Let’s Do It Again

Back in February, 2013, I decided to throw our old-fashioned television away since we could not even give it away.

Side view of the old hulk which is about 2 feet tall and weighs a ton.

Side view of the old hulk which is about 2 feet tall and weighs a ton.

Charlie rescued it.

Do you see the rhino on top of the dresser? (Elephant removed recently.)

Do you see the rhino on top of the dresser? (Elephant removed recently.)

Not this time, Buddy, it’s leaving!

Stop hugging that TV.

Stop hugging that TV.

We took it to Best Buy

Our local Best Buy takes old TVs up to 32 inches.

Our local Best Buy takes old TVs up to 32 inches.

and said bye-bye.

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying.

I can’t tell if he’s laughing or crying.

Does your significant other like to hang on to things? Or are YOU the culprit?

It Doesn’t Look Like Much

This past weekend we tried to finish a few projects and totally failed in that department.

The master bathroom is beginning to look like a room albeit a purple one.

The master bathroom is beginning to look like a room albeit a purple one.

For instance I was hoping to get the master bath greenboarded and Hardiebackered.  (Yes, I’m coining new verbs.)

The greenboard (ours is actually purple) is finished.

The greenboard (ours is actually purple) is finished.

The green board is finished but we have 3 more pieces of Hardie backer to install before we can say “finished”.

The space above the bench in the master shower still wants some Hardie backer.

The space above the bench in the master shower still wants some Hardie backer.

Then I was planning to start mudding the master closet.

Master closet before the purge.

Master closet before the purge.

We cleaned the closet removing all the scraps and mess that had accumulated.

Drywall shards and other debris have been disposed of.

Drywall shards and other debris have been disposed of.

The right hand wall of the master closet has enough space to temporarily house our two tall dressers.

The right hand wall of the master closet has enough space to temporarily house our two tall dressers.

Once the closet was neat I thought we should try instead to move the chests of drawers from the master bedroom into the closet.

We'll get rid of the old TV and store the tall dressers in the closet until the master bedroom is painted.

We’ll get rid of the old TV and store the tall dressers in the closet until the master bedroom is painted.

The object is to paint the master bedroom which is already mudded and ready to be painted.

This was the master bedroom on Saturday morning.

This was the master bedroom on Saturday morning.

Unfortunately we just didn’t get that far enough to start painting.

We made a slight improvement but there's more to do.

We made a slight improvement but there’s more to do.

Although things are looking better they’re not much improved.  Maybe I can do a small task everyday this week and be ready to paint the master bedroom.  After all, I bought the paint months ago.

Do you change your mind in mid-stream? Does it work for you?

 

A Horrible Placeholder

In order to have a final electrical inspection we need to have a vanity fixture in the conservatory bathroom the over the spot where the vanity will be.

I guess we won't be putting cabinet recessed between the studs over the sink.

The electric wire for the vanity light is right next to a dryer exhaust pipe which prohibits installation of an electric box.

The fixture must be a strip light because it’s impossible to put an electrical box in that spot.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

I have never been a fan of strip lights but we bought the cheapest one ($11) Lowes sells. (Home Depot prices started at $15.)

This 18-inch fixture is supposed to have globe bulbs which are not included.

This 18-inch fixture is supposed to have globe bulbs which are not included.

First Charlie hooked all the wires together with wire nuts matching same color wires coming from the wall to those on the fixture.

The light should hang on the two screws.

The light should hang on the two screws.

Then he tried to hang the fixture on screws and it just wouldn’t happen.  That’s when I read the directions. (I know, girl stuff.)

Since there is not a box in which to stash the wires we pulled them through to the front of the back plate which was screwed tight to the wall.

Since there is not a box in which to stash the wires we pulled them through to the front of the back plate which was screwed tight to the wall.

Following the instructions we took the thing apart, rewired it, hung the back plate on the screws, and attached the front plate with the trim cups.

The fixture actually calls for globe bulbs but we didn't spring for them.

The fixture actually calls for globe bulbs but we didn’t spring for them.

When we flipped the switch only one light bulb worked but that’s because 2 of them were faulty.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Now isn’t that about the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen. I hope it passes inspection.

What cheap and tawdry decisions have you made?

 

 

Another Item Ticked Off the List

On Friday the electricians came to finish up all the electrical issues remaining in the roughed-in areas of the house. They couldn’t finish until the drywall was installed which we did.

We drywalled this last piece of wall inside the conservatory closet doors where the closet light is supposed to go.

We drywalled this last piece of wall inside the conservatory closet doors where the closet light is supposed to go.

A 4-foot fluorescent lights the inside of the conservatory closet now.

A 4-foot fluorescent lights the inside of the conservatory closet now.

In the mean time the electrician had to hang temporary low-budget fixtures to hold the place of something decent better.

According to code the hallways and closet in our new master suite, even though unfinished, required working fixtures.

According to code the hallways and closet in our new master suite, even though unfinished, required working fixtures.

They didn’t finish because of a code issue that cropped up. For example, in the conservatory bathroom the over-vanity fixture must be installed but  a “box” is impossible due to pipes behind the wall so we need to find an acceptable strip light before the final inspection can be made.

