Saturday, January 15, 2011

When Putting In A Bathroom, Rip Apart The Room Above It - Part 1

The first issue we had to tackle in our house was the lack of shower. Now, we do have a bathtub upstairs but it is not really suitable to take a shower in. The water always, no matter how short of time it is off, spits out a bunch of orange gunk and then continues to spit out flakes of what I assume is rust. It's either that or there are oompa loompas with dandruff in our pipes, but I digress.

In male logic and logic that I am sure makes sense to builders and remodelers everywhere, Ron decided we needed (and by we, I mean he) to start ripping the bedroom right above it apart. It gave great access from the first floor to the second and we (again, he, though I do recall helping. Sorta.) ran wires for some sort of eletrical thing.

Now, this bedroom upstairs is a decently sized room, it contains odd angles and a drop ceiling. First order of business was to drop - the drop ceiling.

This is what a drop ceiling looks like when dropped. The rails came out too, no worries.

When people talk about the charm of a house and the personality, they think of the funny little quirks that you run into and the way the house creeks and sighs. When we think about the charm and personality of our house; we think hippies, the 70's, and smoke clouds so thick you can't breathe or see. What brings us to this crazy image?

One might suggest the old as dirt marijuana Ron found in the drop ceiling.

I don't think we laughed so hard as we did finding that. There were two bags in there. Just by touching the bags, the contents basically turned to what can only resemble dirt. Our biggest question was; how do you forget and leave behind that much marijuana?

If the owners would like it back, they will have to dig through our outside burn barrel, as I am sure its been burned to ash many times over now. I instantly (after taking a picture; of course) took it outside, dumped the bags in, dumped in the trash, lit the trash and walked off. Makes us wonder; what else will we find in the ceilings/walls/crawl spaces of our charming little home?

Next came taking the awful paneling off of the walls. We were getting bare and naked, up close and personal with our walls.

The next to go was that carpet, it was dirty, it was gross. Ron cut it and we rolled it up. The problem we faced was this; the carpet was heavy. Really heavy. The backdoor was too far away and the front door was too far from the back yard. What do you do when you just don't know what to do?!

Ah, you take out the window, stuff the rolled up rug out the opening and you shove, and shove, and shove, and shove some more. You talk to it, you yell at it, you even curse a little and you continue to shove, and shove, and shove. Eventually it will get through the window at which point you need to stick your head in awe and pray it doesn't rip the gutters off the house on the way down. Commence throwing the rest of everything in the room out the same window.

Once that ordeal is over, head downstairs, grab something to drink and call it a productive day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Makes A Home?

This yellow house sits atop a road named after the stars. Weighing in at 1.5 stories tall, attached sun porch, and wrap around drive way it would make the perfect home for someone looking for - the perfect home. Sure, you can't actually get to the front door without trampling on grass, and sure it looks bigger on the outside, but it is cozy.

I am sure everybody has heard of the phrase "the house has charm" or "well your house just has a lot of personality". Our house, though it has both, is sort of behind on the times. It is as though the memo was sent out but the house never got it. There was no "welcome to the 21st century dear home!", this house was built in 1948 and it was stuck in 1948. (I've got psychedelic red carpets upstairs to prove it too).

If you want ample closet space; this home is not for you. If you would like a shower; this home is not for you. If you would like an oven that works right; this home is not for you. Do you enjoy correct plumbing and wiring? If so, this home is not for you.

But is IS livable. The carpet is fluffy, the walls are standing, there is no drug paraphernalia hidden within the walls.

There is a lot of bad I could say about this house, but it is not "bad", it is good because it is a learning experience, it is life. Real life. It contains the items that we will fix or change.

This blog is about our home. There will be pictures and there will be explanations. There will be "WOW" moments and "WTF?!" moments. But as we go through and redo the entire house, the personality and the charm will start to change. It will start to become who we are, not who the house is or was.

One Lesson Learned

When we first started looking for a home we never expected to find one. It may seem like an un-well thought out plan, but it worked for us. Knowing you cannot afford much and knowing what you can get for what you cannot afford go hand in hand. There's only so many ways to spin an option before it becomes all wound up; we did a lot of spinning and we worked out a lot of equations. That proverbial brick wall that stands in front of some people? We met it, we faced it, and we left our forehead imprints in it. If you would like to become a gambler, start by buying a house. I can gurantee that you will have thrown your money into some tricky situations, that pins and needles will become the new ground under your feet, and even try as you might; you can still lose. I do not ever want to go house hunting again. Ever. Period.

We found our house though. Bless its little yellow heart. Neither one of us are very determined and at that point will power and determination were foreign concepts. We just wanted something; indefinate rejection, a happy outcome, a slight glimmer of hope, anything that would either open the door or nail it shut. If there is one major key factor here, it is to find a determined realtor, one that truly wants to sell a house, make sure his customers are happy, and one who is hell bent on making sure all other realtors and sellers in the process get on the same page. Had we not had that gumption backing us, we'd still be at square one.

Our house is yellow. It lacks insulation. It's rather drafty and cold. There is no shower. The wiring is scarey. The water is smelly. We sleep on an air mattress. We have no furnite. And the mailbox is rusty. But this is our home. This is our charming little house, in the middle of no where.