DIY, East Bay, Fox Home

We Bought A House!

[Editor’s Note: The post below is as it was originally written on 8/24, clearly with enthusiasm but what we now know are definitely unrealistic timelines]

This blog is about to see a lot more action! After 3 years of searching, 147 open hours, 20+ offers, we’ve finally purchased our first home. We received the news over 4th of July, closed by the end of the month and will be moving in early September. The 3/2 house is in great shape on a 1/3+ acre lot with tons of opportunity for improvements, enhancements and projects (i.e. blog posts)! It also happens to be in our #1 location pick of Lafayette, in a great neighborhood with top schools and easy access to BART, fab restaurants and shopping! 

As you can likely imagine, our “To-Do List” is a long one, that we are excited to tackle. Some are expected to be fun projects with high aesthetic return (kitchen revamp, wahoo!) while others are necessary but boring (sewer replacement, boooo!) with plenty of diy and hacking to boot! We plan to address a few items immediately, before moving in, and the rest will be attempted over the months/years to come as time and funds permit.   

Obviously, we expect things to change and (many) additional projects to arise but it seems fitting to outline our game plan for the major items to keep us motivated and movin’ on our sweat equity!


  • Remove Partial Wood Pool Fencing – DONE 8/20, Thanks Dad!
  • New Pool Fence Install – DONE 8/23, Thanks Woody!
  • Purchase Washer & Drawer  – DONE 8/20
  • Purchase Couch – DONE 8/14
  • Design Media ‘Built-In’ (Ikea Hack), Purchase Materials – DONE 8/21
  • Build/Install Media ‘Built-In’ – 2/3 DONE 11/20 (Unit, Countertop)
  • Remove Pebbles around Lemon Tree – DONE 8/23, Thanks Jayne!
  • Restore/Replace Workshop Doors

1-3 Months (September – November 2016)

  • Demo / Remove Chicken Coop
  • Add Insulation and Drywall to Garage
  • Add Brick Paths & Ground Cover
  • Paint / Replace Interior Doors
  • Design Landscape Plan
  • Install Backyard Sprinkler System
  • HydroSeed Backyard
  • Build Pool Equipment and AC Unit Covers
  • Replace Woodshop Siding
  • Paint Patio Floor (temporary fix before sewer fix)
  • Build Wood Bench Covers for Patio / Water Spout Cover
  • Build Planters to Surround Pool
  • Replace Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
  • Replace Indoor Lighting Fixtures

6 Months (January – June 2017)

  • Replace Kitchen Countertop/Backsplash
  • Remove ½ Kitchen Upper Cabinets
  • Build Kitchen Open Shelves
  • Paint Kitchen Lower Cabinets
  • Replace Kitchen Hardware
  • Replace Refrigerator
  • Replace Range Hood
  • Replace Garage Windows
  • Remove Entry Coat Closet
  • Add BBQ / Outdoor Kitchen to Patio
  • Replace Patio Cover
  • Build & Plant Vegetable Garden
  • Add Trellis Screen & Plant Vertical Plants
  • Build Laundry / Mud Room and Pantry
  • Build Fire Pit / Backyard Seating

12 Months + (July 2017 – On)

  • Add Water feature outside for sound
  • Convert Garage to Guest Room / Office
  • Build New/Additional Garage
  • Build Swing Set / Sandbox
  • Convert Workshop into Pool House
    • Add French Doors / Accordion Doors
    • Paint Interior
    • Replace Interior Lighting
    • Add Bathroom / Shower

Here is a look at the ‘before’ photos (full of potential!):