Thursday, November 10, 2011

House Renos

Happy Veteran's Day, everyone! Please go find someone who has served our country and thank them.  My Sailing-Unit is currently sleeping in before we dig into our mountain of work for this weekend.

Now, then, on to the good stuff, which is, of course, House Stuff!

I am going to show off some of the ridiculous "before" pictures.  It has become inevitable that when I first tear into a property (ok, so I only have two experiences to go on, but run with me here)... as I was saying, when I first tear into a property, the past owners have always left all kinds of weird stuff along.

 Our previous owners of the duplex were a retired Asian couple.  I suspect the woman had a large say in how the house was decorated, because we walked in to heavy pink curtains on the living room windows, frilly lace in the kitchen as well as hung up over a boarded-up doorway in the hall, and this beautiful master bedroom shot:

 Isn't it romantic?

 You know those came down first-thing.

The first day of us starting in on the house was about four hours of whirlwind activity.  We started outside since the weather wasn't bad.  We raked leaves in the backyard - which were promptly replaced by the wind.  I mowed the lawn with a blessedly functioning push mower the old folks had left.  Daniel climbed onto the roof and used some sort of copper-sulfate (?) powder to kill the moss up there.  I walked around the backyard with a bucket, picking up strange detritus in the backyard (bunny shaped plant pot, anyone?)

After Daniel got off the roof, we made piles of trash to get rid of later - a pile of metal things, such as small plant fences that I think are silly, a pile of musty wood scraps, and a pile of things like chunks of concrete and/or ugly rocks from the soil.  I kept a large plastic pot for the express purpose of accumulating rocks.

 After our outdoor work, we came inside and tackled the carpets.  They weren't in bad shape, but I really have a thing against carpets in houses.  They tend to harbor dust and totally screw with my allergies.

So we ripped up the carpet in the hallway and two bedrooms, and were pleased to find the oak flooring that was in the living room had been continued through the rest of the house.  In general, the floors that had been covered by carpet are in slightly better shape than the living room, too, although there were some spots where Daniel thinks the poor finish on the floor let the carpet padding stick on it.

After tearing up the carpets and padding, we went back around and I got into a good rhythm removing the tackstrips while Daniel pinched staples off the floor with pliers.

Last night, we changed the locks on the front and back doors of both sides, and I discovered our back door was munched up pretty well and could use replacing.  My first clue should have been that, instead of an outer pane of glass, it had a sheet of plastic nailed into the wood. Sigh.


 Here is a "before" of our kitchen cabinets.  We're doing a complete remodeling of the kitchen.  We have contacted some friends of ours to come help, because there's no way the two of us could finish on time.

Say it with me: Ew.

Today will involve Daniel prepping for painting the basement floors, while I focus upstairs.  I am going to start in on cleaning the rental unit, and cleaning up the old refrigerator and stove in our kitchen so I can post them on Craigslist and maybe we can get $100 back towards our kitchen remodel.  Heck, someone already bought a corner desk off us for $50 that was in the garage (and was a huge pain to disassemble.  The poor guy had to go buy a cheap set of screwdrivers to make it happen).

Luckily, the rental unit is almost ready to go. We still need some electrical work to happen, as well as a guy to come refinish the wood floors, but it doesn't need to be painted, and we'll do things like replace windows come springtime (most likely).


Knitting, you ask? Well, I cast on for the Snapdragon Mitts by Ysolda Teague a couple of days ago.  I am about 3/4 done with the fingerless part on the first mitt (after the fingerless part, you knit a mitten cap that can be put over your fingers or buttoned back over the top of your hand for more dexterity).  I'm using BrooklynTweed's Shelter yarn for it, in the Button Jar colorway.  It is amazingly squishy.  Quite honestly, this is my first time knitting with a woolen-spun yarn.  Lovely! If you care about things made in the USA, you might want to check out Jared Flood's backstory on why he was moved to create a line of yarns. I'm quite impressed with his initiative, and he has created a great product.


Onward! We still need to fix the truck (... I didn't mention we bought a truck, did I.  Well, Daniel bought us a 1998 Dodge Ram V10 Laramie.  With a busted heater core that he decided we could fix ourselves instead of letting a mechanic deal with the fiddly work and not pay the mechanic the $500.  Well, it has been a week since we tore the truck apart and I stupidly cut an A/C line because we were convinced it led to the heater core, even though everyone's heater core on the internet clearly showed rubber hoses... Well, we didn't *see* the rubber hoses because of our big engine that was clearly blocking the path to it.  I should start a blog called "Our Truck Is Being A Royal Pain In The Ass"), and hit IKEA and compare floor stains to the cabinets we want, if not purchase cabinets at that time.  They are running a 15% off special through Thanksgiving, thank goodness.  You'd be surprised how well IKEA kitchen cabinets hold up.  We have several friends with them in their kitchens, and some friends have kids, others have raucous dogs- all the cabinets look great.  I also need to look at paint chips in the house & decide on some finalists for Daniel to look at - painting definitely needs to happen before floors are refinished and furniture is in. Argh.


Thank god I'm organized.

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