This week, we had the basement dry walled from head to toe. That means that we got rid of the 1970′s style fake wood dark paneling and the groovy wallpaper covering the staircase. I will admit that covering over the wallpaper was not an easy decision, as that was some of the swingin’est, grooviest wallpaper I’ve ever set eyes on. However, from a purely practical perspective, it was the right thing to do. From an emotional perspective, I never would have touched the stairwell and the wallpaper would have stayed.
In addition to drywalling the basement, we are going to get new carpeting to replace the funky, dirty old carpet that is currently there.
So more pictures are to come when the basement is more complete.
This week, we replaced the 1970′s style white tiles in the main hallway with hardwood flooring,. So now, the hardwood floor flows seamlessly from the main hallway into the TV room. We do still need to put in baseboards and just clean up the hall walls, as they are a mess with all the work done this past weekend. Replacing the tiles is something we’ve wanted to do since we moved in, and based on the difficulty in removing the said tiles, we probably should have done this before we moved in. Ah, hindsight. If you ever see a house that you like, and it has some ugly tiles that need to be removed, remove them before you move in. Trust me.
Its been a long while since I’ve updated this area of the site about the progress we’ve made on the house.
In the early summer, we had some trees cut down from the property outside. It really cleaned up the outside and let more sun hit the house and yard, but as the summer has moved on, sometimes I look around and it does not feel like we did a thing. I am already eyeing several other trees that I want to remove. We are really going to try to focus on the outside of the house to get that straightened out. It’s a mess.
As for the inside, we’ve been doing little things here and there, but no big projects to speak of. I’ve been trying to clear out the basement to get that renovated from its 1970′s dark wood paneling, and I made some great progress during the July 4th week. My big project downstairs is to clean the masonry walls in the unfinished part of the basement, paint them with a sealent, and then install lots of shelves so that all our stuff can be stored there. Not an easy task.
We really want to update the hallway and install hardwood floors, and update the 1/2 bathroom in the hallway, but that’s a bigger project than we think. But apart from the basement, its the last fairly big project inside the house (the kitchen does not count, because that’s a project that is off the charts).
So this week marks our first year living in our house. I suppose we can’t call it “our new house” anymore…its just our plain old house. So what did mother nature do to help us celebrate? She dumped 2 feet of snow on February 13th. Below are some photos of our cars buried in snow in our driveway.
On the whole, our first year has been great. We have made an immense amount of progress in updating and renovating the house. We have really transformed the interior rooms from the state they were in when we purchased. The kitchen is the one space we would like to really overhaul, however as we all know, renovating that room requires a huge chunk of cash. The one space that still needs a great deal of work is the basement and we are still working on that.
So, happy birthday house. Its been a great first year. Here’s to 29 more good years here (at least!).
Here is the finished living room. The tables are there because we hosted Thanksgiving this year and we turned the living room into the dining room to accomidate all the guests/relatives/friends. The room ended up far exceeding my expectations. The bookcases and the wall color are great and I am just thrilled with it. And for a point of comparision, below is how the space looked when we purchased the house. Note that it only had one doorway. We broke through the wall to create a 2nd doorway to improve the flow in the room and the entire first floor. My previous post from 11.01.05 has some photos from when we were in the middle of painting the fireplace and some photos from before the shelves were installed.
I literally spent this weekend raking (or actually, moving) just an immense volume of leaves off my front and back yards. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many leaves in one concentrated area. And the irony is that after spending the better part of Saturday and Sunday cleaning the leaves, I still did not finish. There is a huge pile of leaves in the backyard still and the back corner of the property has a huge amount of leaves that still needs removal. Hope to get photos posted shortly.
Herre are some before and “almost after” shots of our soon to be Living Room and the built in shelves we had installed. My goal was to have the room painted and prepped before the shelves were to be installed, but the carpenter actually finished the shelves about a month early and that threw my plans and schedule off. This is the last room on the first floor that needs a full overhaul (obviously). As you can see in the first few photos, I am in the process of painting the 1970′s monstrosity that is the fireplace to make it somewhat more visually appealing. The prospect of ripping that out of the house entirely is just too scary for me.
We recently had the floors sanded in the main living room, the dining room, and in the upstairs hallway. We also had the rancid carpet in the TV room removed and replaced with hardwood floors. With that work done, I was able to finally install the basboards in these rooms. Below are some photos of the final results (yes, we still need to put things on the walls. That seems to be a common theme throughout the house!). If you want to see the “before” and “during” photos, visit my Flickr ‘House’ tag. There are also some fun photos of the kitchen with all our stuff piled up since the rooms had to be completely cleared out to do the sanding and floor installation.
So we had a little bit of an adventure today. Lisa and I were just about to sit down for a nice, quiet breakfast today (I had taken today, tomorrow off from work and the kids were in daycare) in our dining room. And we turned on the light, and soon after we smelled something burning. Turns out that one of the plugs in the dining room started to smoke!!! We immediately turned the lights off and called the fire department. A couple of minutes later, East Brunswick’s finest were at our door looking all over the house. Luckily, there was no fire and it was nothing more than smoke. The plug box had some loose “end caps” that were shorting out the connection. So we turned off the circuit for that plug area. But it was definitely a little bit scary. Now we are trying to get an electrician to come by to check out the scene and fix the faulty plug.
We caved in and had a new roof installed on the house. The old roof was the orginal roof, so all we had to do was install the new roof on top, which saved some cash. There were some serious rain storms in August and we noticed some leaks near the back of the house. When we had some roofers check out the roof back there, they said it would not last the winter. So we had to do it. The roof looks good. Its something we knew we had to do, but were hoping it would last a year or so.