2013 Home Goals {WARNING: This is not pretty}

This is a post full of “before” shots. Some may even gross you out. But it is my reality. And my to-do list. And just think of how awesome the “after” shots will be :)

Oh man. I have so many projects that need to be done. They are not even “wants”. They seriously NEED to be done. We have mildew growing behind the tiles in our only working bathroom. Who ever tiled it before we moved in did not do a good job grouting and water has gotten behind there. They are bulging and I am afraid to tear it down for fear of what we will find. The sad thing is, since it is our only finished bathroom, we have to finish the basement bathroom first so we have a bathroom we can use while the upstairs tub/shower gets fixed. Uggg. Can you say expensive? And the tub is 70+ years old!!! All the outer shiny layer has long worn off and no matter how much I scrub it, it NEVER looks clean.


Before we can do the downstairs bathroom we have to address a pipe issue in the basement. We have a hole at the top bend of our sewer line. I have a rag stuffed in there for now so the horrible smell is contained. We need to have that and some other plumbing replaced.


Project #1 Have a plumber help us get the pipes replaced and fixed. I love to DIY but I also know when to call in a professional :)

Project #2 Build a wall and doorway to the bathroom, tile, and install new toilet. Then DECORATE the basement bath!


Project#3 tear out tile in shower. Rip out 70+ year old nasty tub, replace with new tub (*wishlist= acrylic claw footed tub), re-tile shower, install new tub

Project #4 Build a clubhouse for the boys. We have promised them one for a long time but the times my hubby has been laid off has always been spring or summer. It WILL happen this year!!!

If we get to this point in the list it will be a miracle. Those are not cheap projects!!! BUT just in case we win the lottery or a long lost Uncle kicks the bucket and leaves us loads of cash……..

Project #5 Tile the laundry room, fur out the walls, add wall treatment and trim, DECORATE

Project #6 Finish the “play room” slash “future master suite” which includes adding insulation, a ceiling, some electrical, furring the walls in places, boxing in duct work, adding two windows, and carpet. This one will be quite the challenge but will add so much livable square footage to our tiny home.


Project#7 Finish the fence in the backyard. My husband got laid off after we got one side done. Now that he has a job again I would love to be able to finish the other side and get them both stained so they match.

There are LOADS more things I would like to get done but it all comes down to money.  I will be super lucky to get even a portion of this list done. Maybe if we can get these things done 2014 can be the “year of the attic”.

What are your home goals for 2013? I would love to hear!

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  1. says

    I am sat here in my study being side tracked, Thought I would just have a quick blog.My house needs to go on the market due to divorce and I am so overwhelmed by the task ahead so in another way I fully understand what you are going through

  2. says

    Awesome list! I feel like there is always home stuff in our house, too.
    Instead if tile for the basement bathroom and laundry room check out allure. It’s on Home Depot’s website. It’s vinyl that is cut and laid easily but looks ,like tile. When we had our basement finished we were told it was better for basements. We love it because its not slippery. We are going to put it in our master bath and kids bath this year. My friend just put it in hers.

  3. says

    Thanks for the honest look into your ‘reality!’ I totally know what you mean about the bathrooms. Every one of them in my house is an awful sight — seriously, I just keep the door permanently shut to the basement one! Unfortunately they are also starting to break, so we really need to get on the fixing and renovating. It’s just so expensive and it seems something always comes up that prevents us from saving the money! We’d definitely like to tackle the master this year, though. Fingers crossed!

  4. says

    Stacy, I love how dark the basement is right now….it only means the transformation will be SUPER DRAMATIC! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  5. says

    We have a long list of projects that should be done on our house as well, but most of them won’t get done until we pay down some of our debt. We need to re-do the flooring in our ENTIRE house (no small expense there). We are going to tile our kitchen counter top and put in a bead board backsplash this spring. We need to completely re-do our bathroom, but I am not sure that the whole thing is in the budget. I would at least like to get the walls re-done and the floor tile in. There are a ton of smaller projects as well. And if we are shooting for the moon here, I might as well add we still have a ton of landscaping to do. :)

  6. says

    Love your honesty. That is an impressive list of projects. Sometimes we as readers get caught up thinking that your homes are perfect. It’s nice to know you have your hot spots, too.

