Hanging New Address Numbers

old address numbers

Good morning friends! I hope your weather is as nice as it’s supposed to be in Virginia today–high 70s! If it is, then it’s definitely time to do an outdoor project or two today. Hanging new address numbers on your front porch is a quick project that will make a huge difference in the front of your house. And more importantly, the new larger address numbers are more visible from the street, making your house easier to find in case of emergency.

Now that our peach tree is not hiding the front of our house, it’s time to put a little love into the front porch. I’m starting small, with new address numbers, before I dive into those rusty railings and the dirty front steps.

This project will take less than an hour and cost between $20-$30, depending on how many numbers you have in your address. The only skill you need is to be able to remove a nail with a hammer and know how to use your drill.

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click the link and purchase the item. I’ve only linked items I’ve used in the past and would use again (unless otherwise noted). 

Supplies

You don’t need much for this project. You’ll need your favorite hammer, your favorite drill, and a your new house numbers.

Now, I read the mixed reviews on these address numbers, but there’s really not a lot of options out there in a more modern style, so I took a chance. I had a little (ok, a lot of) trouble with the first one (the same trouble a lot of the reviewers had), but then I figured out a solution and the rest went up easily! I’ll detail below where I ran into problems and tell you how you can avoid them. You’ll be able to install these address numbers in no time!

Step 1: Remove your Old Address Numbers

Removing old address numbers

This is the easiest part of all. All you need to do is pry the old numbers off the wall using the back (or the claw) of the hammer. I gently wiggled them out, so I didn’t damage the numbers, just in case I couldn’t install the new address numbers and needed to hang these back up.

Once I got all the numbers off, I wiped the wall down with a Clorox Wipe to get the dirt that had accumulated underneath them over the years. At some point I’ll come back and paint the whole trim, but that’s a project for another time.

Step 2: Plan Where Your New Address Numbers Will Go

Hanging the guide for new address numbers

My favorite part of these numbers is that the come with an installation guide!

All you have to do is tape the back of the packaging up where you want your address numbers, and then you’ll drill through the paper to get your holes exactly where you need them.

Make sure the numbers line up in whatever way you want them to (flush to the right side, the left side, or centered in the middle).

Step 3: Drill Holes for New Address Numbers

Drilling holes for new address numbers

Now, take your drill and make the holes for your first number. Make sure your drill bit is the right size, either be following the package directions for the right size or choosing one that’s slightly smaller than your package screws.

This was one of the hardest parts for me, since I have this fancy (read, old fashioned) grooved molding around my door. I couldn’t get my numbers exactly where I wanted them because I couldn’t drill through the curved portion of the grooves. So, my numbers are slightly off centered, but I’m learning to ignore that 🙂

Step 4: Install New Address Number

Screws for address numbers

Ok, here’s where I really struggled with these numbers and where a lot of reviewers struggled too.

The directions tell you to install drywall anchors, and place the screws in the holes you’ve drilled. Note: If you’re installing your screws into a wooden molding, don’t use the drywall anchors (as that isn’t drywall). I know this sounds silly, but I spent 20 minutes trying to install the provided drywall anchors, and some of my own, into the molding before I realized ‘oh wait, drywall anchors are for drywall not wood’.

The directions then tell you to apply the washers to the screws that will elevate your numbers off the wall. Then you should gently hammer your numbers onto the screws.

Let me tell you: this doesn’t work. I tried for 30 minutes with one number. All that happens is you push your screws into the wall when you try to hammer your numbers. I tried it as many different ways as I could, and no dice.

Screws for address numbers

I was ready to give up and hang my old numbers up, when I decided to try one thing. Instead of attaching the numbers to the wall with the screws already in the wall, what if I screwed the screws into the numbers first, then hammered the whole thing into the wall?

New address numbers

This worked like a charm! The address numbers went in easily and fit flush against the wall with no problems!

Step 5: Drill the Rest of the Holes & Install the Rest of the Address Numbers

drilling hole for new address numbers

Once I figured out that trick, the rest of the numbers went super quick! It took thirty minutes for the first number, and I think it took me 20 minutes to finish the next three.

