Living Room Renovation: Part 1

Finally, a blog post and first official update about renovations on our home! I know it has taken awhile to update but we dove into many projects right away with the home so I am just now getting a chance to write about it all.  The site design is still a work in progress, but at least it’s a start!   I planned on taking some professional photos of the before and after renovations of our home with my DSLR camera but I seem to have misplaced my charger during the move.  I’m sure it will turn up eventually, but for now iPad photos will have to do.

As a little background info, my husband, James, and I spent a long time searching for a home here in Greenville.  The market is super competitive right now and finding our perfect home was not a quick process.  Luckily, we found a wonderful Realtor, Gina Calvin, who was amazing.  We knew we wanted an older home and had our hearts set on a bungalow.  When we saw a 1925 bungalow with a beautiful front porch come on the market, we just knew it was our home.

Our home with the ‘sold’ sign. When we bought the home it only had 3 columns so we added one to the missing section (more on that in another post).

The home already had some updates including an insulated attic and upgraded HVAC system as well as several electrical and plumbing upgrades.  There were still a lot of cosmetic and other renovations we planned to tackle though to make the house our own.

We have officially been in our home for almost 4 months now (hard to believe) and we hit the ground running with renovations.  Here’s what we have completed so far:

  • Removed carpet from the living room and hallway and refinished the original hardwood floor that was underneath
  • Installed a new porch column
  • Painted (with help from my MIL and Dad) living room, bedroom, master bath, guest bath, kitchen, and laundry room
  • Removed the faux stone façade off of the living room fireplace to expose the brick underneath; cleaned, re-pointed, re-laid bricks and painted the fireplace
  • Outside landscaping (with a ton of help from my Dad): basically cleaned up the outside of the house; trimmed up trees and bushes, did some extreme weeding, planted grass seed
  • Replaced rusted chain on porch swing
  • Installed new door hardware on front and back doors and both bathroom doors
  • Cleaned off roof and gutters
  • Sanded off doors on outdoor shed and some inside doors

And that is just the beginning!  We have so much more we want to accomplish one step at a time.

Living Room Part 1:

For this first post I will just focus on our living room and hallway renovations.  On the day we closed on the house, the first thing we did was rip up the carpet in the living room.  It had to go.  The carpet was old and did not flow with the rest of the house (all of the other bedrooms already had refinished hardwood floors).

Unfortunately, the only photos I have of the old carpet are the ones I took at our first viewing of the home while the previous owners were still living there and the photos posted from the online listing:

MLS listing photograph
MLS listing photograph
Pulling up the carpet

We had no idea what we would find underneath the carpet so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.  We knew originally there was a wall dividing the living room and dining room that was removed at some point so we were certain that would be a particular area of concern.  Well, we were correct.  Here is what was under the carpet after it was removed.

And here it is after the carpet was all gone
And here it is after the carpet was all gone


As you can see there was paint on the floor and places needing new wood installed.  The heating and air system was completely redone in 2008 so there were original air vents no longer there that had plywood placed over them.  And, of course as we expected, there was inconsistency where the wall used to be between the living and dining room.  To top it off, whoever installed the carpet wanted to make sure there was no chance of the carpet ever coming up because there were thousands of nails and staples all over the floor.  Luckily, the nails and staples were removed while we were waiting to get the new pieces of floor installed.  What we thought would be a very straightforward process:  removing the carpet, installing new wood, and refinishing the floor, in actuality became a very LONG project.  We selected a company to refinish the floors but did not know how much new floor needed to be installed until we pulled up the carpet.  When we called the floor install company, it ended up they were booked!  So we continued to call around and it seemed everyone else in Greenville was also booked for MONTHS!  We did not foresee this happening, so there we were with our floor unfinished and all of our furniture in the guest rooms (luckily we downsized by renting a one bedroom apartment before purchasing our home and also gave away a lot of our living room furniture).

So what were we to do?  Would we ever get the floor refinished?  Is it even possible that our floor could ever look good again?  Find out what happens in Part 2 of our living room renovation tomorrow!

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