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.

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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.

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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Comments

  • Maggie at

    Wow you remind me of myself years ago when we bought a 1938 Colonial. Each year we tackled a project with a few additions to boot! In the end it was the house of my dreams. Enjoy this time!!’ It’s so satisfying!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      It’s so fun building something you’re so passionate about! I’m so excited to see my vision come to life!

      xo Michael

  • Glenda Severn at

    Plans are wonderful and smart. Looking forward to watching and enjoying your progress. You have come a long way. Congratulations!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks so much, Glenda!

      xo Michael

  • Karen at

    This is exciting for me just watching! Cannot imagine how you must feel. Congratulations!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Karen! I am!

      xo Michael

  • Sally at

    I look forward to receiving this email and, actually, set aside time to pour over all of the updates, pictures, and inspiring ideas. Thanks for brightening my day on a continuous basis!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I love this, Sally. Thank you so much!! <3

      xo Michael

  • laura at

    Love this! Thanks for sharing the radon mitigation. It’s an easy solution to a very serious problem! I can not wait for all the fun renovations! xo laura in denver

  • Sandra at

    Love the ideas! Am looking forward to “accompanying” you on this ride! Can’t wait to see all the “afters”!

  • Victoria Kennedy at

    Michael – I haven’t even finished reading this post yet – I’m only at the part where you need a new roof….did you read how Chris and Julia got a FREE roof? – not a sponsored post but through insurance and just out of the blue??? You need to do some research because if you qualify you could save a lot of money….here is the link
    https://www.chrislovesjulia.com/ep-52-get-free-roof-plus-2017-project-report-card/
    Please investigate – I’m sure you’d rather spend that money on something else. Good luck!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I will look into it!

      xo Michael

  • Patricia at

    Can any of the wood from the existing shed be recycled for future projects? Like the “Tree” office? Good luck. It will be a fun journey for us to watch from afar.
    We’ve lived thru a complete kitchen gut to the studs in all six directions; adding a large dormer and bathroom upstairs to our brick Tudor; knocking out a window to add backyard access and a new deck and hot tub; finish part of the basement into a man cave and work room; finish the rest of the basement into a laundry room, craft room and storage; completely re-landscape the entire yard and adding hardscape; and along the way, replacing the roof, refinishing the hardwood floors, repainting every room at least once, re-plumbing the entire house and earthquake retrofitting the foundations. Whew! Glad you’re attacking your project … happy to sit this one out from the sidelines.

    My only advice; plan everything on paper (or CAD) over and over and get solid opinions and advice before you break out the tools.

  • Christy H at

    Just an idea for you …… we have a sheet rocked finished ceiling in our basement also and when we had a leak from our ice maker in the kitchen above, we ended up strategically cutting holes in our ceiling, covering them with grates after the work was done. They looked like they were return air grates and blend right in. Years later when we had some wiring work done they were able to utilize those same vent holes!

  • jae at

    Wow! You are going to be busy! You know remodel usually comes with a little drama (Murphy’s Law), so hope everything goes smoothly for you. Cant wait to follow your progress. Your house is so attractive already…it just looks like a comfortable, glad to be home place.

  • OldHouseFun at

    Congratulations on your new home! It’s beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how it comes together! If you have original wooden windows, they were made to be repairable. It might be worth looking into rehabbing them instead of replacing them. That way you can keep that original charm and still have fairly energy-efficient windows. 🙂 Granted, they’re not as low maintenance as vinyl windows, but they’ll match the architectural style/period much better! But if you already have vinyl replacement windows, there’s likely not much that can be done other than a full replacement.

    A word of caution about moving your laundry to the 2nd floor; most old homes aren’t built for that much vibration on the 2nd floor. I would consult a professional about whether your 1st and/or 2nd floor need additional floor/ceiling stabilization to facilitate the washer and dryer upstairs. Good luck, and I’ll stay tuned in! 😀

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you SO much for this! Love it! So the house was built in the 50s and I assume the windows were replaced at some point. They aren’t great and mismatched throughout the home. Plus, I’m planning on adding new windows that didn’t exist before. I’m alllll about keeping old wood windows, but I’m not sure these will do. Bummer!

      And YES on the laundry room. I thought about this. I’m weird with noises, so I’ll definitely have to make sure this is a possibility. Thanks!!

      xo Michael

  • Amanda Taylor at

    I’m so excited about your new home I can barely stand it! I hope there’s a room you’ll fondly refer to as “the cat room.” That would make me feel a lot better about my third bedroom which is “the cat room.” Haha!

  • Sue at

    You seem like a very organized and detailed person; two traits I think are important especially when house/yard projects are calling your name. As long as you remember that everything takes time and is always worth the wait, you have years of decorating enjoyment ahead of you!!