Step 6: Patch Old Holes (or Extra Holes You Accidentally Made)

New address numbers

Because of the grooves in my molding, I may have made a few (ok, a lot of) extra holes in the molding. There’s an easy fix for this–patch them! You can use wood filler if you’re patching a wooden molding, and then paint over it when it dries. (I haven’t gotten to this step yet, but I promise it’ll take you 5 minutes to patch the holes and then just a quick coat of paint).

And, Voila!

That’s it! Brand new address numbers and the start of a new front porch style in under an hour!

New address numbers on front porch

Now, maybe after posting another picture of our sad front porch will motivate me to start sprucing it up 🙂

~Lauren

Removing a Tree

tree dug up

Hi friends! Here’s a project I never planned on tackling–removing a tree from our front yard (and trying to save it–not cut it down).

Our Lovely (but in the way) Peach Tree

picture of our front yard
This is before he grew to be 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide

When we moved in two years ago, we had a young peach tree planted in our front yard. He (yes I refer to my plants as he’s or she’s–I get it from my dad) gave us delicious peaches for 2 weeks in the summer, but otherwise he blocked the whole view of the front of our house from the street. When the leaves were growing, you couldn’t see our house numbers or the front window. So, Steve and I decided we were going to have to cut him down.

Enter my dad–the tree saver. I felt bad about cutting down a perfectly healthy tree because it was in my way, but I was ready to do it. My dad was not. He wanted to try to save it. Since our yard is so small and we had no place to move it to, he offered to try and dig the tree up and replant it in his backyard to try and save it.

tree blocking our front porch

So, one misty morning at the beginning of March, we dug up the tree and stuck him on a truck to drive to Maryland to his new home. He’s currently blooming a few weeks later, so we’re hopeful he’ll keep growing and be happy in his new home. I’ll keep you all posted in the fall and next year as to how he’s doing 🙂

Timing for Removing a Tree

But, back to why we’re here: how to remove a tree. You can use this same process, whether you’re removing the tree and replanting it elsewhere or you’re removing the tree and killing it (makes that option seem so mean, right?).

My dad (who is my expert for everything DIY) says the best time to move a tree with the hope of replanting it is the early spring (before it starts blooming) or late fall. This is for two reasons:

  1. The soil is softer (not frozen from the winter) so it’s easier to dig out.
  2. If it’s not in a growing cycle, you have a better chance of not disrupting the next growing cycle if you move it then.

He also recommends moving it on a rainy day (or right after a rainy day) because the rain also makes the soil softer and the tree easier to remove.

Luckily for us, we had the wettest year on record last year, and that trend has continued through the beginning of the year, so the soil was nice and wet after one rain storm and worked perfectly for us to remove the tree.

big tree blocking the front porch

If you’re not saving the tree and just want it gone, you can do it any time during the spring, summer, or fall when it’s rained recently, since you’re not as concerned about the growing season.

Supplies for Removing a Tree

You don’t need much to remove a tree. Here’s what we used:

  • A friend (trees can be heavy, so it’s nice to have someone help you carry it)
  • A shovel or 2–one for each person (this isn’t my shovel but it looks almost identical. It has a padded handle and is big enough for bigger gardening projects)
  • A Saw to cut through any roots you can’t break with your shovel–we used my dad’s Dewalt Reciprocating Saw, which worked great!
  • Gardening Gloves to protect your hands
  • Optional: Fill dirt if you have a big hole to fill afterwards and a truck if you’re driving your tree to it’s new home and new soil to give it some good nutrients when replanting it

Step 1: Gather your Supplies and your Friend

This step is pretty straightforward. My dad came down one drizzly Sunday morning in March and brought his shovel, his truck, and his reciprocating saw. I had my shovel and some extra dirt from my container plants last year already.

Step 2: Dig a Hole Around the Tree

digging a hole around the tree

Start by digging a hole around your tree. For many trees (and plants) for that matter, there’s one main root and a lot of collaterals. Since we were trying to save the tree, we needed a few feet of the main root intact. So, we dug the hole about 3 feet out from the tree in a circle. The roots were pretty shallow–he hit them with one dig of the shovel. The smaller roots can be cut with the edge of the shovel. The bigger roots–just expose them for now if you see them.

