Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

2020 house projects list

I always like to write a list of our goals for the year for house projects, and look back at the end of the year. This was particularly satisfying for 2019, we got so much done! (See 2019 goals and how we did.) 2020 will be a year for a bigger projects--bigger meaning more expensive, although not as many DIYs.

Warning: embarrassing progress/before photos of our house coming up!!

We will have a ton going on this year, with Jason finishing physical therapy school and taking the board exam, then starting his first professional job, plus a bunch of family stuff. There are a few smaller things we want to take care of like installing some new light fixtures, updating our stair railing, and decor, some of which we will be starting right away. But when we look ahead at the year, I see the following big projects coming up!

1. Roof

Replace the roof. We know this will be very expensive because we have a pointy, complex shaped roof and we got some preliminary quotes before buying the house. (About $18k.) We had the seller take off the cost of the roof from our purchase price, but of course we haven’t gotten around to replacing it until now. It’s not leaking, but it’s three layers and the oldest one dates prior to 1987 when the last owners bought this house. The original layer, we understand, does not have typical wood sheathing underneath it so not only will the roofers need to demo all of those old shingles, they will need to build the wood too. There may also be some gutter replacement needed.

2. Garage door

When we have the three layers of roof off the garage, we need to reinforce the header above the garage door. Our garage door used to be two doors with a middle support, but sometime someone remove that and installed a piece meal header that is failing. You can see the sag from the street and in the photo below. We stuck a 4x4 post underneath it to keep it from getting worse--real classy. We’re going to call in my contractor uncle to help with this one. The garage door is also broken, so we will have that replaced. This whole thing will be a complex process where we have the garage door guy remove the door, then we install the header, then he comes back and put the door back on. I hope this can take place over only a day or so of missing a garage door.

3. Exterior painting

Once the roof, gutters, and garage door are done, I am very excited to get the exterior of the house painted! I am debating between a dark, moody rich greeny gray, or something more cheerful and traditional like a light beige. The limitation is that we want to keep the window trim white to downplay the aluminum storm windows that we have on almost all of our windows. We are also committed to keeping the old wood windows on our historic house, but they definitely need paint to stay in good shape. This is the item I am most excited about for 2020! I can’t wait to have a freshly painted house, and of course the new roof will really help the look too!

You will note if you read our 2019 projects that these goals were on that list, too. We obviously bit off more than we could handle. Most of these are not DIY items, but it just takes a lot of coordination to deal with quotes and contractors, and of course it’s not fun to spend all that money at once. We spent a fair amount on the kitchen and bathroom in 2019, but pretty much a drop in the bucket compared to all these projects!

4. Replace fence

Another exterior, hire out project I am really excited for his replacing our fence. Our backyard is surrounded on three sides by chain-link fence with dark red metal slats (plus a mismatch cedar gate area). The fence is very old and in very bad shape, and is not fully sight-obscuring so as you walk or drive on the street, you can see through to our backyard. The fence on the street side is also only 4' high. This wasn’t obvious when we bought the house, because the entire fence (and space above it) was thoroughly covered in ivy and or other plants!! We demoed so much landscaping in fall 2018 and spring 2019 (see progress in this post and this post), now we can actually see what yard we have, and now that it’s not all covered in stuff we can see how bad the fence is.

5. Landscaping

We also really hope to finish our landscaping efforts in 2020. We made a really good start and hired out some of the demo and grading so that we had a nice flat base for grass, but we didn’t get to plant grass seed before winter came. Jason is also working on building a path or two in the backyard to connect the gazebo and side gate. We’re also moving rocks and dirt from the back to the front to create a nicer area in front of the shrubs on the front street side. But, right now our yard is entirely dirt and weeds. 

I think after living with this for so long I will feel so spoiled at the end of summer if we have a green lawn and updated exterior!!!

6. Basement

The last big project we want to do is clean up the basement. We have 1,000 SF basement which is really almost entirely empty... Christmas boxes, washer and dryer, some baby stuff. It is not really finished, although at one point someone did build some walls and a room with a lot of wooden built-in bookcases and shelves. It’s still a pretty grungy, gross basement though. We had thought about finishing it with drywall and covering up the joists in the ceiling, and making it look really nice down there--that would be expensive, but would also add to the value of our house. But, what holds me back aside from the money is that homes of this age around here were not built to withstand the type of earthquake that is now forecasted in the next 30 years and a lot of people do seismic retrofitting of their walls to their foundation with basically these brackets that you bolt through the concrete and the wood.

Simpson makes a product that several contractors around here use, or you can even do yourself if you can drill through the concrete. You install them something like every 3'. It’s a ton of work. I got quotes for $4,000-$6,000 and I think if we were going to stay in this home longer, we would do that before drywalling. But, I’d rather leave that for the next owner to do if they see fit, and not cover up the areas to do the work with drywall. (It would be so much easier in a basement like ours, where everything is exposed.)

So instead of all that, we need to just clean the basement really well, because we haven’t done that since we moved it and it’s cobwebby, and then paint the walls with that white waterproofing paint. This will also just make it feel brighter down there. I think we might also add a basic light bulb fixture or two. Then, we will be bringing in some shelving units and storing some boxes for actually a couple family members. We aren’t using our basement hardly at all so it feels great that we can help family out this way. But, we have to clean it and paint it first!

Style goals!

Well, I think those are the big things! I’ve also shared on Instagram that some of my goals for my decor for 2020 are simple but not boring, and using more antique or vintage pieces and less mass-produced stuff. I’m going estate sale-ing and to a bunch of Goodwills all in one morning with friends later this month and early next, so hope to find some treasures. I’m feeling really uninspired buy the stuff at all the big box stores. Just hope to continue decorating and making our home feel more finished and like ours.

We start planning for projects like this at the beginning of the year and block off weeks in the summer when we know we can do projects. That’s how we got our kitchen and bathroom renos done last year! So, having this list of goals, we are now able to block off the time that we think we’ll need at times that work well with others schedules like school and vacations.

Wish us luck! And thanks for following along with me in 2020!

No comments

Post a Comment


© Create / Enjoy • Theme by Maira G.