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.