Step 3: Start Rocking the Tree

Once we had dug up the soil around the tree, we started rocking the trunk in the ground, back and forth a few times, and then side to side a few times. This served a couple purposes: 1. It helped loosen the tree up from the soil to make it easier to remove and 2. It helped with the next step.

tree leaning over

Step 4: Dig Out and Cut Any Remaining Roots

As you see roots holding the tree in place when you’re rocking it, you can cut the remaining roots holding it in place. Most of the roots you can cut with the end of your shovel. Others, especially the main one, will need something stronger. Here’s where we used the reciprocating saw.
Five seconds of sawing on the biggest two or three roots was all it took to free it. Each time we cut a root we would rock it again to see where else it was stuck.

We cut the main root about 3-4 feet from the soil line, and we tried to keep some of the collaterals with 2-3 feet of length, so it would have some basis to try and root in its new home.

Step 5: Remove Tree from the Ground

Once the roots are all cut, you should be able to push the tree all the way over and drag the tree out of the hole. Cut any remaining roots as you try to move it, if you find the tree getting stuck.

tree laying on its side on the driveway

Step 6: Put Tree in its New Home (or Cut it Up for Scrap Wood)

If you’re replanting the tree elsewhere, dig it a nice hole (big enough to accommodate its roots and about as deep as the hole you dug it out of. Cover it with nice rich soil and give it a good long watering.

Keep an eye on it in the upcoming weeks to make sure it’s getting the water it needs, it doesn’t need extra support, and it’s showing signs of life.

It may need some supports for the first few months while it’s roots reestablish themselves (you can pick those up at any gardening store).

If you’re not trying to save the tree, then this is when you cut up the tree for scrap or recycling.

Step 7: Fill in your Hole

You’re going to have a big ol’ hole where you took the tree out of, so use some fill dirt to fill the hole if you’re not planting something else in it’s place.

front garden bed with bulbs blooming

And, You’re Done!

That’s it–it took us 30 minutes to get this all done. Not too bad! And, look how easily you can see the front of our house now. (Don’t mention that now I need to start making the front of the house prettier–that’s the first thing I noticed when the tree came out).

front porch without tree in front

~Lauren

Seed Starting Indoors

Hi friends! One of the first signs of Spring for me is when I get to start seeds indoors. My dining room gets taken over by Solo cups filled with soil and seeds for 2 months, but it’s a daily reminder that Spring (and Summer!) are on their way! When I first started gardening, seed starting seemed to be a very mystical and complicated process. But now that I have a few years of it under my belt, it’s really pretty easy and straight forward.

I live in Zone 7, so if I mention specific times I started, know what I’m basing it off of. But, you should follow specific guidelines for your own zone, depending on where you live. The most important thing to base seed starting on is your last frost.

What are these Zones, anyways?

Keep hearing and reading about garden zones, but have no idea what people are talking about? I didn’t either. But, zones are actually a very helpful way for you to help plan when you’re going to start your garden. They help you determine what plants you can plant in your garden to have your seeds grow and thrive, as well as when to start planning certain seeds and plants. Zones are based on annual moisture, altitude, type of terrain and typical temperature extremes.

garden zone map
Such a helpful map and pretty picture from the National Gardening Association!

If you don’t know your zone, or want to learn more about the zoning system, check out the National Gardening Association’s article and updated zoning maps. You can just type your ZIP code in on their website, and they’ll tell you exactly what zone you’re in!

What Seeds Should I Start Indoors?

Some seeds do better sown directly into the soil, while others prefer being started in warmer weather. I learned from my dad that you always start peppers and tomatoes from seeds indoors. They take a long time to grow, so for us in the Mid-Atlantic, you need to start them before they will grow outside if you want tomatoes or peppers before the fall. Peppers and tomatoes are also sensitive to transferring from container to the garden, so it’s nice to have small plants (instead of seedlings) to transfer into your native soil, so they’re a little hardier.

