Liberty House: Master List (2014 Update)

It’s weird, but in general I expect that people who are “list makers” have your typical Type A personality. They make lists. They check shit off the list. Their clothes are always folded, and their dishes are always done. For the record, I effing love these people. I do. I don’t harbor even the littlest bit of resentment over the fact that they clearly have their shit together, and meanwhile my dinner this evening consisted of chickpeas-straight-from-the-can because my soul will shrivel up and die if I have to clean one more dish.

Seriously. But, I mean, it also consisted of beer, so I’m pretty sure that ups the nutritional content to an acceptable level… right?


Anyway. It’s only weird that I harbor that stereotype of list-makers when I also make lists. Frankly, I make epic lists. Sometimes I build a three-hundred pound, forty-eight square foot chalkboard, specifically so that I can have more lists in my life…

I suspect I do this because there is so much knowledge about building houses overflowing from the dark, dusty corners of my brain that I don’t have as much room for the day-to-day stuff as I probably should. The end result of that is chickpeas-straight-from-the-can for dinner, and also this:

The Liberty House Master List. Created back in 2012, just a month after I moved into this place.

182 items (59ish checked off)

General Electric

  1. Fix all non-working outlets (kitchen/laundry room specifically)  done!
  2. Figure out outbuilding electric <– Here’s what I’ve figured out. There is none. There probably should be, though.
  3. Redo diagram at main <– Note to self: Do this. It will make your life so much easier.

General Plumbing

  1. Fix slow drain/water backup done!
  2. Fix low pressure to kitchen sink done!
  3. Get rid of black residue in water (bleach pipes)  procrastination pays off! (it fixed itself)
  4. Cap open line at old barn <– Is going to require digging up and replacing part of the driveway. Scheduled for 2015. That’s how behind I am.
  5. Get exterior spigots working <– 50/50 (see above re: tearing up the driveway)

General HVAC

  1. Get boiler working done!

Exterior- High Priority

  1. Replace roof done!
  2. Cover holes in brick exterior on second floor <– might have something to do with this…
  3. Replace missing gutter/downspouts
  4. Install rain barrels
  5. Fix soffit
  6. Power wash and scrape wood siding  done!
  7. Remove all flower boxes
  8. Replace rotted wood siding at back entry done!
  9. Repaint wood siding done!
  10. Repair/ Rebuild back deck (repair done for now, rebuild down the road)
  11. Repaint front/back deck done!
  12. Get rid of chipmunks done!
  13. Get rid of Ricky the Racoon I’m getting quite good at this

Exterior – Eventually

  1. Replace back door (painted it instead, but will replace eventually)
  2. Fix front door (fixed! but needs handles)
  3. Plane bottom of french doors in kitchen
  4. Add pergola and built-in grill to existing patio
  5. Add lower level and fireplace to existing patio
  6. Build swing/bed for front porch
  7. NEW: Replace front porch
  8. NEW: Re-side addition

Yard/Property – High Priority

  1. Remove debris pile done! (Biggest project ever.)
  2. Clean out donkey shed done! <– And wasn’t that a project…
  3. Replace roof on donkey shed done! (First ever roofing project completed on my own.)
  4. Put up donkey fence done! (And not a moment too soon.)
  5. Check/fix electric at donkey barn <– Scheduled for this summer
  6. Put up clothes line done! (An easy build, and there’s nothing better than line-dried sheets.)

Yard/Property – Eventually

  1. Landscape around house
  2. Plant vegetable garden – in progress (Some boxes and pathways went in last year, with more to come in 2014)
  3. Plant grapes/vineyard/lots of shit
  4. Build chicken coop/garden shed – done! (Since I built two– this one AND this one— do I get to check it off twice?)
  5. Create walkway to bonfire pit and tent area
  6. Build pergola off of garage
  7. Fence in propane tank off of garage
  8. Build cabin/guest house/hermitage
  9. Repaint mailbox
  10. NEW: Finish re-siding garage
  11. NEW: Repaint pole-barn

Kitchen – High Priority

  1. Replace dishwasher, fridge, stove – Two outta three (Got rid of the dishwasher and murder fridge, stove still needs to be replaced eventually.)
  2. Replace recessed light bulbs
  3. Storage for garbage/recycling

Kitchen – Eventually

  1. Paint wood walls
  2. Stain or paint ceiling
  3. Install trim around windows
  4. Add beams
  5. Paint recessed light trim
  6. Install new lights
  7. Replace counters/backsplash
  8. Replace floor
  9. Paint/Reconfigure/Replace kitchen cabinets
  10. Buy stools for peninsula
  11. Install woodburner in nook

Kitchen – Maybe

  1. Remove archway<– Nah. The arches are growing on me.
  2. Widen doorway to hall/bathroom <– Yes!

Parlor – High Priority (Check this out, mostly finished!)

