The To Do list…

Here is the To Do List – presented as if it were a house tour…

Yard –


  • Redo front flower bed – It is stacked river rock right now.  I like it.  The problem is that grass grows between the rocks and makes it hard to keep it looking decent. Tad proposed a decorative concrete type of bed container created with an architectural form liner.  I am contemplating this idea.
  • Redo front & side brick borders – I put in a flat brick border between the grass and flower beds years ago.  Now the bricks are not so flat.  The bricks don’t really work with the rest of landscaping now either – the bricks seem frumpy?  We are thinking about doing a cut stone border set in a mortar base (my preference) or a poured concrete border (Tad’s preference).
  • Fence decor – We have a basic builder type fence along our north side property line.  We stained the posts and rails a dark color and the pickets a lighter color.  It looks pretty good, but I feel like it still needs something artsy.
  • Replace mulch with ground cover on the north side.  I need something that is shade toleratant.
  • Reroute roof drainage from the NE corner of house – Right now, the roof drainage on the northeast side of the house dumps right into the edible garden path.  It flows downhill into the street taking with it dirt, mulch and such.  I would like to reroute the water to the aspen trees and other landscape.
  • Resod or reseed front lawn – The small front lawn is so bumpy that it is hard to walk on it without twisting an ankle.

Front porch –


  • New welcome mat.
  • Refinish house number plaque – Tad made our house number plaque many years ago.  It is still good.  Due to years of weathering, it just needs to be refinished.
  • Convert side window panes to windows that can open – I think Tad’s preference is that we remove the side window grids all together.  I like the little extra protection it provides from the wind, rain, and blowing snow.

Main level reconfiguration of the entryway, living room, dining room, master bedroom, guest room, guest bathroom)

Scan 13

Scan 14

  • New ceiling joists
  • New ceiling
  • New walls
  • Move some walls
  • New and improved insulation
  • New doors
  • New paint
  • New flooring
  • Recessed lighting
  • Some new woodwork
  • Fix any cracks along the exterior walls

In addition to all these structural changes, there are some room specific things that we would like to do.

Entryway –


  • Refinish front door – Our front door is the original door – we think (our neighbor has one just like it).  It is a solid wood door so I would like to keep it.  The problem is that some of the veneer is peeling off and the previous owner’s dogs damaged an entire panel on the inside below the window.
  • Accent wall – I think a feature wall would be great to add interest in this small area.
  • Maybe a new light fixture – We installed the current light fixture when we first moved in a long time ago.   It is a bit out of place in that it doesn’t really go with the rest of the house.  The style is antique like, slightly haunted house looking, and almost gaudy.  That is why I like it.  That is why Tad doesn’t like it.
  • New furniture – After the main level configuration, there will be a door to the guest bathroom from the entryway so the current furniture pieces won’t work.  It may be that no furniture will go back there – we will have to see.

Living room


  • Ceiling treatment or beams – You can’t see our current ceiling treatment in this photo, but it is unfinished – and has been unfinished for 10ish years – and at this point, will never be finished.  We have beams in our kitchen and we love the look.   We are wanting to do something similar once we renovate the living room.
  • Consider a new furniture layout/space plan – Our living room is long and skinny with a fireplace on one wall and the only TV wall being opposite the fireplace wall.  It is awkward.
  • New furniture – We recently got a new sofa and side chair (the one on the left in the photo).  We are wanting to replace the brown leather club chair with something less bulky.  I also want  to get rid of  the table under the window (don’t tell Tad – he refinished this table is his youth and he loves it). Finally, I want to eliminate the side table next to the sofa and get a sofa table for behind the sofa or a coffee table depending on the layout we decide on.
  • New area rug – Style and size will evolve as we decide on the layout, paint color, and feel we are going for.
  • Fun pillows – this is an ongoing endeavor for me.

Dining room


  • Ceiling treatment or beams – The dining room is between the living room and kitchen.  As discussed with the living room, we love our kitchen beams so would like to possibly do something similar in the adjacent dining room.
  • Window treatments – It has been 15 plus years and still no window treatments.  Good news though – I measured and ordered honeycomb shades today!
  • Tuck point exposed brick wall.
  • New light fixture – We installed this light fixture 15 years ago.  Tad still likes it and wants to keep it.  I like it but am wondering if there is something out there that I might like better?
  • New sideboard – We have a tall, skinny cabinet in the space right now.  Both Tad and I are thinking a lower longer furniture piece might better fit our future renovated space.

Guest bathroom


  • Relocate – Tad doesn’t like that there are bathroom things going on a few feet from the dining room.  With our main level reconfiguration, we hope to move the bathroom to the front of the house – far away from the dining room.
  • Everything a new bathroom needs – new plumbing, new electrical, new fixtures, new vanity, new tile, etc.

Guest bedroom



  • New closet – The future guest room is currently the master bedroom.  The current closet for this room will become the new bathroom. A new closet will be built in a different location.
  • Window treatments.

Master bedroom


  • Eliminate hallway – Our future master bedroom is currently an empty room waiting for a reno to happen.  The new plans call for elimination of the small hallway so we can move the wall to enlarge this room a bit.
  • New window – We will need to replace a frosted glass window that is part of our current guest bathroom because it will become part of the new bedroom.
  • Accent wall – I would like to see large scale artwork or some sort of dramatic treatment along the wall as you enter the room.
  • Window treatments.
  • New bed and bedding – We like to upgrade to a king sized bed if possible.
  • New bedside lighting.