If you want early spring spinach or lettuce, you can start both in a container indoors. They grow to maturity pretty quickly–45-60 days–so you if you start lettuce now, you can have lettuce and spinach to eat mid May from your containers. I normally grow some in containers and grow another few rows directly in the garden soil.

I’ve tried starting other vegetables inside and it’s been hit or miss for me. Cucumbers, spaghetti squash, zucchini, peas–some years they’ve done great starting indoors and some years they die as soon as I put them in soil. This year, I’m going to try them all directly from soil. I’ll keep you posted as they season goes on!

Supplies

You don’t need much to start your garden indoors. Here’s what I use every year:

  • Soil, specific for seed starting or potted plants. I love Miracle Gro’s Nature’s Care Organic & Natural Potting Mix, which you can buy at any Home Depot. It uses natural fertilizers to help nourish your seeds without adding chemicals.
  • Pots or cups.
  • Seeds- I use Burpee Seeds exclusively. They have such a large selection of seeds, shipping for seeds is always only $2.99, and a couple times a year, have a great BOGO sale!
  • Old newspaper or cardboard box lid.
  • Drill if your pots or cups aren’t perforated with drainage holes.
  • Sharpie or blank labels.

As you get more experienced with seed starting, you may want to invest in some fancy equipment, such as heating mats to help keep your seeds warm and germinate faster, and grow lamps to provide more consistent light for your seedlings. We don’t have a ton of space in our house for a separate corner for seed starting right now, but if you have some space (and don’t want to lose your dining room for 2 months like I do), they may be worth looking into.

Step 1: Pick Your Spot

The best spot for your seeds (if you’re not using a lamp or a heating pad to keep them warm) is a warm spot with a lot of bright sunlight. Our dining room is the perfect spot in our house–it has two windows to place seedlings in that get sunlight most the day and there are heating vents right below each window to keep the seedlings warm.

Unfortunately, since we start a bunch of peppers indoors, that means putting some family pictures and other decorations away for 2 months while they’re growing. If we had a warmer spot in the basement, or a bigger house, I’d pick another spot, but that’s the only place that meets the sunny and warm criteria.

So, to prepare yourself, make sure you clean out anything that needs to be stored for a few months, and I lay newspaper down to protect the surface. Your goal is to keep the space clean from soil and excess water dripping. I’ve also used box tops and cookie trays in the past and they work perfectly.

Step 2: Prep Your Pots

If you you’re using a seed starting kit, your containers should already have drainage holes in the bottom (and they may even have soil and fertilizer in them). If so, skip to the next step!

If you’re using your own pots (or cups or something else creative), make sure there’s a few drainage holes in the bottom so that excess water runs out, and your soil doesn’t stay wet and breed mold. I use solo cups and any extra plastic pots for plants purchased in previous years. Just make sure to wash them with soap and water and let them dry before using this year, in case there’s any disease lingering from last year’s plants.

To make drainage holes, the easiest way is to take your drill and simply drill 3 holes in each cup at the base. I make a sort of triangle at the base to allow for equal drainage.

If you don’t have a drill, you could try poking holes through with something sharp, like a screwdriver, but I won’t promise how well that’ll work since I didn’t try it 🙂

Once you’ve prepped your pots, add your soil. You should make sure to get a soil specifically for fruits and vegetables, or even better, specifically for seed starting. These often have extra nutrients included to feed the seeds, as well as provide some moisture control. I fill my pots to 1″ from the top, so when the seedlings sprout they can reach the sun when they’re little.

Step 3: Plant Seeds

For whatever seeds you’re planting, make sure you read the instructions on the packaging for how deep to plant them.

For peppers, they tend to need to be planted about 1/2″ (or the top of your finger) below the surface. I stick the top of my finger in to the first knuckle, pull it out, and then put 2-3 seeds in. Then gently cover them with soil–that’s it! And, make sure you label your pots with what’s in them. If you have 15 kinds of peppers, you want to know which plant is which, so you know what you like and don’t like, or what worked and what didn’t when you go to harvest in the fall and also order seeds next year.

Why plant more than one seed?