  1. Fix holes in ceilingdone!
  2. Paint ceiling  done!
  3. Clean out fireplace done!
  4. Refinish floor  done!

Parlor- Eventually

  1. Paint room – done!
  2. Replace glass on broken widow
  3. Fix mullions on broken window
  4. Replace glass block
  5. Install new light fixturedone! (Although I might find a new one eventually)
  6. Buy rug
  7. Buy couch, chairs
  8. Buy TVdone! 
  9. Build TV stand
  10. Build mirror
  11. “This little house of mine” painting for above fireplace done!
  12. Replace outlet/switch coversdone!

Parlor – Maybe

  1. Remove archway <- Nah.

Entry – High Priority

  1. Refinish floor <- Note to self: Good god, just do this already.
  2. Refinish/paint stairs – In progress, forever
  3. Remove wallpaperdone!
  4. Patch drywall holes from skylights done!

Entry – Eventually

  1. Remove wainscoting <- Nope. Painted it, looks good, no need to make my life more complicated.
  2. Replace bottom part of window trim <- Also, no.
  3. Install horizontal wood paneling <- No, again.
  4. Paint french doors to study (Red or black)– done! (Check it out here.)
  5. Remove door to closet under stairs, add built-ins
  6. Figure out what to do with beam
  7. Replace light fixtures. done!

Office – High Priority (Also one of the done-est rooms in the house, see it here.)

  1. Refinish floor done!

Office – Eventually

  1. Remove wallpaper– done!
  2. Tear out closets, replace with built-ins <– Still love this idea, but love the closet space more.
  3. Paint walls/trim– done!
  4. Replace light fixtures– done!
  5. Figure out what to do with beam
  6. Build a desk and a workbench. done and done!
  7. NEW: Superhero doors for closets

Tool Room (4th Bedroom) – High Priority

  1. Remove closet
  2. Reframe/drywall closet
  3. Install luan, hardwood
  4. Stain/poly hardwood
  5. Paint
  6. Install new light fixture

Downstairs Bath- High Priority

  1. Replace shower trim done! (Check it out here.)
  2. Replace shower head
  3. Remove baseboard
  4. Install wood paneling, paint
  5. Build/Install built-ins <- Decided to do something different.
  6. Move outlet by mirror – done!
  7. Replace mirrordone!
  8. Replace light fixturedone!
  9. New shower curtaindone!
  10. Get rug

Downstairs Bath- Eventually

  1. Replace floor
  2. Replace shower surround with tile

Laundry Room – Eventually

  1. Remove/replace bi-folds
  2. Replace sink
  3. Add counter over washer/dryer
  4. Remove cabs/ counter on south wall
  5. Add cabinets to North wall
  6. Paint
  7. Replace floor
  8. Add hanging totes for separating clothes

Hallway – Eventually

  1. Paintdone!
  2. Paint basement doordone! (Built a new one, and it’s awesome.)
  3. Replace floor
  4. Add new light fixture – done! (See it here.)

Mudroom- High Priority

  1. Better organization for coats, shoes tools– done! ( I went with this option.)
  2. Paint– done!
  3. NEW – Build a gun rack

Mudroom – Eventually

  1. Replace floor
  2. Build benches and lockers for storage <– I actually built a big fucking chalkboard instead

Basement- High Priority

  1. Replace broken (or all) basement windows done!

Basement – Eventually

  1. Remove bags of dirt/dead bodies
  2. Clean off storage shelves on stairway
  3. Figure out random pump in storage room– done!
  4. Put storage shelves in storage room
  5. Dehumidifier
  6. Replace new vinyl window with wood

Master Bedroom- High Priority

  1. Paint trim, walls done!
  2. Replace closet doors
  3. Replace closet shelves
  4. Remove “gas” from fireplace
  5. Build hearth

Master Bedroom – Eventually

  1. Remove carpet
  2. Install hardwood

Master Bath – High Priority

  1. Patch ceiling
  2. Replace missing section of window

Master Bath- Eventually

  1. Demo everythingdone!
  2. Move wall for toilet
  3. Install door
  4. Replace everything (toilet, tub, vanity, floor, fixtures)

Bedroom #2 – Eventually

  1. Remove carpet
  2. Install hardwood
  3. Remove built-in desk
  4. Paint
  5. Update light fixtures
  6. Furnish

Bedroom #3 – High Priority

  1. Replaced cracked glass in window

Bedroom # 3 – Eventually

  1. Remove carpet
  2. Install hardwood
  3. Paint
  4. Update light fixtures
  5. Furnish

Upstairs Hallway – High Priority

  1. Patch drywall done!

Upstairs Hallway – Eventually

  1. Remove carpet – done!
  2. Install hardwood
  3. Remove transom in hallway to master bedroom <– totally forgot I wanted to do this, but it’s a good idea.
  4. Do something with linen closet in hallway