  • Reinforce rafters/roof timbers – The roof rafters are flimsy and some are cracked.  We hope to reinforce these before they break on their own.

Hallway, master closet, master bath


  • Radiant floor heat reconfiguration – Now that we have access to the joist space in the basement after removing a wall, we hope to get some heat in there.
  • Artwork – Looking for something in the hallway and maybe the closet.

Laundry room –


  • New washer and dryer – I am pondering energy efficient front loading appliances? 
  • Countertop over washer and dryer – If I go with front loading washer and dryer it would be great to have a countertop.  It isn’t mandatory, but for some reason I like the idea.
  • Enclosed storage – I like that the storage is easy to access by being open.  I wonder though if enclosed storage would make it feel less like a laundry room?



  • Lighting over open dish shelving – The one missing thing in an otherwise completed room.



  • Table/seating off peninsula – The current reuse of an old sofa table is functional.  Though, I am hoping for something that looks better – and made of wood (I think).
  • Light fixture or fan – I would like a light fixture by the name of The Zeppelin, but it is $4000 (so, likely that is a no go).  Plus, Tad’s suggestion of a fan might be more functional – especially in the summer, when air movement is greatly appreciated.



  • Finish main level floor supports between joists – The old ones were removed so the radiant floor tubing could be installed.  We hope to get this done in the near future.
  • Cut an opening in the metal beam for utilities – You can see we’ve got a glob of stuff at the top of the photo.  Just today we were talking about our options because this is the first step in getting things cleaned up.
  • Clean up radiant heat tubes – as mentioned above.
  • Clean up plumbing and electrical – Our goal is to get everything between joists or along the main structural beam.
  • Replace 2 temporary support posts with a single specially engineered and fabricated post.
  • Seal sewer line entry – We have had some water leaking in around the sewer pipe during heavy rains.  An outdoor drainage problem is contributing we think, but Tad also thinks that we could seal this with some sort of hydraulic stuff.
  • Finish the space – We would like to keep the space open feeling,  possibly with movable walls.  We are hoping to fit in a bathroom, sleep space, utility room, storage area, and maybe a craft room.



  • Window treatments – I measured and ordered these today!
  • Ceiling treatment – We have been talking about beadboard on the ceiling.



  • Organize yard tools and miscellaneous stuff – I hope to get everything up off the floor.
  • Insulate the place.
  • Drywall and/or some other type of wall treatment.
  • Window treatments – I am thinking shutters.
  • Bike storage.
  • Bench – We store our snow boots and garden shoes in the garage.  It would be nice to have a seat when putting on or pulling off snow boots.
  • Remote door closure – We have accidentally left the garage door open a few times.  I like the idea of being able to close the door if it is accidentally left open.  It would provide me with peace of mind.
  • Climate control – Tad would like some heat if possible.


  • Change to LED bulbs – We have started this process but LEDs are pricey.  So, a gradual changeover is in order.
  • House wide sound system.
  • Cooling – We keep debating the need for air conditioning.  Today, I am inclined to not install AC, but it is the middle of winter.  Though, ask me again during the dog days of summer.
  • Solar panels – I like the idea of being self sufficient.



  • Finish kinetic art table/plantscape – We installed this art piece last summer but it still needs a finishing detail – see that here.
  • Dining table – We got new furniture and dining chairs last summer.  I am looking to replace the round teak table with a rectangular shaped table that also better fits with the style of our new furniture.
  • Outdoor pillows.
  • Water feature – I want something small and bubbly.  Tad wants something grand and splashy.
  • Art.
  • Television – We have a cable connection.  We just need to get the TV out there.
  • Music – We hope to include the courtyard in our whole house sound system.
  • String lights – Tad likes the idea of those round cafe lights strung across the courtyard.  I like the idea too if we can find the right kind of lights.
  • Outdoor rug – Tad thinks an area rug would pull the space together.  I am kind of feeling like it would be pain to keep clean and dry.
  • Seal concrete – We ended up with exposed aggregate by accident.  It is a story for another day.  It is looking like it needs to be sealed again.
  • Fix a drainage problem off the elevated concrete patio – The entire patio drains off one corner.  I need to figure out a way to divert this drainage away from the house.

Edible Gardens


  • Contain edible garden – Right now my raised beds are just piles of dirt.  I was thinking I needed to contain the dirt within walls of something.  Then, I got a book for Christmas that has me thinking about other options.
  • Create a planting spiral – An idea from my new gardening book.


  • Fill in south side yard with edibles – I cleaned up my South Side yard and reorganized plantings here last fall.  I am hoping to add some perennial vegetables this upcoming planting season.

Potting Bench Area


  • Get rid of excess bricks – That would clean up the area nicely.  Tad wants to keep the bricks – just in case we need them in the future.  I am working on it.
  • New gate – The fence and gate are relatively new so this is not urgent.  I would like a metal, unique, artsy gate to spruce up my area.
  • Neighbor’s Garage – This might seem like an odd thing for MY To Do List.  The problem is that the garage is built on the property line and the roof overhangs onto our property.  This was discovered during the survey process when building the garage and addition.  Anyway, the garage has not been maintained at all.  The roof is constantly shedding asphalt shingle pieces and nails onto the ground of my potting bench/garden storage area – it is a mess.  The garage wall needs to be tuck pointed and painted.  I did get permission from our neighbor to tuck point and paint the garage wall – so that is on my To Do List.  We will see how long I can hold out until I ask if I can have the garage roof rebuilt and repaired.

Obviously, I need to get started on this To Do List ASAP…