And So It Begins
“Work is the best antidote to sorrow, my dear Watson." -- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Return of Sherlock Holmes
How true. Although we have felt broken and wounded by Abbie's sudden passing, we now (as of last Friday at 4:00) have a house to get into shape...and that requires work. A lot of work, it would seem. And all before we actually move in and begin the job of getting settled.
We want to get as much of the updating done before we move our furniture in, just because it will be easier in the long run not to have to move things around. Keeping that in mind, and keeping in mind that every day our stuff stays in storage, it costs money...money that could better be used on updating projects...we forge ahead.
And what exactly are we talking about here? The list, which is subject to change on a daily basis, is as follows:
1. Install new appliances - Our "new" house came with the original 15-year-old appliances...well, except there was no refrigerator. We knew the microwave had to be replaced, because the vent cover was falling apart. And we soon discovered that the stove had a major issue: it stayed on, even when the knob said OFF! We had to unplug that right away...discovering that there was a gas connection hiding behind that ugly electric monster. Ahhh! So we ordered a complete suite of appliances in GE's smudge-proof "Slate" finish, complete with a gas stove that has a griddle. Now we're cooking with gas, right? Not so fast...
1. A. In order to install the new refrigerator and the new microwave, the (too-low) cabinets needed to be raised.
That's what Thomas is doing in that picture. Although that created a whole host of issues, including having to turn the microwave-topping cabinet upside down in order to clear the electric outlet, I am happy to report that this is now complete! Here are the "after" pictures.
1. B. In order to complete the installation of the dishwasher, we found we needed a 12' line instead of the 8' line that came with the installation kit. And, wouldn't you know, the guys that delivered and installed the appliances did not carry one on their truck (don't get me started on how much I detest the "just in time" inventory concept that spawned the absence of parts that "might" be needed). Sigh. I have a beautiful, brand new dishwasher sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor...until Thursday, when the install guys are scheduled to return to finish the connection. Fingers crossed.
2. Paint - While we have inherited a rich, neutral "taupe" paint throughout most of the house (done by the seller because some decorator said that would increase interest among buyers, no doubt) which will be the perfect background for almost any color pictures and furniture, I find it a somewhat boring...and a vaguely depressing color, especially in the smaller rooms. Soooo, paint I must! Now, recall that I have said I am probably the worst painter on the planet: I'm too short to reach very high, I have vertigo issues when climbing on a ladder or looking up, I'm a shaky-Jake when holding a paint brush who cannot paint a straight edge to save my soul (so I must blue-tape everywhere!), and I typically end up with more paint on me than on the walls (hence, all my "old clothes" live on as "painting duds"). Still, with the heart of a DIYer, I refuse to hire this project out if I can possibly complete it...with Mr. T's height, of course. I am so happy to report that I have finished the laundry room and the pantry (both now a fresh and lovely green called Desert Hot Springs)...and I can't stop smiling!
2. A. and B. Now, that leaves the hall bathroom (which T has already blue-taped) which will be painted Sailor Bay blue, and the guest room/my craft studio which will be painted an energetic and inspiring purple (what else?) called Uptown Girl.
3. Repair of the AC system - When we had the house inspected, it was noted that there was no recent record of the service of either of the central units (heating or AC). We knew this might be an issue, but our realtor cleverly included a clause in our contract that the Seller purchase a home warranty, so we accepted the risk. You know what's coming next, don't you? Right. The AC fan is working fine, but the cooling part was DOA. And this is Georgia. In July. And the hottest week we had have since last August, according to the weather wonks. And it is now one week later, when (after multiple telephone calls, hours on hold, and two house calls) "they" have decided we are right...it isn't cooling. They will be replacing the compressor, under the warranty I'm happy to report. Now, if they would just call to schedule that install, I'd be much happier.
4. New fans and fixtures - We currently have a wall of boxes blocking Missy M's front hall, consisting of new fans and fixtures for our house. As we have several volume ceiling heights, and remembering that our ladders are all packed in storage in NC, and that T maintains a "healthy respect" for all things electrical, we will be seeking a local electrician for all of these installs. Oh, and while he's at it, could he install several new outlets here, here, here, over here, and over there? Stay tuned...
5. Servicing the fireplace - All that talk of AC and fans makes a discussion about the fireplace seem, well, out of season. And it is of course, but we thought that getting the fireplace tended to in the off-season might make it easier to schedule. And it was! We got the recommendation for this great guy who came and serviced, cleaned, and taught us everything we needed to know about our gas logs. Wow! Check that one off the list!
6. New flooring - after much thought, discussion, research, deliberation, more research, measuring, mind-changing, yet more discussion and more research (well, you know how we are, right?), we have FINALLY got this project underway. Of course, we never seem to choose the easiest route...no surprise here. We have decided to replace the wood-look floating laminate (in the great room and dining room) and the vinyl (in the kitchen breakfast area, laundry, and bathrooms) flooring surfaces with wood-look porcelain tile throughout...everywhere except the bedrooms. That's a lot of tile...3 pallets, to be precise...of the same dye lot (shade) and sizing (caliber), so of course it has to be special-ordered. Add a couple of weeks for that. And we cannot schedule the installers until we actually have something to install, right? Sigh. Stay tuned for updates.
7. Master Bath Mini-remodel - We were inspired on our recent AZ trip by Cousin AMcG's master bath redo in her new house. So much so that we have decided to do something similar...as soon as we can find the right contractor for this one. We want to remove the giant "soaking" tub (which neither of us like or will use) and replace it with a roomy walk-in shower; and then remove the dinky walk-in shower and replace it with a vanity (the Master Bath currently has a single vanity). This is going to be a challenging project, but it can actually wait until we move our stuff in, as we have the hall bathroom. Again, stay tuned...
Yes, we have had some setbacks, and because we are still a bit sad we are more sensitive to those setbacks. But doing these updates and spending time together working on our house is making it feel like OUR home.
And so it begins...