The grand plan

I was inspired my Young House Love‘s mega to do list and thought we’d share our own list, along with the progress we’ve made (spoiler alert: most rooms are at 0%) in each room. Grab your favorite beverage because this is a long one!

5% done


  • DryLok walls
  • Replace the sump pump
  • Create a cover for the sump pump hole
  • Run electric and build a platform for the chest freezer
  • Add shop lighting
  • Assemble shelving and organize our personal stuff and business materials
  • Add a light to the stairwell
  • Build a door for the stairwell
  • Build a wine cellar
  • Build a workshop
  • Paint the stairwell

65% done


Entry cube
0% done


  • Replace the fire hose lights
  • Finish the drywall
  • Paint
  • Hang art

Dining room
0% done


  • Secure the fire pole at the bottom with more bolts
  • Patch all the holes, including the large one that was possibly a coal door
  • Finish the duct work
  • Run more electrical outlets
  • Put the dining room lighting on a different switch than the studio lighting
  • Build a new door for the basement stairwell
  • Paint
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Build a light fixture that’s been floating around in our heads for years
  • Build a large dining table
  • Hang art

Downstairs living room
0% done


  • Finish the duct work into the bathroom
  • Patch the holes
  • Paint
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Add a cool, modern fireplace
  • Buy new seating (couch and chairs, some of which may be vintage)
  • Add a window or door to the yard
  • Hang art
  • Find a spot for a bar

2% done


  • Replace two of the bricked over windows
  • Add a new lighting fixture
  • Buy appliances
  • Open up the kitchen to the rest of the first floor
  • Build a new backdoor
  • Vent the range hood outside
  • Run new floors throughout the first floor, maybe lifting the floor to add a radiant heat system
  • Basically completely gut the kitchen. We’re still figuring out what this looks like. It will probably have an island, definitely more cabinet/counter space, definitely an electric wall oven and built-in microwave

Half bath
10% done


  • Replace the bricked over window
  • Cover the Swiss cheese ceiling
  • Add a new light fixture
  • Paint
  • Restore the slop sink
  • Restore the toilet paper holder
  • Restore the door
  • Add art and accessories, like a mirror and storage

0% done

  • Decide whether to keep the original door, if so, refinish it
  • Patch the walls and paint
  • Paint the railings and refinish the banister
  • Add new lighting

Upstairs living room
0% done


  • Tear down the plaster on the west side to expose the brick
  • Make the roof hatch usable
  • Fix the plaster on the ceiling
  • Remove old fire alarms
  • Run more electric and add outlets
  • Hide the electric panel
  • Replace the closet doors
  • Insulate the furnace sound deadening material
  • Refinish or remove the hall door
  • Run new flooring throughout the second floor (some sort of old factory-weathered wood is our dream option)
  • Add windows on the west wall (maybe)
  • Investigate the ceiling ducts to determine if we can add a skylight
  • Replace the lighting
  • Paint
  • Build a “mega couch” for ultimate TV and movie viewing
  • Hang/hide a projector and screen
  • Hang art

Captain’s bedroom and bathroom
0% done


  • Secure the top of the fire pole with more than just electrical wire
  • Replace/add screens to the windows
  • Fix the duct work
  • Refinish the original door
  • Refinish the window sills
  • Use the water connections (maybe for a coffee bar?)
  • Replace the flooring
  • Rebuild the closets so they go to the ceiling
  • Add a bed, dresser, side tables and other necessities for a guest room
  • Hang art (maybe a large pull down map)
  • Determine what it would take to make the bathroom functional

Awesome bathroom
-10% done


  • Replace fixtures as necessary to make sure everything works
  • Replace the lights over the mirrors
  • Redo/cover the plaster walls
  • Paint
  • Build a storage solution for towels and other necessities (maybe a rendition of pipe shelving)
  • Build an LED drop ceiling
  • Build a new door
  • Add a Mojo washing station in one of the showers