  7. says

    We rent so no huge projects on our to do list but I do have a lot of organizing things on my list. I also have this thing i’m doing called Live Simple and i’m trying to go through every thing in my home and get rid of anything I don’t use and just let it go. I have so much stuff just cluttering my home/life simply because I might use it eventually and that just needs to go.


  8. Kim says

    I sympathize with your bathroom issue! We moved into an older home four years ago, and shortly after, noticed water leaking out into our bathroom floor (that bath had an all tiled walk in shower). We (actually, dear hubby) started tearing it out and we ended up finding mold about five feet up the wall on all sides. No telling how long it had been leaking. So we had to replace the whole area by ourselves (finances did not allow for professional!). My poor husband got a lesson in installing a tub, tiling and the whole bit. Of course, the trim is still not up…:) I don’t even want to know what is behind the tile and nasty tub in the hall bath…sigh. Good luck with your project list!

  9. says

    Love the honesty, looking forward to seeing your progress. you do terrific work! I’m mustering up the courage in my next post to show you all of my before pictures. I got depressed taking photos realizing I have NO COLOR or vignettes or anything cute going on. But I did post a gigantic view of my one room, open floor plan that I once loved so much, but now I long privacy. So…#1 finish loose straggler projects. #2. ADD COLOR. Omg. So bland. #3 Finish the man cave and guest / craft room and escape to it nightly. #4 master bath which is still bulider’s white. #5. To be satisfied once in awhile :)

  10. Kristen says

    I would have that 70+-year-old tub reglazed instead of replacing it. They just don’t make them like they used to; I’d never replace my cast iron with acrylic, but to each her own. At the very least, I’d find someone who buys and sells reclaimed furniture/fixtures. There is a market in old fixtures among historic renovators.

  11. Amanda a says

    I just bought my house in August and moved in late September. I have a huge wish list of things I would like to do to the house. But I’ll be happy if I can just get the inside painting finished this year. I’m doing it all on my own and it is EXHAUSTING!

  12. says

    I am still a fairly new follower but the little bit I have seen is Awesome. So though probably overwhelming and mountain-ness it will surely be a Labor of Love and sheer Amazingness!! Looking forward to journeying with you and your family.

  13. Jessica Sorensen says

    Hopefully none of those Uncles kick the bucket :) But good luck with all your projects, especially the bathrooms! We are renting, but the master bathroom shower tile had water behind it and was replaced last year. Big (but essential!) project. SO NICE when it’s done.

  14. Beth says

    Looks like your world is pretty much mine – but you have the playhouse issue we won’t! We’ve been slowly redoing our house, adding little moments of excitement as we go, but now I’m onto creating my Hubby a room of his own.

    The exciting part (a DIY dream) is that I’m trying to make a doorway into a hidden panel door – so it’s like a secret passageway!

    Cross your fingers for me, and I’ll do the same for you! (except when I’m wielding my drill of course :P)


  15. Hilary says

    I have the same tile issue in our main bathroom. It is bulging and a section of tile actually came crashing down into the tub. We are working as fast as our full time jobs, school and illness allow to finish the master bathroom which was stripped to wall before the walls disintegrate in the main bathroom and guest room. Ugh the water damage! Good Luck with your goals and projects.

  16. says

    I don’t even know where to start on a list, there’s so much to do and it’s so difficult to do. Two people with physical disabilities should not be on scaffolding to paint cathedral ceilings or the 12′ wall that creates, not to mention the other 3. Curtains. Decorating; held off till walls are painted. The viscous circle. Thanks for being honest and showing us you haven’t conquered all the needs in your home, but you’e done awesome stuff in others’.

  17. Pam the Goatherd says

    Thanks for showing us the ugly side! This post made me feel so much better about all the improving that my house needs. Seeing all the beautiful things that you have already completed had me thinking that you lived in a perfect world far, far away from my life. Now I can relate a lot better to your impossible to clean tub and moldy shower walls and the smelly hole in the pipe! Hubby and I redid our one and only bathroom a few years ago, so the tub is good, but shortly after we completed the reno our then 16 year old dog choose the bathroom as the best place to relieve his incontinence problem (although I was glad he chose the vinyl tiled floor instead of the carpeted living room!) and the walls and cabinets soaked up the puddles. And the bottom slowly rotted out of our washing machine which is on the other side of the bathroom wall, which meant that water seeped under the wall and under the vinyl floor to make it bubble and crack until it was completely destroyed. So much for the new floor! The dog eventually died, as did the washing machine. But we still haven’t replaced the bathroom flooring becuase the pattern was discontinued and I can’t find anything remotely close to it, or even anything that I like almost as much.
    And that’s just ONE room…

  18. says

    That is a huge to-do list but I have faith! It can be done!! =
    We have quite a bit on our to-do list too. Our problem is strictly money and time. I get so overwhelmed thinking about it. I know that I just have to to stop, think about it and realize it’s not going to happen over night. Whew.