Not all seeds will actually live to germinate (grow), so to hedge your bets, it’s a good idea to put 2-3 seeds in per pot. If none grow, make sure you’re not overwatering or it isn’t too cold of a spot (basically, try again and pay attention to these things). If it doesn’t work again, your seeds may be bad. If they all grow, then you’ll thin them out and see if you can get all three to grow later down the road.

I prepped these pots for the lettuce and spinach outside so I didn’t make a gigantic mess inside.

For lettuce and spinach, they need to be right below the surface of the soil. So, my dad taught me to run my finger in a long line down the center of the pot. I use a long rectangular flower pot for these. Then sprinkle the seeds straight from the package from one end of the row to the other. After that, just gently cover the seeds with soil and you’re set!

Step 4: Water

Make sure you gently water your seeds. You want to water them so the soil is damp, but not soaked. And, if you see a bunch of water come out your drainage holes in the next day, you know that was too much for the next time you water.

After the first watering, I check my pots every day and water when the soil is dry to the touch. If you over-water or under-water, your seeds can die, so it’s important to stay on top of it. I usually have to water 2-3 times per week, depending on how sunny it is.

Step 5: Place in Sunny, Warm Spot and Wait

And so, the long wait begins. If you’re starting lettuce or spinach, you’ll see sprouts in a few days! I make sure to rotate my pots every few days because you’ll see the sprouts start leaning towards the sun.

For the peppers, sometimes it takes 3 weeks for seedlings to emerge, so it’s a real long wait. Just keep babying your seeds and keep your fingers crossed!

Do seeds really need light?

During this time when you’re growing seeds, they don’t need sunlight (there’s nothing outside of the soil to soak up those rays!). So, if you have a warm spot without light somewhere else in your house, feel free to start them there. Just make sure you move them to a sunny spot as soon as the seeds start to emerge, so those seedlings get all the light and nutrients they need.

This is my last picture for this year! I’ll update the post with more pics as the season progresses.

Step 6: Thin Out Seedlings

Once you have seedlings (woohoo!!!), you may be lucky enough to have had a few of your seeds germinate and grow into seedlings. If you have more than one seedling per pot, you’ll need to thin them out before they get too big. I usually wait until there’s two sets of leaves on the seedlings to make sure they have enough root to be able to move them and have them reestablish in a new pot.

When separating the seedlings, you need to be very gentle to not break their roots, which are probably intertwined. Once you separate them, make a hole the size of the root in a new pot, and plant one of the seedlings in the new pot and replant one in your old pot. Make sure you use the same soil in the new pot so the seedling isn’t too shocked by its new home.

Step 7: Watch Your Seeds Grow

Now you just sit back and watch your seeds grow! Make sure you stay on top of watering them, but otherwise you’re just waiting for them to be hardy enough to have the best success for transplanting outside (and for the weather to be nice enough for them to survive outside).

Step 8: Get Your Seedlings Used to the Outdoors

A few weeks before I think I’m going to transplant the seedlings, I start putting them outside during the day to start getting used to things like wind, outdoor sun strength, and even rain. Think about it–you’ve basically been coddling your seedlings for weeks, but the indoor environment is not reality for them. They need to start building up their strength and tolerance for their permanent home.

I typically start putting the seeds outside for an hour, then 2, then 4, etc until they’ve spent most of their day outside. I also typically start with a cloudy or partly sunny, warm day, and as I get further along in the process and the seedlings get stronger, add in a rainy day or windy day or hot day or cold day (not freezing mind you, but maybe 60 degrees when our typical summer days are 85).

You may see them wilt or bend a little. If that’s the case, bring them back inside and baby them for a few more days until they perk up. Then start the process again.

My very first community garden plot in 2016, right after planting my seeds and pepper plants.

Step 9: Transplant Outdoors When it’s Time

Once your seedlings start to look little plants (have a pretty strong central stalk, have more than 2 sets of leaves), they should be big enough to survive outside.

When the weather is right (i.e. there’s no chance for frost) and your plants have had a few weeks to start getting hardy in for a few hours a day, I leave my plants outside overnight for a few nights as a last and final test.

Then after checking the weather to make sure we’re not expecting a hurricane or other torrential wind or rain storm, I plan on planting my seeds in their permanent homes.