Upstairs Bath- High Priority

  1. Replace toilet (cleaned it, replacing not necessary!)
  2. Replace sink faucets done!
  3. Fix peeling paint on walls/ ceiling done!
  4. Paint walls done! (Did something extra-fun with this one while I was at it.)
  5. Paint cabinet
  6. Get mirrors

Upstairs Bath- Eventually

  1. Replace tub surround
  2. Remove and re-tile floor
  3. Build new doors for vanity

Furniture to Buy or Build

  • New couch for living room (buy)
  • Two chairs for living room (buy)
  • Bookshelf for living room (buy) done! (See it here.)
  • New coffee table for living room (build)
  • TV stand for office (build)
  • Shelving for office (build)
  • New chairs for desk in office (buy, or paint existing)
  • Old kitchen table to refinish <- got the table, need to refinish it
  • New kitchen chairs (buy)
  • Vanity for downstairs bath (build)
  • Vanity for Master bath (build)
  • King-sized bed for Master (build)
  • Double bed for spare room (buy) <– got mattresses, need frame
  • Twin bed for spare room (buy)

So, basically, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. But, in two years, I’ve also checked a not-insignificant amount of things off the list.

Maybe I’m one of those “Type A” personalities after all?


16 Responses

  1. I like having my personality be a ‘type’. It makes me feel less alone. I make draft lists and then real lists, lists on sticky notes to put on my steering wheel. If I don’t write it down and SEE it, it will not get done. That being said, I leave dishes in my sink all the time and my house is in disarray most of the time. I attribute that to, not a lack of caring, but an abundance of indoor animals (their hair/fur, dirty paws…) and as an unspoken rule – I don’t do housework past 8, that’s wine time and it just doesn’t happen.

    1. If you don’t like being classified Type A, then you were never Type A to begin with. 😉

  2. I can’t help but be so ridonculously jealous of your ‘insta-farm’ pic of you on your deck drinking a brewski with barely any snow in the background! We just had a horrible blizzard Monday night/Tuesday morning which was pretty much THE WORST April fools joke I have ever seen.
    So don’t freak out if there is someone drinking a beer or 7 on your deck today, it’s just me, running away from this awful North Dakota winter. 😉 jk

  3. Pretty excited to see that this guy is still not checked off your list:

    1.Remove bags of dirt/dead bodies

  4. I am all about all about lists and Arcadia too! Glad the MI weather is finally cooperating to get to work outside.

  5. Looking at this list is a great reminder of everything that you’ve already DONE!! That makes the rest of it seem just a little bit less daunting (to me). Somehow even with such a long list of daily chores and high priority items, you have already managed to get a shit-ton of work done inside the house to make it more liveable! I’m also secretly glad that with time the arched doorways have grown on you, you should cross those things that you have decided not to do off the list as well! As good as done!! Can’t wait to see the happenings this summer!!

  6. “Remove wainscoting <- Nope. Painted it, looks good, no need to make my life more complicated."

    I totally laughed at this 'no need to make it more complicated' part. It seems like things make themselves more complicated on their own for you!

  7. Kit, Impressive, I only make lists, do them and then crumple….. Hate to say it, winters coming and I did not see anything on the lists about your barn doors.! You will be trying to shovel and open before you know it if you don’t do something about those sliders.

  8. I’m a type-A, diagnosed-and-cursed-with-OCD, neat-freak perfectionist who LOVES lists. They’re on my iPhone, iPad, iMac, and running throughout my crazy head. However, YOUR LIST makes me EXHAUSTED!

    Best of luck with it all! I love that you chronicle your journey so we can come along for the ride! 🙂

  9. I do my lists mostly by priority rather than by room or some other category. Also separate the simple (quick) things for those times when you feel overwhelmed and just want to shorten the list.
    I’m on my 4th house and try to do everything except foundation, excavating, well & septic (I even drilled my own well on the last one, county sanitarian wasn’t too happy about it though). So I don’t start making lists until I get close to needing inspections and the list usually gets longer before it starts to shrink.

    As for personality types, I’m a type M-E

  10. You are a woman with balls… lol
    You juggle with your time to keep all the balls in the air, but you rock it!
    That’s why I think of you every time I hear TIMBER – PITBULL & KE$HA.

    I can’t help it 😉

  11. Refinish/paint stairs – In progress, forever

    At least I’m not the only one feeling this way. I’m still chipping away at this project a couple of stairs at a time. In progress and half done still looks better than nasty, dirt filled “white” carpet.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.