Thursday, November 24, 2011

Project # 4 - The Partial Death of Teal

While most of the rest of the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, my parents and I were knee deep in bathroom demolition. The house has two full baths in it but unfortunately, only one of them can really be used as a full bath (the master). The other bath, while having operation sink and toilet, the tub itself could not be used due to tile and subsequent water damage to the room.

As the family had celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday (due to the random and crazy schedule that some of the family members have), Mom and Dad came down to Franklin to check out the house and help with some demolition.

Day # 1

The primary goal for the weekend is to remove the tub and replace it with a new tub/surround as well as remove the closet from the bedroom next door and give the bathroom it's own little closet. As the bedroom next door is going to be an office space, I figured it lacking a closet would not hurt it. Including a small closet in the bathroom also means that access to the tub's pipes will now be more convenient through the bathroom itself instead of through the closet in the bedroom/office. As part of all this, the linen closet in the hallway is getting a little bit bigger as well, which is good because as it is currently it is barely deep enough to hold comforters and other large linens and towels.

Mom and Dad arrived in the early afternoon and after a tour, we set ourselves towards the demolition of the tub tile and drywall and closet framing.After a good 4 or 5 hours of demolition work, everything that we wanted torn was torn down. All that remains is a big pile of garbage that needs to be bagged up and moved into shed for storage until such a time that I have enough renovation garbage to call in a dumpster.

Once the demo was done, we called it a night. Tomorrow morning, I'll be bundling up the garbage to take to the shed. I have to stay at the house and wait for a Chimney Repair company to arrive to do an estimate for me. During that time, Mom and Dad will likely be out and about, braving the Black Friday Madness, trying to get to Home Depot and pick up a few supplies (and possibly the tub and surround, if Home Depot has it in stock).

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, November 21, 2011

After a week and change of radio silence, I am now back online and officially living in the new house. On the 12th, with help from friends, I moved nearly all of my stuff from Walpole to Franklin. There's a lot of unpacking left to do but I am generally situated now. Jay's got all his stuff here and his room set up as well (for family members that don't know - Jay is a buddy of mine who's taking one of the spare rooms).

The day of the move also saw a set of four pallets dropped off thanks to Marc and Pat. They've been set up and soon enough I'll be splitting and stacking firewood.

The house itself is slowly coming together. I had a sense of it before but now I am even more aware of how many items that are generally necessary or useful in the owning/maintaining of a house that I just don't have. I bought a toaster today - along with a bunch of towels.

This last weekend was spent between closing up the apartment in Walpole (still had the treadmill and a few other assorted items there) and trying to get some motion on yard work. This is the second time that I'll have raked up the yard and I expect I'll fill even more leaf bags than I did after the first. At least the leaves are dry this time around. I did get a chance to meet more neighbors over the weekend while working in the yard. The couple across the street came over to introduce themselves, welcome me to the neighborhood and express how sorry they were to see the tree had hit the roof.

As for what is coming up - Thanksgiving is early this year (Wednesday instead of Thursday due to the collective crazy schedules of my family). This means that I will, hopefully, have Thursday through Sunday to invest in house and yard work. There is a company coming out Friday to give me an estimate on chimney repairs from the storm. Mom and Dad might be coming down for the weekend as well - and if they do, I'd like to have them help me on the partial demolition of the non-master full bath and get, at the very least, a functional shower in place. Once the shower in that bathroom is in, I can renovate the rest of the space at my leisure.

Nothing really exciting or new for photos recently. If the bathroom project gets started, it will have its own blog entry and a number of photos to go along with it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Project # 3 - Painter's Anxiety

One would think that, having roots as an artist, I would be more comfortable with the prospect of painting the rooms in the house than I am. When asked what I was going to do for colors, my response was "off white". Some of it was that I didn't really want to invest too heavily into thinking about colors for each room when I know that I want to tear down the walls and hang new insulation and drywall on them (the current drywall is ancient and should be replaced). Luckily, the decision to make the Living Room a project room means that I don't have to care about it for the time being. But... I do have to think about the other living spaces.

The Dining Room
Originally, I was going to just leave it "primer white" with the green trim. But as I got further along in the priming, the more stark the space looked. And, since I would need another coat of primer to even out the white on the walls anyway, I just decided to paint them a color.

Jay had suggested something along the lines of an orange/brick color. I spent some time playing around in Photoshop and came up with a mockup that looked decent. Off to the paint store! While there, I got some suggestions from the woman running the register and went with a color called Audobon Russet.

I was very nervous about this color. Seeing it (approximated) in Photoshop is one thing, seeing it on the wall was another. By the time the first section of wall was done, I was pretty anxious about the color. The white walls of the primer, the pink of the cabinets and window dressings and the blue from the tape all make it look terrifying. But I had to press on - get to a point of no return that way I wouldn't have any choice but to finish painting.

Compared to the primer, this paint went on like butter. Nice smooth application and no question about whether or not you actually painted a spot (putting primer on yellow cream walls makes it hard to really see what you've covered and what you haven't). Because it went on so smoothly and because I had the benefit of experience from priming, painting the whole room went much faster than I thought it would.

Now all that is left is to check the walls today to see if they need another coat and see about getting rid of the pink paint in the corner units. Also - tear down the pink window dressing. And for a bonus task, see about replacing the illuminated jelly fish and updating the outlets to something modern.

The End Bedrooms
These two bedrooms got a start today as well. Primer went on the walls of one of them while the other looks like it is just primer white to begin with. Annoyingly, that primer white room also has white trim and windows, which is going to be an annoyance. It can be done but I would have preferred to just do the walls and be done with it.