Dig a hole the size of the cup (or pot) and squeeze your plant out gently from your cup. Then make sure the soil around the roots is loose (and the roots themselves) are loose, and plant your plant in the ground. Gently pat the dirt/soil around the plant and water. I typically water directly at the base of the plant for a few seconds until the ground is saturated.

Make sure you are checking on your soil a couple times a week, to see if your plants need watering. Once they get a little older, they’ll be much more tolerant to a few forgotten watering’s or over-watering, but it’s a good idea to baby them for the time being.

A few tips on transplanting:

Sometimes your plants don’t like going from super nutrient-rich potting soil to your regular dirt (part of what can cause transplant shock). To help prevent this, my dad taught me to mix some extra potting soil into the spot where you’re going to transplant the seedlings, so the first thing these baby roots grow through is a mixture of natural dirt and potting soil. So, it’s not quite a shock to the system as just straight natural dirt.

Another thing you can do is put a little plant food (fertilizer) and mix it into the soil before planting. This will give your baby plant an immediate food source to help stimulate growth.

That same garden 2 months later!

Last Few Thoughts

I think the most important thing I’ve learned from seed starting (and gardening in general) is that it really is a mix of care and luck.

You definitely will reap more fruits and vegetables if you weed your garden, water it regularly, and feed the plants a few times over the summer.

But, you can also follow all the guides and instructions you want, and that pepper plant you babied for months still doesn’t grow peppers.

On the flip side, you can completely ignore your zucchini for 2 months and it’ll grow the most zucchinis of any plant you have.

Just one week’s harvest from my garden last July

Another important lesson is there’s nothing wrong with a little trial and error. Maybe your backyard soil isn’t conducive to a certain type of tomato, or your climate is too wet for your dream hot peppers. Try a few on one side of your garden, a few in a different spot, one in a container, and see what does best! Then, write it down so next year you remember what worked best and you’ll get more crops!

I hope this post inspired you to start some seeds to get ready for the growing season! I’ll add pictures to the steps as I reach them in my house this spring. Comment below if you have any questions!

Happy growing!

~Lauren

The Big Kitchen Reveal!

Ok, y’all–today is the day! After two and a half months of weekend projects and paint in my hair and finding sawdust in corners I cleaned three times already, we’re finally here! Our appliances were delivered last week, and while I still have a few tiny projects left, I can’t wait any longer for the big kitchen reveal!

Where We Started

before kitchen photo

Just to remind you all, in mid-January my kitchen looked like this:

before kitchen photo

Light pink cabinets, boring cabinet hardware, no backsplash, standard faucet and reverse osmosis water filter, no storage for our pots, no command center, mismatched and old appliances, ugly light, and let’s not forget the hole in our ceiling.

old kitchen photo

Drumroll Please! The Kitchen Reveal is Here!

And, here we are now!

kitchen reveal photo

Beautiful white cabinets with dark bronze hardware:

kitchen reveal photo

Newly installed backsplash:

kitchen reveal photo

New farmhouse faucet and no reverse osmosis filter:

new kitchen faucet

Floor to ceiling pot racks for storage:

new pot racks

Extra spice racks and a knife rack for even more storage:

new spice racks and knife rack

New family command center to stay organized:

new command center

Cleaned and painted kitchen shelves for storage:

new kitchen shelves

Under the Cabinet Kitchen Lighting:

under cabinet lighting

And, no hole in our ceiling:

fixed hole in ceiling

What do y’all think?! I’m absolutely in love with everything about it. Besides the granite and the floor, every bit of this kitchen was updated or replaced in the last two months. It now feels more modern for Steve, but still traditional styling for me. It’s definitely much more functional, providing more storage than we could have imagined without adding any cabinets or square footage to the space. And, it feels brighter and most importantly, more like us.

kitchen reveal photo

You Can Do This Too!

If your kitchen needs an update, you may feel overwhelmed about everything that needs to be done, not have the time or money to get it done, or not feel confident that you can complete some (or any) of the projects.

Let me tell you: I felt the exact same way. Between working full time and a new diagnosis of POTS and not having ever completed any major projects around the house, I didn’t think I could do most of what I did before I started.

