How is it July already?! The summer seems to be flying by.

After getting the floors finished and it already being July, we decided it’s time to revisit our giant TO DO list. Is our current list still in the right order or have our priorities changed? In no particular order, here are the big ticket items we’re looking at:


  • Paint floors 1-3
  • Finish basement apartment
  • Fix soffit & clear out gutters
  • Fix back retaining wall
  • Redo backyard landscaping
  • Fix front steps & masonry
  • Redo kitchen
  • Redo both upstairs bathrooms
  • Replace all (20) windows

While the kitchen & bathrooms aren’t great, they are working. In so much that the water runs, toilets flush, fridge keeps stuff cool and the oven gets hot. They’re not pretty but I think they’re taking a back seat to some more pressing issues.

We plan on painting ourselves, so that stays on the list. Well to be perfectly honest, we plan on prepping & priming everything and painting all the trim (semi-gloss white). We’ll live with the all white walls until we have time to think about decorating.

We also hope to to fix the back soffit ourselves. What’s wrong with the back soffit?

back soffit

Yeah. That.

I’d be surprised if we didn’t have squirrels living in our attic. I’ve already lived with squirrels in one attic (back in college) and don’t plan on repeating the experience.

The back retaining wall and front steps are both HUGE projects that will probably require contractors with mechanical assistance.

The back retaining wall has a large crack in it and is leaning toward the house.

retaining wall

The rise front steps aren’t even and tilt (therefore, drain) toward the house. It’s not blatantly noticeable – until it rains.

I’d suspect they’ll have to remove the front steps and put them back angled a little differently. The backyard is only accessible through our house or the garden apartment. Perhaps it’d be easiest on us if we weren’t living there with no steps.

In regards to windows, all but 1 of the thermal seals are popped. According the the previous tenant, it gets pretty drafty in the winter. Plus there are federal tax credits for energy efficiency. According to, tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, in 2009 & 2010 (for existing homes only). $5000 worth of windows would max out that tax credit.

So that’s where we are now; Windows vs. Masonry.

(Sorry this isn’t the most interesting post. It’s more for personal clarification than entertainment.)

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