Saturday, July 9, 2011

Major update and a torn apart home!

Wow that was one major hiatus!  But don't worry, my new goal is to try and put aside some time each night to work on the blog from now on! The main reason I've been so MIA lately is this house we recently bought.  My goodness is there a lot to be done!  Here's a rundown of how things have gone so far.

Since the house didn't have a deadbolt, the first thing I did was have Colin install one.  This was also a good excuse to bring the door out of the 80s.  Everything was going fine until Colin's drill ran out of batteries.  The rest of the installation sort of went how that picture up there looks.  However, the finished product was SO worth it, and it feels much safer having it installed (although it's good to know they didn't feel like they needed one!).
We're still trying to find a "brushed bronze" strike plate.
The next order of business was a new mailbox.  Our old mailbox was falling over, rusted, mossy and gross.  Luckily, our dear friends across the street noticed this and presented us with a brand spankin new one!  It's tough to tell in the picture, but it's actually huge!  Plenty of room for lots of freebies in there!
Continuing in our effort to spruce up the curb appeal a little bit, we installed this nice new doorbell!  The old one was gold and pretty gross.  I definitely would hesitate before ringing it.  This new one is pretty and even has a back light that turns on automatically once it gets dark!

Since we had a nice new door knob, and a nice new door bell, we figured it was time to get a nice new porch light!  Luckily home depot (our second home) had some fairly nice ones on super clearance, so we installed those too!  I don't love the glass section, but Colin really likes them so I gave in on this one :)

Finally, and quite possibly one of the biggest outdoor tasks yet, we raked out pine needles and did some serious weeding.  If you refer back to the "sold" picture, and then look at the progress in the picture below, you can see that all of our de-jungle tactics really paid off! (Colin even got me some cute green gardening gloves so that I would be more excited about helping!  He knows me so well :D)
Moving inside, one of the smaller but more noticeable projects we took on was replacing the old 80s light fixtures in the hallway.  There are three of them, and just switching them out for these new ones (also from HD and also on sale!), makes a huge difference when walking down the hall.
Old and gross.
New and pretty!
Quite possibly the biggest project yet, and something that takes up about 90% of our day, has been painting the bedrooms.  First, we had to rip out all of the wallpaper, and then pretty much reconstruct all of the walls with a ridiculous amount of spackle.  This was then followed by lots of sanding and lots of primer.  Here are the transformations so far room by room.  Just keep in mind that I took these at night, and we haven't installed any lighting yet so the colors aren't exactly like they look in the pictures.  Also excuse the giant piles of stuff in the center of each room.  We haven't exactly unpacked yet (and are still sleeping on the couch).

The dreaded pink room!!
After two coats of primer
The final product!  A nice light green color!
The master bedroom.  It was plain white before.  No wallpaper, but we did prime it because of all of the spackling we had to do.
Clearly Julius approves of this nice new gray color!
The front bedroom.  This room had two walls that were wallpaper with years of paint over it.  After stripping them we found out that the glue they used in who knows when had stained the walls and was pretty much impossible to get off.  After lots of spackle, sanding, and priming, we painted it this nice yellow color.  Now remember, it's night time and the light is from the flash.  I promise it's a much more muted yellow than it looks.
No, the ceiling is not yellow, it just looks that way.
The last thing we did was choose outlet covers for our newly painted rooms.  This was actually pretty difficult because I never thought about whether you're supposed to match your switch covers to the fixtures or the moulding.  Of course they never show things like that in the pictures in home improvement magazines, so after much deliberation I decided that the light switches would get the fancy covers, and the wall outlets would get nice new white outlets and covers.  This seemed like the way to go since we'll be putting in white moulding.  Here are some pictures so you can decide for yourself.  All I know is it's nice to get rid of the gross cracked and yellowed ones that were there before!
New white outlets and covers
Fancy bronze switch and cover
What you don't see in these pictures is all of the moulding my dear husband had to tear out in preparation for all of this.  Not only did he pull out all of the upstairs floor and door mouldings, but he also removed all of the nails to make sure that they were safe to get rid of.  It took pretty much forever.  We also removed all of the closet doors (most were either on backwards or had huge punched holes in them for some reason) and then painted the closets white.

Tomorrow we'll start painting the hallway, entry way, and living room and then we should be done with paint for a while!

We also ordered our laminate floors and moulding today from  If you're in the market for new floors and are ordering a large amount, I highly suggest you check them out.  They had the lowest prices we could find anywhere for the best product, and were able to give us even more of a discount when I called to talk to a sales rep.  I was initially drawn to them because they were willing to ship me out five free samples (no credit card needed) overnight, but once I saw the product I was thoroughly impressed.  We were able to purchase 12mm sound/cushioner pad attached laminate in the perfect dark color we were looking for for $1.74/sq. ft.  It was a fantastic deal!

I'll be sure to post an update as we continue to paint and get things fixed up around here.  It's a lot of work, but each night we're able to go to bed exhausted and excited about how the house is changing and coming back to life!

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