September 30, 2009

Craigslist Dissapointment

Friggen Craigslist.

I know I shouldn't comb it for stuff that I can't buy. But I can't help it and today my little habit is coming up to bite me in the rear. I just found a bed frame that I am completely lusting over for about 60% off its very expensive retail price. In another set of circumstances I'd be heading over there right now with the SUV and trailer acting like only a crazed bargain hunter can. Ya know, foaming at the mouth and counting out my cash at red lights.

But since the circumstances are as follows- selling house. tight on cash. low bedroom ceilings that would not be tall enough for this canopy bed. a complete set of bedroom furniture from Quality Discount Furniture already. took 2 door car to work today. and the biggest kicker of all? No room for stashing a fairly expensive bed for who knows how long until our bedroom is ready in the Wee house.

Frig. I hate seeing a good deal fall by the way side.

This really bums me out.

Busy Bee

This funny little thing called life has been getting in the way of my blogging. How very rude and inconsiderate of my life. First there was the weekend away relaxing at the beach, where I got sun burn that was so worth it, and then came along an urgent project at work. Followed by my cold that left me sprawled all over the couch watching a Star Wars Marathon for an entire weekend day. Then we went back to the beach where we got two major unexpected house purchases and a mere four days later we're off again, headed up North on a roadtrip.

I'm dying to tie on my Timberlands and get back to work.

September 24, 2009

Pimp my cubicle?

I spend 40 hours a week in my cube. And while I'm very happy to have a job, I'm starting to go a little bananas with the lack of natural light and mocking gray walls. It might be time for a little pimp my cubicle session. Just something to take the edge off my decorating jonesing, since the house is for sale we're not doing anything new there. It will be forever until the Wee house is ready too*.

So maybe I'll do that. Make my workspace a reflection of me, instead of three walls and some faux wood with yucky carpet. It's been decided. I'm going to give my cube a little face lift and make it awesome. I wonder if there is anything in the company handbook about this...

Very important! It seems my old template disabled the comments, so I've switched back to my simple style for now. Sorry for anyone who tried to leave me a comment and got denied! I love comments, so I feel really bad about the snafu.

*see! there is always a 7 degrees separation way to get my posts back to our houses!

September 23, 2009

Timberland Work Boots Rave!

Dear Timberland Pro Work Boots,

Thank you. Thank you for providing my not-so-dainty lady feet with the same protection that most manufactures only offer to men. I never have to worry about my feet while working on my house, and it’s completely because my boots rock.

Traction across all surfaces is great and I can walk through or on top of everything with no fear of slipping. Sometimes I even walk through puddles just so I can be happy that my feet stay dry. My toes are completely protected by steel, which is frankly freaking fantastic because I’m one clumsy home renovator and have dropped plenty of potential toe bruising material on my feet.

Thank you again boots. You’re number one on my must have while renovating list. Can’t wait to see the condition you’ll be in at the end of this project.



September 22, 2009

Also Found in Shed

Pete discovered this table top in the corner of the shed and noting the great condition we decided to salvage it. Originally the legs were hidden in another part of the shed and had gotten thrown out. Once we realized that the top was still around and very usable I grabbed the legs out of the trash pile!
The table is well over 8ft long, solid and extremely heavy. It's going to make an awesome work table for all our future home improvement projects. A few bolts to connect the top and we'll be in business!
I love finding usable stuff!

September 21, 2009

Tearing out a Dining Room

Oh future Dining Room... I can already sense how much work you're going to be. It's only been a few weekends of working on the house and you've already provided me with the most head scratching WTH moments so far. Remember the vomit in the mouth incident? That took place in the (future) dining room.

First thing with every room is the complete tear out of the walls and ceilings. Especially important in this room because our future dining room is supporting an addition. The addition was built up over time and that top part might become part of our master bedroom someday. I don't want to be blissfully snoozing away one day when the floor gives way beneath me!

Opening up the walls allowed us to survey how well the work was done for the addition and to see how time had treated everything. Overall the condition is pretty scary, but not worse than we were prepared for. There are no problems that we can't handle. It's so funny that you can have a solid as rock old house and the only part that is the "problem child" is the addition!