That’s why I started with one thing I knew I could do: the kitchen cabinets. I knew how to paint, and I figured I could sand after watching a YouTube video on how to use my orbital sander (that I bought and never used). I knew it would probably take a couple of weeks to get done, and I could break it down to hour-long pieces in the afternoons after work or on the weekends.

Once I finished the kitchen cabinets, I did a few little projects that I knew I could do (like the pot racks and spice racks–just needed to know how to hang something with drywall anchors and a level) before tackling the next scary (and time consuming) thing–the backsplash. Doing those small projects in between let me invest in the kitchen as I had time, and then see big results in our every day lives because of them. That motivated me to keep going and tackle all the projects I had dreamed of completing in the kitchen.

And so, slowly but surely, the whole kitchen was complete!

Asking for Help is Okay!

If you start doing something and you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you read my reverse osmosis filter removal or kitchen faucet posts, you’ll know I got most of the way into removing my reverse osmosis filter one Saturday morning, and I got stuck. I had to call my handyman to come finish the project. While at first I was disappointed I couldn’t finish it myself, after he came and finished it for $120 and an hour of work, all I cared about was it was done and done right!

This was a big lesson for me to learn in this project because I was raised in a family that you do everything for yourself to save money (and because you can) unless it’s major plumbing or electrical work. My husband, on the other hand, would have preferred to hire someone for the whole project. I think we both met in the middle here, with me realizing sometimes it’s better for our mental health (and the project) to hire someone to help, and Steve realizing there’s a lot we can do ourselves with proper preparation.

new kitchen appliances

I hope you’ve learned a little on this kitchen journey with me and gained a little inspiration to tackle something around your home that you’ve been afraid to. I’ve truly appreciated all the love and feedback I’ve received from all of you, and I’m excited to keep getting to know you all!

What’s Next, Now that the Kitchen Reveal is Over?

logo

And, I’ve had a few people ask if I’m going to stop the blog now that I’m done with the kitchen after the kitchen reveal. The answer is a big fat NO! I’ve loved sharing how to complete projects with you all (and the inspiration I’ve gotten to complete a project from knowing I need to write a post this week). In the upcoming weeks and months, I plan on sharing projects from our garden, bathroom, home gym, general home maintenance, and others. If you have any topics you’d like to hear about, let me know in the comments below! If it’s something I’ve done or plan on doing around my house, I’ll post about it!

~Lauren

Replacing the Kitchen Faucet

Hi friends! Today I’m going to finish up the project I started talking about on Tuesday–removing the reverse osmosis filter and replacing the kitchen faucet. Today is all about the kitchen faucet! Like most things in our kitchen, the old faucet was fine and functional, but not our favorite style.

old kitchen faucet

The lower spout often got in the way when we were trying to wash larger items, like cookie sheets, and it just didn’t have a ton of power.

Choosing your New Kitchen Faucet

We’ve walked down the faucet aisle on most Home Depot trips since we started the kitchen renovation in January, so when we went to buy our faucet we had an idea of what we were both looking for. We wanted a long goose-neck faucet with the integrated sprayer in the brushed nickel to match the rest of our house, and we wanted a soap dispenser.

Number of Holes for Installation

Before you start looking at any faucet, make sure you know exactly what you’re working with in your kitchen–most importantly, the number of holes in your countertop. Countertops typically have between 1-4 holes to install a faucet through and any accessories, so your new faucet needs to be able to match that. A lot of the newer faucets will be able to be install in 1 or 3 holes (install in 1 hole and then put a decorative cover over the base to cover the other 2 holes). The ones that cover 4 holes usually includes a soap/lotion dispenser.

Hands-Free Technology

We were really intrigued by the hands-free technology, where you can tap it on or wave your hand in front of it and turn on. But, they were significantly more expensive ($275-$350 compared to the $190 we spent). I know that’s not a ton of money, but when it was the last purchase on the list for our kitchen, every penny felt like $10. My other concern was the hands-free technology requires a power source, often replaceable batteries, mounted under the sink. If you read my last post (and you’ll read further down), you’ll know how uncomfortable it was to try and angle myself into our corner cabinet and around our garbage disposal to even reach the underneath of the faucet. So, I didn’t want to install something I was going to have to contort myself for every couple of months to replace the batteries.