For colors in these rooms, I am going with what I am comfortable with - a simple neutral cream/off-white color. Down the road, I might decide to get ambitious with their colors but for the time being, I am going simple. A gallon should handle both rooms easily.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This week is going to be all about preparing the house to be moved into. Well.. as much about that as I can spare the time for.

Since work has let me loose into the wild on some projects, I've decided to change up my schedule a bit. I am trying out an 8 to 4 schedule so that I have a little bit of daylight to work at the house before needing to break out the work lights.

Jay's trying out a cured steak recipe and since my boiler room is so dry, there is now a clothes-line worth of meat hanging between the furnace and the wall. It smells like... what I am told is coriander.

Today's task was taping up the first floor in preparation for some painting. I've got the primer in the basement and everything but the fridge nook taped (I was lazy and didn't want to drag the fridge out just to add some tape). Originally, I was planning on only doing the dining room/den and the kitchen but the entryway seemed small enough that I could do that too and be done at a reasonable time. The entryway is a rats nest of woodworking...

While I thought I had bought too much tape, I ended up running out just as I finished taping the stairs up to the second floor. I'll need to buy more for the bedrooms and hallway but shouldn't need as much as those rooms don't have as much detail in them compared to the dining room.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to start getting the primer on the walls in the dining room. If I can get that one room done by the time I call it a night, I'll be happy (the dining room is going to act as the living room for the time being while renovation happens in the living room proper).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This weekend has been tiring. Very little has been accomplished within the house but a lot has happened outside.

The logs were split with Jay's help. A quick trip to the local hardware store yielded an axe, a sledge and a wedge - which means some splitting is in the future (which should make for some good stress release). Saturday was a tiring day because of all the cutting that was happening.

Adding on to Saturday was Sunday. Not only did Day Lights Savings ending throw me off (as it does every year), the day itself was spent clearing the front yard of leaves and sticks. The front lawn took a good four hours to rake and bag. The end result is 13 bags of leaves and twigs which I'll be slowly bringing up to the road for garbage/recycling over the next few weeks.

Amusingly/Frustratingly, the woman next door came outside just as I was about to finish bagging up the last of my leaves and managed to get her front yard cleared (with a leaf blower) and bagged in no time. Granted, she has less to worry about in the front yard than I do (a single tree compared to 3 trees and the refuse of two downed trees) but still...

This week is all going to be prep work from moving in this weekend. My primary goals this week are to get the dining room and bedrooms primed (possibly the kitchen as well). I've decided the living room will be one of the first overhaul rooms - paneling removed, sheetrock and insultation installed and floor refinished. Still debating between getting the bathroom situated and the living room updated.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lots of little things have been going on at the house. Sadly, the trees on the roof and yard and the lack of electricity put my plans back by a few days. This means that I probably won't have all the time I need to get what I wanted accomplished before moving into the house.

The one benefit of the trees was I got the opportunity to meet a few of my new neighbors. The woman (who, I can't remember the name of right now) along with Charlie (who lives at the top of the hill on the corner) and Fred (I think) who lives right next door. I also learned a little bit about the Schaffers (the previous owners) - the husband loved Halloween and used to scary the crap out of the neighborhood kids.

Wednesday evening was an interesting night full of "WTF" moments and Ben, Jay and I started tearing out the old alarm system that was installed in the house. Amusingly, it was tied to its own breaker which really makes me wonder just how much of a security system it was anyway (Burglar breaks in and sets off the alarm? No problem, just go downstairs and flip #17). We also started tearing out old phone lines that weren't attached to anything (my guess is they were cut outside at some point when the lines were updated and the Schaffers used VOIP for the remainder of the time in the house).

I spent this evening finishing up a few of the remaining wires. I crawled into the attic and found the wires for the alarm system leading to the second floor, as well as another alarm horn. The basement has a couple of phone lines as well as the last line of the alarm system. I suspect all three of those lines actually run outside of the house under the back porch and then back into the house for the living room. I will also have to check outside to see if there are any more alarm horns.

Once I got that done, I started in with the spackle on the walls of the first floor. There are a few places that might need some extra work done on them (like the entryway closet where the alarm system was mounted) and some figures that I couldn't get off the walls (there are a couple of pressure screw casings of some sort in the first floor bathroom).

I have been thinking some about the order of operations I want to tackle the house in. There is a lot of work to be done and there are a small handful of tasks that are fighting for the "biggest project" title.
  • 2nd Floor Bathroom - Really, the biggest thing I want to do in this room and get rid of the tub and put in the shower. The rest of it can wait for a little bit. Eventually, I'd like to tear down the wall between the two second floor bathrooms and make a single larger room.
  • The Floors - The floors where there was no carpeting have maintained pretty well. But the living room, stairs and second floor hallway are all screaming for attention. Putty needs to get put into the varies holes and bits of damage, all of it needs to be sanded down and get fresh coats of polyurethane applied. I had really wanted to do all the floors before moving in - but that is a lot of work and there is very little time to do it all. I will likely end up taking the room-by-room approach and have some sort of woodworking done in the door frames between rooms to easy any inconsistency if it is present.
  • The Living Room - My biggest interest in this space is dealing with the flimsy wood paneling. But, tearing that down means sheet rock needs to go up (and perhaps insulation depending what's on the other side of the paneling). Its a case of something simple spiraling out into a multitude of tasks. Sheet rock, primer, paint, new casing for the heating system, new shelving for the walls. My bank account weeps.