The digs

Monday, May 23, 2011

Home renovations are wearing me thin

Well, I haven’t updated for two weeks, partly because I’ve been really busy, and partly because there isn’t much progress to report.

Last weekend, my dad went to Maine for the weekend, so pretty much nothing got accomplished, since everything that’s left to be done is awaiting his expertise. Also, Adam didn’t want to do anything, and I had a hunter pace on Sunday, so…nothing.

I did do a TON of cleaning in the evenings after work last week, though. I wiped the inside of every cabinet and drawer with bleach. That was pretty gnarly. It was like the former occupants spilled oil inside every single cabinet. And had a food fight with spaghetti all over the house...

The newly cleaned and polished handles are back on the cabinets; however, the countertops still remain covered with random tools, paint cans, and trash. UGH!


cabinet handles

Also, put up curtains, which need to be hemmed (because nothing can ever just be DONE):


Cleaned the shower with excessive amounts of bleach and installed some fixtures in the bathroom:

towel bar

toilet paper holder

towel ring

This weekend went very much the same way. Saturday Adam was busy, and my dad showed up at the house while I was running an errand (because after 3.5 months of doing nothing but working on the house, god forbid I have to do anything other than work on the house once in a while), so he turned around and went home because I wasn’t there. So, the appliances remain unhooked up, and we still don’t have electricity in the bedrooms.

I did get the kitchen pantry painted, though:


The photo was before the second coat, so it looks even better. The walls were so gross in there. Adam sanded down the shelves to make them shiny and new. I also painted the bathroom shelves since they were also dirty (like every other surface in the house).

I also painted the window frame and door frames in the bathroom since they were scuffed and dirty.

window frame

Here’s Adam, hard at work:


There’s crap everywhere, as you can see. I’m sick of it.

Here are the killer zombie weeds which have sprung up all over the damn yard. Also, the lawn got mowed on Saturday, so that’s one thing, at least.




Luckily, my dad did get over on Sunday to mow down the bamboo.


Anyway, I’m seriously losing patience and seriously broke. I am about ready to put the house back on the market. There’s still so much left to do and no money left to do it, everyone’s burnt out, everyone’s got an attitude, everything always goes wrong, and I can’t take it anymore.

Here’s all the crap I’ve been spending money on lately:

-curtain rod, bath fixtures, three floor lamps, clothing hangers…$84.46

-returned a door stop…-$3.78

-bathroom cleaner, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, felt pads for furniture feet, Mr. Clean Home Pro, screwdriver, door bumper, razor blade scraper, dowel for closet, weed killer, a machete (that was all Adam’s idea)… $37.68 (because I used $44.12 in gift cards)

-a nightstand and a clothes rack from Target…$20

-I got $100 off my fridge because of a small dent in the side! so -$100


$8653.57 spent on renovations (and I haven’t even been adding monthly electric bills and property taxes and home owner’s insurance…wahhhh)

Also bought $300 worth of stuff at Lowe's last night, but I don't have the receipt at the moment, so I'll add it on to the next post.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Losing steam on home repairs

Well, it’s safe to say we are losing steam with the home renovations.

Here’s what we did this weekend:

-my dad started fixing our broken shower and replaced some outlet covers

-I cleaned more kitchen cabinet handles

-Adam cut some plywood to use as slats for our new bed frame

-hung the medicine cabinet/mirror in the bathroom and started setting up the bathroom sink

-we moved some furniture into the living room (!!!!)

But, that’s it. We are just waiting on my dad to fix the plumbing and hook up the appliances and we can move in and finish the small stuff later.


Here you can see the trim we put up in the bathroom. It was cheap and easy, but I’m not loving how the corners came out.

baseboard trimrubber trim

medicine cabinet


We discovered that there is a crack in the basin on the vanity top, so I’m hoping that Adam’s talented and handsome brothers over at Surfaces Group can make us a new countertop…

And here is the completed living room:

living room

living room


living room

living room

Oh, and a blurry picture of it with the furniture in (there are two coffee tables because we weren’t sure which was going to stay in the living room, and which was going in the basement. We decided on the darker one, because it matches, even though I prefer the other one):

furniture in living room


-returned a door stop: –$2.85

-bought a used washer and dryer for a coworker $200

-bought a bunch of Pex adapters, clamps, a dryer duct, a washer machine drain hose, and plywood for the bed frame $49.42

====$8615.21 spent so far on renovating the house

Also, we discovered that one of the ceilings that cost me $1200 already has a crack in it. The contractor is coming to fix it, but in the meantime we have to put moving stuff into that room on hold until it's done.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finishing touches

As of this moment, all of the major renovations are just about finished!

This weekend in pictures:

ceiling, fan

Installed a new ceiling fan in the living room (more difficult than it sounds)

baseboard, trim

Replaced baseboard trim (was more of a project than it sounds, because the trim we had was very dirty, but at this point I didn’t want the added expense and effort of buying, cutting, angling, and staining new trim). For the record, Feed-N-Wax worked wonders for my trim and cabinets:

baseboard trim

baseboard trim

rubber trim

Installed rubber trim on the cabinets (easy!)

We also replaced all of the outlet/switch covers, but didn’t take photos, because I’m sure you can picture the difference.

I also discovered that my cabinet handles--which I was so excited to replace—are a custom size, which means I’d have to spend a fortune to replace my handles. Which left me with using the ones I have. Which entailed a product called Brasso, and lots of scrubbing:


Here you can see the handles after and before cleaning! Big difference!

Didn’t spend tooooo much this weekend, but I also returned a lot of stuff.

-returned a bunch of wall tile, because we decided to do a rubber trim in the bathroom in the interest of Being Done…-$53.43

-returned some leftover rubber wall base trim that we didn’t need in the kitchen…-$5.64

-returned the cabinet handles I can’t use… –$44.72

-bought rubber base trim, an access panel, drawer slides, wall trim adhesive, Feed-N-Wax for cleaning the wood baseboard trim, cleanser, Brasso, wood putty, Murphy’s Oil Soap, pole sockets, wallplates, 2 in finish nails for putting the trim back on the walls, scrubber, scour pads, breaker…$90.35

-more rubber wall base trim, a mop refill, steel wool, straight edge for when I touch up some paint, putty knife, Windex…$23.66 (we had $9 in store credit which this price doesn’t include)

-returned an angle grinder, a ceramic file, and a tile cutting blade (since we’re not doing a tile trim anymore…)… –$88.74



Some flowers that are sprouting at the front of the house

What we still have/want to do (the necessities in red):

-new front steps

-repair deck

-fix plumbing

-fix electrical issues

-fix crack in foundation

-lots and lots of landscaping

-fix broken shower

-get appliances hooked up/plumbed in

-pressure wash siding

-paint exterior trim

-put up a fence around perimeter of yard

-pave driveway

-install a more efficient heating system

-new doors

-new countertops and backsplash

-shrubs in front of the house to replace the ones my dad chopped down

-buy washer and dryer

-get a shed

-plumb in bathroom sink

-hang up bathroom mirror

So…yeah, let’s put it this way: it’s not like this blog is going to be relegated to some dark dusty corner of the internet from lack of home improvements to talk about…