This summer it will be seven years since we moved into our home. When we bought it, it was a foreclosure and had been vacant for about three years. Structurally the house is fantastic, it has just needed some TLC. We are in the process of doing some home updates, but I feel like it’s really been a seven-year ongoing project! We have a long way to go, and I want to share our story along the way.
This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, sometimes I earn a small commission. However, there is no additional cost to you. Please read the disclosure policy for more information.
When we bought our home
When the bank took over the home and put it into foreclosure, one of the tasks they were responsible for was winterizing. One of the major things winterizing includes is putting antifreeze in the water pipes so they don’t freeze during the winter. According to our realtor, the bank didn’t do this really important step. As a result of this misstep, some of the pipes had frozen and burst during the winter leading up to our purchase.
The major damage was in the finished basement. The carpet was ruined and mold began to grow. We knew immediately we would have the basement professionally remediated, because we didn’t need the finished space anyway. It had a fifth bedroom along with a bar and theater area. We did not need that much room.
Remediation of the basement included taking out all of the carpet, drywall, and insulation in a way as not to expose the mold to the rest of the home. Basically, everything came out but the studded walls and those were treated so that the mold would not return. I have no idea what it was treated with, but we haven’t seen any mold since…so it worked!
Eventually we will finish the basement. However, finishing the basement is at the end of a very long list of the home updates we plan to do.
Painting the main floor
I feel like our first big step in updating began with painting the main floor. Our home has so many windows that most of the walls had faded. Plus, there were lots of places where the previous owners tried to patch nail holes and touch up, but the paint didn’t match. All of the rooms needed a fresh coat of paint, but I knew the main floor would be the same color, so that’s where we began.
I chose Farrow and Ball’s elephant’s breath paint. I absolutely love Farrow and Ball because all of their paints are water-based and they use formulas that are not harmful to the environment. They are a sustainable company using recycled paint tins and they never test their paint on animals.
If you read my DIY Farmhouse Dining Table blog post, it shows the walls painted with the Farrow and Ball elephant’s breath color.
Smoothing down the ceilings
Some other minor damage, as a result of the house being vacant for so long, included water spots in a couple of the ceilings. Our ceilings were textured, so repairing them was difficult. We did the best we could to match the textured pattern, but the places were really noticeable.
Since the texture was hard to duplicate, we decided to sand down the ceilings and make them smooth. We are doing the house in sections because it’s a huge mess!! It creates so much dust and there is plastic everywhere. We have most of the main floor complete and three of the four bedrooms are done.
Painting the bedrooms
Since the ceilings are finished in three of the bedrooms, we decided to paint them next. All of the bedrooms need carpet, but I want that to be the very last step. I didn’t want any paint or ceiling mud to end up on brand new carpet. Gah!
I feel like we have one bedroom mostly complete, except for the carpet and some decorations for the walls. I’m currently working on the carpet situation, but it is such a big decision.
The paint color in this bedroom is chalk white by Benjamin Moore and the bedding is from Pottery Barn Teen. The furry pillow on the bed and glass knobs on the nightstand are from HomeGoods. I also picked up the cute lamp from HomeGoods and it matches the bedspread perfectly! We have lots of nieces who like to visit us, so this room will be a welcome surprise the next time they are here.
More updates to come
These home updates are a very slow process, but I am so happy with what we have done so far. Stay tuned as we continue the updates!
Wow, that was a major project. Would love to see the finished pics
Living in Normal
Stay tuned because I’ll definitely show final pics!
I will certainly follow your progress. We recently completed a full house remodel and I know what you are experiencing. I am also writing posts about our process. Look forward to following. Catherine
It’s so much fun to watch the progress! Someday we hope to buy a home on an acreage and remodel to make it our own.
Living in Normal
We would love acreage, but land is so expensive where we live!
What a big project! Sanding texture in the house IS such a mess! Great progress so far!
Living in Normal
Thanks, Jeanne!! It has been a terrible mess, but hopefully worth it when we see the final results!
Can’t wait to follow along with your progress!! Such a beautiful home!!
Living in Normal
Thank you, Laura! I’m super excited to see the progress too!! 🙂