Archives For DIY

Curtain Installation for Renters

Jennifer —  February 10, 2014 — 1 Comment

I am back.  Well, kind of.  Sorry for my long absence but as I have transitioned into a new home (rental) and a new city I have really had a process in transitioning.  My paid job is working from home part-time so I thought I would have all this time to do everything I wanted and I got overloaded.  I had to have a little priority check to see what was of utmost importance so I took a break.  It has been good for me to re-evaluate why I blog and WHAT is important to me to blog about.  I decided to break my silence and start posting again but I will say that the blog will soon be transitioning.  It has to because the company who made my purchased theme (Standard) decided to close shop….just when I got my blog redesigned.  Boo!  I was so frustrated I used the opportunity for reflection.  Do I want to continue on with iloverehabs, do I want to finish my time as a blogger, or do I want to transition?  I am going to post more on this later but today I wanted to give you a DIY post.  If you don’t remember, I am renting a house right now in our new city.  We were overwhelmed with buying when we moved because we didn’t know the city.  As you know, renters can’t drill holes in the walls and make their home cozy with semi-permanent decor.  I was actually told by my landlord that I could re-paint and I tried to muster up the energy but it went flat.  I didn’t want to spend money on paint for a house I was leaving 6 months later.  I decided it was more of a challenge to work with the existing paint.  Here is our living room when we moved in:

Here is this space with all my stuff from my old house

 I was fine with it as is until the day I got sick of the blinds.  They were broken at the bottom and didn’t give full privacy.  So I made a temporary shade to cover the massive window out of a fabric shower curtain liner I had on hand.  I decided I needed color.  So I grabbed my fabric shower curtains from my former guest bathroom….

Floor to Ceiling Shower Curtain

…and decided to make them into  curtains perfect for a rental.  I couldn’t drill holes in the wall NOR did I want to buy a rod for a window size that I might not have in the next house.

Here is how I made my no-damage rental curtains:


  • Dowel Rod (small)  I bought one and cut it into two.  You can buy two the size you need at Lowes, HD or a craft store.  One was .97¢
  • four 3M command strip removable hooks. (two boxes at $2.99 a pop with a 10% off mobile coupon (plus tax) was about $6.
  • Curtain with tabs.  I made mine but you can buy them this way.  (I had them)
  • Straight Pins. (had them)

Total Cost:  $7

I used a level and hung two 3M command strip hooks where I wanted my curtain to go.  I placed the dowel here so you could see how it would fit.

iloverehabs, no damage rental curtains

I cut the dowel to the size of the curtain when it was pleated.  The dowel would fit in the curtain like a rod would.  This picture is before I pleated the curtain so my curtain is bigger than my dowel rod.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

I pleated the curtain by folding the front of the curtain so the tabs touched in the back.  In other words, fold the fabric between each tab. Here is the picture with it folded/pleated from the back.  The rod is inserted here.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Here is a picture of the pleats from the front.  If you look closely you will see I pinned the folded section of fabric together (in the front) to make the pleats.  I actually used plain straight pins but they were so unnoticeable that I switched pins so you could see them in the picture.  Pinning the pleats naturally keeps the fabric together and it keeps the rod in the back without sewing it in!  No-sew projects…can I get an AMEN!?

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

I placed the pleated/pinned curtain with the rod inserted on the 3M command strips and you can’t even see the hooks.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Here are my No-Sew…No Damage…Rental Curtains

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Of course you cannot open them but they are not privacy curtains…they just give color…which makes me happy.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

When its time to move take out the pins, rod, and undo the command strips and you are done.  Hope this helps you renters…or people who just need curtains for some texture.

Thanks for reading,



Last Friday I shared with you our first 13 steps to our kitchen rehab.  Here is how we finished this thing out.

while our floors were being sanded and stained….

