I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks. But I guess that means things are happening. I’m finding that ‘home renovation’ sure is a broad term and that I really underestimated being able to keep this blog updated while being in the middle of the project, and doing real estate full time.

I’ll use that as a plug. If you ever need anything real estate-related, please let me know! I’d love to help you if you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just have questions!

the small things that make a big difference…

One of the small things we did that made a huge difference was change out all of the receptacles and cover plates. I figured this was pretty simple task, but also didn’t wan’t to get electrocuted. Jason Sorensen with Livey Electric was a big help. I asked him if he would show me how to do it and he was great at showing me the ropes. I’m by no means a pro, but I definitely learned a lot of basics from him. This is definitely a cheap DIY home renovation or improvement project. It really does make a huge difference when you see them all changed out.

Thanks to my handyman, Tim. We were able to get the trim finished upstairs. Pretty much for everything that -I know how I want it to look, but don’t know how to make it look like that…- Tim has been there with an answer.

It’s been a balance trying to make things new, and keep the old. It’s not all perfect, but that’s okay. I didn’t want to lose the character of the home- that’s something I’ve loved about it from the beginning. One of the ways I helped to do that was by keeping the existing floor registers. I took them to J & J Performance Powder Coating in Carlock, IL and had them sandblasted. Talk about a night and day difference! For a total of $90. The service was great and it was a fast turn around.

Before and after sand blasting. Next they’ll be primed and painted.

the big things that make a big difference…

One of the bigger things…we got all of the hard surface flooring done (carpet will come at the very end)! Tim Stoller with Stoller Flooring did a great job. I was torn on going with a high end laminate or the engineered hardwood for the flooring. Because it’s an older house the floors aren’t all level. Laminate is a free floating floor where as hardwood you have to nail down. Nailing it down shows more imperfections than the free floating. Tim is the one who explained all of this to me. But my mind was pretty much made up that I wanted hard wood….so surprise, surprise, I went with the hard wood.

Now that it’s all said and done, I’m glad I went that route. The floors look great (I love them). You can see some of the imperfections, but it’s worth the trade off in my opinion. I was able to get the hardwood from Carpet Weaver’s in Bloomington for about $2.50/sqft. I’ve worked with Robyn Berry there in the past and that’s who I worked with this time around also. She was extremely accommodating to what I was needing and great to work with.

I got the tile for the bathroom at Lowe’s. I was able to get the tile for .49/sqft. They were having a good sale at the time I went. The tile and grout were a whopping $36.

Another big thing was that we got the cabinets delivered! They’re in the process of being hung, and the granite will be in next week!!

And last but not least…Bear and I wondering what in the hell we are doing. I would say we’re in full ‘home renovation’ swing with no signs of slowing down (I don’t know if that’s good or bad).