First of all, I just want to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement on our announcement about the new (to us) house. Wow! We were blown away and are so thankful.
A few housekeeping items:
– I plan to put together at least one weekly renovation progress report with the ups and downs from the past week.
– I may also sporadically post more detailed things, if the mood strikes and the time is available. I’d really like to share more about our plans and answer some questions I’ve been getting on the blog and via email.
– Unfortunately, my Google Reader is getting out-of-control. I read a lot of blogs and truly enjoy the inspiration they bring me. However, I don’t think it’s going to be possible to spend the time doing this while we’re renovating. With that said, I will do my best to comment on all the linked blogs of those who visit us at NewlyWoodwards and comment. While this means that I miss some great posts, it’s a way I can stay connected to those of you who really encourage me with your words and comments. I hope you understand and will continue commenting so I remember to find out what you are up to, too. (I hope this doesn’t come across as self-serving, but I just want you to know why my comments may be lighter. And, to let you know how much I love reading your comments.)
With that – onto our first week. Week one with our new (to us) home brought some successes and a few challenges. These are our stories.
To begin, the good thing is that things are going really well overall. We’ve already gotten a ton done, Ryan and I have both been on the same page for almost everything and we both feel really positive about the entire project.
One big thing that happened this week is that we listed the kitchen cabinets, the gas stove and the old railroad ties on Craigslist for free. Within two days, the stove was hauled away and the cabinets removed and taken. This was such a blessing because we were able to get rid of things we didn’t need and give them to people who could use them.
Had we taken down the cabinets, we would have just demolished them. They were built onto the wall (not pre-assembled and screwed on the wall) so they were a bear to get down. But, they were solid and will be a great set of cabinets for a garage or basement.
A man spent two evenings painstakingly removing them piece by piece. Then, they were gone and our kitchen was bare. Then, Ryan and I walked around our new kitchen and talked through where things will go. The stove here, the fridge there, the pantry over there. That was fun. It’s like it’s playing a game, but it’s real.
Would it have been nice to get some cash for these things? Sure. But, the advantage to listing them for free is that people were knocking down our door to get them (not literally – all doors are still intact). And, they spent the time taking them down and hauling them. We didn’t have to take time showing the cabinets and wheeling and dealing with multiple people who are just browsing.
And, in meeting this man, we found out that he would possibly take other things that we will be getting rid of – windows and storm windows, the fence – which may prevent us from having to spend big bucks on a dumpster. Score! We met a person who could become a future resource.
Good thing the Woodwards are made of money (insert sarcasm font here).
· We made five trips to Menards in the first 48 hours (and 32 of those were spent working and sleeping). I’m fairly certain Mr. Menards is happy we are back in renovation mode.
· I am beginning to think that the name of the city should be pre-filled as the “to” line on all our checks. $50 for an electrical inspection, $100 deposit for the water, $40 to turn on the water, $50 for a gas inspection, another $30 to fix the electrical items that were noted in the electrical inspection. But, it’s gotta be done.
· Our boiler is old. It was made by GM (as in General Motors), who apparently hasn’t even made boilers for around 50 years. (I didn’t fact check this with my bff Google, so I’m not sure how accurate this fact is.) However, this means that it *may* not be in the best shape according to the boiler man. Which means we *may* have to replace it or put in forced air. Which *may* cost a lot of money. The boiler man told us point blank to start saving. And that the lowest end boiler is around $5,000. Yikesies! If you have any experience with old boilers, please comment or email me.
We still have no power. Yeah. Let me marinate on that one for a second.
We’ve had the keys to this house for 9 days, and we still have no power. And, it’s been humid and 97 degrees BEFORE THE HEAT INDEX. In a 100-year-old house. No fans. No lights. No power tools. Windows that barely open.
Try to figure out what you are going to work on when you are powerless (literally and figuratively).
Unfortunately, the process to get the electricity turned on has been just that – a process. We have had an electrical inspection already, which was required because the gas and electric has been turned off for more than a year. When the inspector came through, he made a list of things we have to have fixed to bring the house up to current code before they will turn on the electricity.
Some things make sense and are safety concerns. Some things were quick-fixes. Other things are just plain stupid. For example, try using an electric saw to cut a piece of copper ground pipe that is required when WE DON’T HAVE POWER! Ryan had to use a razor blade to make holes in the wall for electric boxes that are required.Or, do we really want to spend $100 and an entire day taking down an outdoor light fixture that is mounted on the rod iron railing? Then, reinstall a new fixture on the house, only to remove it in a few months when we fix the siding, the porch and the windows?
While it kinda feels like we are living in the early 1900s, we think (and hope and pray) that we are close. Ryan has fixed everything (even with prehistoric methods) to get up to the 21st century code. And, we really do understand that it has to be done, that it’s just the inspector’s job and we have to play by the rules (as noted by the money spent above). It’s just been a little frustrating (and sweaty) over the past week.
So, cross your fingers that our power will be on. Soon. We are.
Any advice, insights or thoughts? Shoot!
(More about our actual progress soon.)