Jan 30, 2013

Inspection: CHECK!

Well.  It happened.  The inspector came and did his inspecting and not only did we PASS, we passed with Flying Colors!  Color were literally flying right out of my face so hard it was awesome.

And what that means, boys and girls, is that we can now put up insulation Anywhere We Want.

Before we can put up insulation though, we need some spacers.  I don't know why.  Air flow or some other fancy thing.   This is really no big deal, we just have to cut some wood into 3/4" x 2 & 1/2" pieces.

I have many flaws, but the one that gets me into the most trouble is that I am impatient.  I don't want peanut butter M&M's tomorrow, I want them right this seconds.  I don't want to wait for Richard to come home and cut the wood for me, I just want to figure out how to do it myself.  Richard says first I need to rip down some of our 2x4s to be 3/4" wide.  Ok.  I can do that.

Today's nemesis, the table saw.

Yes, you do recognize that linoleum.  I'm cutting wood right in the middle of my dining room, just like the pros do.

First I needed to figure out which side I should I sit on while cutting.  Does it even matter?  Then it occurred to me to sit on the side opposite from where the saw dust comes flying out.  Thank you for that, brain!

Now I've got to move the guide so that space between it and the blade is 3/4 of an inch.

This table saw comes with a handy ruler, but what the heck good does it do to have 0 be way over there on the left?  Wouldn't it be better if zero was at the blade?  I do not understand.   The only way I can see to know how much space I have is to go like this:

and then all the blood rushes to my head while I turn upside down to read it.

HOWEVER, while I was standing on my head I suddenly had a moment of clarity.  I am probably going to cut my fngers off.  How about I just DON'T use spacers at all?  So that is what I'm gonna do!  The End.

I know this has been a very useful post for all of you.  But this has been my day so far, and it only seemed fair to share it with you.  Meaningless dilemmas like this are how I like to spend my time.

I should get to work though.  I am very excited. Still, I seem to be having a really hard time getting started.  All I can do is sit here rubbing my hands excitedly together, and that never built nothin.

Check back in tomorrow.  Maybe I'll make more sense then.

Jan 26, 2013

Saturday Evening's Post

I know.  You're tired of my posts already.  Sorry 'bout that.  It was bound to happen.  I'm a little hard to take in large doses.  Just ask my kids.  But how can you walk down this remodeling road with me if you don't get to experience my Saturday?

As I type, Richard is upstairs, right above me, pounding on something.  It is really distracting.  I've tried telling him over and over that I am trying to BLOG, and could he please just hold it down?  Rude.

Actually, I feel really guilty, sitting here typing while he is upstairs working and answering Harrison's millions of question, which never stop.  I keep asking if I can help but all he said he needed was for me to put on my yoga pants and walk around for him.

Probably shouldn't have told you that.

Let's go see what he is doing, shall we?

Oh.  Boring.  Not much to see.  He is putting in the air return upstairs.  We'll have to check back when he is doner.

I guess I'll just have to sit here watching videos of fat cats stuffed into small boxes until he has something interesting to show me.  It is hard work being the idle documentor.

OR I guess I could go clean the bathroom out.  It is not as noble, but just as necessary.  It needs doing and I might be just the girl to do.  TO THE BATHROOM!


I'm back.  Cleaned the whole bathroom out.  There was a lot of crap in there.  Not literal crap.  I guess crap is the wrong word to use if I'm talking about a bathroom.  Let's just say there were a lot of "various items of questionable usefulness" in there.  Especially all of this stuff.

But its all clean now.

and where do you think I put all that stuff?  You guessed it!  In my bedroom!!

Living in this house has been a study in moving things around.  We are constantly moving things from room to room when we need to work on something and our stuff is in the way again.  Seriously.  There are boxes we have moved 20 times or more.  I think that is why I love throwing things away so much.

Anyway, Richard finished the air return.  Tada!

And then he secured some wiring that was insecure.

Now it has a lot of self confidence and I feel good about that.

Then we put in one more box for a light fixture

and we are done!   Do you hear me?  DONE!!!!  Bring it on Inspector!  We are ready for you!

So now if we get some supplies: insulation, expanding foam, drywall, cement board, tile, and stuff to make a shower pan. then we can get started as soon as the inspector leaves.

I don't know how to express my happiness.  Imagine something like this:

Can you feel it?  Even my hair is excited!

Better News

Richard called and talked to the permit people.  When he told the lady his situation, she laughed.  She said that she too thought it was a ridiculous fee, but because we hadn't included a valuation of what the project was going to cost us, they had to figure the fee based on the most expensive bathroom remodel they've approved, which I'm guessing was Liberace's.

So we gave them our valuation and the gave us our new fee: $151.06.  Phew.  That is more like it.  That is what I had been expecting. So I paid the fee through their spiffy new online service and requested an inspection and now we have to wait until Monday to see when they can come and inspect.  Will it be next week?  Will it be next month?  Oh, the suspense is killing me!  I may just have to go and pick out some tile to distract me.

