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!