Saturday, June 15, 2013

House update

This blog post is a combination of emails I've sent in the past week. I figured rather than rewrite, I'd share some of what I've told my friends.

I'm having a blast ripping out wallpaper and flooring (the easy part - I leave the hard part to the paid crew) and making decisions. They textured the kitchen and dining room where the wall paper used to be and where I ripped off the backsplash tiles. 

It's all so exciting! I'm hoping the appliances can be delivered next Wednesday (probably Saturday is more realistic). In the meanwhile, my packing maniac has started cleaning the windows (on the outside until we can safely clean them inside). Then by next Saturday, we'll have everything back in the house and life will start getting back to normal.

I have never liked the minimalist style, but the older I get, the more I like it. As a matter of fact, after being in an empty house for 2 weeks, I don't know if I want to put too much back into the house. It would be so much easier to clean without all the stuff. Now that I have Superman, I think I'll be more apt to move things around more until it feels right. He's so patient and polite.

We've been hard at it for 2 full weeks now, and I feel we're on the home stretch. I can't wait to sleep in my bed again. I remember the first time I tried to get out of the airbed. It took a couple of go's to get my butt up. But, now it's easier, and I barely need to use my hands. 

Unfortunately it'll be 5-6 weeks until the renovation will be complete because of the granite countertops. I don't want to have the "reveal" party until everything is done. Maybe by then my landscaping will be complete too.

The painting is complete. Tomorrow we'll get all the nails out of the floor and move the large appliances and the dishwasher out. I'm moving the fridge onto the back porch, and if I do my laundry tonight, I'll be OK without the washer/dryer for a week, although I am getting tired of the same clothes day in and day out. That means my car will be outside for a week or so.

For the floors, I've decided on a Tuscan stone look - sort of gold or tan base with red accent that will offset the coolness of the dark granite countertops and light kitchen cabinets. 

The painter will sand the floors Monday, and during lunch I'll head over to the stain store on Nakoma to buy the acid stain for the concrete. I've studied all the products, watched videos, and read reviews. I'm convinced Valspar and Behr are not the way to go if my current concrete floor is any indication of their lasting power. There are places on my floor where the "stain" has worn off, and it's not even in high-traffic places. Until I saw the reviews from people who had the same problem, I got excited about the colors in their glossy brochures and completely forgot about the problem. Once I decided to go with an acid stain, I had to investigate where to get it. Every day or so, I've told my painter that I'm going with product A, then product B, then the acid stain. He said that's what he has used before. The only problem with acid stain is its unpredictability. You don't have any control over how it looks. You can pick a color and hope it looks like that, but it's the concrete that determines the actual final color. It's a gamble. They have quite a few colors, including blue, cola, black, lawn green, English red, Malay tan, vintage umber, and golden wheat. I think I'll start with either Malay tan or cola and follow up with English red as an accent so the color looks more like stone. This is a $500-600 investment plus the labor - still cheaper than carpet or tile.

It dawned on me last night that my old cabinets might not be strong enough to hold the granite. Everything will be done and looking awesome. Then I'll set a cup of coffee on it, and it will all collapse. I'm definitely reinforcing anything I can. Don't want that to happen! My house will be mine - finally after 33 years - all mine.  My design, my colors, my choices. The outside is butter cream (gold coast white to be exact) with red trim, and the trim on the inside is the same as the outside (butter cream, not red). The walls are the same gold as they were before, but it'll be all the walls of the house, not just most of them. 

I gave away my bedroom set, the bookcases in my library, and a flip-top desk that I had. Then one of my workers hauled off my range (it was so greasy they could hardly hold onto it), vent-a-hood, and the scrap metal from the gable vents I had replaced. The basketball goal on the front is gone too.

I have my Mom and Dad's dresser and night stands. They're not my style, but they are much more functional than what I had before (until I can replace them), and I'll replace the pulls with new knobs. I'm rearranging the rooms so I'l have a guest room, a library, an office, and a workout room, along with my room, of course. I have a 4-bedroom house, and I think it's big enough for me now. 

Truly, the only things left to do are the floors and the baseboards. I'm hoping I can have the appliances delivered Thursday or Friday and start moving things back in Saturday and Sunday. Then I'll have to unpack (ugh!). My sink will be here within a few days. I ordered a Kohler 16-gauge stainless steel one-bowl sink with sound protection that's 25 x 22, which will give me 8 more inches of counter space. Since it's one-bowl, it doesn't need to be as big as the 2-bowl one that I've never liked. I'll be able to bathe a small child and wash cookie sheets in it. Can you tell I'm excited?

One more major purchase before long is bookcases to replace the ones I gave away. The old ones were mismatched and not very sturdy. I found some online that I'm excited about. I want to get 4 for the library and 1 for each of the closets in my room. One of the closets has a big space that is actually wasted because I don't hang clothes in that area. It's too deep to get to. So I figured a bookcase with shelves for storage would be much better. Then I want one in my walk-in closet for my shoes. I used to have 4 pairs of shoes. Now that I've had my knees done and lost weight, I have about 20! I don't think I've ever owned so many.

I'm thinking that since I have the POD until June 30, I might load everything in the garage in it, power wash the floor and move everything back in a more organized manner. I talked to Superman about using the POD to store the remaining things from the garage so we can give it a thorough cleaning and rearranging, and he's all excited about that. Plus, he'll haul off anything I don't want that isn't worthy of giving away. Might as well put that POD to good use.

This has been a blast. I would love to do something like this as a job. I'm not a decorator, but I've been able to pull together the manpower to get the job done, and it hasn't cost an arm & a leg. I pay the guys every few days so it's not such a burden on me at one time. And that way, when I run out of money, we can quit ;o).

At work, I should be back in my office early next week. I keep thinking it will be great to have life back to normal. But I'm really beginning to think I don't have a normal anymore. Or maybe this is my normal. Anyway, I'm enjoying rolling with it.

No photos posted on this blog yet. I haven't really taken the time to figure out how to upload them yet. I'm learning how to set up a website for the Friends of the SA Public Library right now in my spare time. 

Hey, I just figured out how to send photos from my phone to messages and email. I've only had this phone 2 years, and I'm just learning how to do things with it. Now I know why my son thought it was so awesome. And this has all been made possible because I don't have a TV. 

If you're still reading this, God bless you! Thanks!

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