Step 14 – Built the Fridge Cabinet

caudill kitchen 10,

Lee made this cabinet thanks to the help of younghouselove.  We didn’t use their exact tutorial because our fridge was not as wide, but it sure gave us direction.  There will be no post on this one because why re-create what younghouselove already did?  If you want to do this, check it out there. If you are wondering why part of it painted?  We originally were going to find a bigger cabinet to use here.  We couldn’t find one at a re-store and didn’t want to buy a new one.  (we are cheap)  Anyway, this cabinet was going to get discarded so it was our test cabinet for our first time spraying cabinets. We decided to use it after all, but it was already painted.

Step 15 – Stabilized and trimmed out the island

I can’t wait to post how we did this.  It was so easy.  This picture is in the in between stages and kind of blurry.  I will post more detailed pictures soon.

Step 16 – Painted the base cabinets, island, & fridge

We used a sprayer….I will never use a brush to paint cabinets again.  The finish is so much better using a sprayer.  We covered up the painted part of the newly built fridge cabinet.

caudill kitchen 9,


Caudill Kitchen 13,

Step 17 – Installed the base cabinets

Caudill kitchen 14,


In this step we also trimmed out the toe kick and added spacers to make the cabinets fit perfectly.  You will have to do this if you buy stock cabinets or re-use and relocate old cabinets.  Notice that we had to cut a hole for the vent in the sink cabinet.

Step 18 – Installed Upper Cabinets

Lee always uses a 2X4 to make a level resting spot while he drills the cabinet into the wall.  Make sure its level and place it where the bottom of the cabinet needs to be. He had already done it for the smaller cabinet and then removed it when it was secure and in place.

Caudill Kitchen 2,

We were originally going to put shelves below the cabinets but Lee wanted to leave that step for the new home owner if they wanted to do it.

Caudill Kitchen 8,


Step 19 – Measured and Ordered the Doors and Drawer Fronts

Here was the kitchen while we waited

Caudill Kitchen 6,


We wanted to clear space in the garage so we went ahead and put the appliances in.  We ordered them Black Friday, Lowes delivered them in March (after we delayed them every stinkin, week they called)  This picture was taken in July.  It was time for them to have their home.  If you look at the after pictures of our kitchen you will see that we added a spacer piece to the fridge cabinet to make it look seamless.

Caudill kitchen 12,

Step 20 – Ordered the Countertop

While we waited….

Step 21 – Painted and installed window and door trim

Step 22 – Installed the countertop

Actually, we had it installed.  We used Designer White Dupont Corian Countertop.  (note this picture is a little out of step.  I didn’t snap a photo because the countertop was installed white I was at work.   We had paper over them for about two more weeks after that and I didn’t take the effort to clear it all off to snap a photo in process.

Caudill Kitchen Countertop,

Step 23 – Tiled the backsplash

Why is there tape on the wall?  Funny story.  I will post soon!

Caudill Kitchen 4,

Here is the tile without grout.  I was pulling for gray grout.  The no grout shows what that would have looked like.

Caudill kitchen (6),

The hubs wanted white.  Guess who won that battle?  If it were my house there would have been gray.  White grout is universal and can be really bright.  I supported my hubby’s decision.,


Step 24 – Installed the sink and faucet

Caudill Kitchen After 9,

Step 25 – Painted the new drawers and doors

Here are the doors when they arrived!

Caudill Kitchen 1,


I will post all about this process because I have gotten many emails about how this went.  I WILL do it again.  It was not as scary as I thought it would be.  I will also post about spraying cabinets.  We have a few tricks up our sleeve that I want to share.

Caudill kitchen 7,

Step 26 – Installed the drawer fronts to the existing drawers.

Most of the drawers we kept and simply unscrewed the front to screw the new one on.  There were two drawers that we had to rebuild.  We just used scrap wood and the existing drawer slides.

Caudill Kitchen,


Step 24 – Made and installed the new pendant lights,


I can’t wait to post this project but I used these old pendants from the bathroom.  We also added the outlets, outlet covers and installed the other light fixtures.

Caudill Kitchen 5,

Step 25 – Installed the Doors

Caudill Kitchen After 7,


Step 26 – Added the hardware 

As you can see above, we added the hardware as we installed the doors.

