The clock is now ticking

We have been putting in long, long hours at the house the past few weeks.  So many hours, in fact, that we haven’t had much time to keep the blog updated.  The increased sense of urgency is due in large part to the fact that we sold our current house!  [Edit from Amy: Woot! Woot! ]   We have had buyers for our house for many months now, but it became official last week.  A part of the deal with the buyers is that we can remain in our house until the other house is inhabitable and we will “rent” from the buyers during that time.  This allows us to use the equity from the sale of our current house to make the final push on the rehab.

So now the clock, which has always existed more like sand in an hour glass, is ticking much faster…  like the stop watch at the beginning of an episode of 60 minutes.  [Edit from Amy: I hate that clock. It really stresses me out.]  Part of our agreement with the buyers is that we try to be out of our current house by August 15th.  As of today, that gives us only six weeks!  The reality is that I only have two weeks until I have to go back to work and then Amy joins me when school starts in four weeks.

In that short amount of time we still have a LOT to do.  The major items include finishing plaster repair, priming the whole house, sanding and refinish all the floors, get at least one bathroom functioning, and create a temporary kitchen. [Edit from Amy: Easy peezy.]  Many more projects remain after that, but we will take care of those once we have moved-in.

[Edit from Amy: This sounds crazy, but we are a little nutty when it comes to deadlines. We’re like allergic to missing them. Fun fact time: we got married, took 30 high schoolers on a trip to Italy, sold a house, bought a house, moved my house, moved Joe’s apartment, and spent a week in St. Lucia for our honeymoon…  all in one month. We know how to bust a move.]

Here is a quick run down of what we have been doing…

I finally got around to refinishing the front door.

Sanding the front door

Sanding the front door

It took a while, but I’m pleased with the end result.  Can’t wait to get the hardware cleaned up and get this door back where it belongs.  Here is a “before and after” sequence:

After removing the door

Freshly removed door

After a coat of stain and a couple coats of poly

After stripping, sanding, a coat of stain ,and a couple coats of poly

A long time ago we pulled up some of the rough spots of the upstairs flooring and replaced the boards with new material.

The floor repair in the upstairs commons area

The floor repair in the upstairs commons area- pre drywall.

We also added a couple the new boards in Aiden’s room and then also above the old staircase in the master bedroom.  The more I thought about it and lived with seeing this fresh wood in our old house, the more I wanted to find a way to use the old flooring instead.  I went back through all the boards we had previously removed and figured that I could make a few selective cuts to be able to re-install enough some of them back in the commons area.

Putting together the puzzle

Putting together the puzzle

This was a little trickier than I anticipated, but it all worked out in the end.

Our new (old) flooring

Our new (old) flooring

Most of the the jobs this week have revolved around the walls.  The plaster repair got a lot more complicated this week as it involved many more repairs and fixes.  One annoying fix involved cutting into our brand new drywall to move two electrical switches a few inches.  We [Edit from Amy: meaning me.] failed to account for the width of the door casing when locating the light switches in the master bedroom and commons area.  Oops. [Edit from Amy: As a consolation prize I hooked up some cheapo light fixtures upstairs and installed a few receptacles so the husband could have some light and new places to plug in tools.]

New blocking for the switch

New blocking for the switch

If I had been smart I would have cut out the wall in one piece so that I could just pop it back in, but I wasn’t thinking so I had to reconstruct the missing portion of the wall.

A necessary fix

A necessary fix

There were MANY rough areas of the plaster that needed to patched with drywall.  The most frustrating area was the ceiling of the master bedroom.  It’s hard to explain, but essentially I didn’t have a way to easily locate the overhead light without causing even more damage.

I had been putting this off for months

I had been putting this off for months

I finally decided the easiest thing to do was to go back and remove the floor in the loft so that I could access the ceiling space below it. I was not happy about doing this.

This was harder than it should have been

This was harder than it should have been

I was able to cut a hole from above and then hammer a new box to the floor joist.

finally!

finally!

