Home Update: Halfway Through Our Renovation

I can’t believe we are halfway through our home renovation! It feels like it’s moved really quickly and really slowly all at the same time haha! We started this process thinking we would be doing primarily cosmetic upgrades and next thing you know we’ve practically gutted 75% of the house. Read on to learn more about what we discovered behind the walls, flooring issues and what’s left to tackle in our home renovation.

The two biggest components of this renovation have been the plumbing and flooring. We knew there was existing water damage with an active leak in the powder room off the foyer. As layers of flooring were removed so we could assess the subfloor damage and plumbing changes required, we discovered that this leak has been happening for a long time and never quite resolved properly. We ended up replacing the cast iron drain line with PVC to prevent it from happening again in the future.

We were also aware of a leak and flooring damage in the original laundry closet. This also got resolved, but what was a surprised were the additional leaks from the upstairs hallways toilet and the primary bathroom tub drain. We discovered these after scraping the textured ceilings, which revealed some very damaged drywall that was ultimately removed. While the former was not an active leak, it would likely happen again based on the condition of the existing cast iron pipe. The latter we though had been repaired by the previous owner, but lo-and-behold it was an active, but very slow, leak. While all of this additional plumbing work led to an increase in our costs, I’m glad we found it now vs. 6-12 months later when water ruined out brand new drywall and hardwood floors.

demo day for 1970s bathroom renovation
Upstairs hall bathroom during initial phase of demo. Not shown: we fixed the plumbing issues, removed the old vanity and will be laying LVP to update the floors.

The biggest things on that I need to tackle immediately is finding a double vanity that won’t break the bank – I’m talking very, very budget friendly…ideally, something around $1,000 that I can do a DIY update on once we move it. We weren’t originally planning on renovating this bathroom (upstairs hallway), but after discovering some plumbing issues it made sense to go ahead and do a few things like updating the flooring and the vanity. I’m checking everywhere from Home Depot (where our powder room vanity is from) to random online vendors and local spots like S&C Warehouse.

To shop the flooring and bath products we’ve chosen so far, click the image below.

renovation progress of SMARTCORE luxury vinyl plank (LVP) install
The contractors have started installing the luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP) in the powder room off the entryway and the laundry room. We will be using the faux marble LVP in the upstairs hall bathroom, too.

Speaking of our hardwood floors, a lot of changes in our plans happened with them. When we purchased the home it had pre-finished hardwoods in the foyer, kitchen, dining room and hallway leading to the addition. The other rooms on the first floor were carpet, which we wanted to replace with a pre-finished hardwood that tied into the existing floors. When we opened up the wall between the front sitting room and the dining room we realized there was a major difference in the floor levels between the two rooms. This would make it near impossible to tie into the existing flooring using a similar pre-finished hardwood. Ultimately, we decided to start from scratch: remove all of the existing flooring, lay unfinished hardwoods and level the floors between the front and back of the house. We chose unfinished 3.25″ white oak planks. We won’t be staining them, just a finishing them with a clear coat to protect them.

renovation progress of unfinished white oak hardwood floors and new drywall
Morning light coming through the dining room. We replaced the existing prefinished hardwoods (in the pics above) with white oak unfinished planks, removed the textured box beams and replaced paneling with fresh dry-wall.
white oak staircase renovation progress
Staircase progress: we decided to go with white oak treads and white risers; we’ve completely replaced/updated the railing as the previous one wasn’t up to code and in bad shape.
new staircase railing with square newel post and iron balusters
Upstairs railing shows the new iron balusters and white oak newel posts.
home renovation with stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings, white oak floors
The addition (which we also refer to as the den) looks so much brighter without all of the wood paneling and carpet. Can’t wait to see this room when it’s complete!
home renovation closet to office
Trent’s office was previously used as an oversized storage closet. It’s deceivingly roomy and the hardwood floors and new drywall have made it look even bigger!

If you’ve been able to follow along so far, cheers to you! Haha!

As of right now this is what has been completed: all of the rough-in plumbing work, electrical, drywall hanging and finishing, structural changes (widening doorways, creating the cased opening), hardwood floor installation and initial sanding.

This is what we’re currently working on and what’s left of our renovation process:

  • complete installation of new windows in the addition/den
  • install new front door
  • finish carpentry work (trim, staircase, etc)
  • sealing/painting walls and ceiling
  • find/install new bathroom vanities (powder room & upstairs hall bath)
  • swap vanity in the primary bathroom
  • install LVP in laundry room and two bathrooms
  • finish plumbing
  • finish hardwoods
  • install carpet upstairs

As you can see we still have quite a bit to do, but we’re trying to stay positive and be flexible. In addition to this, Trent is in the process of dismantling the back deck that we plan on rebuilding. He has done a ton of work on the exterior and the hard work is really paying off! I’ll share more about these plans in a later post.

Thank you so much for following our renovation! I can’t wait to share our next update with you.

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