A bit cloudy, but trust me, it looks pretty good.

UPDATED: From Drab to Fab–Whole Home Update for $8K In Four Months (An Introduction)

Okay so the title is lengthy, but at least you know what this series is going to be about!

This is the lovely home that will be getting a complete update/makeover/facelift for $8,000 over the next four months.  For a complete walk-through, see my Home Tour page.

The house as it was the day we bought it.
The house as it was the day we bought it.

We just found out two weeks ago that we are moving to Germany in four months. While we are super excited (well I am anyway) we are not so thrilled about the short notice. Though we moved into our home 4.5 years ago, there is still so much to do around the house in order to bring top dollar as a rental.

What we’ve done so far:

  • Painted the porch

  • Painted the 3 bedrooms

  • Painted the Master Bath (en suite)

  • Painted the Basement Bathroom

  • Added a door to the office

  • Replaced the bi-fold shutter doors that house the utilities because they were falling off the rails constantly.

  • Painted the Office (needs to be redone though)

  • Replaced the carpet on the stairs

  • Replaced the carpet in the 3 bedrooms

  • Changed the front landscaping

  • Replaced ALL of the kitchen appliances.

There is still so much to do, that I really don’t know where to begin.

So I guess I will begin at the front. Here is what it looks like now.

A bit cloudy, but trust me, it looks pretty good.

What is left to do in the front of the house:

  • Paint or replace the light fixtures *Completed 8/2013

  • Seal cracks in driveway*Completed 8/2013

  • Seal the Fence *Completed 8/2013

I guess the next stop is the entry.  After we walk up the beautiful front porch, we arrive at the ugly  front door.  We need a new one. But that’s NOT in the budget–so it is going to be painted. Ever paint a metal front door? We haven’t.

Once you make it past the boring front door you arrive in what is supposed to be the entry.  It’s basically a hallway.

The living room and dining room are basically blank canvases at the moment, but need to look like they are lived in and enjoyable spaces for walk-throughs of potential renters.  I’ve always wanted these joined spaces to have a modern glam design.

What’s left to do in the living and dining rooms:

  • Window treatment in the living room to match the dining room (I have them–they are in my to-do box) *8/11/13

  • Mount floating shelves (also sitting in my to-do box) Changed my mind about those. Might revisit them later in a different room. (8/11/2013)

  • Replace switch plates (that have been sitting in my to-do box for a year)–yeah I’m NOT a procrastinator *Completed 8/201o

  • Finish my Large art project and mount it Pointless–no time and we were MOVING!

  • Move furniture around

  • Hang mirror and wall sconces (just finished painting them last week) *8/11/13

  • Paint Ceiling fan (got to hide that brass) *09/2013

  • Paint the entryway chandelier and move it to dining room buy new light fixtures & install in dining room and entry

  • Mount pendant in entryway* Completed 9/2013

  • Finish my vintage trunk/coffee table project (it will be in the living room)

  • Refinish the wood floors  Paid the manager’s handy man to wax and buff. *1/2014

  • Re-caulk the windows *10/2013

It seems like a lot, but it’s all mostly little things that can be done in a week (maybe 1.5 weeks–except for the floors)

This is the Olioboard that I finished about two months ago for the formal living area.

OB-Modern Glam Liv Room

What NEEDS to be done in the Kitchen (the bulk of the budget):

  • Replace the Ugly and horrid Fluorescent light fixture *Completed 9/2013

  • Replace the ceiling fan light globes (my son broke one and I can’t find a match) *Completed 9/2013

  • Replace the countertops *Completed 11/2013

  • Replace the hideous sink and faucet *Completed 11/2013

  • Paint the upper cabinets and line with shelf paper (The color is Toasted Oatmeal)* Completed 11/2013

  • Stain the lower cabinets and line with shelf paper (Espresso stain so that the black appliances don’t look out-of-place) Painted them instead. *Completed 11/2013

  • Paint or replace all the cabinet hardware–brass just doesn’t look right *Completed 11/2013

  • Refinish the wood floors Does a wax and a buff count? Paid the manager’s handy man to do this. *1/2014

  • Move the spare dining table to the “eat-in area” Didn’t bother with this one.

  • Re-caulk the windows *10/2013

That sums up the main level of the home.

