Home Renovations – The Plan…

As I mentioned in my last post, we have big plans for renovating the inside of our house.  I discussed what we have done so far, mostly to the exterior of the house, and so now I will go over some of what we have planned for the inside.  Although, it may take us years to actually get it all done…  Jordann at My Alternate Life did a similar post when they bought their house this past summer, so I’ll follow a similar format…

The Main Floor

Our house is a classic 1950s home for our area.  There are so many of them around, that the layout is super familiar (and when we were house hunting, we went through a bunch with similar floor plans).  Here is the floor plan of the main floor of house as it was advertised when we bought it:


And just for fun, I also found some of the photos that were used for the listing… So you’ll be able to see how we have updated things so far (by doing next to nothing).

Living Room

This lovely dark photo is from the listing, but honestly we haven’t done much to update the living room yet… We updated the curtains and put in our own furniture, but we didn’t even paint over the A&W colour scheme yet.

Living Room – Before

The plan for the living room is pretty simple:

  • add gas fireplace
  • update the fireplace surround and mantle, maybe with some built-in shelves
  • fresh paint

Dining Room

Another shot from the listing here.  We have removed the chandelier and replaced it with a more modern light fixture, and we have replaced the curtains, but other than that, this room has remained unchanged.

Dining Room – Before

The plan for the dining room is tied in to the kitchen and eating area (removing walls), but the area itself is just fine, it just needs a new paint job.

Kitchen & Eating Area

This is where the big changes are going to take place…  Other than taking down some window coverings and replacing the dishwasher, we haven’t done any changes in here yet.

But this room is going to be a complete gut job.  We want to:

  • take down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room
  • which would require moving the stove… So we want to put that where the fridge is currently
  • and then move the fridge over to the other side where all my baking stuff is stored currently
  • But I should be able to store that in the new pantry we are going to make because we have removed the furnace and no longer need the chimney that is running up through the kitchen.
  • get all new cabinets and remove the bulkheads from above the current cabinets
  • new sink and countertop
  • and new flooring
  • and new paint

We updated the eating area with cute and colourful curtains, but that’s about it… Oh and removed the vertical blinds from the sliding door.

Eating Area – Before

For this one, I want to take out the wall between this area and the dining room as well, to basically make a giant single dining area.  However, my husband isn’t totally on board with that… I’m working on him.  But if we do take out that wall, then we’ll also want to try and push out the eating area wall to match the dining room exterior wall.  Not totally sure we can do that yet, but we are working on the plans and checking with the municipality to see if we need to get variances on the bylaws.


I’ve shown photos of my bathroom before when I did decluttering projects, so you know that it hasn’t changed much from this old photo:

Bathroom – Before

To do in the bathroom:

  • take everything out
  • remove excess storage and counter that we don’t need
  • rearrange to allow for bigger bathtub
  • if it can work, we’d like a separate shower from the tub, but not totally sure the layout can make that all fit without being cramped.


The master bedroom is pretty much fine.  The only thing we have done so far is replace the light fixture with a modern one that was not a “fancy” chandelier.  We want to:

  • update the electrical in the room and add a couple new plugs.
  • get new window coverings
  • freshen up the paint
  • plus, if we can, we’d like to open up the closet opening a bit because there are hidden inside parts that make it difficult to get in to see everything (especially when two people are getting ready at the same time in the morning).


Master Bedroom – Before

In the bedroom that my step daughter currently uses when she is living with us, we pretty much want to gut it.  The walls are wood paneling covered in wall paper, and the ceiling is very ugly ceiling tiles.  Plus, we are pretty sure that there isn’t much in the way of insulation behind the walls…  So we want to:

  • pull down the walls and ceiling
  • take the opportunity to insulate properly
  • update the electrical to the room as well
  • rip up the carpet and hopefully clean up the hardwood that “should” be underneath
  • and we want to make her closet less “creepy” because it is a basic dark plywood filled closet.


Step-Daughter’s Bedroom – Before

The other bedroom is now what we use as our office.  Or sometimes it is called the “cat room” because this is where the cat tower lives.  You’ve seen this room before when I did my decluttering…  In any case, this room is basically going to be the same updates as with my step-daughter’s bedroom since it is pretty much identical, though smaller.

  • pull down the walls and ceiling
  • take the opportunity to insulate properly
  • update the electrical
  • rip up the carpet and hopefully clean up the hardwood that “should” be underneath
  • and, eventually, I want to have some nice big built-in shelves and cabinets to store all my fun craft supplies, and have a nice desk for a computer, but first we just want to get the basics of the room done


Office – Before

Other Areas

Front Hall:

  • new door & better storage.

Back Stairway:

  • open & add window (raise ceiling)

The Basement

Honestly, I know we won’t be getting to the basement for a while because we don’t want to tackle it until the main floor is done, but because we are going through everything, might as well include the basement in this post.

So, here’s the “before” basement floor plan:


I mentioned that we got rid of the furnace and the oil tank, so that’s opened up both the garage and the hallway area, but other than that we haven’t done anything down there, other than fill it up with stuff junk important keepsakes.

