I thought I would bring you this spring 2020 house update as it’s been a bit since I did an update. We had put most of our house plans on hold for the better part of the last year due to job loss. The layoff meant that we put all plans on hold and were extremely frugal while on severance. My husband has now been back to work now for a few weeks! This means we are starting to go forward with some of our next plans for the house. Some of which are organizational projects, but others are additions to the house, landscaping projects or just general upkeep.
Spring 2020 House Update -Outside
FIrst, we had some gravel added to our driveway last week. After a couple of winters we were getting some ground down spots. It’s amazing that this gravel once washed from rain will blend in with our current gravel. The company we used was the same people who did our excavation, septic system and our driveway originally. They did a great job of spreading it and blending it all in. I doubt we will need any more gravel for at least a couple of years unless we’re just trying to expand our turn around pad.
As a side note, look what i found when I went outside to take the picture of the gravel pile! Isn’t it adorable! Instant homeschool lesson! We had a great time learning about fawns and why the mother leaves the baby during the day. I even got some video of the baby managing to take it’s first steps and walk to the mother in the middle of the night. We had a great time fawning over this little fawn all day. 🤣
While we’re talking about outside projects, we’ve been working on clearing some of the area behind our house between our backyard and our septic area. This includes trees and overgrown weeds and bushes. Our plan is to keep select trees for some shade cover, but to remove most of the rest. We will then have the ground leveled for a play area for Stephen and a fire pit area. We’ve even identified a tree or two that could be turned into a future tree house!
However during this clearing process we unknowingly cut and burned some poison ivy! Richard seems to be immune, but Stephen and I seem to be highly allergic! This stopped our progress for a while and we both needed doctor’s appointments and steroid prescriptions to get better. We are still recovering, but thankfully it is much much better.
Richard has chopped down his first couple trees though so we are making progress, just a bit slower. We’re going to need to get some heavy duty spray to kill the poison ivy before I am willing to help out in that area again. We obviously have no deadline, but the clearing, grading and play equipment we would like to have done this year.
Spring 2020 House Update -Inside
So that’s what we’ve been working on outside of the house. Inside the house we have several things we would like to get accomplished this year, but we need to get some more necessary things done first. My husband working from his home office during the pandemic meant that we’ve invested in another bookcase for him, a new bulletin board and various other technology upgrades.
As it is getting a little warmer, we are installing ceiling fans in Richard’s office and in Stephen’s bedroom. The upstairs just tends to stay a little warmer and in an effort to keep it cooler upstairs without making it too cold downstairs we’re installing fans.We had planned for this when we had the house built. We paid for reinforced junction boxes and extra switches if needed to separate the lights from the fan operation.
Ironically the fans we picked out will not need this functionality as they’re all smart devices with remotes! Still if we ever want to go back to a basic fan, the separate switches are there. We have an electrician coming by on Thursday of this week to look at installing them. We could have tried to install them ourselves, but we’ve never had good luck with fan installations let alone with these more complicated installations of the smart devices. Here are the fans we picked out for those two rooms. Remember, my son’s room is red! 🤣
The homeschool room is finally going to get a makeover as well. When we moved in we used a couple cheap cabinets, a table that used to be in our basement and random small bookcase we bought off of Amazon to furnish the room. Our printer has been sitting on the floor and stacks of books have been overflowing the small bookcase. We also had put our treadmill in the room when we couldn’t get it to fit down the stairwell to the basement and had bought an electronic piano since we moved in as well. It all added up to a cluttered mess.
Furnishing the homeschool room properly is what was next on our list when we found out that my husband was going to be laid off. We are having to wait a bit longer as Ikea deliveries are backed up. Hopefully by the end of this month I will be able to give you a glimpse of the room’s transformation. Here’s a hint, the treadmill was the first thing to get moved! We need the space!
We also reorganized and decorated the kitchen desk space, which I will share with you soon. This included buying a new task chair, putting up a cork board backsplash if you will for that nook, buying binders, desk organizers and baskets to turn the nook into a home command center. I will share a bit more in depth on this project once it is complete.
Later in 2020
These are the things we have accomplished in the last three weeks. Other projects we hope to do this year include finally getting my double barn doors for the homeschool room. These doors are seen as people come in the front door so I want them to be a certain style. Unfortunately, our builder didn’t have the style of barn door I desired. The doors will allow me to close off the homeschool room when we are having company over or there’s a mess and I just don’t want to look at it constantly. The doorway from the kitchen to the homeschool room will remain just a doorway. We use the kitchen sink for art and science and of course routinely get drinks or snacks so I don’t want the extra door to have to open if my hands are full.
Speaking of the kitchen, I still haven’t gotten the backsplash I chose up in the kitchen. It makes me nervous the longer we put it off that the tile I want will be discontinued as I know this stuff has a short shelf life before they go with new trends. So I am hoping we are able to get an installer to do that project before the end of the year. The pandemic has me waiting a bit to see how things go now that businesses are opening back up before having a bunch of different contractors in my house to bid the job. As a reminder, this is what we are planning to go with.
Additional outdoor projects this year include setting up the fire pit area and getting play equipment once we have that part of the land cleared and leveled. All of our piles of cut wood from the clearing of the septic field will be chipped as a base under the play equipment. This seems like an economical way to create spongy ground cover for safety.
We also are having (yet another) plan drawn up for the flower bed in front of the house. After two failed attempts by landscapers to give us a whole plan for the land, we went to the landscaper who did the sculpting and planting of our grass last year. We were very happy with him so we asked him to just start out with a plan for the major flower bed. It’s the logical first step in our landscaping process. We are waiting to hear back from him on his suggestions.
So that’s my spring 2020 house update. We’ve actually accomplished a lot in just three weeks. I will say before that we were starting to clear brush in the back, but considering I had no idea where the job search would lead us and if we’d have to put the house on the market in the end, I just couldn’t find the energy to put much of my heart into it. My dreams for the house stopped while we lived with the uncertainty of our future here. It became painful to dream as the months dragged on.
Now that we are past that crisis, I find myself wanting to do a million different projects at once. I feel like our lives got put on hold for almost a year. Now I am anxious to play catch up! I wish I could have brought you finished pictures for this spring 2020 house update. We currently have several projects in flux just because I can’t get the things I need when I need them because of the pandemic. I’m hopeful though by the end of this month we will have made significant progress though on continuing to turn our new house into an organized, livable home.Thanks for reading!