Handles

This is purely a stylistic choice for you, but will help pare down your faucet choice. Do you want just one handle to control hot and cold water and the strength of the spray, or do you want separate hot and cold water?

Pull Out Sprayer vs. Pull Down Sprayer

Another stylistic choice–do you want the traditional look of a faucet with a separate sprayer (pull out sprayer), or do you want the sprayer integrated into the faucet (pull down sprayer)?

Finish

Most faucets come in brushed nickel and chrome, but some also come in bronze, black, and gold, so you’ll have lots of options.

Accessories

Do you want a soap or lotion dispenser installed in the counter to match your faucet?

Once you have the answers to all these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down the faucet aisle to about 10-20 faucets. And from there, it’s mostly going to be a style choice.

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click the link and purchase the item. I’ve only linked items I’ve used in the past and would use again (unless otherwise noted). 

Choosing our Kitchen Faucet

We decided on the Delta Charmaine Faucet at Home Depot. It can be installed in 4 holes, has a pull down sprayer, comes in brushed nickel, and has 1 handle. Style-wise it has a few more details to make it not super modern, but not too traditional either (like everything else on our house–we have to balance Steve’s modern style with my traditional). It came with new water supply lines included. And, it’s got some fancy spray options. You can just spray it regularly. . .

faucet spraying water

You can use the power sprayer . . .

faucet spraying water

Or you can use Delta’s fancy Shield Spray feature, where it sprays in a circle, so it doesn’t splash you while you’re cleaning off a dish.

faucet spraying water

And, if you love the look of this faucet, but want the hands-free technology, they make it here!

Supplies

This faucet came with most everything you need, which was great. We didn’t need any special tools for this. But, make sure you check the box and instructions for your particular faucet before you start, to make sure you don’t get half way in and are missing something.

The only additional thing I needed was some plumbers putty to help the countertop bracket stay in place (the technical name is an escutcheon, who knew?) and help prevent water from collecting underneath the bracket thing (I can’t call it an escutcheon–it’s way too fancy a name).

And, here’s where things take a different turn than usual. . .

In full disclosure I did not install my kitchen faucet. I started to remove my reverse osmosis filter (the first part of this project), I couldn’t reach the under side of the sink where faucet came out under the counter (I have a big corner cabinet and a giant garbage disposal that you have to contort yourself around–not fun). So, I called my handyman to help my finish removing the reverse osmosis filter, and since he was already under the sink, I had him remove my old faucet and replace it with our new one. I just couldn’t stomach the idea of squeezing myself around the garbage disposal again.

I have installed faucets before, so it’s definitely a project you can tackle.

I was going to type up all the steps for you, but I don’t have any helpful pictures for you, so instead, I’m going to send you to my friend Bob at HandymanHowTo.com. He describes in perfect detail with pictures how to install a Delta faucet.

Finished Product: Our New Kitchen Faucet!

Here it is! Our brand new kitchen faucet. Doesn’t it look great?!

new kitchen faucet

As things usually go in our house, the hole we were going to install our soap dispenser in (the old water filter faucet hole) was too small for the mount for the soap dispenser. I was annoyed for a day, but then we put a plate to cover the hole (takes 5 minutes to install), and I’m just going to focus on how amazing the new faucet looks and performs instead 🙂

new kitchen faucet

I hope this helps you decide on your next new faucet (and also remind you that even if you love to DIY like me, it’s sometimes worth it to call in the professionals).

Almost Time for a Drumroll!

Sooooooo, this was the last big kitchen project we had for our kitchen renovation! (I’m counting the bar top as part of the living room, so that won’t be grouped with the kitchen stuff). I can’t believe how different our kitchen looks after just two months of weekend projects. The only thing that’s the same is the inside of our cabinets, the floors, and the countertops–everything else was refinished, repainted, or replaced!

On Sunday, I’ll share with you tips on putting the final touches on a big kitchen renovation and do a big reveal of the finished project! Can’t wait to show you all!

~Lauren