Saturday, January 26, 2013


Sometimes things need to be re-purposed. The floorboards aren't going to work as floorboards anymore, so they have found new life as our trailer bed! Kevin did an awesome job making it ^_^
Most of what got done today was clean up. We're on a bit of a hold until the contractor comes in to fix the gas leak. We can't exactly pull up the rest of the floor until then; because I'm pretty sure they won't like not having a floor to walk on. 
Respirators are needed because of the dust

Lots of debris has been removed and the dining room area floor is pretty much prepped for removal next week

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rigid State of Flexibility

My old service manager used to say "We must keep a rigid state of flexibility." Mind you, he was referring to the ever changing mind of our boss's girlfriend, but the statement stuck with me and this house project is making it my mantra.

Several things have been decided for us. The cabinets are going to be replaced and not reused because the quality was not there. The ceiling is going to be replaced now since part of it was removed when the laundry room came out.

We are up in the air as to what to do with the kitchen floor at the moment. We have to remove the hardwood that we painstakingly uncovered for a number of reasons:
Reason 1: Mold & Rot from where the laundry room was caused a lot of the floor to go mushy

Reason 2: The joist in the basement were long ago eaten up by powder post beetles and need to be replaced

Reason 3: The subfloor boards run the opposite way of the first layer of wood
Reason 4: There are large cracks in the subfloor that don't allow it to line up 

Reason 5: The top floor were tongue and groove and did not  come up nicely

We did figure something out about the house as we stripped out the floor. The house hasn't completely settled crooked, it was built crooked. The boards had wedges underneath when they were laid in an attempt to level them out, but when the seven layers of other flooring were layered on, they accentuated the lean.

After contacting four contractors about the gas leak. The first one wasn't very nice to get answers 
from. The second was insulting. The third hasn't even got back to us with a quote. The fourth gave us a great quote and hopefully by Tuesday we'll have heat!!!

Just to show the character of the house, here a picture of the ax marks on the joists:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Laundry Room

So yesterday ended up being a cleaning day at the house because Kevin had training that kept him away. It was a very cold day though and in the few hours I was at the house my water froze. I was also there waiting to get some quotes from contractors on the gas line issue. Hopefully when they finally get the quotes done we can get the heat on and it won't be an issue anymore.
Today was a day of destruction. Good thing I cleaned up so much yesterday...

That would be the destruction of the laundry room. While it seems crazy to get rid of the  laundry room, there is a reason for it, we are redirecting it against the window wall. This allows us more room for the counter tops and will open the room up a lot. My lovely paint skills below show what I'm talking about. ^_^

 So at the end of the day we got this:

We also found our own drunken octopus. Even crazier because it has one flat head and one combo flat/phillips head screw


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kitchen/Dining Room Disaster

The Kitchen and Dining Room are a sort of open concept in the house. 
There were no appliances in the place since it was a foreclosure property. The cupboards are hand-made, and not very well might I add. The The beam in the center appears to be decorative or is covering a beam. There is a plethora of color going on between the two rooms. There are two shades of green, some white, a very unappealing yellow, disgusting brownish carpet, and the orange trim along the ceiling. The counter tops are a pinkish laminate.

The wall behind the sink is a plastic panel wall that has been painted and wallpapered with a bunch of different papers. The overhang has some pretty stickers on it. There is a pass through to the living room with a weird shelf sticking out of it into the dining room. 
The doors on the left of the dining room are a laundry closet. It's a convenient first floor location but the doors and shelves of it aren't the greatest condition.


The Plan: 
Given the age of the house we believe there's hardwood under the carpet. So we will rip up said carpet and hopefully be able to refinish the hardwood underneath. Depending on the cost of repairing the gas line depends on whether we reuse the cabinets or get new ones. Appliances will need to eventually purchased but since we cannot live in the house until we repair the kitchen and bathroom, it doesn't make sense to buy them and lose a few months of warranty.

 The Fun Begins:

After removing a strip of carpet we find the first of what will become many layers of linoleum.

 After removing a few layers of linoleum on the kitchen side we found a red tile that had a dark backing to it. To be safe we are sending a sample in for asbestos testing.
Good-bye cabinet!

 And the demolition continues!

Two Days Later:
 It Exists! We found the hardwood floor!!!
  There's also about 7 bags of garbage along with this pile.
Need to attack the laundry room and a new plan came to mind! 
More to come!

The Journey Starts

When we first saw the house it was listed at $51,500, but it quickly dropped to $45,000 and we put in our offer. Then upon a second inspection we found some damage to the joist, were informed about a water leak, and a gas leak was finally disclosed. We pulled out of the deal, fearing it was too much to take on for the price that they were asking.

We continued watching it and in the following month it was on and off the market with pending offers that fell through. Then we decided it was time to go in with a low cash offer of less than some pay for a vehicle. The bank was tired of dealing back and forth with everyone else and took our offer. In two weeks all the paperwork was signed and the house was ours! Now comes the fun part of tearing out everything and rebuilding.

A little history on the house: It was built in 1851! This was before the town was even incorporated.  The supports in the basement are half trees from side to side. It is 2 bedroom, one bath, with a huge back yard.