I don’t know if anyone else has ever been inspired by those TLC shows where someone takes a crappy house and makes it look amazing in a few days? I was! Newsflash: It doesn’t work like that in real life.
Three years ago my partner and I decided to purchase a home. We shopped around and narrowed it down to a house that hadn’t been updated since it was built in the 1940’s, with a huge yard in a nice neighborhood, or a relatively new row house in an OK neighborhood without much of a yard at all. We chose the old house, and we are still remodeling.
So far we have:
- Gutted the kitchen to bare bones. Replaced and updated everything. Even the drywall is new.
- Replaced all the wiring.
- Chipped all the old paint from the living room and repainted.
- Replaced all the old plumbing except the line that comes in from the street.
- Refinished the floors
- Gutted the basement and removed all the faux wood paneling
- Added a vegetable garden and taken out some old trees
- Replaced two windows
- Gutted and remodeled one bedroom (there are two)
- Fixed the heat pump, moved the furnace
We did all this while I was pulling in very little money as a full time student. Remodeling is very expensive, even when you do it yourself.
We still need to finish the basement including the bathroom down there, remodel the upstairs bathroom, wire in lights in the nearly finished bedroom and the hallway, finish the master bedroom, and replace 7 windows and a door. I feel like we are almost halfway done.
Over the past few days I have been working to winterize the house. I have been looking for a job every morning and working on the house every afternoon. I thought that I would just peel off places where the old paint was coming apart and prime and paint all the trim. I also thought that it would take one or two days. Well, it’s Wednesday now and I am still working. I discovered that the old window frames are disintegrating. I touch spots with my scraper and pieces actually crumble away. Well, until I get a job I can’t afford to buy all new windows, so I suppose it will have to wait. I’ll just prime over the top. Luckily, a lot of what is crumbling is glazing.
The nice thing is that I do appreciate hard work. It keeps me from being too bored and being nervous about my extreme lack of employment. I’ll post some after pictures in a few days when I complete this project.