Caudill Kitchen Cabinet 1,

Step 27 – Stepped back and soaked in the final product.

You can see the spacer piece we added to the fridge cabinet here.  ( I spoke of it in step 19)

  Caudill Kitchen After 3,

 I hope this helps you think through all the little steps it takes to make a kitchen happen.

Have a Happy Monday!



Today I wanted to show you all the steps it took to renovate the kitchen in the house we flipped.  Hopefully this can help you think through or plan out a kitchen renovation project.  Ours was a full house renovation so there might be a month or two between steps, but this is the order and steps we took to accomplishthis kitchen.

Caudill Kitchen After

Step 1 – Take it all in

We took pictures, got measurements, got bids on projects, and let the brainstorming and budgeting begin

Caudill Kitchen Before 2


Caudill Kitchen Before

Step 2 – Make a Plan

After bidding we knew what we wanted to spend so we made up a plan based on our budget., kitchen floor plan



Caudill Kitchen Floor Plan 3

Step 3 – Buy Appliances

We got this house thanksgiving week of 2012 so we went to Lowes to score a black friday deal.  We bought all four stainless steel appliances for $1800.  I listed this step on purpose.  When you are on a budget you have to get a deal when a deal exists…not when you need it. We would not really need appliances for about 6 months into the flip. We would have paid $2400 if we would have waited until we were ready.  Lowes actually held these for us until May, then we had to take them.  They were in the garage for two months.

Step 4 – Knock down the wall

We contracted this one out and found out during step 1 that this wall was load bearing.  We also had to have a HVAC guy come out and bid the HVAC before we could do this because there was an air return in this wall.  We had to get a plan for where it would move to.  A new HVAC system was already in the budget so we would have had him come anyway.  Our contractor gutted the existing wall:



Then he created two temporary walls and then knocked the real wall down.

We had to have part of a wall to support the beam.  We chose a 24 inch wall seperating the range side of the kitchen and the living room area.   We chose a depth would fit the depth of the cabinets perfectly. I think it created nice separation for the built-ins I am hoping the new owner will install.  We had to create the same thing on the dining room side, but it was a little bit bigger to fit the new return vent., wall between kitchen and living room


The beam went in nicely, load bearing beam in ceiling



Step 5 – Bye-Bye Soffits

We demoed the rest of the kitchen

Step 6 – Installed new windows and a new exterior door, kitchen renovation


Step 7 – Install/Move Electrical

The electrical wiring was an electrical mess in the soffits so our electrician cleaned it up and tucked it away (eventually but not in this picture) into the ceiling. We did not move outlets except for the microwave outlet.  We knew we were hanging the cabinets higher so it needed to be moved up a little.  Little decisions, such as this one, is the reason why I believe step 2 is crucial.  Executing a plan will give you a well thought out kitchen and keep you from having to go backwards rehab,

aaa, kitchen renovation

We installed three can lights following the aisles of the kitchen.  On the sink wall, two cans flanked each side of the window.  The window also had a centered sink light so we chose to flank the window creating light on each counter.  The range side of the kitchen had a can light centered.  The range side was too small for two can lights.  I knew that the task lighting under the microwave would also help to light that area while cooking.  Putting the cabinetry back temporarily, helped us decide not only aisle space but also where the lights should go.  We started by just taping.   You can see in the picture above where we originally thought the island should go.  I am so thankful we moved the island back in, because it helped us see that the kitchen would be too cramped where the tape was placed for the island.  We wanted a good amount of space for doors to be open while fridge door was open, while cooks are cooking,  so we moved the island back.   One other electrical change was to move the sink light up to the ceiling.  It was formerly located in the soffit above the sink., kitchen renovation

Another benefit of bringing in the makeshift island so we could place two pendants evenly over the island.  We placed a broken wall cabinet on the end because we thought we were going to add a bookcase on the end the depth of the wall cabinet.  It made the island too big so we decided against it.  (More on this soon)  I added the scrap plywood to simulate the countertop and its actual overage for stools.  The island size, counter width, and counter depth helped us mark the perfect place for the two pendant lights to be centered and functional.  The electrician added wire and installed the light box., kitchen renovation

Step 8 – Popped some popcorn

Not really.  Instead we peeled the popcorn off the existing drywall.  We laid plastic everywhere for easy clean up.

