Category Archives: living room

Plumber Buts

Living room or plumbing supply warehouse

Living room or plumbing supply warehouse?

The bathrooms are done! This being our third major plumbing project in less than a year, I have a few things to say about our plumbers. Read my column at Angie’s List to learn why each of my plumbers has a big but.

We still have to add a few accessories, and the final electrical inspection is today, but for the most part, DONE. Now that my living room no longer looks like this, it’s time to start thinking about a cushy couch, maybe a relaxing chair and a coordinating rug and then we start saving for college again.

Of course that last line is a joke. What middle class family can afford college these days? We opened accounts for the boys practically at birth and if we’re lucky, those funds could get them through a year of school.

But I digress. My main point is that I hope we can coast for a while and put our time and energy into planning things other than home improvements. What? Oh, hello two cars in the driveway each with more than 100K miles on them.

Bathroom Progress (or Not)

The bathrooms we started gutting back in early April are still gutted. Granted, every bit of piping including the main stack has been replaced. Out with the cast iron and galvanized steel and in with the PVC and copper. The HVAC and electrical have been updated, and because we’re going all legal with permits and such, we got ourselves sidetracked.

The electrical inspector (a woman!) raised an issue about the ventilation fan we had placed in our main floor bath which led to further questioning which led to us talking to the village and their inspection service which led us to needing to file for an insulation permit which led us to needing to hire someone to come in and apply toxic spray foam insulation (or rip out the studs and rebuild the room and get to use standard insulation).

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

I will also note that my living room continues to look like a plumbing supply warehouse and the house is huge mess.

Oh, and our garage sale was a success, but here we are, what? 2-3 weeks later, already building up our next “garage sale” pile in the basement. And the garage hasn’t even been fully emptied from our last sale  despite two trips to the charity resale shop with donations.

Also, hubs got laid-off recently, but I’m mostly happy about that. He’s got time to finish the bathrooms now!

 

 

I’m Not Wearing Pants at the Moment

True, I’m not wearing pants. It’s my way of letting the world know that our window blinds were installed yesterday! Finally, I can lounge around the house in my skivvies without putting on a peep show for my neighbors. The sidewalk in front of our house sees a fair amount of traffic- parents with strollers, dog walkers, bikers, and joggers–including the boys’ cross country team from a nearby high school.

We installed vertical blinds in the upstairs bedrooms and a different types of cellular shades on the main floor. We chose the top-down/bottom-up style to allow the greatest amount of natural light into the rooms while still providing enough privacy to prance around naked inside the house.

Pics and video soon!

To clarify, we do not actually prance around or even sit at our desks naked and if we did, I would not put it on YouTube. I will post pics or videos of our blinds, though.

You’re welcome.

Since some of you are bound to ask, we bought the blinds from a Big Box store and paid them to do the measuring and the install. In all, we covered 16 windows, so the flat fee the store charged for measuring and installing turned out to be a pretty good deal. And now we don’t have to devote any of our weekend time to covering the windows, which is good because we’re on something like week 7 of bathroom demo. *DIY sigh*

The Blind Guy

The blind guy was here and, though I’m not proud to admit it, I did place stumbling blocks before him. Of course if he had called to let me know he was on his way, I could have done a little cleaning first.

Nearly four months of living here and we’re ready to get rid of those temporary blinds. You know those cheap paper things? We’ve got them everywhere. Well, not everywhere, in our bedroom, we draped a dropcloth one of our workmen left behind.

Yes, I washed it before hanging it. (And it was brand new, FWIW.)

I realize we’ve taken shabby chic to a new low, but that’s how I roll.

We’re ordering most of our window treatments from a Big Box store. For less than $120 they will provide the measuring and installation for all of the window treatments. Given that we’re covering nearly 20 windows, it’s a worthwhile expense.

Now that the measurements are done, we’ll be able to place our order next week. Or the week after. We’re not great at making decorating choices, so I tend to drag my feet on them. Eventually DH gets fed up with my procrastination and I wind up making some random choice just be be done with the process. Wow, seeing that on the screen makes me realize just how dysfunctional the process is.