Family Room

Oh, the plans we have for this man-cave in the basement.  I would like to make it my own personal sports pub, and I will call it the grumpy cat, in honour of my big cat Casper.  (He’s a bit of a crank these days…)  Ideally we would get a bar down here, and expand this room to take over the storage area that is outside of it.

Family Room – Before

But the basic to do list is:

  • gut completely
  • expand to take over more of the basement
  • add proper sub-flooring to warm up the room
  • insulate walls
  • put in new window (upstairs windows have been replaced, but not the basement ones)

Basement Bedroom

The dungeon bedroom, as we call it…  If you look on the floor plan, you’ll see this little nook that is in between the bedroom and the bathroom in the basement.  I have no idea why the bedroom was made that small and didn’t include the second window.  The window lets in so much light, so we are going to:

  • expand the bedroom to include that window
  • get rid of the wood paneling
  • replace both windows
  • and then redo it to make it warm and bright, instead of cold and dark.

Pretty basic there.  The idea is that eventually my step-daughter might rather be in the basement away from us on the main floor, so we want to make the bedroom and bathroom nice down there for her.  Or, if she wants to stay on the main floor, it will be a nice guest area for any visitors that we might have.

Basement Bedroom – Before

Basement Bathroom

This is the best I could d for a photo of the basement bathroom, but it is a basic gut & re-do.  The space is large, but it is cold and dark.

  • heated tile floors,
  • new shower and toilet
  • update the vanity
  • and put in a pocket door to keep it from blocking the hallway


Basement Bathroom – Before


This room isn’t currently even a finished room, so it isn’t exactly the nicest place to spend any time sorting or folding.  I’d like to finish it and update it to include a bunch of storage, especially if we are losing a bunch of storage in other places in the basement (of course, if I could get around to finishing all my decluttering projects I might not need as much storage…)

  • add flooring and walls
  • add pocket door to be able to close it off
  • replace wash basin with cabinets and sink
  • add storage cabinets
  • add built-in drying racks for clothing


Laundry Room – Before

Garage & Storage

Our garage is quite a lot longer than we would ever really need, so we have put our heat pump air handler inside the back corner of the garage with the plan to close that in and make a separate space for storage and the heat pump, while still maintaining enough room in the garage for a car.

  • close off back portion of garage for storage area
  • properly insulate and vapour barrier the garage from the rest of the house
  • new garage door (current one is dented and does nothing to keep cold air out).
  • finish walls and add shelving and storage
  • create hockey gear storage and drying area (that can be closed off from the cats)


So there you have it, the renovation plans…  It’s a lot to tackle, but we should be able to do it in stages… And hopefully we get started on it pretty quickly in the new year.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas that maybe we have missed that we should add?


10 thoughts on “Home Renovations – The Plan…

    • Thanks, I think we will need the luck… You never know what you’ll find when you open up the walls…
      I have never thought of having a safe… I don’t really feel like I have anything worth protecting to that degree, but I’ll bring it up with my husband and see how he feels. Thanks for the idea!


  1. This is exciting! I wish we could get rid of our furnace and chimney! It is in the 2017 goal to get a new furnace, so that’s exciting. The one we have now is a monster so the new one should be lots smaller too.

    I also want to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and I also have a kitchen nook/breakfast area! We aren’t going to be doing major renovations with that though.

    I have home renovation goals too which I was going to put on the 2017 goal list but I decided the Furnace and AC was most important and could save us money whereas the little cheap things I want to do will only help us enjoy the home more and help us stay in it longer.

    Here’s what I want to do in the bathroom: new bathroom sink and vanity in the bathroom, take out cupboards in the bathroom and install an actual linen closet, get a new bathtub/shower unit, take out in-the-wall medicine cabinet, cover the hole, hang mirror and change the lighting.
    In the kitchen I want to: replace floor with Home Depot laminate tile and new dishwasher and new sink with a garbage disposal.

    Can’t wait to watch your progress!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Getting the furnace and AC done is probably smart. We started with the boring stuff like the furnace and the roof, but now that is all done we can play with the fun and exciting stuff. Sounds like you have quite a few ideas of renovations to do. Hopefully you can save up and do them once you start saving with the new furnace and AC!


  2. We have a similar house of similar vintage (1962), now completely updated. You should plan on replacing all the plumbing and electrical you can reach (when walls are stripped bare), including the water line that services the house from the street. Also, when the basement is to the bare wall/foundation, consider doing an earthquake retrofit. Houses built before the 1970’s are not fastened to their foundations. We also had insulation blown into the walls (from the outside/siding), as our house was built without any, since we also live in the Pacific Northwest and the temperate climate was considered fine. It made a huge difference on the comfort level of the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for all the tips. I know that we are planning on insulating the walls for sure. And most electrical/plumbing will definitely be updated. But I didn’t know about the earthquake retrofit. I will bring that up with our contractor.


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