Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Plan B

This is the reason that we bought the house.  We live in a historic district where garages are few and far between.  Let me tell you, this is the mother of all setups.  A driveway AND a three car garage?  Unheard of (if you don't count the 12,000 sq ft school that has been turned into a home which has a porte cochere and a 4 car garage...whatever!)

 Anyway, we're on a deadline.  We have to be out of our other house by the 15th.  Yes, that's the 15th of September.  We've been wondering if we were going to have to rent a place since we still have yet to see any one room done in the house.  Not even a functioning toilet yet to speak of.  My husband was talking with the plumber the other day, and in his infinite brilliance ( the plumber's, not my husband's) he brought up the idea of fixing up the room over the garage as a place to live while the renovations continue on until the end of time.  My first thought?  Why in the hell didn't we think of this?  Duh!  It makes perfect sense.  That is until you go inside.  I haven't been up there since we first got the house and I'd forgotten what a mess it is. Seriously, it looks like a crack house.  No joke.

Here's the stairs leading to our Shangri-la. 

Top of the stairs with lovely shelving to the left.

And here it is folks.  Welcome home!

Plenty of room in that closet, right?

And now to the bathroom.  Or what I like to call the crapper.  I'm not referring to the toilet, but the whole bathroom in general.

I swear I saw a swarm of flies and black goo coming out of the toilet as I distinctly heard a voice say "Get Out!"

So here's where we'll be while the renovations continue.  Don't worry about us.  We'll fix it up a bit so we don't catch some sort of skin infection.  It certainly will be cozy.  Just the three of us and whatever else is living there.  The good news is that we don't have to the decorate for the Halloween party we have every year.  It's all ready done.   Ahhh, home crap home.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Vacation

I'm on vacation.  Where did I go you ask?  Two blocks down the street to work on the house.   Yep, that's how we roll.  No Europe or Caribbean for us.  I've officially taken off my professional hat and put on my hard hat.  While construction is going on outside my husband and I have been working our butts off inside.  I'm working on the windows and he's working on taking some walls down for the plumbers.  That's right, I said plumbers.  Remember way back when when I said that the plumbing was almost done?  Well we got that work inspected and it didn't pass.  Our new contractor brought in his plumber who agreed with the inspector that the best thing to do would be to rip all the plumbing out and start fresh.  That was fun news.   It took a few minutes to comprehend and then a few days to decompress, but we've moved on and the work is finally getting done properly.  We've really learned a lot from this process, like never buy an old house again.  Ever.  Oh, and apparently you really do get what you pay for.   

 Anyway this week has been in slow motion.  I started the first couple of days taking down wallpaper in the old kitchen.  Then I come to find out that we're going to be hiring someone to finish the walls with a skim-coat.  So that was a big fat waste of time and sweat.  The past few days I've been working on 3 windows.  Yes, days and 3 windows.  I am beyond frustrated.  Imagine a hundred plus years of painting and sloppily repainting the window sills.  It's bumpy and chipped everywhere.  At first I was really gung ho and thought I was going to strip the paint off every window.  Now that I've returned from fantasy land I am thinking that I need to get some really nice curtains to both cover and draw the eye away from the hideousness.  I gave it the old college try though.  I've been a sanding, spackling, caulking fool and they still look like crap.  I'm getting ready to throw some paint on them and call it good.  On to the thousand other windows in the house that are equally as awful.  

On the up side we officially have progress with the new kitchen and porch.  We really are going to have windows but we haven't ordered them yet so for now we've got plywood.  Whatever gets us into the house!

Here's the porch coming along.

This is the old kitchen (and my nemesis...the windows) with the new kitchen opening to the right.

Here's the shell of the new kitchen.

The kitchen looking into the old kitchen which will now be the family room.

So there is progress, but we still need HVAC finished up, new electrical, a bathroom and a kitchen.  
Serenity now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bathtub Sneak Peek and Kitchen Update

Well, here's a sneak peak at what I've been working on in 100 degree weather in a house with no air conditioning. 

 I painted the tub the color that the bathroom is going to be and then did a stencil over it in a couple of shades lighter for contrast.  I'm not going to say that it was easy, especially around the curves.  There were a few times when I was sweating profusely surrounded by what I'm sure was lead dust that I wanted to say f-it and leave it painted without the stencil.  It's not perfect in spots but I think that unless you're really hunting for mistakes it's pretty good.  Now I'm working on the clawfeet which at first I was going to do a gilded silver treatment but then realized that A) I wasn't sure if I'd like it and B) it seemed like a bigger pain in the butt so I'm now going with white feet.  My husband wants me to paint the nails a different color.  Not sure about that but maybe.   The tub color is actually a bit darker than it appears since it is now sitting in the master bedroom which gets a bit more light.  This is more what the actual color of it is:

And just to recap, this is what the tub looked like before.

As you can see, it's a vast improvement.  I had to share my progress with someone since it doesn't look like it's going to its final resting place in the master bath anytime soon.

On a different note, there has been some work on the new kitchen.  The joists and subfloor are down, and the studs are up for one wall.

It's finally starting to look like something.  In the next week the rest of the framing and outer sheathing will go up and we'll have someone come to give a roof estimate.  I knew this was going to be a long process but... wow.