Thursday, March 27, 2008

New windows

The windows are finally done and it's a pretty big step in feeling like I am actually making some progress. The first picture is before, the second is after the windows were installed and the final one is after the outside was wrapped in PVC. It's nice that now I don't have to worry about the wood frame rotting or paint peeling.

Right now it looks a little random, but after I finish the rest of the exterior stuff I plan on doing it should look great. I'm going to remove the other awning over the front door. I may replace it with another one at some point, not sure yet. I'll be painting all the rest of the trim white, as well as the front storm door, and then I'll actually be painting the house another color, possibly a light plummy gray or a light sage green color. That should look better with the white trim.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Waving the white flag

So, while the bathroom waits to be finished I started to focus on the dining room, thinking it would be one of the easier rooms to get done. Thought I could strip down the wallpaper, slap some paint on it and be good to go. But as I learn through this process, nothing is ever easy. Here's how the wall looked when I started:

Here's what I found under that wallpaper:

Uh. Ok. For more of my nightmare, check out this picture.
The area above the window had to be filled in with plaster. I believe the green stuff is some ancient skim coating that was done before the original wallpaper was put up. Add to that a couple areas where some water damage from an old (now fixed) roof leak was fixed and the pink joint compound I've spread on to fix some areas where the original paper actually did come off, and this is one scary mofo picture!

Anyway, this wall is pretty much f'ed for paint, as I don't have the time or frankly the patience to do the amount of skimcoating that would have to be done to make this paintable. So, I guess I'm going to have to put more wallpaper up! I know I was so against it, I just don't think I have a choice here, if for nothing else, for the sake of my sanity! There is actually some pretty cool wallpaper out there, this is from a book called Simple Space, and here is what I've chosen.

I'm only going to re-paper the 2 walls that had it before, the others will be painted a color that I'll match from the paper. This brings me back to my original color scheme for the living room, black and white with lime green accents. I had switched to a purplish-gray accents, but since the living room really flows into the dining room and I couldn't find any paper that would have worked with that, I'm back to plan A.

OT: On a sad note

Yesterday I had to put my cat Chanel a/k/a Chippie to sleep. I had her half my life, and I'm no spring chicken here. I miss her so much. Here's a picture of her, she was so little and cute. It's from my old cell phone so not the best quality and you can't see her beautiful blue eyes, but you get the idea. I loved her a lot.

I hope she is able to join my baby boy kitty Xavier who I lost 3 years ago up in kitty heaven. RIP both of you. You brought me so much happiness and joy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bathroom Update

Here are some pictures of the bathroom, or specifially the shower area. The first one was after the plaster was torn down, the second is the one with most of the Durock cement board installed. I guess I took that picture before the guy was done. Now I just have to get it tiled and I'll be ready to paint and finish up the work in the bathroom. I met with one tiler today and I have another appointment tomorrow, I'm getting 4 bids in all. So far the first bid is for about $750 just for the labor. We'll see how the others stack up.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Money money money.... money

I've never been a big spender, but I knew when I bought a house that would be changing. I'm having new replacement windows installed. It's an expense, but it should really help my heating costs. Right now the windows are possibly the original ones. They are single pane glass, most of them don't even have locks on them! You can feel a breeze near some of them when they are shut! Not good. So it's really a long term investment.

Tomorrow I'm getting an estimate on having all the hardwood floors refinished. I had thought about doing it myself to save some money, I've heard it's about 50% less when you do it on your own, but it really sounds like a HUGE hassle, so it's probably worth it to have someone come in. It's not essential and could probably wait, but I think it will make more sense to get it down now, before I'm living there and have all my stuff moved in. It's a messy job.

I did finally talk to a guy who owns a construction comany today. He came over and took a look at the shower. He's going to rip down the plaster, lathe and tiles and put up some Durock. Then it's up to me to tile it the way I want it. Sounds like a fun project for now, maybe in a few weeks I'll be back here banging my head. We'll see. :) He's also going to install my new vanity, sink, faucet and toilet, and everything is going to be just under $1000. Not bad at all.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Just say NO! to wallpaper!

This buying and owning a house thing is definitely a learning experience. The first lesson I've leaned is to not buy a house with wallpaper in it. Wallpaper can hide lots of things. That's not to say that it's been done on purpose, but that's always a possibility. My dreams of nice, paint-ready walls underneath the wallpaper were just that.

As for the bathroom, I've decided to call in a contractor to get an opinion. My neighborhood association has a list of contractors that they have "approved" or whatever so I'm going to start there. I am pretty sure that we are going to tear out the plaster and tile in the shower area, put up some special sheetrock and then I will re-tile it myself to try and save a little money. Hopefully this fix will be somewhat simple and effective. And hopefully this will be the only major thing that pops up as I prepare my house to move in!!