Renovations Day 11

Last day! It started early with a fridge delivery, so our appliances are now complete. The painters showed up as Josh was leaving and told him they would finish around 3pm today. Their office was closed, and everyone is eager to be off for Easter weekend. We can’t move any more of our stuff until they finish, so an early day works for me.

Josh also bought a shop vac and took care of packing up more stuff around the house and disconnecting the washer and dryer and then went back to the house to meet the painters when they finished this afternoon. I needed to work until about 4, so it was very helpful to have him take care of everything ahead of time.

When Josh got back home we loaded up his car with the vacuums and headed back to the house.

I love the paint job. There are too many spots on the carpet for my taste, the painters broke my broom, and everything in the house is now covered in drywall dust, but at least it all isn’t red and green and yellow anymore. I love the dining room the most. Once we get change that light fixture, it will be a beautiful room.

Josh and I got started on cleaning after that. He used the shop vac on the upstairs bedroom that was completed sanded (and a HUGE mess), and I vacuumed all the carpet. Those triangles were so satisfying to see.

The carpet upstairs is much thicker, so I thought that was the reason the vacuum was such a pain to push. Then the bag exploded. It spewed drywall dust everywhere and wouldn’t turn off even though I was frantically tapping the power button. I had to run over to the wall and pull the plug to get it to stop.

The worst part was that I almost brought extra vacuum bags but forgot until we were in the car. I knew the bag wasn’t that old or full, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. Surprise! I didn’t want to add more stuff to the massively dirty floors so I went to Publix (no dice) and Ace Hardware (winner!) to buy more bags. Turns out replacing the bag wasn’t the issue, and the vacuum is just broken. It semi-worked enough to finish up the upstairs, but it’s time for a new one. Another thing to spend money on!

We spent the rest of the evening finishing up some packing and talking through a plan for tomorrow. Honestly the inevitability of the move has made me much calmer than I’ve been for the rest of the week. It’s happening tomorrow no matter what!


Renovations Day 10

I didn’t go to the house until after 3pm today, and I sat in the driveway once I got there because I was nervous about going inside. I managed to not think about the painters and what was happening at the house for most of the day but now it was time to see the result.

I was a little surprised when I walked in. The grey we picked for the walls turned out very blue. It looks fine, but I was hoping for a bigger distinction between the grey walls in the main spaces and the blue we picked for the bedrooms. They currently look almost identical. If I hadn’t seen the tag on the paint bucket, I would have thought they were using the wrong color on the main walls. A Google search confirmed that a lot of people pick a grey color and it ends up looking blue. Something about reflections and undertones.

I unpacked another kitchen crate and got to work on cleaning the 2 guest bathrooms. We wanted to hired a professional to come clean, but now that the painters won’t be done until Friday, we’ll have to clean ourselves.

The fire alarm went off while I was cleaning the downstairs bathroom. We don’t have alarm set up yet, but I managed to turn the louder sound off. The smoke detector kept beeping for about 5 minutes before it went off as well. Finally some peace. Then the doorbell rang.

The fire department showed up! It’s good to know that they arrive so quickly, but this particular instance was embarrassing. I told the firemen that I didn’t know the alarm called them and it was likely the sander/dust that set off the alarm. They were friendly, so it wasn’t too bad.

I went upstairs to clean the guest bathroom and found it covered in dyrwall dust. The adjoined bedroom has textured walls, so they were taking a heavy-duty sander to them to prep them for painting. Unfortunately the sliding door that leads to the bathroom doesn’t fully close, so there was a pile of dust in the doorway and dust all over bathroom. There was no point in cleaning it, and the master bathroom is completely tarped over for painting, so I called it a day and went home.

Josh stopped by the house on the way home from work and gave me a call asking if I wanted the good news or bad news. Of course I wanted the bad news first. Turns out the painters used our BRAND NEW WET VACUUM to suck up the drywall dust from the upstairs bedroom. That vacuum is not meant for dust, and I can’t believe a painting crew doesn’t have their own shop vac.

Oh – the good news was that they were completely finished sanding the upstairs bedroom. Whoopee.

Josh brought the wet vac home, and we took it apart to clean it. I used our regular vacuum to try to suck out all the dust from the system. I know I’ve used this reference already, but I’ve never felt more like Danny Tanner than when using one vacuum to clean another. Thankfully it isn’t broken. It ran it a couple of times, but it is now spitting out significantly less dust, so that’s a good sign.

Tomorrow is the last day! We get our refrigerator delivered in the morning, the painters should finish, and we’ll hopefully get the place clean enough to move in. Oh – and I guess we will finish packing, too.

Renovations Day 9

Today was frustrating, and I spent a lot of it being angry. This is an unfortunate character flaw of mine – being quick to anger. Time and self-reflection always helps me put things into perspective.

I heard this quote on the radio some time ago, and it often comes to mind when I’ve overreacted to something.

All frustration in life is wrought from unmet expectations.

My expectation when I arrived at the house a bit before 10am this morning was that the painters would be there getting the first coat on the walls. They were not.

My expectation was that the two textured bedrooms would be sanded, mudded, and fully prepped for painting. They were not.

My expectation was that the painters would show up sometime in the 3 hours I was at the house waiting for/working with the Comcast guy. They did not.

My expectation was that the painters would show up between 1 and 2pm, which is the timeframe the office gave me after Josh and I both called, were both put on hold, and finally got some information. They did not.

The painters did show up between 3:30 and 4pm. Josh met them on his way home and talked to the crew leader. Apparently the plan was to work from the late afternoon until 9pm tonight. Josh communicated our concerns about getting the job fully finished and cleaned up by Friday since we are moving on Saturday, and he said no problem. He said they would be able to get 2 coats on the foyer today and have it finished this evening. All in all, everything was fine and is fine, and there was no reason for me to be angry or frustrated. So why did I?

