Our New Garage Door!

You know you are jealous of this dirty, gross garage door.


Oh..no? You aren’t? Color me surprised. Let’s not even mention that it didn’t open or close because the tracks were living on a prayer..Well, actually, one track was there..the second had an unfortunate encounter with Josh and it didn’t survive to tell the story. The ancient garage door opener also was not ruling at its’ job before the tracks went to hell.


We got a few companies to come by to give us quotes, and we ended up deciding pretty quickly to go with Precision Overhead Garage Door service of Hampton Roads, who blew us away with their professionalism and fair pricing. They were rated #1 on Angie’s List so we knew they’d be good, but when an awesome guy named Chad came out to give us a quote, he explained things clearly and in regular-people terms so that I could understand them (since Josh was snoozin’ away because he was on night shift) AND explain them to Josh afterwards. He even gave us a “Good/Better/Best” quote at three different levels of door/features/etc. Another company gave us a quote before even measuring the door or going inside of the garage to check out the set up..AND they gave us the highest quote. WTF. Bye. Move along. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. We also got a quote for us to DIY it and decided that the value Precision offered far exceeded the savings we’d get by doing it ourselves.

Anyway, we hired Precision, and it was worth every darn penny. They came out within a week and it was all set up and ready to go within a few hours. It was so nice…hiring people to finish things. 🙂 Despite a ton of rain, our technician (AH! I wish I would have written his name down) rocked it out. I kept going outside to offer him water/coffee/etc and he was so polite and awesome, even though he kept telling me “No.” Haha! He probably thought I was weird


^ That’s the new garage door opener.. 🙂



The new SUPER WHITE GARAGE DOOR makes it obvious how much we need to power wash the rest of the house this spring. Anyway, you know you are officially an adult when you stand in your driveway and record a video of your garage door opening and closing. I AM NOT ASHAMED! SO AWESOME!


If the videos don’t work, click these links!:





Get on the floor!

Faux Brick Tile Floors

So…we started this project in July prior to our trip to Turkey. We knew from our pre-purchase asbestos testing that the glue holding those sexy beast faux brick tiles down contained asbestos. Since it was only 2% of the make-up of the glue, we figured we’d chance it and just rip the tiles up and cross our fingers we don’t die in 50 years of diseases caused by asbestos. When we took up the first tile, there was scary looking powder under it and we decided just to encapsulate it and cover it with some pretty wood flooring. 🙂 Safety first.

The first step in doing so was to lay down a layer of luan, just like we did in our kitchen floor update.


After that, we put a layer of rubber matting to reduce any possibility of having creaks in the future.


We then realized we would have to take our door down in order to install the wood flooring. I took that opportunity to wash the door and paint it.



While I was painting the door, Josh got to work on the wood floors. We rented a floor nailer from the Home Depot Rental Counter and it was amazing. So amazing Josh struck a pose for me.


It was a pretty quick job-we finished this portion of this project in just two days.



Then came the week before our vacation to Turkey and we were just not feeling up to home improvement. We had too much stuff to do, so basically all productivity stopped there. Then, when we got home from Turkey, we were playing catch up, I started a new job, and Josh’s work schedule got busier than ever. So…weeks went by and it stayed like this.

But here..enjoy some pictures of Istanbul, ya’ll! It was amazing. You need to add it to your bucket list.

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Anywho..so, when we finally got back to work, we rented two floor sanders and knocked it out in a day. The borders of the room took a few days more because we had to do it by hand. We tried many, many different methods to take off the stain around the border of the room, but found hand scraping with a paint scraper then following up with sanding with a coarse sandpaper on our Dremel Multi-Max Tool worked best. Our hand sanders didn’t get through the stain as well as the Multi-Max. That thing is my favorite tool ever.


We had previously decided we wanted to do a pretty dark floor and we fell in love with Minwax English Chestnut, but then once we got everything sanded, we started second guessing ourselves and thinking maybe a medium or light floor would be best. We debated for a while then agreed on Colonial Maple, stained a test area, then decided we hated it in this room. We ended up going with Minwax in English Chestnut. This is when I got myself back in to blogging mode and actually took pictures. 🙂








YAY! Doesn’t it look awesome?? We haven’t stained the floors in the sunroom yet, but we decided we are going to do the Polyurethane sealer in this room first, then tackle the sunroom after that. 🙂 We’ll keep you posted!

Over sink lighting!

One thing we were glad we accomplished before Thanksgiving was the over sink lighting. Washing dishes for 10 people after a big meal would NOT have been fun with this oh-so-bright light over the sink-:


Long story short, we ripped the other light fixture out when we started sanding the cabinets and didn’t have a fixture for a few months. On one of my trips to Lowe’s, I took my obligatory “Hm, I think I like this!” picture so that I could text it over to Josh. Turns out he liked it and a few days later on another trip to Lowe’s, we bought it!


The great thing about it is that you can choose your own glass shades to suit your style (or when you get tired of a set, you can go buy another set without having to get a whole new light). We initially chose a clear glass shade, then decided we would rather go with a frosted glass so that we could get the energy efficient light bulbs.

YAY for little changes that make a big impact!

Cabinet Hard(erthanwethought)ware

The Monday following our housewarming party, my sweet husband came home to a package on our doorstep!!!!!


Wahoo! Cue the excited fist pumping and holding them up to cabinets/drawers to make sure we liked them. We definitely loved the style, although we did decide to buy the knobs for the bottom cabinets, as they were a bit awkward to open with the pulls. We jumped right in on Monday/Tuesday night to install the pulls on the drawers. Cue even more excitement and high fives. We were on a DIY high and feeling very confident that we could get the doors completed before my vacation.