I'd sort of like to show you some inspiring bathrooms at this point, but I am hesitant for two reasons

1. I'm afraid to show you my inspiration bathrooms because our bathroom won't look as good and then you'll have something to compare it to and say "Well, they tried."
2. I don't actually get to decide what the bathroom looks like.  It usually feels like women who are remodeling their homes and blogging about it can do whatever they want and their husband neither gets a say or even has any idea that the remodeling is happening.  That is not the case with me.  My husband cares.  He has his own opinions.  And I can fall in love with pictures of bathrooms until the cows come home, but in the end we have to pick stuff we agree on which TAKES FOREVER.
3. I talk too much.  Irrelevant, but somebody had to say it.

But who cares!  I'll show you some pictures anyway!  Beautiful bathrooms for your Saturday!  I saved these pictures before I ever signed up for pinterest, so I don't know where they came from.   I am very sorry.

I'd always thought that I preferred a modern decor style, but after looking at thousands of pictures, I realized I was wrong.  I prefer something more traditional, a little contemporary, and a little bit glam.

See?  Gorgeous.  I LOVE that bathroom.  But it would be pretty impractical with two little kids who excel at destroying things.

What I really want is something like this:

Ah.  So pretty.  So functional.  So bathroom-like.  However, what I want only counts for 50% of it.  What does my husband want? What does my husband like? And will we ever be able to agree on anything?


Jan 25, 2013

Good News and Bad News!

We got an email from the City and our permit has been approved!  Hooray!  
Now we just just have to make a small one time payment of $1191.88.

WHAT.  That fee is rediculous.  Something nefarious is happening at the city offices!

Jan 15, 2013

Master Messroom

I called the city offices and they told me to allow at least 2 weeks for the permit to be made up.  I'm trying not to be hugely annoyed, but it is cold in my house.  I would really like to get some insulation in.  Course we HAD a permit at one time, but I guess it was taking too long to make any progress, so they lost it or threw it away or something.  Again trying not to be too annoyed.  It might not make any difference for how long it would take now anyway.  In the past our city inspectors have always been very easy to work with, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.  In that I doubt they are doing it just to be mean.  So let's talk about something else.

Today I've been looking through several blogs about organization.  Lots of good ideas, and pretty pretty pictures of neatly organized, clutter-free rooms.   They are nice.  And in comparison to some of my rooms, hilarious.  Let's take my bedroom, for example.  I'm going to take a picture now, because Richard just cleaned his side of the room and it may not look this clean again for another couple of years.

Well, nothing too shocking there.  Except the Lego Star Wars Walker back there on Richard's bedside table.

He's so cute.  And someday, if Richard cleans off his bookshelf, he can be proudly displayed there with other nerdy paraphernalia, but right now the top of this bookshelf looks like this.

I learned a long time ago that my husband doesn't like it if I clean up his stuff.  He doesn't trust me not to throw important things away (with good reason.  My definition of important and his are very different.) and he gets mad when he can't find things.  So I just leave his messes alone. He still can't find things, but now at least it is not my fault.  Our marriage is better if I just let his mess be his own.  It is not like I am a neat freak myself.  As you'll see soon enough.

So now, lets turn around and look at the other side of the bedroom:


Oh,  It doesn't look that bad in the picture.  But still!  What IS all that?

Well, I'll tell you Bob.  Almost exactly a year ago we started buying all the stuff we would need for the bathroom when we finished it - vanity, sinks, faucets, lights.  Problem is, we weren't as close to needing it as we thought, so we had to just stack it all up in our bedroom.  Then we threw some tools on top, and then some lampshades, and pillows, some pioneer clothes I don't wear anymore and shoes that have lost their mates.  There are probably Christmas presents that I forgot about buried under there somewhere.  I think my wedding dress is even in that pile.  I really don't know what to DO with that thing.

Against the other wall we've got more boxes with some shelves that are going to go in the bathroom, and a crib that I just don't know if I am going to need again or not.  And I have no idea where to put it in the mean time.

The pictures don't come close to giving you a sense for how much crap it feels like.  It is really overwhelming in the room.  Like the clutter is rising up in a wave to crash over us in our sleep.

So, yes, sometimes I laugh when I read people's blogs.  So I take a break from the internet and read a book for a while.  I like to keep a few handy by my bed.

Yeah, my husband is not the only one who has a hard time keeping his side of the room tidy. So this is what I come home to at the end of the day.

Could be worse though.  It could be this:

That was 2004.  Either my camera was filled with dust or it was so cold it was SNOWING in there.  I guess I really shouldn't complain.

Jan 12, 2013

No News is No News

Nothing to tell.  I know you expected there to be Big News by now, but there is none.  Richard did indeed take the House Plans to the city offices yesterday, but instead of getting to meet with one of the inspectors right then, and having the plans looked over, approved, and an inspection scheduled, the just took the plans from him and said "We'll call you." which I think stinks.  I might just have to be one of those kinds of ladies and call them once a day to see if they've had a chance to look at the plans yet and when they are coming to free me from my 2x4 prison.

