Tag Archives: house

come on UP this time!

10 Jul

So it’s been an insane week. We went to Florida for a little pre-house-craziness retreat – for eight days…which is a REALLY good idea when you’re on a tight deadline to turn a pretty junky house into a livable space in 3 weeks. Just an FYI.

Anyway, somewhere between closing on the house, 13 meetings with contractors, getting the wall guy and the floor guy all set to work while we were gone, showing our rental to prospective renters for our current landlord, living with an 18 month old + giant dog + tiny cat, aaaand trying to get laundry done and packed and to the airport – all in ONE WEEK! – I didn’t get around to posting pics of the second and third floors of the house! Or the basement, for that matter!

So – here’s a tour of the REST of the house. The captions should talk you through the geography. Of course, in my shell-shocked stupor, I also forgot to take the pics before the plaster work started. But all of the gook and patching on the walls actually gives you a pretty good indication of how badly they were cracked and peeling. In some places, it looked like someone had taken a machete to them. In others, like the bathrooms, I think the humidity just got the best of them. [Note to self: install bathroom exhaust fans.] And then there was a ton of pretty serious ceiling damage from roof and toilet leaks and stuff that realtors call “deferred maintenance.” That basically means that the previous owners knew things needed fixing, but either couldn’t afford to or chose not to deal with them.

More lovely deferred maintenance stories to come. I’m pretty backlogged. But I’ll catch you up to speed this week, in time for the kitchen install next week. July is gonna be a doozy.

For now – just come on up and have a look:
[By the way – WordPress slideshows are new and sort of suck. The slideshow has probably already started playing – the first image is supposed to be of the stairs leading to the second floor – the wall on the right is red. That’s where to start. You can hit the <– button in the bottom left corner of the slideshow to flip to the beginning. The pictures change really quickly – so mouse over the bottom of the slideshow and use he STOP button to pause on each pic if you need a longer look.]

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buh-bye, nasty kitchen.

28 Jun

We tore that nasty kitchen out over the weekend – and our giant new friend, Joe, from Craig’s List picked up the cabinets and took them far far away. It’s amazing what people will take if the price tag is $0! It’s also amazing how anyone can live with and keep food around as much roach and mouse crap in plain view. You know what I’m NOT excited to do? Empty the shop vac. Bleeeech.

Here’s the progress:
[for more BEFORE kitchen pics, check out the slideshow in the previous post – or click on photo in the tag cloud, at right]

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It was pretty easy to take out most of the cabinets. We thought it was rocket science and were sort of surprised to learn that it’s really just unscrewing them out of the wall. That’s not a big deal, right? The harder part was removing some of the base cabinets and the pieces adjacent to the microwave and range hood because they had electricity in them. Ad took care of those, with only a roll of electrical tape, a drill, and some expert advice over the phone. The biggest complaint I heard all weekend was that it would’ve been nice to have an A/C unit in the kitchen!

Only two mishaps! The first – a giant hole in the wall that was hidden behind an equally giant pantry. But @DianeMenke said the hole shows good stuff in the form of good soil lines! She also suggests wearing long pants because of mishap #2 [evidence below]. Ad killed the front of his leg on a cabinet – it’s actually a LOT more gruesome than it looks! He’s missing a good chunk of leg AND its accompanying leg hair. Bleeeech again.

come on in!

26 Jun

Here’s a first look at the main floor of the new house! These pics were all taken AFTER the first round of cleaning. Trust me, it’s better that way!


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their pain, our gain: even typing it feels icky.

24 Jun

So we bought a house. And it was a short sale, but, at some point during the process, it became a foreclosure – we think. We don’t really get all of the weird bank protocols. Anyway, it seems like the sellers of this house lives just sort of fell apart. And now, because of that, we got a great deal on a little place in Chestnut Hill that we otherwise probably couldn’t afford. So it’s like, “Yay!” but “Awww that sucks.”

Why do I care? Well, I probably wouldn’t – except for the fact the I’ve met the sellers. And have spent some awkward time with the one that’s been living in the house for free for all of this time. The one that I think was jilted. It’s clear that she’d love to stay in this house forever and that leaving it is heart-wrenching for her – aaaaand that she wants me to know that. Am I reading into things? You be the judge:  she’s shown up several times during visits and inspections when she wasn’t supposed to be there and told me alll kinds of stories about the house and made me take her cell phone number. She wasn’t even out of the house when it came time for our pre-closing walk-through. Because the earlier run-ins were so emotional, we decided just to post-pone the walk-through until the next day. At the closing, her parting words were “Good luck in my house,” and, when we walked into the house for the first time as the new owners, we were greeted by an 8×10 baby photo of their daughter stuck with a magnet on the fridge, right at eye level. I’m not sure if it was an accident or what, but, based on everything we know, it seemed like some sort of parting ritual. Eeeeerg. Either way, it was a total buzz-kill.

So wait – did I say awkward? Because what I really meant was AWKWARD.

There are so many more ridiculous and hilarious things I could tell you about my interactions with these people – it would make seriously good reading. You’d DIE. But the Hill is a small place. So, out of respect for the former owners of the house, I’ll try not to mention their names or the exact address on The Ch3stnut Hiller. Plus, I think seeing the work we’ll do might sting quite a bit. And I’m not mean enough to rub salt in the obviously gaping wound.

I only bring all of this up because it was supposed to be a HAPPY time for us! A young family – complete with toddler and giant dog – walking into their new [dirty] house as HOMEOWNERS!!!  Hooray! …and then waaaah waaaaaaaaah. Saaaad trombone. I understand their distress and pain, but they really took it out on us. There’s like this cloud of gloom hanging over it.

But we’re done with that now! There’s a kitchen to be demolished and bad karma to be primed and painted over!

So no more sad trombone!