    • says

      We aren’t getting as much back as we did last year. I had plans for it too! (Isn’t that horrible?! Making plans with money that isn’t even guaranteed!) BUT I will say that we are getting JUST ENOUGH back to cover what we needed to with the taxes. Whew.

      • says

        I know what you mean. We are getting back less than what we got last year and I THINK it’s because I got a new job that pays for my benefits. So, in a sense I saved throughout the year, but it’s just not the same. We purposefully claim 0 to make sure we get something back at the end of the year because it’s nice that it’s “unexpected”. *sigh* We will live – ha!

  19. cathy rice says

    Oh thank you for your honesty and the pictures. Made my heart happy to see I’m not alone in more projects than funds and seeing the fun of planning to make things better and Home to you! Love it! We moved into grandma’s house built in 1902 and vacant for over 15 years. Our list is very overwhelming. I get to pick up ceiling tiles this weekend…..(Have to wait until the house is lifted off the foundation so a new foundation can be built….Spring can’t come soon enough) to put the tile up. afraid the lifting will move and crack walls or ceilings? Then it’s on to the next room. Strip the wall paper repair any cracks and paint. One room at a time. Have to put in insulation, windows, exterior paint…….so we start with step 1…foundation. :)

  20. Jusa says

    I know how you feel; I have a long to do list, too. I can really relate to the bathroom tile issue. We had the same problem (also an old house). We hired a general contractor to take out the bulging tiles. Behind it was — yes — gross. The wood had gotten wet, and mildewed, and rotted. He replaced it with cement board, which is designed for this type of application. (This is where hiring a pro helps; I’d never heard of it, and wouldn’t have thought to use it.) He also put new fixtures in (also beyond our abilities); and replaced the tiles. He intended to reuse as many tiles as possible. Had I known then what I learned later, I’d have had him replace all the ones that he had to remove. The tile backs were covered with slime that was very hard to scrub off. I volunteered to do that because I could see the job was going to take forever, and we only have one bathroom. It did not seem to occur to the contractor that a several days long job would inconvenience us….I think he was taking his own sweet time to justify the amount he charged for the job. In the end, he ran out of usable tiles, and reinstalled some that were cracked. Even at a dollar a piece, I would have gladly paid to have all new put in. Cleaning them was nasty. Compared to the total bill, it wasn’t worth the little bit of money we saved reusing the tiles. Maybe you can hire a contractor to do the cement board replacement, which is a tough job, and you can relay the tiles to save money. Also, look into alternatives to the tub replacement, like refinishing it, or a tub liner. Removing a cast iron tub is quite a difficult job due to weight and size. Also, I happen to like Bon Ami cleanser, which is gentler than other brands. Oh, and I had to dig out the old grout on the tiles still in place so the contractor could regrout. (What was I paying him for?) And then I sealed the grout. It did all drag on for days. Um, can one of you take the boys camping while the other deals with the tub issue? Good luck on everything.

  21. Patty says

    I ripped out both of my bathrooms 3 1/2 years ago. They are located one above the other. All the plumbing needed redone so it make no sense but to fix them both at the same time. I live alone so no issues there. I still need to finish one of the bathrooms – mud and sand the ceiling, install Schulder products on the floor and shower walls, tile the walls floor to ceiling, tile the floor, install the vanity, light fixtures, etc. I have painting to do in several rooms, touching up trim, finishing up installing trim around several windows, getting the floors sanded then installing baseboards, replaceing the deck, and getting the fireplace inspected and repaired if needed. There is a lot on my list, but I have accomplished so much!

  22. says

    I know what you mean about never-ending projects. In our old house, we had a very old tub that I thought we would need to replace when we re-did the bathroom. I was able to get it clean (enough) with a lot of elbow grease but I also was considering hiring someone to reglaze the tub. It would probably be a lot cheaper than ripping the old tub out and replacing it. Good luck with all your projects.