A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

2014 Goals and Wish List

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year! Ours was quiet and quite snowy: we’re up to at least 10″ or more which started on New Year’s Eve, with another 3-8″ on the way today.

We started off the year yesterday by installing a TV mount for our flat screen. I want to build a small shelving/drawer unit to hang on the wall below it to house our remaining few electronics, like the DVD player (which we rarely use these days), wireless router, and Apple TV. We recently bought a sound bar since our surround sound was analog and old and got rid of cable several months ago. There are a couple things I miss from cable TV but I don’t miss them enough to justify that exorbitant monthly bill!

Now that an electronics shelf unit is our first project of the year, here we go with the remaining Great Bungalow Project Goals of 2014, starting with the leftover projects from 2013:

  • Install glass in laundry room door panels and paint door
  • Wash windows (they need it!)
  • Re-install shoe moulding throughout main floor
  • Apply second coat of varnish to kitchen baseboard trim

I’ll add a few other minor projects:

  • Repaint master bath (I wanted gray but the “gray” I originally chose has too much blue in it)
  • Refinish woodwork in two remaining first-floor closets
  • Repair plaster walls and paint above closets, plus repair/paint central hallway

This year I’m going to put the first-floor bathroom remodel high on my goal list. It was one of the first projects I really wanted to do in the house, and now we’re going on 7 years and it’s still not done! I crunched the numbers last year and since we won’t be replacing the sink, toilet or tub I think it’s totally doable.

I’m also going to put the fireplace demo/remodel high on the list as long as we’d need a dumpster for the bathroom demo. I’ve agonized over what to do with that monster, but my latest thought is to: a) get rid of the stone veneer (that has ALWAYS been #1 on the list); b) remove the hearth; c) lower the firebox and move it to the left, closer to the dining room entryway (making it more visible to the dining room as well as creating more usable space in the living room); d) add a tile surround, a simple mantel, drywall/paint the rest, and; e) add built-in bookshelves in the remaining shallow recessed area to the right of the fireplace.

I don’t really care if all of that gets done this year. I’d be happy with just the stone gone, and I would be happy simply hanging a tarp in front of it until we do the rest.

One thing we really must do this year is repair or replace the gutters and add more/bigger downspouts. The existing gutters leak at the seams pretty badly, especially over the dining room windows, and there are only two downspouts at the back of the house. Both are the smaller square-shaped ones instead of the bigger rectangular ones, and they can’t handle the rainfall. Pete also wants to add some kind of gutter guard because the damn maple tree clogs the gutters, especially with those whirlybird seeds (frankly, I’m not convinced that any gutter guard will prevent clogs from those maple seeds).

If we’re going to replace the gutters, I’d want to change the color of the aluminum from white to probably taupe to match the upstairs windows (specifically Cashmere according to Marvin Windows). I was researching DIY gutter installation and it doesn’t seem too difficult. There are also local companies who can provide seamless gutters on-site with a range of colors (unlike the big-box stores who have only brown or white and aren’t seamless), so I guess we’ll have to get some pricing and see if it’s doable to replace.

Of course if we replace them I’d love to remove the white aluminum soffit and see how the original bead board looks underneath. According to the PO there was nothing wrong with it…but who really knows until we tear it out. Of course Pete’s pretty much against doing that, so no use arguing until we figure out what we’re going to do about the gutters.

Some other things on the wish list (that are likely not going to get accomplished or are low priority):

  • Expansion of the porch into a small deck which leads to the garage and gravel patio (and eventually enclosing the existing porch up to the house eaves into a mudroom)
  • Reshingle the garage roof to match the house
  • Wood storm door for front door
  • Strip and repaint back door

I’m sure there’s more I can add, but I’ll try to restrain myself. Here’s to a productive 2014!

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