[Edit from Amy: I was excited to finally be able to get a light installed there!]

Here are some of the more annoying obstacles I encountered while doing the walls…

Another patch for missing plaster

Another patch for missing plaster

Yet another area needing a patch

Yet another area needing a patch

This was just a big pain in the butt

This was the location of the old sink in the master bedroom.

The dining room and master bedroom needed a complete wipe-down before beginning repairs

The dining room and master bedroom needed a complete wipe-down before beginning repairs

I am assuming this is an old gas fixture for the master bedroom.  I ended up getting rid of the wire and removing the bolt, but just leaving the protruding pipe.

I am assuming this is an old gas fixture for the master bedroom. I ended up getting rid of the wire and removing the bolt, but just leaving the protruding pipe.

Using new plaster to snug in any loose outlets

Using new plaster to snug in any loose outlets

We were lucky to have a couple friends and family members take turns occasionally watching the kids for us during this busy week, but Aiden did “get” to spend one whole day with us at the house.  He didn’t mind at all – he had a movie marathon in his room. [Edit from Amy: “Aren’t you sooo excited to hang in your new room!? It’ll be the first time! It’ll be sooo cool! I’m soo excited! Joe, grab the camera, take his picture!!” Aiden- Eyes rolling. Tweenagers….whadayagonnado? ]

Aiden's first time really hanging out in his new room

Aiden’s first time really hanging out in his new room

Lucy seems to be getting a little tired of the trips to hardware store.  What do you think?

She was a big helped

She was actually happy to help.  Really.

My only real problem with the plaster repair has been underestimating the amount of material I needed.  This meant reordering supplies, which meant I ended up doing three rooms all at once to make up for lost time, which has meant 10-16 hour days to get it done.

The living room is currently in the best shape, but had some major issues near the chimney area (you can’t really tell in this pic).

Living room

Living room

The dining room is a complete disaster.  Definitely the worst walls in the house.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have just removed the plaster from a couple of the walls in this room last summer.  Here are just a couple of the really rough areas (The pictures don’t really capture the full magnitude of the awfulness). [Edit from Amy: They really don’t.]

This is from a previous owner's horrible repair job

This is from a previous owner’s horrible repair job

You can't really tell, but the wall on the had a whole assortment of issues

You can’t really tell, but the wall on the right had a whole assortment of issues.

Here it what it looks like after repairs, adhesives, and three coats of joint compound…

That's a LOT of coverage

That’s a LOT of coverage

The master bedroom had it’s own issues and also involved my first work on a ceiling.

So many different issues in this room

So many different issues in this room

On a side note, it’s interesting to step back and see the lines and shapes that the cracks have formed.  Yesterday, in my fatigued haze, I had an idea for a horror film about rehabbers.  [Edit from Amy: Huge market for that by the way.] Here’s a scene:  One person is repairing cracks in plaster late a night and when they step back to admire their work they notice that the cracks have spelled out “get out” or “help me” or maybe the cracks formed a scary satanic symbol.

I’m glad that idea didn’t come to me when I was working at the house around midnight a couple days ago.

On to more positive thoughts…

Amy has been busting her butt priming all the drywall.

Amy's neck hurts

Amy’s neck hurts

This includes most of the 2nd floor, the kitchen, downstairs bathroom, hallway, and all the downstairs ceilings.  In addition, the plaster in the parlor and playroom have also been primed.  We will post some pictures soon.

We have a couple more days of plaster repair and painting.  THEN all our efforts turn to sanding and finishing the floors.  This has been lurking in our minds since we bought the house and now the time has finally come. It has to get done before I go back to work.   We have done our research and we are prepared….  I think.

Much more on that coming soon.

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One thought on “The clock is now ticking

  1. I wish I still had unbreakable deadlines to meet. Now that I’m on my own; with no appointments or sub-contractor schedules to keep, procrastination has taken its hold. This post inspires me. Maybe I should see what I can get done by Aug. 15th, too.

    Like

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