I'm a little worried that the plans won't be approved, cuz I made them myself.  Making a cute little house in a blue print program is one thing, but adding in all the wiring and plumbing and HVAC stuff is a  whole 'nuther thing.  I made the plans in a program called "Easy Blueprint" but it didn't include all the the necessary plumbing and electrical symbols, so I had to fake it for some things, and the plumbing stuff I gave up and drew in by hand.  THAT is the one I am really nervous about.  The building inspector is probably sitting in his office right now, looking at my plumbing plans and giggling so hard tears are streaming down his cheeks.

I'd love to show them to you, because I'm sure you could use a good laugh too, but I didn't make a copy.  Here are the plans without all the wiring and pipes and junk.

ooh, and just for funsies, I'll show you the blueprints for the house as it was when we bought it.  I'll just have to move a few walls around in the software.  Won't take but a moment.

here we go.

Ah, the old days.  When you had to go through the master bedroom to get to the 2nd bedroom.  I guess hallways hadn't been invented yet.  And according to my drawing, there wasn't a door into closet back in those days.  Thank goodness for the teleporter we had installed!  We had our office out on that landing for a while.  But we knew we wanted a bathroom upstairs, and those skinny steep little stairs were a death trap.  I could touch both walls with my elbows by just spreading my arms a little, so something was going to have to be done.  We knew if we widened and lengthened the stairs the space left wouldn't be big enough for a bedroom but a rather large bathroom might be just the thing.  Someday soon maybe we'll see if we were right.  That is all I got.


Jan 11, 2013

Our Old House

We watch a lot of "This Old House" here in this old house.  Which, more than anything, is just frustrating.  They make everything look so fast and effortless.  Besides the fact that they show several days worth of work in an hours time, and the fact that they have a huge crew of skilled workers and craftsman and any tools a builder could wish for, everything is just so darn EASY for them.  They'll be putting in a pocket door and say "We pre-drilled all our holes, and mitered all of our mortises, so now we'll just check to make sure it is plumb.  And it is!  So we'll simply scribe this trim onto this tenon and . . . there!  A pocket door in 2 minutes!"   We watch it as re-modelers looking for ideas, but mostly it sets us up for disappointment and frustration when things take 7 million times longer than they take on TV.

I think the world needs to see what is is really like.  And don't try to tell me there are shows on HDTV about remodeling nightmares, and people doing all their own construction work, and 600,000 other blogs doing the exact same thing, cuz I don't want to hear it.  I want to show you what it is like to live in a house that is always under construction, to feel with me the pain and excitement of choosing faucets, to walk with me over a floor covered in bad linoleum.  What if you could see how slow and painful and dirty the whole process is?  Would you be intrigued? Bored?  Or would you just feel sorry for me?  Cuz I'll take it.  I figure if I have to live this way, the best I can hope for is that everyone feels bad for me.

So, you are in luck my intrigue/boredom seekers!  I'm, going to do it.  I am going to start posting about my house remodeling like I never have before.  You are going to hear so much about insulation and plaster you are going to barf! I hope you brought your breath mints.  I don't want all your bad breath messing up my concentration.

For some time now we have been finishing up the last few things needed for the building inspector to come and inspect.  I've mentioned before how this stage has nearly dragged on into eternity.  But now we are close.  Richard took the blue prints down to the City Offices just this morning to schedule an inspection.  I don't know how that meeting went, but I'm hoping no news is good news.  There are just a couple little things we have to finish before he comes, so hopefully a scheduled deadline will help us finish those.  We are so close now I can smell the drywall mud.  Things are about to get exciting!

And you better hold on to your hats, kids at home, cuz I'm taking you with me!  You'll get to see it as it is happening!  You'll get to see the whole process from Middle to End. Unless I get bored and don't want to post about it anymore.  That is totally possible too.

I'm going to go upstairs and take a picture of the bathroom right now, cuz that is the room we'll be working on first.  I'm not going to tidy it up or anything.  Raw honesty.  That is my thing.  And also I am way too lazy to clean it up.  We're lucky I'm willing to walk all the way upstairs to take a picture.


ooh, it is cleaner up there than I expected.  That room used to be the catch all for all the stuff that didn't have anywhere else to go, but now all that's really in there is a rogue cardboard box and a wandering potty seat.

And tools, of course.  But who DOESN'T have a bathroom full of tools these days, am I right?

So here is the view looking north:

That is going to be the shower there in the back.  There was a window there, but Richard bricked it up, as you can see.  Still got bricks all over the floor and everything.  We took the clawfoot tub back outside cuz it was in the way, and we've got to figure out some way to refinish it.  We could have it professionally refinished, but that would cost about $1000.00, which incidentally, is roughly the cost of a brand new claw foot tub.

Here is the view looking south:

aw.  Sweet, innocent little bathroom.  It has no idea that it is about to be spackled, and painted and decked out like a geisha.  And if you look at that picture of me in the mirror long enough it starts to move.  Weird.

Ok.  So that is where we are.  As soon as things change,  you will be the first to know.  Elesa Out!