We've had threads on household disasters, and weird things seen while house-hunting, so this is a bit of a spin-off, I suppose.
So this is a thread to tell or show what you've done, what you would like to do, what worked, what didn't, what have you learned, what would you do differently.
As a background, I bought Chez Backwater about 4 years ago. It is a removal house - an old farmhouse or two that has been moved to the site from where it/they originally were built. I suspect it was two houses because it's quite large and had a very unusual layout when I bought it.
The house has great 'bones' - solid foundation, high ceilings, big rooms, hardwood flooring, and incredibly large structural timbers. It's weatherboard with a tin roof, par for this area. But good deity, it was in a state when I bought it. Poor electrics, worn (to the point of threadbare and holed) carpet, a damp problem from leaking appliances, an eyeball searing colour scheme, and that wacky layout. The kitchen was minute, but it was in the corner of a very large room, hemmed in by a ? mudroom. Two tiny cupboards and a dangerous looking stove. The bathroom was a nook in the wall, just a tub with shower. The toilet looked like a bowling alley, it was so long. And you had to walk through the 'bathroom' to get to the toilet.
There were three doors to the front deck, and one to the back veranda, but the back veranda had no exit. The wallpaper that was in place was torn, partially stripped, and outdated. The light fittings that worked were in places hanging by wires, and looked very dangerous. Many windows were cracked or broken, there were holes in nearly every wall (usually behind doors - looked like the doors had swung and the knobs crashed into the drywall), and when I went to strip wallpaper in the master bedroom I found the original 'drywall' was actually lathe and horsehair plaster, which was starting to rot.
Before pix - https://picasaweb.google.com/jayendee/MyHouseBefore
I hired a builder to make the structural changes, which were to close up two doors on the front deck, add a set of stairs to the rear veranda, demolish the mud room, open the toilet into the laundry behind it to create a new bathroom, close off the door to the laundry (which backed onto the mudroom and kitchen area), re-drywall two of the three bedrooms and install the new bathroom suite and laundry tub. An electrician repaired and replaced the wiring, and installed all new light fittings throughout, and bless him, he helped me lift the bench-top onto the kitchen cupboards when I couldn't lift it alone. He also fitted the kitchen appliances and the light panels under the kitchen overhead cupboards. I also had one of the wood heaters replaced.
I did all the internal painting, stripped all the original floor coverings, tiled the bathroom, installed the new kitchen and tiled the splash back. I've also partially reinstalled the deck from when the builder removed some of the wood to install gas pipes. I've also polished one room's floorboards, and still have all the rest to do.
In the past 12 months I've built a three-car garage, had the driveway graded and resurfaced, dog-proofed the fence, replaced the old potbelly stove in the kitchen with another wood heater, installed an antenna for the TVs and had wiring put in for the living room and two largest bedrooms, and had solar panels installed. Oh, and installed window screens, screen doors and cat/dog flaps, and put in an air conditioner. And had all the broken glass replaced. Phew...
I still need to finally polish the floors (the house is fully furnished now, so it's going to be a room by room job and I'm dreading it) and get the outside repainted. I should also replace or reinforce the door locks - they're really old fashioned and not that secure, and the deadbolt in the back door I don't even have a key for! I need to strip and repair the windows - many are painted shut. I also need to draft-proof around the window and door frames.
So while it isn't a palace, it's a home. Messy, comfortable, lived in and with a bit more work to do.
What worked - the corner spa tub with two shower heads - one fixed, one hand held. The glass bifold screens fold back totally when taking a bath, and despite a gap between them, there's little splash onto the floor.
The kitchen - it's a huge open space now, with modern appliances and a shiny new wood heater. There's room for a dining table and chairs for 6 - usually it's against the wall, but I do pull it out when guests arrive. There is space also for my old-fashioned dresser with the collection of pretty glass and china, and a second fridge and deep freezer.
The lounge room and bedrooms - they're welcome, bright and comfortable. The office - second living area - which is enormous. I have an enormous computer desk, my sewing cabinet, book shelves and a giant wall unit with my coloured glass collection.
What hasn't worked so well - probably my tiling efforts! The tiles look great and are in place, but the grout has crumbled - note to self, don't grout when it's the hottest day of the year. I've got to replace a couple of cracked tiles and regrout the bathroom and laundry floors.
I've learned to paint, to tile, to assemble and install a kitchen, basic repairs to walls, and floor polishing. Not bad for an old gal!
I need to take more pix - it's looking way different now!
So, Ehellions, what have you done or want to do on the home renovation front?