Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My First Necessity

At First I was thinking that I would be fine having my washer and dryer in the garage and accessing them from the door on the back patio, but as the weekends rolled on and the laundry piled up the project list was adjusted to accommodate installing a door from the house to the garage.

Our house has a wall that connects the house to the garage but for some reason in the 1950's they didnt see it necessary to have a door conecting the two so we decided to install one and we had the perfect place to do it....

Here is the photo of the wall before:

This project was going to be the first encounter with building materials from the 50's.  In homes now a days builders use drywall or sheetrock but back when our home was built they used a product called button board.  Rock Lath AKA button board replaced the original wood laths and plaster. As Peter soon discovered it was a very dense material.  Several cement blades later and a house filled with cement dust he was able to get through one side of the wall and then realized that he was only half way, not to mention the electrical that you see in the photo that needed to be re-routed.

Since this happened several months ago (I know I am terrible at keeping up on my blog) I forget where I was but I remember coming home and there was a giant hole in my house.

The only other thing he had to do was to install a stair of some sort so that there wasn't a suicidal death drop from the level of the house to the garage.  That was easily remedied with some 2x4's and some plywood

Needless to say the door has come in amazingly handy and all is well in the world.  My laundry days although sparse are much easier.

Thanks for following and here are some of the during and after photos!!!!  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Order of Business.......


We didn't move into the house right away but when we finally came to grips with reality (we had tenants moving into the condo so we had to get out) we packed up Little Green Truck a.k.a LGT and made our way to Meredith with our first load of stuff. 

I remember Peter opening up the garage and there a was VERY STRONG odor that wasn't dead people, dead rodents or stale beer from a raging party....it was the smell of a gas leak.  AWESOME!!! You can imagine how excited we were (Not Really).  Fixing a gas leak was not first on our initial priority list of home improvement projects, at least it wasn't on my list. 

It hit us that during the escrow process the seller actually bothered to waste $350 on a home warranty...Ahhhhh my night was looking up.  The initial call was a breeze the home warranty had a plumber out here the next day.  The guy shows up...Peter took him over to the side yard where the gas line leaves the meter and without any further investigation the man proclaims "You have a gas leak" and so he asks for his $60, says that it will be about $2,400 to fix the leak (mind you he never once went under the house to investigate the routing of the plumbing), says that we should make friends with the neighbors or join a gym because we weren't going to have hot water for a while and then says that he'll report it to the home warranty but he doubts that it will be covered.

I can write an entire blog on how useless this plumbing company was and how inefficient, inadequate and unsympathetic this idiot was, but I won't.  Peter contacted the home warranty a few days later who still hadn't received the recommendations from the plumbing company and after sitting on hold and escalating the situation to I believe several levels of management he finally talked to someone that cared.  Unfortunately our policy didn't cover the $2,400 repair but they said that they would cover half or that they would pay us out $1,000.  If any of you know Peter you can guess which option he went with........

Next Stop Home Depot!

We picked up the necessary supplies (Totaling less then $200), purchased an old flight suite from the army surplus store, suited Peter up and sent him into the dark crevasses of our crawl space and about five hours later he had managed to re-route the gas line.....MY HERO!

Here is before:

Here is After:

My First But Not the Last

I have had this goal for myself now since Peter and I started working on the condo and now 6 years later I have finally made it to creating our very own home improvement blog. My hope is that this will be something that our friends and family from near and far can use to track our progress.

In January of this year Peter and I took a huge step and spent our hard earned money on 5642 Meredith Avenue.  When we first saw the place we knew it had amazing potential.  The price was right so we made an offer.  The day after we closed escrow I remember walking in our front door (which I could have kicked down or punched through since it was hollow core) thinking...."WHAT DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?" From that day we have faced great challenges with our late 50's style home.  

5642 Meredith is 2200 square feet, 2 stories, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and was built at a time when the modern day building materials like drywall weren't invented (making demo projects a bit tricky). 

Our initial priority list of projects changed dramatically from then to now, but here is a list of what we hope to accomplish with our home and some things that we already have under way (listed in no particular order):
1. Replace Front Door
2. Install a doorway from the front living room to the garage
3. Install lighting in the front of the house
4. Get rid of the messy pine tree stealing the driveway space
5 New interior doors, baseboards, molding and casing
6. Install new hardwood flooring throughout 
7. New paint interior and exterior (green w/ burgundy trim just isn't our favorite)
8. All new exterior windows (more energy efficient and much more functional then the old aluminum)
9. New landscaping in the front with more curb appeal
10. Total landscape re-design in the backyard to include an outdoor kitchen and fireplace to chill with friends, expanded deck and a total clean out of the existing foliage
11. Install new light fixtures and add light fixtures where needed
12. Install A/C
13. Totally gut the upstairs floor plan and make a functional master suite (yes we'll be eliminating a bedroom but gaining a very important master suite)
14. Remodel existing bathroom downstairs
15. Create space for 1/2 bath in the downstairs

As you can see the possibilities are endless.  I want to invite everyone to stay tuned and follow our progress.  My hope is that one day we will actually be able to have our wedding in the backyard.  I want to take this moment to really give Peter the credit for agreeing to dedicate an insane amount of time into making this house our home.  I love him so very much and I could never dream of undergoing this without him.
Stay tuned for lots of updates, before and after photos and maybe even a few photos of the many injuries that Peter will acquire while working.

Thanks for following!