Renovations Day 5

Big day today! Having the whole day to work on the house and my parents here to help means we got so much done. Plus the plumbers finished up the drywall before we even got there this morning, so that job is officially done.

We loaded everything we had packed into my parents’ van and Josh’s car in about 20 minutes. If you haven’t heard of Bungobox or a similar crate rental company, you should seriously consider it for your next move. The crates are stackable, and you save a ton of time by not having to assemble and tape boxes. Packing the car wasn’t the usual game of Tetris, either.

Once we got to the house it was fun to give my parents a tour! I feel like I’ve spoken negatively of the house (mostly about it being dirty), but it really is a great floorplan. My mom also knew all the names of the plants in the yard. We have a few Japanese maple trees, and apparently this is a big deal.

Speaking of trees, Josh met with someone to discuss trimming and removing a few trees. There are two cherry trees on the left side of the house that are growing into the house and leaning on the roof, so those need to go, and they’re too big for us to take down ourselves. I also learned we have a Bradford pear tree in the front which is disappointing. If you’ve ever smelled one of those in bloom, you know what I mean.

Moving everything into the house was only slightly more time consuming than getting it out of our old house. We can’t unpack much since we need to keep things out of the way for the painters, but we did make good progress on the kitchen.

My mom was gracious enough to offer to line all of the cabinets for me. Even though scrubbing those shelves gave me a new appreciation for shelf paper, I still hate measuring and cutting it. Plus when we moved into our current house, I sliced my knuckle open with the rotary cutter.

My dad did the majority of moving everything into the house and then set up our TV downstairs. He also accompanied Josh to Home Depot to rent the equipment for the rest of the day.

The gutter cleaners came while we were setting up the kitchen. The house we bought has been vacant for almost a year, and they blew a ton of leaves, dirt, pine needles, etc off the roof. Thankfully they also blew off the front porch and deck afterwards, so they were cleaner than when they got there. Clean roof and gutters – another job done.

After my parents headed out, Josh and I spent some quality time with the shop vacs we rented from Home Depot. We made great progress by vacuuming out all of the cabinets and windowsills and every section of tile floor, but that came to a grinding halt when we got ready to use the tile and grout steam cleaner.

First, the machine calls for distilled water only, so I ran to Publix to grab some.  We followed the instructions but couldn’t get the “ready to go” light to come on and then noticed the water was leaking out from underneath the machine. At first I thought we had the release valve open on accident, but 2-3 tries later we were out of distilled water with no green light. The only thing we could think of was that Home Depot rented us a faulty machine, so back to the store we went. Thankfully they didn’t charge us since it was indeed leaking/not working.

Even though it was a disappointing end, the day was still incredibly productive. The house is significantly cleaner and actually holds some of our stuff! I’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to tackle those floors.


Renovations Day 4

Happy Friday! The plumbers came to finish up the drywall today, and they were still there when I arrived at 6pm. They should finish up tomorrow, which gets us closer to being back on the original schedule.

Josh and I met at the house after work for a “cabinet cleaning party” as I liked to call it. We used a mix of water, ammonia, white vinegar, and baking soda instead of bleach, and it worked like a charm. Even the cabinets I cleaned with Clorox wipes yesterday turned completely white again. Plus with Josh and I both working and listening to the Freakonomics podcast, it was much more entertaining and enjoyable than last time.

We ended the night by wiping down all of the counters and swiffering the floor. The tile is also filthy, so I mopped it twice and called it a day. Josh wants to rent a steam cleaner to go over the floors this weekend, which sounds exciting. 🙂

The kitchen is officially clean enough for us to move stuff in tomorrow!

Renovations Day 3

Not much to say about today, but sometimes a break from everything happening is nice.

The rain and storms continued into late last night, so the air was still too wet for the plumbers to replace our drywall. I got my day off from the house since I had an interview scheduled for 8pm tonight, so I wouldn’t be able to work out, make dinner, do the interview, and get anything substantial done at the house.

I did get our carpet installation scheduled. We had to move the painters to Tuesday since the drywall might not get done until Monday and that worked out nicely since Monday was the only pre-move date available for installation. Now I just have to trust that the painters are professionals and will take care of our new carpet. Also – I’d rather have new carpet with a few paint spots on it than 11-year-old carpet filled with who knows what.

Josh stopped by Home Depot and our house after work and came home stressed and overwhelmed, similar to how I felt last night. We’re both going after work tomorrow night to finish cleaning the cabinets together. My hope is that being there together will make the cleaning more fun!

Renovations Day 2

Renovations – Day 2

Today was supposed to be relatively low key but was full of some surprising ups and downs.

Plumbing was the theme! Our new house was built in 1996 and has polybutylene pipes. Even though there were no leaks or signs of failure in the pipes, getting them replaced was a high priority for us since they are a possible ticking time bomb. Josh met the plumbers at the house this morning, and they got to work cutting holes in the drywall to replace the pipes.

The first win of the day was learning our main line wasn’t polybutylene! This saved us nearly $1,000 off the estimate. Praise the Lord. They also sent three plumbers to get two days’ work done in one since they aren’t able to patch the drywall until it stops raining.