I assumed the painters would start in the morning or early afternoon. It turns out the re-mudding they did last night needed longer to dry, which is the reason they started later.

I assumed the painters wouldn’t be able to finish by Friday if they didn’t get started this morning. They say it’s no problem, so I’m hoping that’s true.

I assumed the painters would show up between 1 and 2pm because the office told me they would. This I feel is a legitimate reason for frustration since it clearly wasn’t accurate information, but once you consider the point above, it’s not that big of a deal.

I didn’t have time to go to the house and back again this evening, so the fun photo updates will have to wait another day or two.

Now for the things that went well today.

I met the Comcast guy this afternoon and had a productive unpacking session while waiting for him. The kitchen is now 75% moved to the new place.

The Comcast guy was great. I showed him the closet full of wires (below), and he was able to sort it out and get a signal running. We now have wifi! As long as I bring the modem and router back and forth, I can work from either house now. This makes for less stressful trips to the house for the next couple of days.

Josh scheduled another chimney company to come out today as well. This quote was only 3 times as expensive instead of 4 times, so it turns out our roofer was incorrect in his guesstimate (there are those pesky expectations again). Our chimney pan and shroud instead of a normal chimney cap, so the part has to be custom made, which is why it’s so much more expensive than expected. But – we can’t have our chimney leaking, so we are getting it fixed. The crew tarped the chimney while we are waiting on the custom parts, so there won’t be more leaks.

Two more days until the move, and two more days of formal renovations. “One more ‘til one more.”

Renovations Day 8

The painters came today! I’ve been most excited about seeing the colors updated in the house. Today was just the walkthrough and prep, so there’s no big change yet.

The setup was actually a little stressful. First, when Josh called the office yesterday to confirm what time they would start in the morning, they couldn’t seem to find us on their schedule. The office operates separately from the crews, so there was a lot of back and forth and waiting on hold before Josh got the arrival window of 9-11am.

The crew showed up just before 9, and I did the walkthrough with the crew leader. We discussed some changes to our estimate – decided to keep the textured walls in the upstairs bath and wanted to add some closet touchups. Josh communicated this ahead of time, but the crew leader seemed surprised. This plus some communication difficulties made the walkthrough a bit less smooth than planned, but I think it will be ok.

I met a chimney company while the painters started their prep. I forgot where the chimney was and walked them to the wrong side of the house, so that was a great start to the meeting. Josh didn’t let me know what he expected the quote to be for fixing the chimney cap, so I didn’t know what the guy gave me after checking out the chimney was 4 times higher than expected. Needless to say, we will be getting more quotes.

Josh stopped by after work to check on the painters’ progress. Everything looks prepped and ready to go, so hopefully all of the walls can get their first coat tomorrow!

Renovations Day 7

It’s officially moving week! Josh and I both checked off a couple of projects today. Josh met with a roofer at lunch who sealed our roof and double checked for leaks. He said the roof is in excellent shape, which is great news! We’ll need to replace the gutters relatively soon, but those are significantly cheaper than a new roof.

We do have a leak in our chimney cap, though, and we learned that roofers and chimney guys are two separate professions (who knew?), so I’ll be meeting with a chimney guy tomorrow morning in addition to the painters.

My project for the day was meeting with the carpet installers. They gave me a window of 1-3pm and showed up promptly at 1:15! I love not having to wait for people. They moved quickly and had the old carpet and pad ripped up and loaded with in 10 minutes of arriving.

Since we weren’t able to get Comcast set up, I didn’t have any internet and had to amuse myself in other ways. I finished up lining the kitchen cabinets and was able to put away another crate plus some items I left on the counter, so the kitchen looks almost put together!

I spent the rest of my time reading The Magic of Thinking Big – a book I’m reading with co-workers – out on the deck. I’m really enjoying it! I found the first few chapters to resonate with a mental breakthrough I had with running just over a year ago, and I look forward to finishing it over the next couple of weeks.

The whole job took just over 2 hours, and now there’s fresh carpet in our bedroom and closet and the downstairs guest bedroom. The new carpet and pad passed my bare feet comfort test, so I’m pleased with it. I don’t have very good before pictures, but the finished project is below. The carpet color looks pretty bad with the current off-white paint color, but that will change starting tomorrow!

The biggest project is painting, which begins tomorrow, and those will be the most drastic before and after pictures. I am excited and more than ready for the cosmetic upgrade!

Renovations Day 6

Today was a major cleaning day. Since the tile and grout cleaner rental from Home Depot didn’t work last night, we decided to just buy a floor cleaner. Renting the machine was $70/day, so buying a wet/dry vac for $160 didn’t seem like a bad deal.

My new best friend

While Josh patched holes in the gutters outside, I spent 3 HOURS cleaning the floors. For anyone who thinks I should stop channeling my inner Danny Tanner and being such a neat freak, I present exhibit A.

This came out of the floor!

I had to refill the solution tank and empty the dirty tank 2 times to cover the entire tiled section of the house (most of the first floor plus a bathroom upstairs), which took about 2 hours. I decided to take the swiffer to the dining room to see if the pad would still be dirty, and it was, so I went over most of the floors a second time. Round two only took an hour and one tank. Progress!

Josh also got the incredibly rewarding task of going to Comcast to get our new equipment and internet set up in our house. While he didn’t have to wait long at the store (unusual), we weren’t able to get internet at the house today (shocker). Josh helped me clean the laundry room and bathroom cabinets while he was waiting on hold on and off. They weren’t able to figure out why our service wouldn’t work today, so a technician has to come out later in the week. Typical Comcast, but at least we get to keep the hardware we already have unlike with AT&T.

5 hours well spent. Carpet tomorrow, paint after that, and lots of packing this week.

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.