My DIY Dream List

You would think that building a new construction home would mean it's perfect when you move in. Sadly, this is not the case. (Maybe if you have a huge budget!) We are on a very tight budget and did not want to raise the price of our home by one dime. Thankfully we got a $5K credit at the design center that helped out tremendously. There was also a special (I think it had to do with us buying a spec home) that gave us a "free" upgrade to stainless steel appliances and added on the covered back patio. There were a few things we added beforehand that came out of that budget, such as a gas line on the patio for the grill, front loading washer and dryer set, and an additional electrical outlet in the garage.

With our design center credit we were able to get:
  • Crown molding in the entire living area (entry, living, dining, kitchen) 
  • Crown molding in the master bedroom 
  • (Upgraded) white kitchen cabinets 
  • (Upgraded) white/grey granite kitchen counter-tops 
  • (Upgraded) dark brown cabinets in the master bathroom 
There are still so many things left to do. Knowing me, I'll have added on another hundred by the time we get anywhere close to the end. 

Here's my list so far (in no particular order):

Replace all of the flooring. Seriously, all of it. We knew what we wanted going in. When we realized it would cost over $10k to get that flooring in JUST the living area we decided to NOT upgrade the flooring at all. The design center price for the tile was $9/sq ft, including installation but not including the upgrade fee for putting tile in carpet designated areas. We had previously priced our tile and knew we could get it from between $1.99 and $3.99 a square foot. Installation is not terribly expensive and the stores sometimes run specials on installation. Also, my parents did all of the tile work in their house and it turned out beautifully; I'm not too proud to beg them to come help us!

We are undecided about whether or not to tile in the bedrooms. I think yes, Bryan is not so sure. Either way, the low-grade carpet that came standard with our house has got to go. It's not soft enough to warrant having ugly carpeted floors. (Can you tell I hate carpet?) 
{via}This gorgeous ceramic tile can be found at pretty much any hardware store. 
Re-paint the living area. Because our living area is one big open room it needs to be all the same color (maybe with an accent here or there, but generally the same). To go with anything other than beige at the design center would have cost us $4K. Yikes. For paint!! We're planning to go with a nice medium grey color. 
This granite is pretty close to what we chose. 
This shows the white cabinets, dark floors, and grey walls. The counters are darker than ours, and I'm not sure what we're planning to do with the back of our island. 
Paint the rest of the house. The remaining areas are the foyer and halls, the laundry room, all three bedrooms, and both bathrooms (maybe not the guest bath since the beige goes well with the cabinets and tile). I really like the idea of painting the foyer a different, but coordinating, color since the hallways separate it from the rest of the house. 
We have a LOT of hallway area to consider. 
Install a counter top over the washer and dryer, and install some sort of dry rack. This project will probably take priority. We're going to cloth diaper the baby, and on top of our already never ending laundry pile I need this room to be fully functional. Our laundry room comes with some sort of built-in cabinetry above the machines but I'm sure to hate it and want it replaced. Add that to the list. 
I'm seriously obsessed with that back-splash. I saw something similar in a kitchen display at Best Buy and I fell in love. It didn't feel right for a kitchen... too cold. But I LOVE it for the laundry room! 
{via}Flat screen? Yes please! 
{via}I really, really like these pull outs for under the counter/above the machines.I've seen them come down from the walls, too, but I like this better. 
"Chunk" up the base boards. I just love the way this looks! I saw really chunky base boards in a catalog (Pottery Barn maybe?) and suddenly there were tutorials all over the net. Clearly I was not the only one to fall in love. This seems like such a cheap and easy way to dress up a room. 
"Chunk" up crown molding. Same way as the base boards above. 
{via}This was a contractor's work. Seriously. All the cool kids are doing it.
"Chunk" up door frame molding. I don't actually remember what our door frames look like, but I'm guessing pretty bland. Maybe not the front door, but definitely the rest of the doorways. 
Install crown molding in the rest of the house. Remaining areas are both secondary bedrooms, both bathrooms, the laundry room (maybe), and both hallways. 

