the love you sent on my new house post. I was blown away by your comments on the blog and social media. I am overjoyed with this new house, and it makes my day when I see that excitement echoed in your responses. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

As you saw on the tour, the house is nice as-is, but it also has areas for improvement. I have a vision of what I want it to be, so today I thought we could dive into my initial renovation and home improvement plans.

In this post, I’m going to just lay out my plans for the first two years. (Otherwise, this post could go on forever.) Down the road, most of these projects will be expanded on, so if you’re wanting more details, they’ll be coming.

While this post is mostly informative (We’ve got to start somewhere.), if you’re curious about my vision for the home, be sure to follow along with IBC on Pinterest. I have a board dedicated solely to the house.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Furnishing and Decor (In Progress)
Even though I had a big house and a small apartment, I have limited decor and furnishings. If you’ll recall, the people who purchased my St. Marys home also bought all of its furnishings. In addition, much of what I do have doesn’t match the aesthetic of this new house.

The plan with decor and furnishings is to take my time and find pieces I love. Although I do have an aesthetic in mind, once I get settled, I’m hoping to figure out a strong look and style for the house. I’ve had fun playing with different styles in the past so I’m confident this new place will guide my decisions as I put my stamp on it. In the meantime, I will be using what I have.

Kitchen Remodel (In Progress)
This is the first major project, and it’s already begun. In fact, the rough plans for the new layout have been drawn up. (More details on that coming SOON!) I’m so excited to share this process with you. It’s been a bit daunting trying to plan a major kitchen remodel while moving, but I want to get this started right away in hopes of finishing it before Christmas.

Also, as you may have noticed, the kitchen did not come with a stove or refrigerator. I purchased an inexpensive refrigerator, but I’m going to work without a stove until the kitchen is finished. (This could get interesting.)

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Because the kitchen is connected to so many spaces, this renovation will also affect other rooms. This includes:
– Turning the full downstairs bath into a smaller powder room and pantry;
– Adding two additional windows to the dining room and replacing the French doors; and
– Replacing the slate in the entry with hardwood.

New Roof (Summer or Fall)
This isn’t a very exciting way to spend money, but the roof of the house is 25+ years old and needs to be replaced. I’m looking to schedule it for this summer or fall.

Front Yard Tree Removal (In Progress)
My front yard contains a patch of 15 trees. Even though I love all the green and shade, unfortunately, they have to go. There are a couple dead trees, countless dead branches, and the rest of the trees are being taken over by invasive vines.

The goal here is to remove everything and sow grass. Of course, I might opt to plant a couple new trees and create a little landscaping moment here, but that’s TBD.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Landscaping Clean-Up (In Progress)
Speaking of landscaping, many areas are overgrown and messy. My plan for the first year or two is to simply get everything cleaned up so we can see what I’m working with. It’s my guess that the general landscaping went unattended for quite a few years.

I’ve already been busy trimming bushes, cutting down trees, and weeding so things are starting to look a bit more kempt. I also want to determine how to make the best use of the backyard. It’s definitely underutilized. However, this whole process will take several years as I’ll be tackling it bit by bit.

Determine Property Lines (In Progress)
Before I can get too deep into landscaping, I need to figure out exactly where the property lines are. I have a general idea, but a surveyor is scheduled to stake the lines in the coming weeks.


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Create Outdoor Fire Pit (In Progress)
The small area behind the driveway (on the right side of the house) would be the perfect spot for a rustic outdoor fire pit. My plan is to create something functional and cute on a limited budget. In the future, if money permits, I’d love to have it professionally hardscaped.

I’ve never had a fire pit on my property before, so this is something I’m especially excited about and hope to use a lot this summer.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Radon Mitigation System (In Progress)
When purchasing the home, part of the inspection process involved a radon reading. Unfortunately, my levels were a bit too high, so I need to install a radon mitigation system in the basement. This is scheduled to be completed next week.

Remove Storage Shed Below Deck (Late Summer or Fall)
Underneath the deck, there is a triangle-shaped shed that I plan to take down. I don’t need the extra storage since I have a two stall garage and only one car. The shed seems firmly attached, but I’m hoping to tackle the demolition myself.

While it won’t happen right away, I would like to create a private patio below the deck. Removing the shed will open up the area and let me eventually add a side door to the garage.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

New Windows and Doors (2019)
The windows in the house are somewhat decrepit. Many of the upstairs windows have condensation between the panes and won’t stay open without being propped up. They still serve their purpose, but after I install a few new windows and doors during the kitchen renovation, my hope is to replace the rest next year.

Guest Bathroom (Early 2019)
Both bathrooms need to be updated and expanded. Since I have five bedrooms I will most likely give one up to create larger bathrooms. The guest bath will need to be renovated first.

Laundry Room (Early 2019)
Losing a bedroom will also allow me to move the laundry to the second floor. (It’s currently in the basement.) I plan to tackle the guest bathroom and laundry room at the same time, followed by the master bathroom.

Master Bathroom and Closet (Late 2019)
Since the guest and master bathrooms are next to one another, I would love to do this all at once. However, I’m going to need a functioning bathroom, so I will probably finish one before starting the next. My plan is to create a much larger master bathroom with an adjoining walk-in closet.

Home Improvement Projects at #BayberryHouse

Fenced-in Vegetable Garden (Early 2019)
I’ve been wanting my own vegetable garden for years and years. I was hoping to get something planted this season but quickly learned that having a tree-filled backyard means visits from deer. Therefore, I need to fence in my garden.

I’m hoping to use this summer to figure out the best location for the garden so that next year I can start building my first real vegetable garden!

Wiring (Ongoing)
When I had my internet-cable installed this week I realized that the placement of wires is not ideal. (The line in my den comes out of the closet and runs across the entire floor.) In doing renovations, I will need to plan for placement of cables and wires. The ceiling in my basement is drywalled, which looks great, but that makes moving or replacing wires more of a challenge.

Whew! I think that’s it for now!

I’m sure there will be lots of little projects that pop up along the way as well as bigger ones I’m overlooking at this moment. But this list will certainly keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

And because I’m in a list-making mood today, here are few more possible projects and a couple pipe dreams:

Future projects (?) to include:
-Update living room fireplace and change to gas operation. Create larger bookcases or add small windows.
-Replace deck and create ground-level patio area.
-Build office “treehouse” in woods behind the house.
-Create a larger front porch. Maybe.
-Add a pool. Maybe.

I’m looking forward to making lots of changes and taking you along with me on this new home adventure.

I hope this list gives you an idea of my plans and goals for my new home!

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  1. I have always wanted to renovate my house but I didn’t know where to start. This website has helped me a lot in planning and making decisions on what is best for my new home. I would recommend this site to anyone who wants a good renovation or remodeling guide, including contractors, designers, builders, etc
    Thank you for sharing this worthy guide. Keep it up

  2. First of all so gorgeous and so fun and exciting!! Second, as I was reading about your plans for an outdoor fire pit and completing your landscaping, and I wanted to be the first to suggest an outdoor patio with a BUILT IN fire pit!! If you haven’t already, you should check it out! I think you would be impressed!