Popcorn ceiling removal,

Step 9 - Dry Wall

We insulated where it was needed, patched the ceiling, sheet rocked the kitchen, and textured it.  It all looked so much more clean!

The kitchen


Step 10 – Paint Party Time

We painted the wall.  No floor, no trim…Easy!  You don’t even have to tape or cut in.  This is my favorite type of painting.

Step 11 – Installed the wood floor

The wood floor was ordered two weeks before we were ready for it to be installed.  A raw wood floor, unlike an engineered hardwood, needs to sit in the environment it will be installed in for a couple of weeks to acclimate.  If you don’t do this you run the risk of your wood floor, when it does acclimate,  either expanding of retracting. Expanding causes buckling of floors, retracting creates gaps.  You pay way to much for this type of floor so be patient and take time for the wood to acclimate.   We had already installed the HVAC system to make sure we created the actual environment for the floors to acclimate.  We bought the hardwood from a supplier and then contracted installation and stain out.  The wood you see against the wall is the wood for the stair tread.  Our installer’s method is to stain the stair treads before installing them.  Whatever works!, ash wood floors

Step 12 – Stain the wood floor

I had no part in this work except adoring it when it was done.

ash wood floors, jacobean stain,

Step 13 – Find a new upper cabinet

As you can see in step 7 we had a demo casualty with one of the upper cabinets.  It would have been more work to fix it so we kept checking at the Re-store until a 24 inch wide upper cabinet arrived.  When it did, we snatched it up.  We were ordering new doors and painting the cabinetry, so it didn’t matter the style of door.  It had to be paintable, and standard depth and height. We found one that fit the bill and bought it for a whopping $10.

This is all for today, stay tuned on Monday for the rest of the steps.  We are getting into the fun stuff soon.  Have a great weekend!


Thanks for reading,






The Details of Details

Jennifer —  October 7, 2013 — 3 Comments

Today I thought I would take you through all the nitty-gritty details of what this kitchen looks like.  I plan on posting  how we did some of these things in different posts.  First of all, when we flip a house we budget entire projects before we set room budgets.  For example, we set a “flooring budget” that includes flooring for every room.  We set a “Drywall”, “Wall Paint”, “Electrical”, and “Trim”, budget for the entire house.  A room budget only has things specific to that room such as “kitchen cabinets” or “kitchen appliances.”  I tell you this because I will be giving you estimates on whatsome of the things cost in this room.  I can tell you exactly on some projects but things like drywall cost, might be a little trickier because I know how much it cost for the entire house.  Our goal was to transform this room for about $4K-$5K (after budgeting all the “whole house” projects like the ones listed above).  This means the room rehab was probably about $6K-$7K if you count flooring, drywall, window, trim, and lighting.  Enough about all that.  Here is the kitchen while standing in the living room.  Our goal was bright and open., Grey and white Kitchen


Lighting was a huge decision in this room.  We wanted can lights to brighten the room, we upcycled the pendants we pulled out of the bathroom, and I DIYed a school light fixture for over the sink.

Caudill Kitchen After 3

Here is the view of the kitchen when you walk in the front door.

Caudill Kitchen After

We got rid of the soffits to make the ceiling look taller.  We couldn’t increase the kitchen square footage but we could make it look bigger by making it look taller.  We hung the cabinets just a tad bit higher than normal.

Caudill Kitchen After 2

My initial idea was to add white or stained wood open shelving underneath the cabinet.  Just one shelf like this or this picture.  We actually were going to do this but my hubbie talked me into leaving it “unshelved” due drilling into the tile.  Believe me, tile drilling doesn’t scare us, but its pretty permanent for those who might not want it.  We left it where you can add it if you want to or leave it as is.  The sink above was a $99 deep stainless steel sink.  The faucet we got all together with our bathroom faucets.  I wanted a tall faucet with a pull out sprayer.  I believe it was $99.  You can negotiate more discounts when you by them all together

Caudill Kitchen After 9  We used the existing cabinets but ordered all new drawer fronts and doors.

