When you think of a home renovation or remodel, usually big changes are in order from gutting a kitchen and bath to new flooring and wallpaper (isn’t it all so pretty?). These big things make a big impact to a home, but the little things also add up and can really change up the aesthetic and value of the house – for the better. The little things are usually the not so attractive updates (read: not Instagram friendly), but collectively they can really help bring together a home remodel. Along with the big things we’re working, we’re also working on some smaller, but collectively big things around the house.
Remove exterior door in the guest bathroom. Our home came with a hot tub which had not been maintained in about 10 years! We know the house was designed by the original owner to be a party home and the hot tub was used often. The exterior door in the guest bathroom made a lot of sense for this party pad, but for Alan and I, not so much. We still have a lot of parties, but the hot tub wasn’t a keeper and having an exterior door in the bathroom does not make sense (plus, it’s ugly). We removed the exterior door and replaced it with a window and the bathroom already looks so much better.
Earthquake Bolting/Retrofitting. This is such a sexy topic right? Well, given we live in Los Angeles, aka earthquake country, this is a definite must. Earthquake retrofitting will keep our home from being displaced from its concrete foundation making our home safe and less prone to major structural damage during an earthquake. With a baby on the way, plus the open floor plan of the house, this jumped on the list of things to get done, plus Alan found a great rebate program!
Fix sliding doors (and removing safety gates). When Alan and I first toured our home, we didn’t realize the front door was a sliding glass door. We noticed the 3 other sliding doors that let in plenty of light and create an open feel from our home to the patio (my dream!). The filthy security gates blocked the beautiful custom glasswork and detailing of the front door. After we moved in, we realized that the lock on the sliding door was damaged and was probably the reason the previous owner put in the security gate. When we decided to start our remodel, I figured it would be an easy fix. Boy was I wrong! I must have called every sliding door repair and locksmith service in Los Angeles before I found California Sliding Doors – the only company that has experience with Arcadia steel doors and could help us out. No one else would touch our sliding doors and I worried that we would have to replace the entire sliding door system! Fortunately, the team at CSD came in and within a couple of hours replaced the lock on the front door, put on new rollers, and fixed the other 3 sliding doors in our home. Safety gates are coming down next weekend and I can’t wait to show off the beautiful entryway!
Replace the exterior siding. The siding has seen better days but our exterior painter said he can patch some of damaged areas before painting. Great right? Well, being practical and thinking long term are two things you want to consider before and during a renovation. Yes, the spot repair is an easy and cheap fix, but we’re dealing with 60+ year old wood siding that has been exposed to the elements. Alan and I decided to bite the bullet and order new siding from Eichler Siding, which matches the existing siding. It’s not too pricey, but these little things add up – trust me!
Update electrical and plumbing. Unfortunately, I won’t see the copper plumbing that is costing us a lot of money, but while our walls were ripped open and part of flooring too, we decided to make the investment and upgrade from galvanized to copper plumbing. Same with the electrical; you don’t see the new wiring, but when it comes time to sell these updates will help increase the value of our home.
Replace jalousie windows in kitchen. Jalousie windows are a pain in the butt. Not only do you have to remove each piece of glass individually to clean, but they are super easy to remove or break allowing a burglar into your home. Our kitchen has two jalousie windows above the sink which were protected with security bars (read: gross, gloomy, ugly). This was one of the first things I wanted to replace but waited until we gutted the kitchen. The new window also uses a crank system to open but it’s secure, clean, and bright. I can actually look out onto the street and enjoy our fruit trees from the kitchen now!
If you’re in the Los Angeles area and need resources, please feel free to reach out to me!