Is there a home decorating version of Garanimals? I need that.

I Am Not Buried Under Boxes

moving van pulled up to my house

Quite literally door-to-door service.

It just feels that way. We had movers bring over some of the larger pieces of furniture the other day. The driver took one look at our lawn which, sadly, is not currently covered with snow. I say sadly because it looks much like it did after the plumber left us back in July. Of course, there was a dumpster sitting on the land from September through December, so it didn’t make sense to sod until this coming spring. The driver asked if he could back his truck up onto our “lawn” and I couldn’t think of a reason he shouldn’t.

Plus, he said it would save a little time and since our four-man team’s hourly billing rate was higher than mine, it made even more sense.

They were pretty efficient, which is to say the guys from Happ Movers didn’t waste a lot of time wrapping stuff.

Some movers mummify everything in bubble wrap and tape and then charge you for materials plus time. A waste of money and bubble wrap, not to mention tape. These guys had large rubber band-type things and lots of moving blankets. Nothing was damaged.

Honestly, the only piece I was really concerned about was the piano- a 1920s player piano. There are few material possessions that I consider completely irreplaceable; the piano is one of them. When we moved it into my parents’ house, we used Burrows. I felt more confident with the way that team cared for the piano, but Team Happ moved our piano and about 5 other sizeable pieces of furniture for less than it cost just to move the piano a few years ago.

Most importantly, the piano and the player mechanism appear to be working just fine.

{wipes sweat from brow}

There’s still lots of unpacking and settling in to do, but I look forward to sharing more pictures soon. I finally found the piece I need to transfer photos from my camera to the computer, so the quality of my shots should improve soon(ish). Check out the before and after shots:

living room before

BEFORE

player piano 1920s

AFTER (note the mess in the foreground; it's called Keeping It Real or perhaps Too Lazy To Clean Up For The Shot)

Those white squares to the left of the piano are the song rolls. Wanna come over for old skool karaoke? It’s tons of fun.

(No, I did not get any special discount or deal from our movers. Just called around for prices based on recommendations from Angie’s List.)

 

 

 

So This is What the House Looks Like

boxes everywhere

This is the tween's room. To be fair, the dresser for the empty drawers up front is still at my parent's and the large boxes in the background are part of a fort system, but much of what I classify as crap really does belong to him.

The house is amazing. Setting up and settling into the house? Not so much fun, but a joy nonetheless. Our move-in is a process rather than an event because we are doing most of it ourselves, bringing box after box after box from my parents’ house into ours.

I’ve been referring to much of the stuff we are moving as crap, but I’m trying to put the kabosh on that. If it’s crap, why bother bringing it over?

So I’m trying to appreciate our many possessions. At the same time, because we’ve been living with my parents for so long (over 3 years!), we’ve accumulated quite a bit since we pared down our stuff for that transition in 2008.

We must have 30 board games, 5-6 of which actually get played more than twice a year. So it’s either time to eliminate or start holding more family and friend game nights.

And our wedding crystal and fine china? As much of a virgin as I was on our wedding night. Wait, no, that’s not the right analogy. Let’s just say we’re both gently used, okay?

We have several small kitchen appliances: rice cooker, ice cream maker, bread maker, crock pot, coffee maker, but in the week or so we’ve been in the house, all have been used multiple times, so it’s just a matter of figuring out how to store these away for easy use.

That’s the issue right now, simply finding right place to keep things at least on a temporary basis. I can assure you the right place is not in boxes scattered throughout the house.

Which is why I’ve yet to share the big reveal- boxes are scattered throughout the house.

I’m not putting too many photos of our messy house online, but if you’re up for it, I am entertaining visitors and offering tours. I promise I’m working on getting the place clean and organized. I can’t wait to show it off.

 

Here's a similar view from back in June. We squared off the roof and bumped out the wall with the window. Larger room= larger mess. *sigh*