Friday, February 8, 2013

The house the sadists built.

So, when I met and married my wonderful husband - he already had a house.  I knew right away - this house wouldn't work for our family.  It was already too small for his children and it needed some serious work.  He bought it as-is in an effort to "get a house" - any house. 

Suffice to say, we're moving as soon as we can sell this one.  We've done a ton of work, gutted and replaced the kitchen.  Gutted and upgraded both bathrooms.  Structural work has been completed, new boiler, furnace, and the list goes on.  We're down to the final prettying up - painting, trim, a couple door replacements, deep clean the carpets and voila - put a sign on the lawn!

So of COURSE, we run into stupid issues.  This house has been full of them.  The people who "upgraded" it last in say... 1963... did not build to any code in the US.. or possibly Earth.  The electrical was put in by blind maze builders who want you to guess which circuit an outlet might be on and leave random electrical prizes in the wall.  The plumbing has outlived it's age and has been a pain to fix.  But the walls - the basic structure of the walls always leaves us astounded (and frankly a little defeated).

Fast forward to my hubby deciding that the bumpy plaster effect in the entryway is an eyesore and it has to go.  He has already decided to remove the paneling in the basement because "That's what Jonathan and Drew would do".  I have to admit, this makes me smile.   When we first started working on the house, he assured me he wasn't the "handyman" kind of guy.  Now he's pulling down panels and putting up sheetrock.  Swoon!

I decided to tackle removing the paint or plaster mess.  I used plastic sheeting to protect as much of the house as possible from the dusty mess that the area was sure to become.  After some advice from the guy at Lowe's, I started off sponging water onto the wall and hoping it was wet enough to scrape.  This was a: time-consuming; b: messy; c: stupid.  So I decided, if moisture is what's needed - wouldn't the steamer work better?  I have a small steamer iron and a larger clothing steamer.  I started with the small one and Lo and Behold - A Faster Way Was Born!  The paint gets wet and starts to pull away on it's own. Using the metal scraper the pieces came off fast. 

The hubby got the big steamer out and between the two of us, in an hour, cleared most of one 4' by 8' wall.  We have one more and the ceiling to do, and it's done.  Then it's fix any uneven / holes (sometimes you get a ltitle energetic with the scraper and gouge a wall.  Oops.), sand and paint time!  YAY!

I am so excited to get this done. 

Oh - and to clean the carpets - I have a Kirby.  I sold them for a short stint in college (don't you judge me, I needed money!) and love them.  They are solid and last forever.  Someone on Craigslist was selling theirs for $100 bucks.  It retails for close to $3000 so... I took that deal and ran with it!  Even with depreciation of being a couple generations old, it was worth at least 500 bucks.  It has every attachment and works GREAT!  I know for a fact the carpet cleaner is amazing and can't wait to clean the carpets in this house. 

I know it will be more work than hiring someone, but it will save us money.  We have paid for every renovation in cash - no credit debt or anything from the house - so every bit of savings is a godsend. 

Hey, if you want to come over and help - just let us know... as you can see, it's not boring!


Marcia Johnson said...
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Marcia Johnson said...

Love Jonathan and Drew. Always great and on budget.