Tags: house renovations


(no subject)

The house painters told me today that they liked the house color change so much that they've been taking pictures of the transformation. Right after that, they said that they were tempted to paint the trim black because it would look "soo cool" against the red house. I was pretty successful at not laughing. Not so much with thinking about how young these guys are.


After all of the back and forth and waffling about paint colors and crews quitting last minute, the painters are finally working. The windows are all plastic-covered, the boards are caulked, and the paint is flowing. Major panic this morning about the paint color, but I think it'll be fine. We spent some time playing with software to try to guess at what the color will look like. I'll post pictures when it's done.


In the last week, I've hired 2 (count them! 2!) contractors. Friday, I'll finally be getting the switch put in to hook the generator up to (yay local electrician!). He's going to charge less than half of what the other crack smokers wanted, and comes well recommended.

Also! This summer, we'll be painting the outside of the house. College Pro kids will be coming out to seal all the cracks and meticulously paint the siding. We even called some of their references from last year, all of whom raved about their experience. And the quote from these guys was nearly that of the quote we got on the old house with half the square footage (don't ask, I have no idea how that works). So, happy. Now, we just need to pick the colors.

I can't believe that this is going well. I'm just waiting for the bottom to drop out somewhere. But if all goes as expected, Friday afternoon I'll be calling the plumber to get my garbage disposal put in. Wheeee!

Home improvements

So far I've been pretty lucky with my attempts to get some work done on the house. I suspect that all planned savings this year will be used up fixing this stuff we can't/don't have time to do ourselves. So far, I have an electrician and house painters coming out this week for estimates. I need to talk to our neighbors to get at least one more painting estimate before committing to anything there. I'm seriously hoping that the electricians estimate will be reasonable enough that I can bring out the plumber too.

The part that is so frustrating is that much of this stuff we could do ourselves if we could spread it over the next two years. But as it is, we still need to fix the siding on the garage and get the yard into some semblance of order, so something has to give. There are only so many hours and it's just plain faster to hire someone to do some of this work. And the longer we wait, the more projects we find that need to be done. Like I'd really like to paint the inside of the house this winter instead of having another year of white.

Some days I think that I could quit my job and do most of this work myself and come out even. But the project manager inside my head knows that I'd never be content with that. Sure the cost would go down, but the time and resources would go up. So it's just more efficient to pay someone to fix this stuff. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

Oh yeah!

Today has been filled with awesomeness. After a bit of a rocky start, related to trash day and the husband being out of town, it's levelled off into pretty damned cool. I don't know why, but I always forget that physical activity gives me a 2-day high. Yesterdays run meant that I started the day in a good mood and returned to it despite the trash issue.

And then, it gets better. The nice plumber I called yesterday (after the one I had such hopes for referred me back to the original hack that stalled out on us after 3 months) spent some time this morning telling me that the water pressure problems we're having might actually be the problem of the water provider and to talk to the city and county to get some answers. So yay for the possibility of not having to spend money on that. He also told me that if it turns out we need to pay for a solution, he'd be happy to do it. And he sounds like the kind of guy that won't put us off beyond a scheduled date.

Also, I predicted a problem at work. I pushed very hard on some coworkers to avoid this problem but eventually had to settle for a "no, we're not going to do it that way." Today, the problem has come to pass. But the good part is that the person who told me no is the one who's getting screwed. So basically, he set himself up for this particular problem, and now gets to reap what he sowed. Oh, I'm laughing my ass off on this one.

(no subject)

One of the most frustrating things about this house has been the loss of a garbage disposal. For a while, I figured that we'd simply have a compost heap outside and that would take care of the problem. Oooh, was I deluded.

For one thing, you can't put meat into a compost heap. It stinks and attracts pests (and neighbor dogs) faster than you can blink. The other big one is that in order to have a useful heap, you really need to spend some time to design and build a good easily maintained system. At this point, time is a rare commodity. Looking at the list of projects that are half complete is horrifying.

The biggest obstacle to getting a disposal and solving at least have of the stinky trash problem has been that we're on a septic system. So no ordinary disposal for us. Oh no, we require the super-duper Insinkerator Septic Assist.

And until yesterday, this thing was impossible to find. Somehow, in the last month or so, people decided that maybe they should sell it. So we went yesterday and picked one up. Now the hard part will be installing it. But when I get a plumber out (thank you Angie's list!), we'll get this and the water pressure upgrade done at the same time. Two whole projects with one fell swoop.

Now if the plumber will just call me back...


Last night my husband and I spent our tax return. I wasn't really expecting to get one, so having the extra money meant that we could do this particular chore earlier than this fall. See, we went and bought shades for the half the windows in the house. Of course, this is 22 windows, but still only half the house. And we won't get the shades until next month, but they were on sale. So I'm pretty happy. We also managed to get the car in to have a hitch put on in preparation for getting a trailer. In fact, we can pick the thing up tonight. So overall, we were extremely productive. But bye bye cashola.


As a result of the power outage fiasco in December, I'm looking to buy a generator and an electrical switch so that we can power as much of the house as possible. Throwing out an entire refrigerator and freezer worth of food, plus worrying about the fish tanks and living with my parents for a week just makes this a logical move.

So as a first step, we invited out an electrician to see how much wattage we'd need and how much it would cost for them to put in a transfer switch. I'd just like to say that if I could earn $500 an hour as an electrician, I think I'm wasting my time working in IT. That is insane. And that cost is including a ridiculous markup on the 2 tiny parts they'd be supplying (not the box or the generator, those have to be purchased separately). At least he gave us a decent estimate on what kind of wattage we're looking at.

After asking around a bit, it seems that the electrical work is almost as easy as adding a new light. We'll need to poke a hole in the siding for a plug for the generator, but that's pretty easy and a much better option than leaving the window open for the cord. So we're going to attempt this ourselves. And with all that money saved, we'll, um, have less debt.

But this is going to be an interesting process. The electrical box arrived yesterday, and I'm hoping to order the generator today. The one I'd originally ordered is back-ordered 10-12 weeks. Which doesn't really do a lot of good, seeing as the instance of power outages over the summer is pretty light.

Soooo sleeeeepy

I think this may be the last post whining about getting the house ready for sale. We finished all the big stuff over the weekend, including rearragning the house to give it the illusion of space. It's just really amazing what getting rid of half your stuff will do for a place. But it's finally ready and looks fantastic. It's almost enough to make me want to stay. Almost, but not quite.

In order to make the house available, we're going to spend the weekend (cats in tow) with my parents. I haven't spent this much time at their house since I lived there 8 years ago. I'm hoping it goes well, especially for the cats. Plunking them down someplace new twice in one month is going to be hard on them. I really hope they don't take it out on us by peeing all over everything.

Vindictive homes

I think my house hates me. After doing the happy dance on getting a number on the new house that we could live with, I'm fairly certain that it decided it was jealous; the water line to the toilet suddenly developed a leak and the shutoff valve was non-functional. I swear, I'm going to be so glad to be rid of this place! Anyway, this morning I woke to find that my husband had turned off the water main to stop the leaking. Early morning is not the time to tell me that I have to find somewhere else to take a shower.

I finally convinced him that it wasn't leaking fast enough to require that the main stayed off, so I could take a shower at home (thank goodness that we repaired the broken main when we did!) and was on my merry way to work. He stayed home to fix the line and the valve, if he could. Turns out that the valve was an easy replacement, and the line just feeds off that. $11 and a ton of aggravation later, we have a fixed toilet. I'm so proud of him. He's come a long way from the man who was afraid to change out an outlet.