What needs to be done in the Family Room:

  • Replace carpet with either Laminate flooring or tile We tiled the entire 340 sq ft ourselves *Completed 1/3/2014

  • Paint the entire room *Completed 12/2013

  • Paint the floorboards Paid the manager’s handy man to do this with the paint we had purchased. *01/2014

  • Update the coat hooks next to the garage door–the brass HAS to GO! Painted them with Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Paint *08/2013

  • Replace the french doors with a sliding door Again–I was a bit too ambitious. Perhaps next year we will do this.

  • The Following Items did NOT get done because they were pointless–we were moving after all!

  • Rearrange furniture
    Add art or photos to the walls

And once again, here is another design board that I finished about two months ago for the family room–but this isn’t happening anytime soon.

Modern Chic Living Room
Modern Chic Living Room

What needs to be done in the Basement:

  • Replace the carpet with either vinyl, laminate, or carpet–the jury is still out on this one We had the carpet replaced *Completed 09/2013

  • Fix the laminate tile in the laundry room *completed 12/2013

  • Paint the laundry room Completed 11/2013

  • Re-caulk the shower *Completed 12/2013

  • Replace the fluorescent light fixture in the laundry area *09/2013

  • The Following Items did not get completed due to time constraints.

  • Paint the vanity
    Paint or replace the medicine cabinet
    Paint or update the light fixture above the vanity
    Re-paint the office
    Replace the blinds (3 windows)

  • Find out why the water softener doesn’t work properly–and fix it *09/2013

  • Paint or refinish the bathroom/laundry room door *09/2013

  • Finally turn it into the “teen” hangout–it will give renters an idea of what to use the space for  Didn’t bother with this because we had so little time–plus we were moving anyway!

This is the floor plan of how I envisioned the space–just before we got our marching orders to Germany from the Army. We have all of the furniture–I just need to put it all in place.

The Basement Teen Hangout Plan
The Basement Teen Hangout Plan

Here’s the design board that I finished–last month.

Teen Hangout Design Board
Teen Hangout Design Board

What needs to be done on the upper level–2 bedrooms 1 bath and the master suite:

  • Re-paint the kids bath *10/2013

  • Re-grout the kids shower/tub combo *10/2013

  • Replace the vinyl floor (I have laminate tiles in my to-do box)  *11/2013

  • Re-caulk the tub/shower *11/2013

  • Paint the vanity *10/2013

  • Paint the door *10/2013

  • Replace old faucet *10/2013

  • Mount new towel rods–or use hooks Changed our minds on this–there is nothing wrong with the ones already installed.

  • Clean out drain elbow–it drains REALLY slowly Did this while we re-surfaced the countertop *11/2013

  • Repaint the hallway *10/2013

  • Fix the broken tile in master shower *09/2013

  • Re-grout and caulk the Master shower and tub *09/2013

  • Replace faucets ended up replacing 4 faucets total *11/2013

  • Seal one of the sinks–the bowl leak underneath We replaced both sinks in the Master bathroom. *10/2013

  • Replace toilet wax ring in both bathrooms (the one in the basement was done recently) *12/2013 We also replaced the flooring in the kids bath and resurfaced the shower pan in the master bath and basement.

Want to do in the Garage–*if time and budget allows:

  • Paint the dingy walls *We opted out of this and scrubbed them down instead–after all it is JUST a garage!

  • Stain and Seal the garage floor *Not enough time or money–I did get a little ambitious with this list.

  • Replace utility sink & faucet  *10/2013

  • Replace the Garage door openers (one doesn’t even work, and the second one is hit & miss) *09/2013

  • Replace garage lighting–they keep burning bulbs *09/2013

Must do in the backyard:

  • Gravel 2 foot wide area around the fence line  *09/2013

  • Fix fence post *09/2013

  • Get rid of two aluminum (leaky) sheds *09/2013

  • Add topsoil over sand  *We have to hire someone to do this when Colorado finally gets spring weather

  • Spread grass seed and cover for winter (If all else fails, we can spend $ next spring to HIRE a landscaper to do this) *Hiring a landscaper whenever Spring finally arrives in Co.

So that’s the list.  All in 4 months and on an $8,000 budget! Will we make it? Or will we BUST?

Hope you will enjoy this real-time series.

Stay tuned for the first post where I will share my progress in the formal living and dining rooms.

Do you have any crunch time/low-budget makeover stories to share? I’d love to hear them (or read them as is the case here).

4 thoughts on “UPDATED: From Drab to Fab–Whole Home Update for $8K In Four Months (An Introduction)”

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