Caudill Kitchen After 7


We will do this again. I don’t know where or when, but I was super impressed how easy it was to order doors.   The total cost for the MDF (paintable only) doors and drawer fronts was $900.  That included shipping.  To replace every cabinet with this style of new cabinets would have cost around $3000-$5000.  The knobs were on sale at Lowes.  The knobs were $.97 and the pulls were $1.03.  Of course I would’ve picked something a little larger but when you flip you want the best bang for your buck.

Caudill Kitchen Cabinet 1

We just flipped the island around and trimmed it out.  Click here to see where it was.  It has room for three larger bar stools or 4 smaller.  T

Caudill Kitchen 5

Lee built a fridge cabinet for $130. It wasn’t need it but it made the kitchen look more custom:

Caudill Kitchen After 6

We had to use spacers and fillers to make these cabinets fit and be centered, but wood filler, caulk and paint hide it well.  We had to purchase all new appliances.  We bought the house in early November and cashed in a stellar deal on Black Friday.  All four stainless steel appliances for $1800.  The tile was the cheapest part of the project. We used $.16 white American Olean tiles in a brick pattern.  I wanted grey grout…Lee wanted white.  I let him win this battle because it was not my house.

Caudill Kitchen After 10

For the counters we chose white Corian.  The neighborhood comps suggested higher end than laminate and Corian was more cost-effective than granite or quartz.  The pantry for this kitchen is the door you see in the laundry room.  It is a nice deep closet.  It is bigger than any pantry I have ever had.

Caudill Kitchen Countertop

Finally, here is where the kitchen/dining room table would go.  I grabbed a stainless steel barn light at Lowes for $19.  This space merits a really fun pendant, but that is for the new owner to pick out.  I am just picturing a long buffet with large pieces or art, or maybe some built ins with glass doors on the upper cabinets, or maybe incorporate this moodboard idea I gave a reader.

Caudill Kitchen Dining Area

There is our massive kitchen renovation.  Friday I will post the time line to get this all done.

Have a great Monday!

Thanks for reading,



Kitchen Before and After

Jennifer —  October 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

I have so many fun posts coming that have to do with a major kitchen renovation.  We just finished one and I am excited to share all the nitty gritty of this kitchen rehab.  It was major…yet still on a budget.  To get you excited I am simply going to show you the before and after.

In the upcoming weeks I am going to share how we turned this:

Caudill Kitchen Before 2

…and this…

Caudill Kitchen Before, iloverehabs


Into this…

Caudill Kitchen After 3, iloverehabs

…all on a budget.

Stay tuned to find out how we did everything.  Be ready for some kitchen “how we did it” posts.

Happy Friday!

Thanks for reading,



















Something A Little Shuttering

Jennifer —  September 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

Thanks for listening to my recent life posts, but today I am ready to post a good DIY post.  For all of you that are wanting to do something to the exterior of your home I have got just the post for you.  We decided to change-up many things about the exterior of the home we renovated.  Here is the before pic just for fun.

Caudill House Before

Here is what we have done so far:

One of the last things that we wanted to do was add some chunkier shutters.  The original shutters were green vinyl.  Shutters have no function in this home, but they just add am element of texture to the exterior.  They break up the khaki siding in a pleasant way.  It completely transformed the first house we renovated.  I wanted navy blue to be the accent color so I went on a mission to find navy shutters and the cheapest that I could find were these from Lowes.  I liked them, but they were a little skinnier than the size of shutter I had in my head. I also could not order the exact dimension I needed for the windows. Yes, I could find a company that could do such a thing but I would also have to add another $30-$50 per shutter.  No thanks.  We made these stock shutters fit by allowing a little overage so I thought I would try them out.  The cost of the Lowes shutters were reasonable at $150, but after you add tax and supplies need to install them it would add up to about $175.  If they fit, ordering and installing could be worth my time.  I decided the next time that I went to the house I would see if I was okay with the width.  Unfortunately, I was not.  The former shutters were bigger and these new shutters would not cover the holes in the siding.  I knew my only option was to make my own.  Ordering custom shutters would have been a $300 adventure and that was not in the budget. Here is a picture of the window (before the new windows) without a shutter:

