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My House Renovation

My Home Renovation: My New Home Is A Fixer Upper

by Helen
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My New Home Buying Journey:

Welcome to my humble home and my house renovation.  I am so excited to renovate my house.  Well, it is new to me.  Although I am not a first-time home buyer, it feels like my first home.  After packing up all my belongings in 2021 to move closer to Austin, Texas, USA, I am finally thankful and blessed to be moving into my new house.  The hunt was on for a new home when my ex-husband and I decided to divorce.  After scouring the best home buying sites, realtor.com and zillow.com, and looking at numerous houses, I settled for this fixer-upper house.  The housing market is crazy expensive, and getting a good deal is impossible.  After driving my realtor crazy and looking at numerous places, I decided to make this house my home. 

My Home Renovation Ideas

My new home is a fixer-upper, but it will be MY fixer upper home.  Also, it is humbling to go from living in a 3000 square foot custom home on 18 acres, a beautiful resort-style swimming pool, solar, and a plethora of oak trees to a 2300 square foot home in an urban neighborhood.  The house I purchased had been on the market for several months because it needed renovations.  I am going to share my home renovation journey with you.  My house renovation will consist of a bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, bamboo floors throughout the house, and other renovations.  

Since the yard needs some love, hardscape lighting is a great way to highlight the unique features of your outdoor living space including outdoor furniture.  Since lighting can add a touch of elegance and drama to your patio or deck while providing functional illumination.  We are incorporating solar lighting throughout the yard, including garden trees, decking lighting, accent lighting, and more.

Upcycle During My House Renovation

When I renovate my house, I plan to upcycle what I can.  I do not want to buy new cabinets if the old cabinets can be upcycledThat's just an example of what I intend to do.  Furthermore, I plan to do eco-friendly renovations.   Since I have chosen to renovate, I am making a green choice; I can reuse what is already in my house.  Not only will I save money, but there will also be less construction and demolition waste and debris.  

Finally, I thank God every day for His blessings on me.

 What's The Difference Between Home renovation vs. Home Remodel 

 What is the difference?

According to HomeDepot: 

Renovation is:

Renovation means restoring a room or building to good condition. A renovated room will be updated without changing its purpose. For example, a remodeled bathroom remains a bathroom. Renovations usually include repairing structural damage or replacing dated fixtures with new ones. Renovation upgrades can be cosmetic and make a space more appealing to residents, clients, or potential buyers.
The following are common renovations:

  • Updating a kitchen with new cabinets and fixtures
  • Replacing old windows with new ones
  • Updating appliances
  • Replacing outdated systems

Remodel is:

Remodeling means altering or making a significant structural change to a room or building. Remodeling can involve putting an addition on a dwelling, changing the floorplan layout, or making substantial updates such as new plumbing.
Examples of remodeling include:

  • Expanding square footage
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Finishing a basement or converting an attic
  • Installing a kitchen island

Before And After Home Renovation Pictures

Furthermore, I had to get rid of my chickens, goats, and furniture. I was sad to leave my home but realized I was blessed to have it for three years. Further, I am ready for the next chapter in my life. I officially moved into my new home in September. The do-it-yourself (DIY), sustainable living, eco-friendly lifestyle, and toxic-free planner in me are excited about planning and implementing my future projects to renovate my house and make this humble house a home. Since I will be transitioning from two incomes to one, my budget for updates and renovations will be small, so most of my smaller planned-out home renovation projects will take some time since I will be doing them. Although, I have to start somewhere!

I will post pictures before and after the home renovation to give you a good idea of the starting point and a frame of reference for where I was starting. 

The Front Of The House

I love the exterior, but I plan to do an exterior renovation of my house; it has a welcoming feel, but there is rotted facia wood, garage door, and front door, and it needs to be painted. The yard has tall oak trees, and the entry has a small front porch. Although I'm not a big fan of bushes, I will keep them because they serve as a habitat for birds and other tiny critters. In the Spring, I plan to add some landscaping. Also, I would like to provide some landscaping details in the Spring. I plan to add a buffet for different types of pollinators. 

My Home Renovation

Fixer Upper Home's Backyard

Like the inside of the house, the backyard needs lots of love, so I definitely need to renovate it!  It's a good-sized backyard with little to the eye, but it is perfect for my three big dogs to run around and burn off some energy!  I also plan to add a garden in the spring to enjoy homegrown fruits and veggies.  Plus, I plan to add a pollinator garden to the backyard.  I'll post updates so you can follow this new chapter of my life and my home renovation.

One of the things I plan to add to my backyard is a firepit with a nice sitting area.  Last, the porch area could use some attention.  

Home Renovation Update

Update 12/17/2022:  I installed an inground pool and am helping my boyfriend install a Trex decking.  It's a DIY project.  He is doing a fantastic job—pictures to come.

One of the most innovative ways to save money on energy costs while reducing your carbon footprint is to install solar panels to help offset the electricity consumption of your in-ground pool.  You can generate clean, renewable energy to run your pool pump, heater, and other electrical equipment by harnessing the sun's power.  This means you'll be able to reduce your reliance on grid electricity, which can be costly and environmentally damaging.  Additionally, taking advantage of IRS incentives can further reduce the upfront costs of installing solar panels.  We have already installed the panels and can attest to the benefits of this eco-friendly and cost-saving solution.

