Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Recap volume 1

Since our last entry, which seems like decades ago, our lives have been ABSOLUTE MADNESS. Starting at the present, we have lived in our new house for 12 days, and we STILL have no hot water. We are in full on Little House on the Prairie mode. Pa Chuck got up early with me this morning and heated up bowls of water in the microwave, so I could wash my hair in the kitchen sink without the shock of freezing cold water on my head at 6am. We have no stove, we have no shower, we have no washer and dryer. The only utility that we have of any significance (other than electricity which is simply mandatory) is a toilet. For which I am EXTREMELY grateful. I guess this whole experience is truly making me appreciate the little things. Although not enough to snap me out of my perpetual grumpy state, largely due to utter exhaustion, combined with a lack of modern conveniences. The one thing we hadn't counted on when undertaking this project was how stressful it would be to move into a house that was not technically ready to be occupied. Especially when our wedding is in less than 3 weeks. Of course, in our vast naivety, we thought 2 months would be PLENTY of time to get the house, at the very least, move-in ready. When my sense of humor returns, that will give me a good chuckle.

I guess I should start with the hardwood floors, which we started tackling in mid-March. We had battled back and forth about whether or not to refinish them ourselves. I was for us doing it ourselves while Chuck wanted to hire someone to at least do the sanding. As the weeks crept by, I realized that it was a time vs. money issue, and time won. So with the help of a friend, we hired Wood Floors by Joe to do the sanding and floor repair and they did a bang up job. And to boot, Joe gave us a great rate of $1 per square foot. An interesting tidbit, our floors are the original heart of pine floors from when the house was built in 1930. I had my heart set on a nice modern dark stain (a la the Pottery Barn catalog), but Joe told us that pine stains very unevenly and we wouldn't be very happy with the results. I'm glad we heeded his advice -- they look very rustic, but absolutely fantastic. Kind of a rich, orange-y color.

Once the sanding was completed, Chuck buffed and applied the layers of polyurethane. The buffer was a bit of a bear at first. But Chuck, with his usual mastery, got it under control and found his own rhythm.

(I made a little movie of this with my camera, but cannot for the life of me figure out how to get it off of my camera and onto my computer. Given all of the things we have ahead of us, I doubt I will get around to figuring it out until June.)

Sidebar: I am out on our upper deck typing, and Chuck is down below doing something. I just heard him sniff and mutter “I need my neti” Like most everything in our lives, his neti is in a box. Somewhere…..

But I digress. Ultimately, he had to apply 3 coats of poly. After the first one you couldn’t even tell that it had any on it, because pine is so porous. It took about a week to finish the multiple buffs and coats, since he was only able to work at night, and I was in Florida working. That took us right up to our move.

Fortunately, we had finally finished the bathroom. Well, almost. Lots of detail work still needs to be done.

In early March, Chuck cut and I painted the beadboard:

We installed it using a rented nail gun from Home D, which saved us from hand nailing hundreds of tiny little nails:

In the meantime, I painted the outside of the clawfoot tub that we inherited with the house:

While I was in Florida, Chuck did a beautiful job laying the tricky tile floor, and put up the baseboard molding:

Chuck then installed the toilet under the tutelage of Plumber Bob from his HGTV show that we had TiVo'd. The sink was another fantastic steal from Craigslist, but we could not bear the thought of buying a used potty, so we purchased this one from Home D.

The tub still needs some work. We intend to get a kit from Home D and reglaze it ourselves. Apparently it sounds easier than it actually is, so we'll see how that goes...

One little detail we’re quite pleased with is the revamping of a light we bought. It had a great look, but was made of cheap looking gold metal. Calling up a “quick fix” idea from my ever present stack of DIY magazines, I bought a can of black-ish spray paint with this cool hammer finish and presented the lot to Chuck, who was dubious. While I was in Florida, he decided to go for it, and called me going on and on about how great the light looked. And now, in usual Chuck fashion, he wants to hit everything with the hammer spray.

Stay tuned for part deux.....


At 8:54 AM, Blogger freakgirl said...

Everything looks fantastic, guys! I love the bathroom. Love it.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Emilie said...

Thanks Deb:)

I feel compelled to clarify, as not to sound like a total martyr, that we have had abundant offers from our multiple friends who live in the 'hood, who have again and again offered up their showers. We both go to work pretty early and they all have dogs and/or kids, so traipsing into their homes at 6am hasn't felt like an option. Plus, since we moved, our mornings have started even earlier due to the obligatory morning walk our dogs require, since we don't have a fenced in yard yet for them to do their business. I actually walked the dogs with my hair in a towel this morning, as I just cannot eke any more time out of my night's sleep to take time to dry it... (and yes, I could have walked the dogs THEN washed my hair, but I wouldn't have had Pa's much needed assistance)

At 10:26 AM, Blogger freakgirl said...

I would just die without hot water, I think. I'm a puss. :)

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Your floors are so beautiful I could cry. And the bathroom's so great! Woooo!

We have a very similar light fixture in our living room. Ours doesn't have the filigree stuff surrounding the dome, though.

I was looking at your windows. I have plans to redo the trim around our windows in a similar fashion, and then get some nice decorative wooden blinds and do away with our curtains, or just keep them wide open as decoration.

But the floors! Oh my. :D LOVE THEM.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Michael said...



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