Fun times lay ahead of me with cleaning up this mess. It is pretty easy to look at the room with such overwhelming amount of work to do and not even know where to start. Don't discourage yourself right off the bat. It is really important not to sike yourself out! I do wish that house demo came with little handy neon arrows pointing out your start and end points. That would be helpful. But alas, the Wee house has no such handy arrows so I had dive in where I thought best. Which happen to be the door into the room, I just slogged through with picking up lath and other random bits. Eventually progress started to be seen.

Late afternoon sun was streaming through the windows before I had a noticable handle on the mess. Once I got to the turning point in cleaning everything, the work went along quickly and pretty smoothly when it came time to shoveling plastic/unidentified bits into the buckets.

Ta-Da!! All clean! and yet still miles away from the eventual end point. Oh well, we're not racing anyone with trying to get this house done. So for now I'll find my accomplishments in the little projects.

September 16, 2009

Showing 17 18 & 19

We had two showings over the weekend. No feedback and (clearly) no offers.

Showing # 19 is tonight.
No optimism about this showing either.

I hate our stupid railroad tracks.

September 9, 2009

From Chaos to More Chaos

Saturday morning our friend Dave came over to lend a hand on the house. He was interested in learning about the how to of demolishing a house. We obliged Dave's thirst for knowledge and handed over Mr.Smashy and a pair of work gloves.

Like all Saturday mornings we've had so far, a trip to the county Dump was on the agenda. Unlike other days there were no materials waiting for loading, so a quick hour and a half of work was needed to create some trash. I shoveled plaster from the living room into buckets while Dave and my husband tore down paneling, heating vents and a random wall.

This was our first time using the buckets, and they were just as awesome as I hoped. 30 buckets later and barely a dent was made in the clean up...
Husband and Dave discussing manly demolition things...

Over the course of the afternoon our living room went from partially torn out chaos to completely torn out uber chaos! Once the day was over plaster and lath were piled high in all the corners and we got our first peek at how the room used to look. You can clearly see the original shape of the entrance foyer. I can't get over how big the room is now with all the walls torn out.

Thanks again for all your help Dave! You are awesome!

{Gotta love a friend that will work for a cold Coors light!}

September 8, 2009

The end of the cinder blocks

Unfortunately the dumpster was proving to be tad too small for our needs. Everything that wouldn't fit in the dumpster would become a trailer load to haul over ourselves. The final few hours of dumpster loading the cinder block was a lot like playing Tetris. You had to figure out exactly where to place one block before the next piece came along, filling in as many gaps as you could.

I'd say we did a pretty good job of maximizing the dumpster capacity.

Yay us.

September 4, 2009

Plaster Plaster Everywhere

We have a house full of plaster walls to tear out. Even just one room part way torn out can create a gigantic mess.

In order to get the plaster cleaned up I had to start by spending some time gathering the lath and sorting it into different piles. The lath are thin, lightweight wood boards you see in both pictures. Most of the time I'm able to pop the lath off in one piece while tearing out the wall, but occasionally breaking was necessary.

All lath was sorted into a pile by size- Long, Medium or Short. Once most of the wood was sorted I used our work buckets as a guide for bundling everything up. Bundles of lath are way easier to dispose of at the dump than a million tiny little sticks. (Bonus, all the lath eventually gets recycled at dump!)

After bundling the lath it came time to cleaning the plaster bits up. Plaster is two things at this stage of the game, very tedious to clean up and seriously heavy. The original method for getting the plaster out of the house was:

  • shovel plaster

  • dump in bucket

  • carry bucket outside

  • dump into plastic trash bag

With that tedious process it wasn't surprising that I reached my tolerance limit after two trash bags full of plaster. Then a metal bit poked its way through the second bag and caused it to split open. When that bag tore open I gave up on the whole process and sat down in the shade with some water. I said to myself "Self, if we use this method for the whole house it will take us forever to get all the plaster out. There just has got to be a better way."