Replace all the light fixtures. We didn't even look at this stuff at the design center. I do not have cookie cutter taste, and we do not have a 70% mark up budget. We need pendant lights over the island, a light over the dining table, a ceiling fan in the living room and the master, and a foyer light. Eventually we'll also replace fixtures in secondary bedrooms, the bathrooms, the patio, and the front by the garage door. 
Install a new back-splash in the kitchen.
Install granite a counter-top in the master bathroom. Not sure on color for this yet. We may end up changing the cabinet color as well, and the room will definitely need painted. 
Get custom shelving in the master bedroom closet. I'd love to do something fancy from The Container Store, but we'll probably end up doing it ourselves. 
Add hardware to the garage door. It's like make up. It makes a huge difference on the front of a house. I like the house numbers on this one, but I'm not sure if the house will already have the numbers on it near the front door. We also need to add light fixtures on either side of the garage door. 
Install board and batten in the hallways, possibly the foyer. I definitely want hooks somewhere. Probably in the hall by the garage door and the laundry room. Perfect for hanging up wet towels and bathing suits, back packs, lunch boxes, etc. 
Frame out interior windows. This will make a huge difference, especially on those huge living room windows. This seems like a labor intensive project but hopefully not terribly difficult. 
Paint patio ceiling. In the South all the porch ceilings are "haint" blue. I can't do it on my front porch, I'm sure, because of HOA rules, but there should be no problem with my back patio. A little bit of home. 
Connect garage door to automatic remote. No freaking way we're opening and closing manually every day. This is item #1 on my list. 
Add "screen door" to garage. Not sure if you can do this with an automatic door; will have to check with Hubs. This would be great to have if Squish wants to ride around in the empty garage on a rainy day. Or if we're working in the garage on a summer day. Mosquitoes are no joke here, y'all. 
Insulate garage door. Seriously. This heat is unbearable. I want a garage I can breathe in. 
Replace or frame the bathroom mirrors. I hate those terrible unframed stock mirrors. So tacky. This will have to go hand in hand with repainting so we don't have weird patches. 
{via}Actually, I love these cabinets for the master bath. 
Build shelving in toilet closet in master bathroom. Extra storage is always needed. Always. 
Install built-ins on the main wall in the living room. Our main wall is way to long for this, so I'm not sure how it would work. Centered maybe? Or maybe on the short wall. It will depend also on where we want the TV. 
Paint garage-to-house door. I'm obsessed with dutch doors. I don't know if it would be necessary on the garage door... I guess it depends on how often we really plan on spending time in there. (And whether or not the insulation works!) I really like bright doors. I know I couldn't get Bryan on board with painting the front door a fun color, but this side door should be just fine. 
Install storage shelving in garage. This DIY project is a MUST. For a little house, we need our storage areas to really pack a punch. We want to be able to park both vehicles in the garage, so the storage has to be planned carefully. 
Plant trees along our side fence line. 
I love crepe myrtles! 
Install kitchen cabinet hardware. I haven't looked at these much, but I have a general idea of what I like. No knobs. 
Build patio "wall" seating. We love to entertain so we definitely want extra seating for parties. 
That's just the home improvement stuff, y'all! I have big dreams. There is also a ton of decor stuff that needs done. We have almost no furniture and have put zero money into decor while we've been married/living in apartments.

Build a kitchen table. 
Buy chairs for the kitchen table. 
Build/buy master bedroom furniture. 
Buy new living room furniture. 
Decorate little Squish's room.
^^^^Just the first things on the list!

Phew. That's going to be a lot of work and a lot of money. And it may not all get done! We may move out of there before we get anywhere close to finishing the list.

I can't wait to make our house a home. When we do sell it and move on, I want the people who see it to think "wow, they LOVED this home."

1 comment

  1. What lovely ideas! I bet you are gonna make your home a DIY masterpiece!


Be kind. I'm just a mom behind a computer wearing yoga pants with unwashed hair. -k