Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Seriously Cutting Into My Knitting Time

I came home last night to some Bad News. My lovely old house (1920) - she is old and in rather frail shape - and the city officials feel that she needs a face lift, and needs a face lift badly. And unfortunately they have also decided that she needs a face lift in just one month's time. Our girl's trim is cracked and peeling and flaking - and it simply has to go. An exfoliation and rejuvenating program has been officially called for, so exfoliating and a-rejuvenating we will go.

This is a picture of my house. No, not that house - that's my neighbor's house. My house is the one buried behind all of the trees on the left. This picture was taken about a week after we moved in........ Needless to say, the trees and bushes and shrubs are no longer there...

...this was taken from approximately the same angle several months later after some major chopping and weeding had been done. I think we actually startled some folks in the neighborhood. {GASP!} "You mean there has been a HOUSE in there all this time?????"

It does give you a goodish idea as to the amount of scraping and painting that we have lying in wait ahead of us.

So over the next month my knitting dollars and time shall rather unfortunately be devoted to scraping the trim on my rather lovely, rather huge house, and then priming and painting. While the deadline is rather unwelcome (uh, hello - painting in July & August is hot, nasty work!) the drive to get this done is oddly enough not. Both Peggers and I love our house, and would like to see the outside look more like the inside. When we bought the house it was just falling apart - and as such we've done a huge amount of rehab on the inside, but other than the garden I put in we have yet to really and truly start to make a dent on the true exterior needs.

In five short years we have:

- gutted and redone the entire kitchen - including new cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and even installed a dishwasher ourself where there had never been one. Pipes were shifted to make this all possible, and a new (clean) 220 line was routed to the circuit breaker box by yours-truly.

- the dining room lost approximately 6 layers of really and truly ugly wallpaper, each interspersed with a few layers of paint. Everything was then re-painted and re-installed. The ceiling was covered with a faux-pressed-tin treatment to cover up years and years of previous abuse.

- the rotted back threshold was completely removed - along with the entire door frame - and a new door frame and threshold was put in place. As nothing in this house is even remotely plumb this was a seriously challenging project. Tempers were lost. Major swearing occurred*. All small children were therefore summarily banned from the worksite after the first five minutes.

- the back porch floor - nasty beyond words - was removed, scraped, and new tiles laid in its place.

- a gaping hole in the stairwell (kindly left by the previous tenant, who nonetheless collected insurance money for it!) was shored and patched with drywall and spackle, and faux-tin-ceiling treated as well. (That stuff is a girl's best friend!)

- the attic stairs were only summarily fixed. The door mostly stays closed - and as you can see, we have lots of other more important things to work on. ;)

- the back bathroom's sad excuse for a sink was removed. New pipe has been properly laid for when we can find a fixture small enough to fit in that corner, and all old leaks have been stopped.

And then we've also re-painted every room in the house except for one, ripped out old flooring, redone both front and back porches, fixed leaks, re-wired electrical outlets, and done major landscaping improvements on both the front, back and side of the house. We've also managed to somehow find money to professionally have central air installed, one chimney removed, another chimney replaced, a huge rotting hole in the roof fixed, a rotted soffit replaced, and another rotted soffit shored and the culprit leak stopped.

SIGH. All in five short years.

But apparently now we're on the docket for painting.

So painting here I come! We easily agreed yesterday that ultimately we want to live in a mossy-green abode, so for us that will mean chocolate brown trim with golden, wheat-y highlights , with said highlights done only when time allows after everything else is finished. For now the scraping and priming and painting in only a month's time will most certainly keep us busy and exhausted. It will be a, er, fun and interesting adventure and endeavor - won't you all join in with us and help track our progress? As it will be consuming my days and nights (and dreams!) you can bet I'll be documenting it here!

*I'll have you note that the swearing was done by Peggers and his Dad - I was smart and stayed Very Far Away from that particular project!!!!!


Nicole said...

My goodness, that's quite an undertaking! Best of luck with it!

Emilee said...

Wow, you've done a TON of work on that place. Best of luck with the exterior stuff!

Sarah-Hope said...

What an undertaking. I'm impressed by the equanimity with which you're facing it.


Ojii-san said...

Post some pictures of the progress so far, damnit.

CathyCate said...

You know, when all the shrubbery was there, no one could have seen the paint job....
I've got a house like that too, except 30 years older, but the paint police haven't quite gotten here yet.