New Home

Backyard After: Building a Pergola, Food Garden and Pool.

Backyard Before

My Home Renovation

Front Door & Foyer

When you first walk into the house, there is a small foyer and a long hall leading to the rest.  A small coat closet is at the end of the entrance on the right side.  The entryway is roomy, and I will likely hang some farmhouse wall decor and a shelf with coat hooks to personalize the space.  I will also add a small bench, a rustic purse, and coat hooks.  I will add a small entry table if there is enough room in the hall.  The house needs energy-efficient windows and energy-efficient appliances.  I transitioned to Farmhouse style a while back.  I will change my decor style, but I add some color and mix vintage, rustic, and a little boho.  While researching how to change my decorating style, I found some excellent and affordable online home decor sites; some have unique items.

Update 12/20/2023: I had my Fiancee install a vintage chandelier to brighten the entryway.  It made a world of difference.  The foyer is the first room my guests see, so I wanted to add some character.

My House Renovation

Formal Dining Room Ideas

The formal dining area is to the left at the end of the hall. The laundry room, three bedrooms, linen closet, and a small spare bathroom are on the right-hand side.

The kitchen is straight ahead, and the living room is to the left, just past the formal dining room.

The living room is a dull and dirty space with poorly painted walls. Parts of the house have beautiful wood floors but need polishing. I am excited about the wood floors. The entry, kitchen, and dining area have old, outdated 12″ tile and filthy grout. When I renovate my house, I plan to install engineered waterproof bamboo floors over the tile. I may install the same flooring in the spare bedrooms depending on the cost.

Related:  Baby Nursery Ideas

My House Renovation

My Eco Friendly House Renovation Plans

The living room leads into the kitchen and breakfast area.  The living room is a dull and dirty space with poorly painted walls.  Parts of the house have beautiful wood floors but need polishing.   I am excited about the wood floors because I will clean and polish them with natural products.  The entry, kitchen, and dining area have old, outdated 12″ tile and filthy grout.  I hope to install engineered waterproof bamboo floors over the tile.  I may install the same flooring in the spare bedrooms depending on the cost.

There is a gas fireplace in a corner on the back wall.  The fireplace leaves a lot to be desired.  The fireplace needs some cleaning and updating, and I plan to make it the focal point; it will be a priority in my home renovation.  Furthermore, I plan to use eco-friendly materials and products for my green home renovation, including no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints.

My House Renovation
My House Renovation

My wish list for the formal dining room renovation includes environmentally conscious choices:

  • Replace Light Fixture 
  • Paint The Walls
  • Electric Roller Shades
  • New formal dining table
  • New sideboard
  • Accessorize
Renovate My House

My wish list for the living room renovation includes environmentally conscious choices:

  • Paint the walls and trim with eco-friendly paint
  • Update the ceiling fan
  • Replace the tile with engineered bamboo wood floors 
  • Paint the mantle and replace the tile around it
  • Add an area rug
  • Install electric roller shades
  • Add seating and an ottoman
  • Accessorize!

The kitchen is to the right of the living room and is a good-sized kitchen with an island.  I wish the island had a vegetable sink because they are so convenient.  The cabinets are dated but are in reasonably good condition.  However, the appliances will need to be replaced because the refrigerator and stovetop do not work, plus they are filthy.  Since this kitchen is much smaller than I had in my previous home, I will have to develop the best way to organize the kitchen and the pantry.  The kitchen needs something to brighten it ups.  When renovating my house, I plan to chalk paint the island and add kitchen decor.  I also plan to buy a smart coffee pot that is sustainably made, WIFI capable, and can brew up to 10 cups of coffee.

Kitchen Before and After Photos

Renovate My House
Renovate My House
Rustic Elegance

My wish list for the kitchen renovation includes environmentally conscious choices:

  • Update the backsplash (HomeDepot)
  • Paint the island a darker color
  • Kitchen renovation on a budget
  • New Faucet
  • New Energy Efficient KitchenAid Appliances, including refrigerator, stovetop, and oven
  • New cabinet pulls 
  • Engineered Bamboo floors
  • Paint
  • Pendant Lighting (HomeDepot)
  • Clean the cabinets and add some dark wax accent on the inner edges
  • Touchless Motion and Voice Command Kitchen Trash Can

Painting the center island cabinets in this kitchen renovation made room for a beautiful focal point, and the tile backsplash helps tie everything together.  Pendant lights give the room a modern farmhouse feel and light up the room.  In this case, the turquoise distressed pantry door provides the space with a vintage rustic play nicely against the modern tile and oak cabinets.  The eco-friendly wood floors brighten up the room.  The light gray wall paint brightens up the room. 

I hired EM Painting Repair and Remodel to paint and replace the floors, backsplash, and more.  They did a phenomenal job.  I am so happy with how everything turned out.

Renovate My House
Renovate My House

New Home Renovation Projects:
Master Bathroom Mini Renovation
Spare Bathroom Renovation
Kitchen Renovation
Formal Dining Renovation
Living Room Renovation – Simple Living Room Ideas
Front Yard Landscaping
Backyard, Porch, and Landscaping Makeover

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