What a long, strange season it’s been.
Marvin and I have gotten a lot of stuff done on the house. He can take credit for the paint and the amazing floors, professionals helped us with roofing, grading, plumbing, and (not pictured) carpenter ant control, and I (and a host of friends and family for whom we are both eternally grateful) did a lot of cleaning and organizing.
Here’s an incomplete list of what we have updated/upgraded:
- Brand New Roof
- Re-graded and graveled driveway
- New carpets (in two rooms), hardwood floors (in living/dining space and hallway)
- Fresh paint (in two rooms and living space)
- New stove, and two new counters, repaired washer, deep cleaned cupboards
- Updated fixture in shower, re-caulked tub
- Two new doors in the front rooms
- Curtains, plus shelving in master bedroom and pantry, new chandelier
- Cleaned up hallway ceiling situation
- Hauled away a lot of garbage
For the wood floors, we had to strip the old carpet up, then Marvin and my cousin pulled up the old pissy particle board and tar paper. I painted Killz on the subfloor, then M and I pulled out about a billion old staples. Then Marvin put down new plywood, then the new (reclaimed) flooring.
The flooring then had to be refinished, which meant taping plastic up over all the doorways (to minimize sawdust contagion), then drum sanding (at three grits), vacuuming and tack cloth to get the dust up, then sealer and two coats of poly (with sanding and vacuuming in between). They look fucking amazing. He did such a fantastic job.
Here are the receipts
We aren't done. We still need to get baseboards, trim, and switch plate covers throughout--this is especially apparent in the picture of the front door from the living room. Then the bathroom and kitchen need painting (and the bathroom needs new fixtures). M's office is still completely untouched--so he needs paint and new flooring (likely a matching carpet to the other two rooms) and a bit of repair work over his closet. We need to resolve the lighting issues in the living room and paint* the wood ceilings throughout. *This is a controversial issue for some folks--but we can't match the old stain to the new boards, or refinish the old boards without a nightmare mess. The old ceiling stinks with all the smells that used to live below it, so doing nothing is not an option. White paint (with a neutral dark on the joists and central beam) will brighten the space and make it feel larger and it will still (I believe) exude a "real wood" quality. We will hire someone to do that, most likely one room at a time.
Then our attentions will turn to the out of doors. Gutters go on in a couple of weeks, then we'll have to figure out what to do for the front porch/old deck and work out a patio of some kind for the back. There are also two studios to install. Mine will go in first, hopefully in the early spring, and Marvin's will go in after we have a better sense of the front landscape.
It was a long, difficult, stressful, four months from pre-sale to now. But it feels, right now, like not just a home, but our home.