Caudill Exterior Before

Here are the new windows with the new shutters:

 caudill exterior 3

Here is what I used to build the shutters:

Continue Reading…

The Odd Couple

Jennifer —  September 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

When we packed up our house Lee tried to get me to toss the drywall frames.  “You can do them again if you really want them, but you probably won’t use them.”  More than likely he was going to be right but I could not do it.  I was thinking of many ways I could re-use these.  Today, I am glad that I didn’t pitch them.  For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about this is my drywall frame wall in my old house.  You can see how I made them here:

 Living Room 15

Thankfully I packed some of them with my lamps, which was a box that I unpacked.  I forgot they were in there so I was pleasantly surprised!  I didn’t know how I would use them but I knew that I would figure it out.  I am into organizing my stuff these days. I have lived out of suitcases, bags and boxes for the last four months so its kind of the way I am figuring out what I have.  I was planning on doing a cheap jewelry organizer from a Pinterest Pin like this one or this one until I glanced over at my drywall frames and thought…I could use those.  I grabbed a box of pins out of my sewing box and this is what I came up with.; jewelry storage

Who knew that Drywall + Jewelry could equal storage.  They are an Odd Couple but they work together well.  For those of you who wasn’t reading my blog a year ago, I covered a cut up piece of clearnace drywall to hang on the wall.  It served as a psuedo bulletin board.  Here is how I did it.  Each frame cost me about $1.50.  The drywall takes a little more “umph” to get the pins in, but when they are in…they are sturdy; jewelry storage

 I did find this burlap covered canvas at Wal-mart for $3.97; jewelry storage

You are getting a little preview of my new master bedroom.  Do you see the green?  I love green but wow…it is bold.  It also is so bold that it shows the imperfections on the wall…because your eye naturally is drawn to that wall.  I am learning that if you have a wall with imperfections…maybe fix the imperfections before painting bold OR paint the wall a more neutral color.; jewelry storage


Its a rental so it is what it is….so I am working with it. .  It works much better for earrings than the drywall.  I love the color that my jewelry adds to the room without having to hang any decorations.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks for reading,


Seven Step Rescue

Jennifer —  September 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

I posted this winter that we decided to open up the deck to this house.

Caudill House Before

The roof line was low and the deck railing made it more closed off and dark.  The roof line or the deck railings had to go so we decided to pick the less expensive of the two…the deck railings.  We did, however, have to be up to code.  You can’t just have a deck with a drop off so we add steps the full length of the porch.  We only needed two steps and you could install them without railings.  For more detail about the process check it out here.  Here are the pictures for some highlights.

Deck Front Porch, iloverehabs


 Front Porch, iloverehabs



Front Deck, iloverehabs


We re-used most of the wood but had to replace a few boards that were rotten.  Stain would look nice here but this deck needed a rescue.  The old and new boards would take the stain differently so we decided to seek out and compare deck products.  We decided on Olympic Rescue It.  Here is the video that sold us on this product after a few visits with a knowledgable Lowes employee.

We loved the fact that it could rescue the splinters and the knots of the old wood and make it more secure.  We loved that it could bring the old and new together.  We also loved the $35 price.  We chose Russet Brown.

This process was really simple.


  •  Deck Cleaner

  • Paint Brush – pick a good angled one that can get in the crevices well and won’t get all gross half way through.  This is a budget friendly deck project but don’t go budget friendly on the brush.  Purchase the $8-$10 brush.

  • Paint roller with a high nap.  The high nap helps get in the crevices

  • Paint roller stick

  • Olympic Rescue it – We needed two gallons for our space.  We had some leftover but we were glad we had enough.  The coverage it suggests on the can was spot on.