Enter my flash of inspiration- buckets. Big, 5 gallon, heavy duty work buckets. Enough to hold a rooms worth of plaster bits. Enough buckets to honeycomb the trailor so we could skip the bagging part for disposal. The only problem holding us back from purchasing a large quantity of buckets was Budget. To buy about 75 new work buckets was going to add up fast, even if we managed to find a store with that many in stock. Here is where Craigslist came to the rescue. A little bit of searching reaveled someone who had a huge stock of buckets with the bargain basement price of $1 each.

Now we have 67 buckets just waiting to be filled with plaster bits. Yay for craigslist, helping us renovate on the cheap(er)!

September 3, 2009

Good News!

Good news that is tied to the house in a sort of shortened seven degrees of separation way.

I'm a contracted employee and my termination date was Sept 9th. Just got word from the VP that my contract has been granted an exception and I have been approved for six more months!
Six more months of gainful employment (at a job I like) is great news. Since a paycheck is important, ya know for paying for all these house renovations we're doing and have planned.

Happy happy day.

Stood up for showing...

Our house was stood up last night.

Which royally stinks.

How do we know?
-There are two locks on our door and every single realtor only locks the bottom while we stick with the top one. Bottom lock was unlocked.
-Every single light was on, just as we left it. Realtors always fiddle with the lights, especially our dimmer switches.
- Info sheet was still on kitchen table in the exact same location.
-No realtor calling card.

At least the house is clean. Plus we got were able to finish up loading the dumpster with cinder blocks.

September 2, 2009

Showing # 16

There is another showing tonight.

BBQ take out for dinner
Clean house

False hope for an offer

September 1, 2009


There are certain advantages to living in small town. One great advantage is that everyone knows someone...someone who does driveways, heaters, recycles old cinder blocks for free...ect. When we applied for our demolition permit Pete made an off hand remark to the town official about having to dispose of all the cinder block. Right away he got handed the business card of a semi local business named Winzingers that takes old cinder block for free. F-R-E-E.

We marveled at this potential good news, because free disposal of the blocks could mean considerably less money for the disposal portion of the garage budget. Considering that the local dump is somewhere around $70 a ton for construction disposal and goodness knows how many trips it would have take to get all the blocks over there.

Since I'm a little phone phobic Pete called over to Winzingers to inquire about the process and a potential dumpster rental. Fairly simple, you can haul your own load over between 7am- Noon on Saturdays OR arrange for a dumpster delivery/pick up in one week's time to the tune of $214. (pretty sure dumpster rental rates vary due to locations) It was a no brainer decision. Rent the dumpster for a great price and have the ease of only loading it once. Wave bye as dumpster leaves driveway. Blocks all get recycled for FREE.

Saturday morning we arrived at the Wee house under an overcast sky and an empty dumpster just waiting to be filled with cinder blocks. You can see how little our trailer seems in comparison. and how many more blocks there were.

We loaded the dumpster for about 2 hours and tried to work out the best to stack everything. It was evident pretty fast that the dumpster wasn't going to be able to hold everything. I guessed that we'd be short by about 15%-20%.

Me, checking out the bricks. I was caught looking at them a few times. Maybe I was hopeful my mind control skills were about to kick in and I could just will the brick to move. After getting our stride down with loading the bricks we decided that a "quick" dump run should and could be snuck in. Saturdays are our only days for getting to the dump and we still had a small pile of shed rubbish to get thrown out. Two hours later the trailer was loaded, driven over to the dump, weighed (.85 tons), unloaded and we were on our way home for a late lunch.

Returning in the late afternoon we set a goal to work until it got too dark to see. We worked our behinds off, loading and loading tons of blocks. Our super awesome neighbor showed up with a pair of work gloves and pitched in. And by pitched in I mean helped us more than you can imagine. He also carried full blocks over two at a time for a good hour! and he gave us a suggestion for loading that surely gave us another 10% more room in the dumpster- stack a layer of block then sledgehammer down to fill in all the empty spaces. Repeat.

Blocks ready for smashing...

and smashed...

Eventually the sun set and the moon rose, darkness fell pretty fast and we packed it up for the night. Very exhausted, but also very enthused about the amount of work that got done.