Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Big Day Looms Ahead

I'm going to be a bit quiet with blog posts this week, as my big moving day is coming up on Friday. At long last, my husband and I are moving into our new house!

Before you begin to congratulate me on the conclusion of the house remodeling project, let me set you straight on that. It is in no way done. It is in no way anywhere near done! It will be at least another year before it's anywhere near what one might call done. It is, however, now livable.

In case anyone has been thinking about what fun it would be to buy a fixer-upper house, let me give you a dose of reality. Here's what we've done so far:

  • Major electrical work. Thankfully, my husband's brother is a licensed electrician, so we got that done for about 1/4 what it might have cost us!
  • Had the entire house repiped for water. Galvanized pipes close to 40 years old mean very bad water pressure. Not something I can live with given the nature of my business.
  • Had the house plumbed for gas and got a new gas water heater. The remainder of the gas piping is capped off for now, as we will slowly convert to gas as we proceed with the remodel.
  • Removed "popcorn" ceilings for the living room, two downstairs bedrooms, and hallway.
  • Retextured the ceilings and all of the walls in those rooms.
  • Painted those rooms, including all of the trim. We'll eventually need to replace the windowframes and sills and such, but for now at the least the old marred wood is painted and looks reasonably fresh.
  • Cleaned and painted the brick fireplace. There's a woodburning stove there now and the whole thing is butt-ugly and out of place, but we won't be making any changes to it soon, so again, at least a coat of paint freshened it up so it's not such an eyesore. (It was previously a lovely shade of baby-diarrhea yellow stained with ground-in gray and black ash.)
  • Cleaned the hardwood floors throughout the previously mentioned rooms. Thankfully, the hardwoods are one thing that was in fair shape and didn't need refurbishing. A good cleaning should do it for now. (Apparently, the children of the household were fond of melting crayons on the floor and sticking the occasional wad of gum under a piece of furniture.)
  • Painted all of the downstairs interior doors. They also will eventually be replaced, but at least now look clean and fresh. We also bought and installed all new interior door knobs in a brushed pewter type of finish. I love the door knobs. Isn't that silly?
  • Moved the laundry area from off the hallway downstairs out into the garage, along with the plumbing that goes with it.
  • Knocked out the wall that used to separate the laundry from the downstairs bath and expanded the bathroom.
  • Tore everything out of the downstairs bathroom and replaced all but the tub. Actually, we haven't replaced the vanity yet either. We put that back in temporarily. We already bought a nice new sink, but my husband will be building the new vanity and that won't happen quite yet.
  • Tiled the shower area and the floor in the bathroom. (And I must mention here that I - yes I - laid the tile. Yep. That's right. I'm ridiculously proud of myself, even though we kept it super straightforward and plain, and it's not a perfect job by any stretch of the imagination.)
  • Ripped out the carpeting throughout the upstairs and replaced it with a really ugly but functional workshop floor.
  • Ripped out the sink in the upstairs bathroom and replaced it with a worksink.

I'm sure there's plenty more small things that I can't think of, but that's what we've done so far. Our plan is to bit by bit finish up with the rooms that are started (we need base and crown molding still, new doors, etc.) and then focus on kitchen and dining area. Everything in that part of the house will go and my husband will build us a new kitchen. I see a kitchen floor tile job in my future!

When the downstairs of the house is in good order, it will be time for my husband to build me a separate building for my workshop. We already had the electricity and water brought out to the site and capped off for the future. (We've also been to the City Planning Department to be sure our plans will be alright.)

Once the workshop is in place and I can move my operation out there, then it will be time to gut and remodel the entire upstairs.

Oh yes, and we need a new roof. And we need new siding. And we need landscaping work. My husband also has plans to eventually build a detached garage and then entirely convert what is now the garage into expanded living space.

Have I convinced you yet that a remodel is not all that much fun?!

Actually, it is fun and exciting, as long as progress continues forward. I've actually been through this before. (Yes, I'm insane!) I bought a house in California in 1998 that was absolutely trashed and in need of new everything. Back then, I was not with my current husband, Bruce. My boyfriend at the time was not nearly such a go-getter as Bruce. After living in that house for 5 years, the remodel was still not nearly done. I sold it half-finished. Oh, how much better this remodel is going!

It may sound as though there's no way I could have time to dye and knit with all of this going on, but it really is my husband doing most everything. I've done quite a bit of cleaning and painting and also did the tile job, but the rest has been all my husband's doing. I've even found a bit of knitting time in the evenings and have been keeping to my resolve to finish the zipper-front sweater before the end of the year and to make good progress on the ripple-stitch afghan. Progress on those items is pretty good right now and I'll have some new photos to share soon.

But right now, I must return to packing!


Elisa said...

Congrats on the remodel - and yeah you! for doing the tile work. Having remodeled (umm, watched hubby remodel) recently, I know tile work ain't easy. And the door knob thing isn't silly - I'm in the process of replacing most of ours with vintage glass knobs. Love how they look; it makes me smile every time I see them.

Congrats on being move-in ready!

Namaste Knitter said...

Good luck with your move! Hope to see you soon!

baby face said...

Congratulations on your new home.
I know it's a lot of work. I have
a friend in Boston who bought (30
years ago) a 300 year old house.
Dirt floor basement, 7 fireplaces,
no central heating, no kitchen to
speak of. They rehabed just like
you only it took longer. They love
their house. You will love your
house too and be so proud because
you did it yourself.

Gina Black said...

Wow. I got tired just reading about it! Sounds like you have accomplished so much already. Glad to hear all is going well and you still have time to knit.

Lynne E. said...

If the actual remodeling work isn't keeping you busy enough, you might want to start on Sarah Graves' "Home Repair Is Homicide" cozy mystery series! ;-) In her case, she is remodeling a 150-year-old house in Maine that has about a gazillion windows. I'm really impressed at all the things you've accomplished, and I can identify with your "doorknob love". (I have that feeling for the vinyl flooring in our upstairs bathroom.)

~Tonia~ said...

Congrats on getting to move in. We were so close to buying a old 2 story farm house. We were going to gutt it down to the studds since it was plaster walls and they were only being held up by the wall paper that was on it. We were going to make a master bed and bath and move the kitchen, windows, siding etc. But we were going to have it all done. We decided against it in fear that once we got into it, it would cost more money than we had planned. So the one that we did buy just needed the nasty carpet ripped up to reveal the hard wood floors, refinish the hard wood, tile the kitchen, and paint the walls the colors we wanted. So much less work than the previous one.

DragonsChest said...

Oy, that's a lot of work, but it will be well worth it in the end. Good luck on your successful finish!!!

Kat said...

Wow, and I thought my remodeling project was a lot of work! :-)

Good for you and your man on getting all that done!!!

ali said...

Wow, sounds like a lot of work! But it also sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to pictures someday...
And glad you've found some knitting and dyeing time in the midst of it all.
Happy knitting-