On Wednesday night (the night before I left for vacation), Josh started to install the first of the doors with the new hinges. Turns out, we didn’t take into account the fact that the hidden hinges we ordered would also take up a few mm of extra space in order to make the doors close fully. Womp, womp. Cue Josh being angry and me feeling guilty about going on vacation and leaving him with this hellish we-thought-this-part-would-be-easy project.

After making this discovery, we realized we had two options: 1. Order new hinges that screw in to the face of the cabinets. or 2. Chisel out those extra few mm to install the ones we already have/prefer.


As you can see, we ended up deciding the chisel option, thus causing our perfect application of primer and paint to look imperfect. Hmph. IF ONLY WE HAD THOUGHT OF THAT! No one notices it in person except for us (and now the three or four people that read this blog now that I’ve mentioned it. Hi Parents!) and repainting those imperfect spots will be an after the-rest-of-the-kitchen-is-finished project.

While he was doing that, I was enjoying my time in San Diego with my girlfriends for our BFF Lauren’s baby shower.


I think choosing to go this route, though more difficult in the short term, was a very good decision and the cabinets look great and the doors close, which is awesome!


Our focus was shifted to the floors when I came back from San Diego to get it done prior to Thanksgiving. Spoiler alert: We didn’t, but we were close! Haha-this is definitely a developing theme here at The Whole Damn House! Better get used to it, ya’ll. because we have about 11 more rooms to go..

P.S. If anyone is wondering what the thing is on the second drawer from the sink, it is a Scrap Trap. Best Christmas present I ever bought myself (and my mother in law… and my sisters in law). Just saying, it is amazing. Add one or 15 to your Amazon shopping cart today.

The best is yet to come..


Welp, today is officially closing day! My signing hand is ready to go and I am so excited to get to tackle the many projects that have been swirling around in our heads for this little beaut! This to-do list could literally be one bullet point (UPDATE THE ENTIRE HOUSE!), but to get our head wrapped around everything that needs to be done to create our dream home, here is our to-do list for the next hundred years or so. 🙂 It will probably grow and change throughout the process, but this is what we consider our starting point.


Clean up space-new rocks or re-paving

Pergola over garage door a la Young House Love

Paint Mailbox

Rain Garden in sunken area

Trim azalea bushes

Take down trouble trees, if any.

Front Door/Walkway:

Remove and Replace screen door

Give front door a fresh coat of paint

Weed, plant some pretty plants, mulch

Get some pretty planters to flank the front stairs



Patio and/or deck area

Fence around AC unit

Build fence

Pathway from patio to shed

Create a space for an edible garden


Add Peg boards/Organization


Laundry Room:

Create folding area or Island with built in storage for baskets

Paint and organize cabinets

Paint floor with a fun design or stripes

Renovate bathroom space

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Back Hallway/Foyer:

Create bar area on back wall with kegerator and wine fridge-hanging wine glasses etc.

Paint doors and trim, baseboard heaters, ceiling and walls

Replace faux brick linoleum with new flooring

Add reading nook/benches

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Living Room/ What we call the “Hunting Lodge”:

Remove some built in shelving – Paint the back built ins flanking fireplace

New window treatments

Paint or whitewash ceiling

Paint or replace paneling

Stain exposed beams

Stain/clean up brick around fireplace

New furniture

More lighting



Phase 1:

Paint Cabinets white

Stain fireplace

Bright window coverings/stained glass?

Paint Wood paneling

Paint Baseboards

Remove wallpaper

Phase 2:

Create island or peninsula

Rework layout issues

Add dishwasher

New counter tops

Pretty Backsplash

Create corner seating area

Move or build in fridge

New lighting

New Flooring


Dining Room:

Paint Paneling, trim and walls

New light fixture


Front Hallway:

Organize coat closet

Remove carpet steps

Install a runner for stairs?

Install new pantry sliding doors (or use that space to build in the fridge and make a smaller closet here)

Paint or remove paneling

Close in living room door – create alcove area


Formal Living Room & Downstairs Bedroom (aka, Our Dream Master Suite to Be!):

Phase 1:

Remove portion of wall separating Living Room and Bedroom to create a large master suite (the wood paneled wall above!)

Remove Ceiling tiles & Drywall ceiling

Figure out how to make flooring in both rooms connect to each other where wall was taken down

Phase 2:

Build walk in closet

Open wall between bathroom and bedroom

Build new bathroom

downstairs bath

Downstairs Bath:

Completely gut and re-build

  • New Tile Floors
  • New Toilet & move toilet location so that your knees don’t hit the vanity!
  • New Vanity (hopefully double sinks)
  • New Shower



Remove ceiling tiles and replace with drywall

Remove paneling and replace with drywall

New carpet in bedrooms, closets and hallway

upstairs bath

Upstairs Bath:

Completely gut and re-build

  • New Tile Floors
  • New Toilet
  • New Vanity (hopefully double sinks)
  • New Shower

As far as what we are going to tackle first: we will spend this week scrubbing the entire house from top to bottom since it hasn’t been lived in for months. We will also select our paint colors for the kitchen cabinets and dining room, since we’d like to finish the cabinets prior to unpacking all of our kitchen stuff. After the cabinets, we have no idea what we will do. We will take things on one project at a time so as to not end up as one of those people who demolishes every room at once then never finish anything.


The first and most important thing is taking our sweet Tucker boy over to the house tonight to sniff around and get acclimated. He is anxious since we are packing and got rid of his favorite chair, but I can’t wait for him to see the amazing backyard we bought just for him!! 🙂

AHHH YAY! It is almost time to get our keys!