I guess we won't be putting cabinet recessed between the studs over the sink.

The electric wire for the vanity light is right next to a dryer exhaust pipe which prohibits installation of an electric box.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

I have never been a fan of strip lights but that’s the only choice I have so we’ll probably buy and install a really cheap one and worry about aesthetics later.

All of the outlets and switches need faceplates.

All of the outlets and switches need faceplates.

All the electric in the house works and the outlets and switches are fully functional.

All the electric in the house works and the outlets and switches are fully functional.

The final electrical inspection is supposed to happen sometime in the next 30 days.

What compromises are you making?

Things Are NOT Heating Up

Since the new appliances have been installed we’ve had 2 major fails:  One of the strikers on the kitchen stove stopped clicking and the microwave stopped working.

Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.

Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.

Both appliances are still under warranty so we called the companies to get some satisfaction and here’s what happened.  The front left (and most used) burner on the stove would not ignite due to the striker being bad.  Something I didn’t know but subsequently found out is that all the strikers are connected together.  If one doesn’t work you can use a clicking one from another burner and the burner that’s out will also light.

Electric ignition strikers for the stove

Electric ignition strikers for the stove

 When the repairman came out with the new part he had to remove all the old strikers and replace them because they come batched together.

Formerly faulty burner

Formerly faulty burner

The repair was free because we’re still under warranty. The stove is working again. Yea!

Our microwave is only 2 months old.

Our microwave is only 2 months old.

Next the microwave stopped working.  The lights are on but none of the buttons will push.  Charlie called the company and after telling them the problem they said to send a receipt for the purchase which we did by email.

MicrowaveAfter receiving the receipt our customer service rep told us to cut off the plug and send it to them then they would send us a new microwave in 2 to 3 weeks.  Charlie called back to ask them to send us a pre-posted envelope since we shouldn’t be expected to have any expense connected with the exchange. The company is sending us an envelope.

We're back to using our old microwave for a few weeks.

We’re back to using our old microwave for a few weeks.

Our old (at least 40 years old) stove was small and nasty but it always worked.  These new appliances are very frustrating.

Is there an item of which you would prefer the old model?

 

The Next Chapter

We began planning to renovate The Glade in April of 2011 by hiring an architect who took about a year to get us actual working drawings. In the Fall of 2012 with drawings in hand we got our plans OK’d through the historic commission. After a false start we hired a contractor in April, 2013. So the preliminary work took us two years.

The Glade in 2011.

The Glade in 2011.

The Glade in 2014

The Glade in 2014

The contractor we hired has finished his contracted services here, here, and here. That leaves us with an extensive unfinished renovation list which we are either going to try to do-it-ourselves or contract out on a job-by-job basis.

The Glade in 2011

The Glade in 2011

The Glade in 2014.

The Glade in 2014.

This is not an exhaustive (although exhausting) list but it covers most of the major tasks:

  1. Finish conservatory  ConservatoryDrywall
  2. Finish conservatory bathroom

    Conservatory bathroom

    Conservatory bathroom

  3. Finish master bathroom

    Master bathroom

    Master bathroom

  4. Finish master closet

    Master closet

    Master closet

  5. Install deck with rail outside master bedroom

    The deck outside the master bedroom is the roof of the conservatory (in the foreground above).

    The deck outside the master bedroom is the roof of the conservatory (in the foreground above).

  6. Finish master bedroom

    Master bedroom. YIKES!!!

    Master bedroom. YIKES!!!

  7. Landscape property

    The front, back and side yards near the house need to be landscaped.

    The front, back and side yards near the house need to be landscaped.

  8. Prepare Cottage for rental

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

  9. Paint and trim dining room

    The dining room

    The dining room

  10. Paint exterior trim and shingles

    The new and old shingles need to be painted so they'll match.

    The new and old shingles need to be painted so they’ll match.

While I’ve said that finishing with our contractor is the end of the beginning, I wouldn’t characterize the near future (next 2 years) as the beginning of the end but rather “The Next Chapter”.

How does your next chapter read?

The Corner Clutter Challenge

Last week, at UnF Your Habitat the challenge was to deal with invisible corners. “These are the little piles, stacks, or collections of random things that have settled into odd spaces like the corner of a room, under a table, at the end of a counter, etc. that have become so much a part of the everyday landscape of our homes that we don’t even notice them anymore.”

Two bulletin boards lurking behind my bedroom door.

Two bulletin boards lurking behind my bedroom door.

I looked behind the door of my bedroom and saw a small bulletin board I didn’t even remember having.

Any bit of wrapping paper or fabric would do.

Any bit of wrapping paper or fabric would do.

I covered it with a bit of cheery wrapping paper,

Until we hang something on  it the bulletin board is a happy field of daisies.

Until we hang something on it the bulletin board is a happy field of daisies.

and hung it in the pantry for those items that might have, in a former time, been magneted to the refrigerator.

Aren't you happy to see a fire extinguisher in our pantry.

Aren’t you happy to see a fire extinguisher in our pantry.

One more bit of corner clutter cleaned up. Oh, yeah.

What’s in your corner? Or who?