WOO! I’m back. I’m trying!

    Its been a hectic couple of days!  Every day seems to be more busy than the next.  Sounds exciting right?  Sort of.  I’m burning out.  The shirt orders have been crazy, the overtime at my other job is non-stop, and the work around the house is never ending.  Last weekend, Nicole and I decided to scrap any house work and keep our schedule as laid back as possible so that we could take a day and do what pleases us most.  Shopping.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Not a very manly activity right?  Whatever.  I love shopping, I love clothes, and I fully blame my mother.  I was her shopping companion all of the years growing up.  Hours of shopping for clothes, shoes, etc.  I was raised to enjoy this activity, find sales, combine coupons, and search for bargains.  We spent all Saturday having a shopping therapy day and it was just what we needed.  We took the portion of our checks that we would normally spend on the house, and we bought some much needed clothes for ourselves.  I managed to get myself a nice button down and a sweater for winter that is totally awesome.  One thing in particular that I saw at Urban Outfitters, was so awesome, so incredibly stupid, and hideous, I had to share it here.   I present to you this work of art (I should have purchased this):

Kelly Kapowski

    Anyways, now onto the house (I can’t think about my poor decision not to buy this).  The kitchen is exploding with life and Al is really making progress.  We ran into a few roadblocks that I was able to overcome.  First off, the pendent lights we ordered had recessed light adapters on them.  It wasn’t too big of an issue because I was able to just splice off the adapter and hard wire it into the ceiling.  I love how these lights turned out.

The back splash on both sides of the kitchen is now finished.  Al finished the other wall today and installed the rest of the remaining cabinets that we had to get shipped because the originals that we ordered were cracked.  Now all of the cabinets and the back splash are up, along with the microwave.  Next up is the floor and ordering the granite.  We cannot wait to get the appliances moved in.

Busy Busy! Quick Update!

    I had taken 2 half days and a full day off this week to get some work done in the new house.  This would also allow me to work with Al (our contractor) to learn some things.  The heat wave hasn’t made things very easy on us but we were determined to make some good progress.  We got all of the cabinets put together on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday we put them up.  We love the way they look in the kitchen.  When they were on display in the store, we were sort of on the fence about them.   

Full Weekend of House Work

    This weekend was super busy.  Friday night we set a goal for what we wanted to accomplish this weekend and we made sure that we actually did it.  Our main goal was to tackle a few more of the old windows and paint the sun room.  Like I had mentioned a few posts ago, the sun room consists of 7 large, old wooden windows.  Instead of immediately spending what would probably be over a grand for that one room alone, we are going to repair and fix up the windows that are in there which will buy us a little time and make them look a lot nicer.  I ordered some new glass and grabbed some more window glaze.  Nicole picked up the painting supplies and we were ready to work all weekend.
    Saturday afternoon when we got back from Home Depot, we received a call from our friend Patrick.  He was bored and looking to help out so we told him to come down, we sure could use the help.  I started pulling windows out while Nicole started priming the room.  She wanted to prime it because of the old water stains that were present.  The paint we decided on was a light blue/gray.  It was a color that was going to go really well with the old mahogany.  Here are some “before” pictures:

    After Pat and I repaired the old windows, we joined Nicole and helped paint the room.  With three people doing it, it took hardly anytime at all.  Here are some “after” pictures.

     The room looks pretty awesome now.  We also took down the terrible Gothic light that was hanging from the ceiling and replaced it with a basic ceiling fan.  I installed a dimmer so that we didn’t have to have intense lighting while watching TV.
     The weekend flew by, but we got everything done that we set out to do.  Next weekend will be a new set of goals to accomplish!  Today I got to relax, as we went to Nicole’s mother’s house where I got to sit down for a few hours and watch the Red Bulls game.  It was soccer Sunday for me and I loved every minute of it.

Kitchen Remodel Phase 2: Knocking Out the Wall

    So the kitchen is fully gutted and today Al and I knocked out the wall dividing the kitchen and the dining room.  We will be putting up a new half wall, leaving a cut out and showing off a little counter space in the kitchen. 

The inside of the kitchen wall.  Prepare to meet your doom.

The breakthrough begins

Al has no mercy.

Almost through!

One thing we discovered is that when we tore out the wall the chimney was revealed.  The way it sat there between the cut out wall and the doorway gave Al an idea.  What if we keep the exposed chimney in that spot?  I loved it, we are looking to modernize the house, but we want to keep the old charm the house had that we fell in love with when we first walked in.  Juxtaposing the original brick fireplace in the house against the old original wood work, surrounded by new drywall and our (soon to be) new bamboo floors will hopefully give us that balance.

Completely opened up between the kitchen and dining room

Keep in mind the chimney will go right up to the ceiling, there’s still some plaster left to take down.  The chimney will just need to get cleaned off a little with a wire brush and it should look awesome when its all done.   

