Home Renovation ~ Fixer Upper Update!

fixer upper
There is a pile of dirt in front of the new patio wall. There will be a little “window” opening with a wrought iron design. Upper balcony is now sturdy and waterproof.


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New private patio at entry with new steps. There will be a fountain to the left under the window.


Although the house kind of looks like a war zone, we have made significant progress! The exterior walls have been sandblasted and that is why they look so damaged.

I can honestly say that this fixer upper adventure has not worried me a bit. We stumbled upon some rotted wood, weak plumbing and old insulation that had to be addressed, but when a house is seventy-seven years old, these kinds of issues should be expected.

All in all, the house was well-built, solid with quality wood and lots of nails driven in by hand. No nail guns in those days! The charm and the history of this little Spanish señorita attracted us from the beginning. The renovation has been a lesson in patience and creativity and is an adventure for a lifetime!

Yes, we are over budget a bit and maybe it took a little longer than we hoped. The contractor never told us it would be finished in six months, that was our dream time-frame. He only gets paid when a task is completed, so there is no reason to slow down the process. Waiting for the inspectors was the only delay and frankly rebuilding a house the right way takes time.

I love visiting every other week to see the progress. Since we are living in Seattle while we renovate, I fly down to visit my Dad and check on the house, talk with Paul (the contractor) and see what new issue has been discovered and what solution has been accomplished. I get butterflies of excitement anticipating the positive changes I will find. I keep Craig in the loop, but ultimately I am the one following up and discussing any problems with the architect and Paul.

Here is what we have completed as of this week (when I say “we”, I mean the workers and Paul!):

Demo (inside and outside)

Sandblasted the exterior of the house

Foundation strengthened for new upstairs addition

Upstairs addition of master bath and master closet

Built front patio wall

All of the primary plumbing and electrical is in place(most of the house was replaced…)

New heating and air conditioning (we had to move several of the vents, add vents and move the register and create new registers). For you building geeks: We have split the register in to two and put one in the dining room and one in the living room, they can be so unsightly.

Final cabinet drawings are approved and should be ready in a month (ish)

New doors/windows, walls in place

Drywall of the garage and basement (the interior of the garage was so old and depressing and Craig really wanted a “clean” garage). The basement is about 12′ x 12′ and we will use it to store Christmas decorations and we will put a wine refrigerator down there.

Roof prepped and ready to go – we chose a terra-cotta tile roof that was a blend of shades

Next up:

All of the outside is getting prepped for new stucco and backyard to be graded, driveway demoed

Build a new wall adjacent to the driveway in back

Drywall completion of the rest of the house

Tile prep work for the bathrooms

fixer upper
Craig is so excited about his “clean” garage.


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We started to keep the original door, but it was not very attractive and then we would have had to keep the old hardware which was really beat up. The front door is the first impression of the house! I am so happy with my choice.


drywall the master bedroom
Take a look below at the original room. The opening to the new closet is to the left of where the window was. As you look at the renovated room, the wall to the old closet was torn open and a nook was built. We will put a large armoire and a reading area in the nook.




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New master bathroom. Doorway is about where the bed is in the photo.


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Drywall in the kitchen is in progress. All lighting in place, along with the plumbing. New doorway on the right which goes in to the dining room.


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View of the new laundry room off of the kitchen. There is a new dutch door that we can open for fresh air and a view of the yard. So cute!


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Back of the house covered in plastic to keep El Niño away. Waiting for new stucco. All of the new windows and french doors off of the kitchen are installed. So exciting! Better photos next week.


We will really start to see some major changes in the coming month. I will be traveling back again next week and will provide a full update!

The project is really starting to take shape. I can’t wait to get back and live a normal life. Our 545 square foot apartment is so very small and the walls are closing in. I try not to let myself go down that road, because it is certainly not a productive thought process.

More posts about the fixer upper:

The Challenges of Moving Into a New “Old” House

Our Empty Nest Renovation and 6 Months in Seattle


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20 thoughts on “Home Renovation ~ Fixer Upper Update!”

  1. Hi Suzanne! PROGRESS! As you said it ALWAYS takes more time than we hope but you are doing so much and better to do it before you return that while you’re trying to live there. I’m sure it will be spectacular when you are done. I’m looking forward to more photos. ~Kathy

    • Thank you Kathy! We will be back in March a little before it is finished. Our lease is up here in Seattle. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Hey!!
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    And if you want your house remain in good condition for long time, you can also go for the roof insulation.It not only provide you warm & cool temperature inside your home but also saves a lot of money.
    Thank you so much for great sharing.

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