One of my favorite things to do is look at “before and after” photos of projects and home renovations on Apartment Therapy. I am continually impressed by the skills others have when improving an object or space, which is probably why I love to write about our house so much — we’re constantly moving between the “before” and “after” stages ourselves.
As you can tell from the title of this post, Josh and I just passed the two-year mark in our house. And as you have seen before and will see more of below, we have transformed nearly every space in and outside our home.
All along our primary motivating factor has been to make our home as comfortable, safe and functional as possible for our current and growing family. We have also known it would positively impact our home’s value and therefore our ability to make a profit on its sale down the road, but that was secondary to how we would feel while living in it.
We are in the process of refinancing our house and just learned that since we bought it two years ago, it is worth approximately $45,000 more. Of course we can’t attribute all of the increase to the upgrades we’ve made, but we do know they played a large part.
Whatever the reason, refinancing will cut our monthly payments by about $130 a month which will allow us to put that money toward other things, like more energy upgrades and our adoption fund.
Anyway, enough of the boring homeowner-finance talk! I didn’t write this post just to tell you about our mortgage payments. Instead, I wrote it to summarize what year two looked like at the Merrick household.
Spoiler alert: it was full of a lot of work!
In 12 months, we:
- Built raised beds
- Refinished the deck
- Installed a ductless heat pump
- Upgraded the laundry closet
- Installed a brick patio and fire pit
- Built a compost bin
- Planted grass in patchy areas of the backyard
- Removed an old shed to make way for more raised beds
If these photos don’t mean much to you, I suggest reading my “Before and After: Garden Edition” post to get an idea of what the yard looked like when we moved in. As you’ll see, it’s like a whole new back yard!
Now, you might be wondering, what else could we possibly have left to do? The answer is, a lot. Looking ahead to year three, we have just as many projects planned. And even though we should probably be traveling and sleeping a lot during what will hopefully be our last kid-free year, we’re itching to get started!
Here’s a preview of what is to come. Are we crazy or what?
- Build more raised beds on the south side of back yard
- Air seal attic and install more insulation
- Replace insulation in crawl space
- Replace roof
- Build new fence on south side of back yard
- Install new gutters
- Install rain barrels in back yard
- Begin to re-landscape front yard