One of the best parts about tearing down walls in old homes is that you never know what you will find.  When we took out the ceiling in the kitchen, there were baseball cards galore from the mid 80’s up there (no, nothing valuable).  Today we found a 103 year old Buffalo newspaper.  The paper was disintegrating and crumbling to pieces but I managed to get a few good shots of it.

Kitchen Remodel Day 1

    Yesterday we closed on the house and we wasted no time getting in there.  The front door was beat up and in rough shape.  I was not comfortable with the door that was on there.  My mother works for a windows and door company so we were able to get a great new front door with really pretty stained glass.

This is the way the house looks now except the pillars have been painted.

The new door in the front.

The new door from the inside.

The new door was replaced this morning.  It took the install guy almost all day to re-frame the door.  Our house is really old so nothing is really level anymore and he had to re-build the frame according to the angles that the house has set at over the 120 or so year that its been around.  After a days work, he finally was able to put it in and it looks awesome.  The deadbolt lock is a finger scanner.  The concept is totally awesome however I haven’t been able to get it to work properly yet.  I ended up messing it up and the only way to reset what I had done was to pull the batteries out for 24 hours and then give it another try tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get it!  Then we will forever make Star Trek noises while scanning our thumbs to get in the house.
    When I finished work today at 2:30pm, I walked down to do some more work in the yard.  The back is pretty crazy and a complete mess.  I did some cleanup until our contractor arrived.  I thought that he was just dropping off his tools today, but within minutes we were tearing out that old kitchen.  We first ripped down the drop ceiling and then tore out all of the built in cabinets that were probably original to the house.  Each board that we yanked off was coated in 3 different wallpapers and covered in some sticky foreign substance.  It was pretty gross.

First we tore out the drop ceiling.

We then has to tackle the cabinet wall.

Here is Al our contractor, about half way done with the wall.

No mercy.

    After pulling down the drop ceiling and tearing this wall apart, we cleaned up and called it a day.  There was so much dust I could barely see, I  looked like a coal minor.  Tomorrow we plan on tearing out the ceiling, and knocking out a portion of the wall to the left of the cabinet wall.  This is going to open up the kitchen a lot more and really make it look awesome.  The older houses are large, but most of the time, they are split up into smaller rooms.  This kitchen needed something to make it bigger.  More to come tomorrow!

Awkward moment of the day:
    Our neighbor has a lawn service.  Before we actually closed on the house, we would walk by it every day to see it and make sure nothing was going on with it.  Nicole and I are a bit neurotic when it comes to these things.  One day we happened to see the lawn service for our neighbor dump the bag full of grass from their mower into the back yard area.  The backyard is shaped strangely and there is about a 3 foot section that belongs to our neighbor.  They were dumping the grass on that section.  I was about to explode.  When you dump a pile of grass clippings and let them sit in the sun for days, the pile starts to rot and stink.  I was not going to let this happen.  This afternoon, while I was in the back cleaning up, I saw the neighbor and approached her to introduce myself.  I then followed it up with, “Hey, do you always dump grass back here because it smells and rots.  You can’t really do that.”  She looked annoyed at me and proceeded to tell me that she didn’t know they were doing it.  She then mentioned to me that its possible that they were using it to fill in the hole in the back yard on her section.  I walked over to the pile of grass and stuck my foot in it to reveal the soggy, gross, hot, rotting mush of the old grass they had dumped last week.  I immediately told her “Yeah but you can’t use grass it rots…”  We exchanged a few weird words of pleasantry and that was it.  30 minutes later the landscapers came and tried doing it again!  She didn’t even say anything!  So I did.  They no longer do it, but I am not off to a good start with at least one neighbor…


             For about 7 years I’ve have been stuck screen printing clothing out of my apartment, all too small to be performing such work in. Unsightly ink smudges all over the sink with screens and paper towel everywhere, after while it can drive someone nuts (my girlfriend).  Well, it looks like that’s all about to change as we are about to buy a house.

           After looking at a handful of houses that were just not for us, and one house that I was actually angry that they had the nerve to show us, this old house above ended up being the one that we both fell in love with.  It was built in 1880 and is loaded with potential but we all know potential means tons of work.  We decided to go with the 203k FHA loan which basically lets us take out extra money in  the mortgage so that we can make repairs, which in this case is the non-existent kitchen and the awful, unfinished, bathroom.  There is some sagging in the house from it being so old and our inspector also noticed some support beams in the basement that were unacceptable.  The original beams were rotted out completely and were no longer holding up the house like they were supposed to.  So with that information, we held our firm position in that we were not going to get the house unless the buyer repaired the beams.  Our overaggressive and sometimes offensive buyers agent went in full swing and before we knew it, the posts were already being repaired.  We go and look at the finished work Tuesday so we will see if they are done correctly.  The same people that did work on the rest of the house are fixing the posts which is sort of unnerving because the other work they did was terrible.  We shall see!  Can’t wait to fix up the new Super Sweet Shirt, Co. studio!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