I seemed to have forgotten all about this savings when Home Depot called and walked me through the estimate for replacing the carpet with the sample I picked out. It was more than I expected, and the sample I liked was special order, so it would take 7-10 days just to get the carpet cut (likely not able to install before we move). I asked the helpful rep a dozen questions – what if we only did the master bedroom, what if we changed this or that, etc. I ended up telling him I wasn’t going to be able to fully decide on the phone. He emailed me two variations of the quotes we discussed and sent the information to the store nearest our new house, so I could talk to someone there when I was ready.

I spent a few minutes looking at different types of carpet (tangent: did you know some people pay outrageous amounts of money for carpet? Like 4x the amount per square foot than what I’m looking at? Madness.) and found that another sample we had liked would bring the price back into budget range, and we’d be able to finish both rooms instead of just one.

I was still a little put out about having to drive to Marietta today since I was hoping to have a day off. The weather didn’t help either. Major thunderstorms and rain meant inches of standing water on 75. As it was pouring down rain during my drive, the sun was shining, and I remember thinking, “Where’s my freaking rainbow?”

I got one ten minutes later! I am so thankful that even when I’m an ungrateful, snarky little whiner, the Lord still takes a moment to show me his goodness.

I know I shouldn’t take a picture while driving

The next up came from meeting Vinny. Vinny is a flooring specialist at the Marietta Home Depot, and he’s the bomb. I told him about my quote, pulled out some samples I already had, and asked him to show me samples that were under $2 per square foot. He walked me through what they had at that price point, and I found a sample in the same color, almost the same thickness, for well under $2 per square foot. It was also one of the “72 hour” carpets, so they guarantee it will be installed before we move. Win, win, win. Back on the up and up.

Josh asked me to stop by the house on the way home to make sure the plumbers locked up and latched the crawl space. I brought a new canister of Clorox wipes with me to get started on cleaning the kitchen cabinets since we want to get part of our kitchen moved in this weekend.

I am a type-A neat freak. I enjoy cleaning, but cleaning the messes that someone I don’t even know made grosses me out. Long story short, these cabinets were filthy. I used the entire canister (75 wipes) and didn’t even finish all the drawers. There’s a reason for shelf paper, people!

Cabinet cleaning

Even though there were some low moments for today, it was certainly net positive. Every day the house gets a little better and gets one step closer to being our new home.


Renovations Day 1


We closed on our new house yesterday! Today was the first of 2 weeks’ worth of professional renovations likely followed by many DIY projects.

Today I met with:

  • EMC Security
  • Mayday Pest Control
  • Home Depot

EMC Security was very easy. I showed my extreme homeowner prowess by asking if the sprinkler system box in the garage was the alarm box before locating it in a downstairs closet. Thankfully the house is already wired, and we can just transfer our service – for a fee of course. Every transfer (water, power, internet, etc) has a fee. These are definitely some of the hidden costs of moving.

The pest control was the biggest concern. During our inspection, we found out that the house had a previous rodent problem (evidence being “droppings” through the attic and crawl space). Being extremely spoiled by living in a new construction house, I found this to be a whole range of emotions – disgusting, nerve-wracking, etc. Luckily this was all from a previous problem, and there wasn’t a current infestation (I’m cringing even writing that word) to worry about. Even though the previous owners had an exclusion done, they never had the attic or crawl space cleaned, which is what we took care of today.

The guy from Mayday was very professional, and I do NOT envy his job. He spent the first two hours inside, cleaning up the attic and even pulling off the trim under the sink cabinets when I told him the inspector noted a strong smell in that area. He cleaned an old nest (gag) out of a plumbing hole inside the trim and disinfected everything. He assured me the nest was old and that the smell will go away now that the cause was gone.

The next two hours he spent cleaning the crawl space which Josh described as “really gross” and even bought what I call a space suit for when he has to go in there. The Mayday guy went in there in his jeans and a Tshirt! Again, I don’t envy his job.

He showed me the entry to the crawl space when he finished – completely re-tarped and clean. I know the plumbers who are coming tomorrow appreciate his work since their job will be significantly less disgusting now.

My last visitor was a measurement guy from Home Depot. We are replacing the carpet on the main floor – master bedroom and guest bedroom/office – since it’s the only carpet in the house that isn’t new. I had just gotten my lunch (thanks, Seamless!) when he showed up, but I didn’t have to do anything but show him the rooms to measure, so I finally got to eat (at 2pm, hangry). I brought the sample of the carpet we wanted to use and had my calendar ready to schedule an installation date, but apparently that’s not how it works as all he does is measure. Crossing my fingers to get the new carpet in before we move!

Day 1 is done and wasn’t too expensive! Hopefully no one is grossed out by our new house now. I promise it’s clean; I’ll let you take a look in the crawl space if you really want to see. 😉

Tomorrow starts the plumbing work – replacing all of the polybutylene pipes – which is the most expensive. [wide-eyed emoji]