  • Margaret Baham at

    Sounds awesome, Michael! Can’t wait to see the updates. Prayers for smooth sailing!

  • Linda at

    I am SO excited to follow along while you begin this huge adventure. I am always amazed by someone with such vision! Can’t wait to see what you do. By the way, I had a party at my home last weekend and used your recipes for fruit dip, vegetable dip and the pizza dip – HOLY MOLY Michael – folks went on and on about loving them. When asked for the recipes, I directed them to your blog. YOU ARE AMAZING and I thank you for sharing all your knowledge! Good luck and best wishes!

  • Kathy H at

    Sounds great but expensive! May all your dreams come true!

  • Funky Junk Interiors - Donna at

    I love hearing about your home musings and dreams! You have me thinking about creating a similar post, just get it all out there!

    And I’m so glad you are gifting yourself with an epic kitchen update. The quality you deliver totally deserves this one and will only benefit your home value.

    I can’t wait to see this all play out!

  • Sue at

    Michael, plant yourself a kitchen garden in pots. I’m also moving so I’ve planted basil, tomatoes, leafy lettuce, Swiss chard and green onions all in pots. Place a tomato cage upside down in the pot and tie the ends together and the tomatoes will have this to lean against. Works really well and looks like you have a sunny back deck for them to grow!

  • Kate@CentsationalStyle at

    Wow this will be SO FUN to watch, I’m so excited for you Michael!! I know you will knock each project out of the park!
    SHEEEEEE will be proud. LOL.
    xoxoxo
    Kate

  • Julia at

    Your new home is lovely and full of character. I look forward to seeing your renovations. I know it will be so beautiful. Enjoy your new home!!

  • Kimberly at

    Please keep up the house related posts. It’s a beautiful home and I’d love to read more about it and stay up to speed on what you’re doing.

  • JoEllen at

    I have loved reading all about your dreams and plans for this new gorgeous home of yours! I can’t wait to read more about the kitchen renovation – as we are dreaming of our own. I love the idea (in an earlier comment) about reusing the wood from the patio for the tree house, and an office treehouse?! How cool would that be!!? I am hanging on ever word – keep it coming!

  • Julie at

    I look forward to following along as they come to fruition!

  • Amy K at

    I’m so excited about following along with you as you make this house your own!! It’s beautiful as is but I know you will do great things with it. So excite.

  • Suresh Roy at

    #BAYBERRYHOUSE is looking awesome. Your planning is wonderful to improve the home. I appreciate your work. This is good for remodeling of the home. This blog is crucial for home improvement to me. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Jack Home Improvment at

    Very beautiful green area and a cozy house. I really like your project. AGREE WITH EACH WHO WRITTEN THAT ON THE SITE MUST BE MORE POSTS ABOUT HOME IMPROVEMENT. Sorry for Caps. It is very bad that you will remove these trees. They hide your house from unnecessary eyes and paparazzi) Pool is also a cool idea, I wonder how you realize it on such a steep slope.

  • Brenda Wells at

    Perfect guide before starting a home improvement planning. I really appreciate. Today we definitely seeing a trend towards BBQ dinner and outdoor parties. Enjoy reading.

  • patty at

    Such a lovely home. May you enjoy it for many years to come. Love the landscape.

  • Jeanr at

    I’ve always loved Colonial homes and yours is a beauty! I love all of the wood inside and your renovation projects sound perfect for that property. I am anxious to watch the progress and you make it your own in style and with love. Thank you for sharing.

  • Vikki at

    Michael,
    I’m a long time subscriber to your blog, however I’m late reading all about your new house and the proposed renovations. How exciting for you! Since you plan to do a garden early next year I must tell you about a gardener that I follow. Have you heard of Laura and Garden Answer? She and her hubby do gardening videos and they are so great. If you are not familiar with her you must watch. Her property is amazing and she is always doing something to make it even more beautiful. She has just planted a veggie garden this year and you might want to see what she has done. There are several video’s dedicated to the veggie garden the link is to one of the first. I hope you enjoy watching and get some useful ideas. I’m off to catch up on some of your other posts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP40C0c9XP8

  • Deb at

    Such a beautiful house/home!! It will be interesting to follow along as you post about the improvements and the unexpected surprise expenses — there’s always that too!

  • Cream Furniture at

    Wonderful! And the best part to my eye is you can’t tell that it was a collaboration.

  • July Pham at

    Thanks for sharing the radon mitigation. I love it1

  • Duplex at

    Thanks for brightening my day on a continuous basis!

  • Maria at

    Can’t wait to see the updates.

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