Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pictures -- Warning: They may be boring!

So I took some pictures of progress, they probably aren't very exciting to anyone but Adam and I, but progress nonetheless.

Purple room before anything, and after being cleaned up and taped, ready for painting.

Bathroom with new window installed and new subfloor; to replace the icky stuff that was in there.

Above is the before of the kitchen and below is what is currently looks like-- new windows again.

Now these are the most exciting ones below, not really. But it is the now organized and working utitlity room with our new water softner and the infamous (nearly-blew-up-our-house) water heater, that is now fixed. Also my favorite-- the new furnace!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heat....glorious Heat!!!!

We now have been blessed by the Citizens Gas gods and can run our furnace due to passing the inspection and being able to turn on the heat.

The inspector initially came out on Friday morning to run a test on our line to make sure there were no leaks. Well... there was a small leak that he thought might be coming from a fitting on an old union. There were only about 3 parts from the meter to the furnace/water heater that were not replaced so we figured it was one of those. Thus I make a mad dash to the black pipe aisle at Home Depot and in the meantime John, Adam's dad, arrives to help out. John brought with him a pipe wrench that was seriously the size of a 3 year old, it was the largest wrench I have ever seen in my life. Well the toddler size wrench must have done the job because when Citizens guy arrived the next day there were no leaks. I have never been so happy to hear a furnace running. It was ridiculous we were putting our hands in front of the vents like it was blowing out the answer to the fountain of youth or something.

Then the Citizens guy went to light the pilot on the water heater and about got his eyebrows singed. I guess the control box had some loose screws so when he went to light the pilot there was some built up gas and it basically backfired a bit and scared the bageebees out of Citizens guy and Adam. Adam made a very firm request to Sears to get someone out ASAP to take a look at it and/or replace it, since it was obviously a problem with the manufacturing and not anything we could have done. Sears guy came on Monday and replaced the box, also stating he had never seen anything like that before (lucky us!!).

So now we have both heat and hot water and are no longer living like the Amish. Now we can ask people to come help us and we don't have to preempt it by saying to make sure you wear 4 layers to stay warm :)

Other things we accomplished this weekend:

1. Adam and my dad finished setting all of the new windows and sprayed the "Great Stuff" for insulation and then caulked them all.

2. Mom and I have one of the bedrooms completely taped and are ready to go in with the paint sprayer and prime that room.

Our goal is to start hanging drywall this weekend, so if there are any of you out there that would like to get a workout this weekend and just a little bit dusty we would be more than happy to help you accomplish your goals.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sparkling floors, new pipes, and our first casualty.....

Well it has been a while since I blogged but a lot of work has been going on that I thought I should report. I have forgotten to take my camera these last few time to the house, but will try this weekend so I can have some pictures for the blog. Here is a rundown on what has been going on:

  • Adam and his Dad have finished nearly all the plumbing the only thing left is something to do with the outside spickets. We are now ready to test all the plumbing to make sure we don't have any leaks.
  • Our furnace was installed and is just waiting for the gas to be turned on. (Luckily with the weather this last week a furnace hasn't been necessary).
  • The house is finally rid of all wall paper. While "escavating" the wall near the front door I noticed that there were 2 layers of wallpaper, I then started seeing a portion of what looked like a picture of an old Roman statue. I took pictures with my phone so I will try to get those up b/c it has to be the most interesting wallpaper I saw during my time with this little project.
  • I have taken the old layer of wax off of the original hardwood floors in both of the bedrooms. The floor in the "purple room" has also had new wax reapplied and buffed back to a shine. I want to put another coat on but I am waiting for the heat to come on. The other room has a few damaged wood planks so we need to replace those before I can finish that floor.
  • Our deal of the week last week was our toilets( I know who braggs about a "deal" on a toliet). We had gone to Home Depot for something unrelated and we decided to see if they had anything in the toilet aisle on sale, low-and-behold they had a toilet that was originally $269 on clearence for $47.50 and it was an American Standard. There was only one left at the 38th St. HD so we asked my parents to pick up another one at the C,ville HD. We got 2 toilets for under $100!!
  • Our windows are kind of in.....I will elaborate on that a little further in a minute :(
  • Nearly all of the subfloor in the full bathroom has been replaced and we have dry fitted the tub.

And now for the casualty....