Total Cost:  Around $100

Time:  6 Hours of painting with dry time in between

Step 1 

Clean your deck.

We power sprayed the deck because we have a friend that has a power sprayer.  We used Krud Kutter Multi Purpose Cleaner.  If you don’t have a power sprayer you can use something like Olympic Deck Cleaner.  The label says no scrubbing required, just let it set for a certain amount of time and then was off.

Step 2 

Allow clean deck to dry

Step 3 

Paint the Edges, Crevices and Knots

This is lengthy process. If you don’t paint between the boards then you will see the unpainted wood.


Step 4 

Roll it Out

Step 5

Wait 24 Hours

Crickets…… (literally because this house is in Missouri and we did this in August)

Step 6

Repeat Steps 3-4

Step 7 


Wait the directed amount of time before you can walk on the deck.

Enjoy your deck!









If you have an old deck who boards have seen better days.  If the deck is structurally sound, don’t give up on it.  Rescue it!

Note:  Olympic did not sponsor this post.  While it would have been fun it they would, we picked this product on our own research.  Unsolicited, I would reccommend it to anyone.  If you can paint a wall, you can you use this product just follow their instructions.

Thanks for reading,


Our To-Do List

Jennifer —  April 10, 2013 — 2 Comments

When we first began the laundry room renovation we knew that part of the laundry room would house the office. Lee wanted a large marker board so he could brainstorm, put to-do lists, and organize his life. We made this massive version of a marker board.

DIY XL Markerboard,

It worked well, but when we decided to rearrange the laundry room, and add a double desk, the large marker board did not work any longer. You can see here the desk took its place.

Laundry room desk

We thought about leaving the marker board on the wall, but Lee likes to stand by the marker board and didn”t want the desk to get in the way.

To be honest, I don”t use the marker board as much as he does, so I was not going to suggest replacing it unless he asked. Just when I thought the marker board was history, Lee asked me “where is the marker board going to go?” I smirked and he suggested, what if we make one like your mirror you made for the bedroom. I thought it was a great idea and this is what we came up with:

Laundry Room 5,

I actually like this version because it makes sense in our space. I actually use the marker board for to-do lists, notes to myself, verses I am memorizing, quotes that inspire, and notes to my hubby. We don”t have kids and don”t have a play room, but this could end up in a play room someday. If you are a homeschooling mom you could make a bigger version for your school room. It is really simple to make, so here is how.


  • Shower Board.  (Its is found in the wood/trim section of Lowes or Home Depot.  It is used for shower surrounds and it has great marker board potential)

  • Piece of Plywood (to back the shower board)

  • Wood for the Frame.  (We used 1 X 6 pine)

  • Fasteners.  We used our Kreg Jig but you could just use

    wood glue and then install flat brackets on the back

  • Screws

  • Liquid Nails

  • Paint or stain.

We had everything but the wood and shower board for this project.  The total cost was around $30.

Here is what you do:

Step 1:

Determine the size of your marker board. One of our friends was borrowing our table saw so we couldn”t cut the plywood and shower board ourselves.  We needed to know the dimensions so that Lowes could cut it for us.

Step 2:

Buy and Cut the wood.

Step 3:

Adhere the shower board to the Plywood.  You could skip this step but the shower board is not very sturdy on its own.  We wanted sturdy writing surface…for what I am not sure.

Framed Markerboard,

Step 4:

Apply the glue to the plywood.

Framed Markerboard,


Then place the shower board on top of the plywood.

Framed Markerboard,

I am not sure if this was necessary but it sure beats holding the shower board myself  for the suggested 30 minutes.  The towels are so the shower board would not get scratched.  At least our weights are getting used in some way.

Step 5:

We cut our pieces for the frame and then used the Kreg Jig to drill holes.

Framed Markerboard,



Framed Markerboard,


Step 6:

We screwed the pieces together to make the frame.  The frame was 4 inches wider and taller than the shower board and plywood.

