Remodeling is Not a Hobby

4 08 2010

My life as of late has involved large portions of working and equally large portions of working on our new home. I have stuccoed and painted and cleaned to the point I glare at our buckets of mud. After my bad run-in with some Kilz primer, I’m not very interested in painting all the things anymore. And yet there is little choice in the matter. It needs to be done.

We’ve been working on the property for two years now. We started working on “the big house,” where we live now. After several months of headache, we realized this place was far more trouble than it was worth. Between the low ceilings, uneven floors, dangerous wiring, iffy plumbing, leaky roof, and the Pepto-pink living room… yeah. And those are just a few of the problems here, and I do mean that without any exaggeration.

We focused on cleaning up outside the houses (the other one was occupied for the first several months after we moved in). We hauled off a disturbing amount of trash from outside and inside the big house.  We got the lawn back under control. With the help of my goats, we reclaimed the hillside. Mostly just getting all the junk out of the yard and off the porches made the biggest difference.

When our “neighbors” moved out of “the little house,” we assessed the damage inside it. Besides the amazing amount of trash left behind, we were looking at patching holes, laying down new flooring, replacing a couple of sinks and a toilet… But the good news was that it was structurally sound. The wiring wouldn’t catch fire and kill us in the night. The plumbing worked (mostly). We weren’t going to sprain our ankles trying to get to the fridge.

Translation: It was a LOT less work to fix this place up and make it livable.

The big house is just that… big. Not a mansion or even two stories. It has two bedrooms, one and a half baths, a walk-in closet, plus a decent sized living room and kitchen. It’s more room than just the two of us need. It’s an old house, though. I can touch the ceilings in most of the rooms without standing on my toes. Larry scrapes his knuckles if he tries to put a shirt on while standing up.

The little house is slightly newer. It has two small bedrooms, a bathroom, and a small living room / kitchen area. Size-wise, it’s a serious step down, but having civilized ceiling heights would be quite awesome. Plus, the roof doesn’t leak because it’s tin. Yay!

The little house, however, hasn’t been without its own set of challenges. The “master bedroom” (which is every so slightly larger than the other bedroom) was dominated by a large closet that was handmade and took up 1/4 of the room (not to mention the entire west wall). Larry tore down 2/3 of the closet and rebuilt a smaller closet. This made room for our king sized bed… but just barely. We’re still unsure where the dresser will fit. We stuccoed and painted this room.

The second bedroom (the “study”) had a closet problem as well. Its closet took up 2/3 of the west wall. Larry framed up an addition to the closet, which filled up the wall and gave us more storage. We ripped up the carpet (which was stinky and moldy), stuccoed, and painted this room.

The bathroom? I don’t want to talk about the gory details. In short, we ripped up the linoleum, replaced the rotting floorboards underneath, replaced the linoleum, tore out the old non-functioning sink, and removed the toilet that was damaged.

Well, all of this took us two years. We are not carpenters. We are not plumbers. We did the best we could, but we needed professional help to finish the job. We hired some carpenters/contractors a couple of weeks ago. In no time, they accomplished what we couldn’t have done in another two years. Here’s a list of what they’ve done:

  • Cut and hung trim in every room
  • Replaced the front and back doors
  • Replaced all the kitchen cabinets
  • Replaced the kitchen sink and counters
  • Laid down new lamnent flooring in the kitchen, living room, and study
  • Put carpet in the bedroom
  • Built a wall–a freaking WALL–to help divide the living room and kitchen
  • Put a window in my kitchen wall so I could watch TV while I cooked
  • Put in new outlets in the kitchen and living room by putting them in the new wall
  • Fixed our work in the study closet
  • Hung closet doors
  • Replaced the floorboards in the kitchen because whomever put them in was an idiot
  • Probably a million other things I can’t remember right now.

So what’s left for us to do?

  1. Paint all the closet doors
  2. Paint the bedroom/bathroom doors
  3. Touch up paint around new trim
  4. Paint the trim
  5. Stucco the living room and kitchen
  6. Paint living room and kitchen
  7. Stain the cabinets

…and somehow get ALL of this done before next week.

But the good news despite all of this is that we will soon have our own Home. It won’t be just somewhere to live. It’s not a rental. It’s a place we’ve been able to remodel and design to our own tastes. It’s going to be worth every moment of aggravation and stress.

Pictures when we’re done will be posted! 🙂




2 responses

4 08 2010

I think when you are done, settled in, and rested, there needs to be a housewarming party! I’m sure we can manage our way down to you for warming your very own, remodeled yourself home!! That’s a big deal! 😀

4 08 2010

I think when you are done, settled in, and rested, there needs to be a housewarming party! I’m sure we can manage our way down to you for warming your very own, remodeled yourself home!! That’s a big deal! 😀

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