Workout room/extra bedroom
0% done


  • Remove the “stage”
  • Remove the pole closet
  • Rebuild the actual closet so it goes to the ceiling
  • Fix the window sills
  • Finish the trim
  • Build out the exercise area (mirrors and a weight rack)
  • Mount the TV
  • Replace the flooring
  • Paint
  • Build a Murphy bed and extra storage along the south wall

4th “bedroom”
0% done


  • Build the old pole closet and furnace into a proper furnace room with a door leading to the hallway
  • Close off the existing door and turn the space into a closet for the master suite by adding a door between this room and the master bathroom
  • Paint
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add new lighting and electrical as needed
  • Add a window (maybe)

Laundry room
0% done


  • Expand the laundry room by stealing space from the master bedroom or workout room
  • Build storage and a clothes drying rack
  • Paint

Master bedroom
0% done


  • Remove the half wall
  • Remove the double closets
  • Seal the brick
  • Investigate the ceiling ducts to determine if we can add a skylight
  • Adjust duct work
  • Build a new door
  • Update slide dimmers to something more modern
  • Replace the flooring
  • Redo the lighting
  • Build a platform bed
  • Buy/build side tables
  • Add a fireplace (maybe)
  • Buy additional furniture as needed (chairs, dresser, etc) – maybe some vintage pieces
  • Paint
  • Add light blocking window treatments
  • Hang art

Master bathroom
0% done


  • Extend the wall of the shower so we can add a steam feature
  • Replace the jacuzzi tub with a claw-foot tub or an uber modern tub
  • Replace the vanity/storage with something more modern
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add a door into the new master closet
  • Add a window to the west wall (maybe)
  • Paint
  • Add new lighting and maybe an LED drop ceiling

30% done


  • Buy Right Lot
  • Seal the roof
  • Lay a huge patio
  • Replace the asphalt in back with a new parking pad
  • Install a carport
  • Fence the yard (We’re close)
  • Plant grass
  • Replace mulberry tree with something non-fruit bearing
  • Finish the carport into a garage
  • Remove the dead tree in the front of the house
  • Repaint the front garage door and hang new flags
  • Create raised planting beds
  • Section the patio into functional areas (like eating, lounging and a fire pit)
  • Build an overhang for the grill area
  • Build a fire pit
  • Build fire wood storage
  • Build patio furniture
  • Build an overhang for part of the patio
  • Move the trailer to the back
  • Pour a concrete pad for trailer storage
  • Tuck point the building (likely in stages)
  • Replace the bad second story windows
  • Landscape (another tree or two, ivy, tall grass)
  • Fix the front lights
  • Fix the light over the front door
  • Add motion lights to the back and garage
  • Run electric to the garage
  • Run electric on the patio side of the building
  • Fix the water faucet in back
  • Remove the asphalt in the alley
  • Add uplighting
  • Buy the alley

10% done

  • Activate the new security system
  • Incorporate home automation, including smart thermostats
  • Investigate on-demand water, especially for the upstairs bathrooms

So that’s the master plan… or most of it. I’m sure we forgot some steps along the way. Do you keep a master to do list or organize your projects some other way? Aaron is still working away in the studio as we inch that space closer to 100% completion!


14 thoughts on “The grand plan

  1. I’m so glad you posted this – it’s great to have links to projects you’ve already completed that I haven’t seen before! I love the kitchen light fixture!

    • Oh my! We’re so excited about the basement too. The wine cellar is competing with the patio for (potential) “FAVORITE space!”

  2. Super jealous of the Mojo washing station you have planned. That is a must have in our dream home because I basically just have to bathe with our dogs if they need a bath.

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  4. I am SO glad Kim and Scott shared your blog! I seriously just spent an hour reading about your firehouse! The progress you’ve already made in the studio is awesome! Definitely bookmarking you! 🙂


    • Thanks and welcome! Some days we don’t feel like we’ve even made a dent (probably because our dining room and downstairs living room are filled with boxes of studio stuff and construction equipment, respectively).

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