Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Sixth Week: Move-In Ready

We were down to the nitty-gritty. It's pretty satisfying painting big rooms redoing cabinets and all that, but the detail work left at the end is not very fun. 

I spent one evening cleaning the kitchen - something I'd been itching to do for ages - and was surprised to find the stovetop is actually in pretty good shape. It's really old, but very clean. Again more evidence that Harriet was not much of a cooker.

I ripped out most of the shelf paper, but there are a few remnants.

Meanwhile, Ben went to work replacing the rest of the light fixtures, all 17 of them. This took pretty much an entire weekend.

The improvement with the ceiling fans gone was absolutely enormous. For the first time I felt like I could actually see in this room.

We ordered the countertops a couple weeks ago and also the new gas cooktop and faucet which will be installed in them. Home Depot went on and on about how we had to have these items on site before they could come to finalize the layout, but the people who showed up Friday night to measure didn't even look at them. OH WELL.

Saturday morning we went to the granite place to choose our slabs. This is going to look pret-ty awesome.

I was really determined this weekend to finish some rooms. I spent a lot of time cleaning and working on the final little details. I managed to replace this toilet seat all by myself! while watching Grace & Frankie.

We replaced the huge white ceiling fan in the kitchen with something very simple. It opens up the whole room.

My cookbooks are in the cantaloupe kitchen!

Meanwhile, outside: I own a mimosa tree!

And lots of hydrangeas.

Here's all the removed light fixtures. HIDEOUS.

Here's Ben putting the cover back on the underside of the dishwasher. I tried to do it myself but failed.

I painted two coats on the front doors with a small brush on Saturday, and then Sunday morning went to Home Depot for a little roller. It was a HUGE improvement. I spent hours Sunday morning painting doors and it went much faster and with a much better result. This front entryway is one of the most amazing contrasts overall. Remember: crystal glass chandelier, dirty beige walls and trim, carpet, weird railings all over the place. It's a huge, huge relief to see this.

There are still a lot of doors to go, but that's something we can easily do after we move in. The contrast is pretty terrible, though. 


And the sunroom is completely done. I put all the switchplates back on. DONE.

Sunday I started cleaning up. All the paint is put away. In a closet.

And then I spent a really long time scrubbing the fireplace. We have to paint around the edge at some point but that's not going to be for a while, because who cares right now.

I also painted the interior of this bathroom on Sunday - the last unpainted room. And it's good that I hadn't gotten around to it, because when I was on the floor I noticed the new toilet has a leak between the tank and the bowl. The contractor is coming back out to fix it properly.

This house is a REGULAR HOUSE. And it's a good thing because it's given me tennis elbow.

Ben has moved a bunch of his electronics stuff over.

We've moved about half the kitchen, too, and all the books and various other stuff from the living room and storage closets. The movers are coming on Friday but only for the furniture - by that point we'll already have mostly everything over there.

New house!

The Fifth Week: We Are Getting Tired of This

The tile guy was great. So professional and he did a great job. We chose marble tile for the bathrooms mainly because everything at Home Depot was beige and we didn't want to wait to special order anything. I thought it might be a bit much for the house, but it actually works great..

The terrible bathroom was coming together nicely. They ripped out the moldy drywall and started from scratch.

The sun room closet was still yellow. It was like a little window into the hellscape past.

With the floors being done, we were finally able to start bringing over boxes.

And Ben got to work on replacing all the light fixtures. This was the first one! It's in the kitchen.

We had about thirty-five fights trying to agree on light fixtures throughout the house. After much discussion, we decided on one ceiling fan only, in the sun room. Harriet had SIX of them, and they were all awful..

The tile man came to finish the floors on Monday and then they were DONE! The unpainted trim in this room was really stressing me out.

I brought over sweaters and boots.

And then we began a weekend of finally, finally finishing up the trim. You can see really clearly here what we were working with.

Ben had to do the crown molding in the front room because I am too short.

I love the laundry room. It's kind of amazing how it came together given that we essentially picked the tile as a last resort - again, because we didn't like anything else they had in stock - and we painted the walls this color because we had a lot of it left over from the kitchen.

I finally bit the bullet and painted the sun room closet. Painting closets seems like such a thankless job, but this one made a huge difference.

We took the doors off the bathroom cabinets to paint them, giving miniature horrible flashbacks of the kitchen.

I also brought over the contents of the coat closet!

Ben caulked around a lot of the woodwork where there were gaps. I'm lucky he's really good at meticulous detail work and also seems to like it. I mean, he complains, but he always insists on doing it.

OH HI here's more of the laundry room.

The terrible bathroom was officially reassembled! This was the last unpainted room in the house.

Mid-week, Jarek my floor man came over and finished the molding in this closet and also around the steps in the front room. Then I had to write him a check. He said in his deadpan Estonian accent: "That's a lot of money." I KNOW, Jarek. I know.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Fourth Week: A Real House

This week was kind of a holding pattern on our part, waiting for the flooring to be done. In the meantime, we had three inches of rain in an hour and a huge sinkhole opened on the main road in front of our townhouse, so that's fun.

The tile man got the initial tile laid in both the laundry room and the bathrooms, but none of the grouting (and whatever else he has to do to finish it). Then he had to take a break so they could put all the chemicals on the hardwoods.

Also in the mean time, while we were up at 3:00 am giving Doki a bath after a recurrence of her irritable bowel disease, I noticed Mike was in and out of the litter several times. Friday night, he did it again and the second and third times there was very little urine. SIGHHHHH. Off to the emergency vet we go.

He had a pretty good time at the vet, I have to say. He was very affectionate and friendly and wandered around exploring the room and meowing. Also, somehow we got out of there only spending $270, and all three cats transitioned to eating his new specialty food with no drama, so it was about the best emergency vet experience possible.

Papaya has been ripping out her fur too, by the way. I've experimentally given her both Xanax and Zyrtec but neither seems to have much of an effect.

Since we couldn't get in the new house, we started packing the old one. I found a scrapbook and discovered I used to save all my old movie tickets.

Business cards from my first two jobs!

Doki is on the mend now.

On Memorial Day, Jarek the floor man called and said we should come over and choose a stain. We'd told him general guidelines and he picked several for us to look at. I wanted the third one, but Ben preferred the one on the left and because I am VERY nice I agreed.

Then we went home and packed up all the books in the living room. Only twenty boxes.

Then we went back to look at the stained floors. We couldn't walk on them, so the only part we could see was from the laundry room into the kitchen. I almost cried with joy.

We were in the middle of a few days of tropical rain and the yard is really just amazing. It's going to need a lot of work to clean up some of the wild shrubs but that's not on the priority list at present.

The floors are now finished. I went to look at them this morning.

The little stairs still need painting to fix them up.

We are really itching to do something about the lighting, which is just horrible. The light fixtures in all the rooms are somehow really bright without actually illuminating the rooms.

It's really unbelievable. This house is a normal house now, that normal people would buy.

The tile guy is back at work today and thinks he'll be done tomorrow or Monday. Then we have no excuse but to finish the last painting bits and pack the rest of our belongings!