Framed Markerboard,

Step 7:

We painted the frame

Step 8:

We attached the shower board/plywood to the back of the frame by just screwing it in from the back.  Here is a side shot.  It”s not a great angle, because you can”t really see that the plywood is 4 inches from the edge of the painted frame.  In the room you can”t see the plywood unless you lift the framed marker board from the wall.

Framed Markerboard,

Step 9:

We leaned our new marker board against the wall.  We did not attach it to the wall, but if I had kids, then I would absolutely secure that thing to the wall.

Step 10:

Put our first to-do list on our marker board.

 Laundry Room Retro


It seems like I have had much to do on my to-do list lately.  What about you?

Thanks for reading,


The Great Match-Up

Jennifer —  March 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

I am sure that you have noticed that I haven’t posted much about the house we are renovating.  Today I wanted to update you on where we are the process.  Here is the house when we first purchased it.

Caudill House Before

Since we started work on the house in the Winter we wanted to get the exterior done while we had good weather.  So we tackled the concrete driveway.

Concrete Walkway, iloverehabs

We tackled the process of opening up the front deck, and even painting the beams white.

One other project that I haven’t posted about was the backside of the house.  Here is the back of the house when we purchased the home.

Caudill Exterior before
The front was sided and the siding was in great condition.  I selfishly wanted to replace it with gray siding but when you are renovating a house to sell you have to stick to your budget.  It is entirely different than renovating your own house where you save up and do what you want to do.  This is an investment and if something is good looking and in great condition you keep it.  Changing it to be another color just because I don’t want Kahki is frivolous and not money well spent.  The back of the house was completely another story.  Here are the problems.

Caudil House Exterior Before

  1. The siding was painted grey wood.  It didn’t match the front.
  2. The siding was rotted in places from rain and snow and it also had been ravaged by woodpeckers and other animals creating small holes.  Animals could get in which is not fun when a squirrel chews through your electrical cords.
  3. All the electrical wires from the basement were in a electrical tube on the outside.  This is fine, but so ugly.  Its also better for the wires if they are in the walls.
  4. There were not many windows which meant that the basement wasn’t getting much light.  The dingy, scratched up by a dog, old sliding glass door was not helping brighten the basement up.
  5. The door on the end was scratched and old as well.

Fixing the backside of the house was a necessary fix.  Animals entering in walls and rot where not okay. So here was the plan to get it done.  This is in the exact order that we had to do it.

  1. Meet with a few siding contractors and get prices and quotes and pray that they can match the siding to the existing siding.  The good news is the former owner picked a basic color so it was matchable.
  2. Change out the sliding glass door for a new, energy effiecient door.  The old one was dingy and didn’t let much light in the basement.
  3. Adding new windows (where none existed) was out of the budget.  Replacing the doors was in the budget, so we spent a little money to upgrade to a  door with a window.
  4. Replace the existing windows
  5. Run the electircal wire inside the house.
  6. Replace the siding.

We did 2, 3, and 4 ourselves and we contracted out the siding job.  Of course, when you renovate to sell you want to do as much work as you can.  A few years ago we would not have done the electrical but since, the siding was off and it was something that my husband had learned to do by working with a contractor, we were able to do this.  Siding was not worth our time and we would probably spend as much money trying to do it ourselves.  Plus you want to finish quickly so contracting out some jobs allows you to do other jobs alongside of the contractor.

The back of of the house looked like this…

Caudill Exterior before

Now it looks like this.

Caudill Exterior 2

You can see the new door and the shiny new sliding door.  Do you see the plastic tube that is on the ground?  That was what housed the electrical wire.  Its gone and the wire is in the wall.

Caudill Exterior

Much better!  There is more work to do on the exterior but its all the “lipstick” of the exterior.  What I mean, is things that re not necessary to the structure of the house but things that will make the outside look good…landscaping, shutters, new light, painted doors, refinished deck (which is necessary)  We will do more when the weather warms up but right now we are focusing on drywall and electrical to get ready for the fun stuff like Kitchen and bathrooms.

Do you have any new projects going on around your house that seem like forever to get to the fun stuff?  Do tell!

Thanks for reading,


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