Three Years (and 11 Days) of Progress

Category: Before & After

Believe it  or not, it's now been three years since we closed on the house.  In fact, it's eleven days past the exact anniversary--whoops!  I guess time flies when you're having fun so much going on.

No, actually it really has been fun this past year.   In fact, it's been the most rewarding year by far given how much of a turning point it was.

Anyway, to continue a tradition we've done for the past two years, here's our mini-capsule of everything we've done in the last twelve months and a little about what we hope to accomplish in the next year... 

Once again, the changes inside were far more substantial than the ones outside.

May 29, 2003May 29, 2005

Progress Made

  • First off, the biggest change to the house is that we now live upstairs! While our punchlist isn't quite completed, the master bedroom upstairs definitely more livable than the crazy room that we were living in last year at this time.
  • Second, an even bigger change to life is that we now have Grace with us to help to take care of. Thankfully, the nursery is also upstairs and right next to our bedroom so that she doesn't have to be exposed (much) to all the stuff that's still unfinished downstairs.
  • Staying with the upstairs theme, last year our new shower had just been installed but it was still six months away from being used. We finally finished most of the master bathroom last November, and we've been loving it ever since.
  • It's all a blur now, but we practically got a Master's degree in stripping and refinishing trim last summer. Man, that's messy work but the eye candy is awsome.
  • We had great help refinishing the floors upstairs and they look great too.
  • After living out of boxes and tiny closets for two years, we've got the walk-in closet we've always wanted.
  • It's been sitting mostly done for almost a year now, but it's far enough along that we're getting good use out of our laundry chute.
  • Outside the house, the big progress a year ago was that we'd standblasted the blue steps and exposed the original brick-lined front stairway. This year we complimented it with a new front door. (The mailbox is new, too!)
  • Finally, while we took a pretty significant break from renovation work after Grace arrived we started making progress again a few weeks back. After a productive Memorial Day weekend, we're now almost done renovating one of the bedrooms (which will be our office) down on the first floor.

Beyond the house, we had lots of fun on our related hobbies, too. has grown from a simple little website a year ago to an ever-growing community of over 260 houseblogs documenting their home improvement projects worldwide.

Also, we had fun two months ago covering KBIS when it took place here in Chicago, including our little speaking gig talking to publishers and marketers about what the heck these "houseblogs" are that they've been reading about. ;-)

Looking Forward

  • We're hoping to finally finish off that second floor punchlist...we need doors up there! :-)
  • The first floor will become our major focus, and if we're lucky at this time next year we'll have a fully restored living room (with a fireplace!), dining room, and fully functioning office.
  • A repeat from last year's list...I'm going to finish up the household wiring project this year. No, seriously.
  • Jeannie's already got a jump on painting the front entry way with our new color choices. If we're ambitious, we may get a good portion of the house trim done.

Thanks to everyone who follows our trials and tribuations here. Having you come along makes the ride more fun!

Looking for More?

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Congratulations! You've accomplished a lot over the past year and I'm sure you've served as an inspiration to house bloggers everywhere who also owe you a debt of gratitude for creating and growing into such a great community.

Here's to continued success in year 4!

wow what progress, I was gonna do the same thing with hall windows but ran into problems with fire codes and permit approval. Your inspector probably didn't notice them in your plans.

Actually, those hall windows aren't finished yet! They still need to be installed. And, um, made. Which is my department. They are similar to the interior transoms you see in many old houses and fall into that category (except they will be fixed...they won't open). They also have to be made of a special glass that is safer than regular window panes (ceramic glass withstands temperatures up to 1400 degrees). They were definitely part of the plans. Do you live in Chicago, Stanley?


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