My poor dear husband has been having a heck of a time with the windows. A 54 year old house that had the old aluminum windows is not always the easiest when it comes to the replacement process. First of all not all of the rough opening were level so he had to rework those a bit to get the window to sit in the framing plumb (and yes I now know all these "technical" words and actually what they mean). Then he had to take a layer of brick off and mortar back in the limestone sill so the window could sit properly on the sill. A small casualty was that one of the sills fell during this process and broke into about 3 pieces, but he was able to get it back up and it doesn't look too bad, nothing a flower box can't hide :) Then for the big one......... last night he was trying to get the windows pushed out to where they needed to sit on the sill. The one in the laundry room was "stuck" but I'm guessing when Adam turned to get a tool it got "unstuck" because on my way back up to the house from taking the garbage out, I heard bang, the crash of many pieces of glass breaking, and a number of words I should not type on such a famiy friendly blog. The window had gone to meet its maker so soon after arriving out our house, and so goes our first casualty. Of course the part of the window that broke was the permanent panel and not the moving panel that could probably be ordered seperately as a replacement piece. The worst part is that the windows have to be special ordered and can take 2 to 3 weeks to get back. At least it is just the laundry room and not a big deal if we have a few finishing things once we move in. Right now we put the window back up and then just covered the broken side with plastic.

So as you can see we have been busy and so far the process has had a range of emotions from exciting and fun to exhausted and frustrated, but we are getting there and hopefully soon the pictures I post will be something resembling an almost finished house.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doors, Wallpaper, and Windows.......Oh My......

I have really slacked in blogging lately, but most of the changes have not been something where you can "really" see a change. We have the electrical almost completed and the plumbing should be getting there soon. The new water heater is installed, so now it is just getting everything hooked back up. Our new furnace should be delivered any day, so hopefully that will be installed in the next week. As soon as we get the furnace, then we can have running water in the house, don't want the pipes to freeze and burst right in the middle of the remodel.

Two weekends ago my parents came up to help. My mom helped take a ton of carpet staples out of the hardwood floors in the master bedroom, she decided that she would prefer to never do it again. My dad did a lot of clean up on the outside of the house. I wish the sun stayed out a little longer in the evenings so I could have gotten a picture last night to post, but it does look a lot better and no longer like a jungle.

This last weekend we had a full on work crew my Uncle Mark was back to help with some electrical stuff, my cousin Daniel and his wife Hyra also came to help, as well as Adam's brother Chris and his Dad. Everyone had different jobs so we got a lot of loose ends wrapped up. The pictures below note some of the progress we have made since the demolition, again not a ton yet, but once that drywall goes up there should be world of difference.

This is the before of the back door, although it doesn't look terrible from the inside the exterior of the door was pretty weathered, do we decided to replace it.
Here is the after of the back door, which ended up being a pain to get installed. I guess a door should be roughed in so that there is some wiggle room to work with when installing a new door. Adam's comment after 2+ hours of working on this, with the 3 Phillips men, was that they must of hung the door and then framed the house, that is how tight the door frame was. It ended up being an episode of MacGyver trying to figure out how to get the door to fit. As you can see they triumphed the nasty framing, and I think they would have all gone for a cold one after that mess.
Here is the before of the Kitchen where we were replacing the window with a patio door because it logically made more sense for the flow of the house.
Here is the after with the patio door installed. We had the contractors do this one as we figured it might be a bit more complicated. Adam was jealous and said they got the easy one, after the fiasco with the other door. I am really glad we made this decision, and it is so nice to have all of the natural light in the kitchen and dining area.
Here is the bedroom where there was a patio door and it is being replaced by a window. The windows are all special order and have not come in yet, so right now it is just a piece of plywood.

Now it is on to the wallpaper, oh the glorious wall paper. I think I have spent that majority of my working hours on this house steaming and scraping wall paper off of the walls. I will never, and I repeat never, put wallpaper anywhere in my house. The thought of ever having to take it down makes me shudder.

This is the before of the master bedroom, and after getting the steamer, this room proved pretty easy on stripping the wallpaper.

And here is where hours of my labor have been spent, the after, no more wallpaper!!
This hallway has been my nemesis over the last several days. A previous owner had the bright idea to just paint over the 40+ year old wallpaper. I have scored, steamed, stripped paint, and scraped this hallway and am still only about 1/2 done with this mess. My goal is to be gone with all the wallpaper in the house by the end of this week.
This picture (below ) is where the contractor came in and took down the wall between the kitchen and the dining area. It was load bearing so they had to put in a beam for support. It really opens up the space and makes the dining room much more usable.