Friday, December 17, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Friday, December 17
I've got good news and bad news.
We're starting with bad.
We all woke up this morning horribly sick from sleeping in the house. The pet dander and residual cigarette smoke damage really got into our chests & sinuses overnight, and we all suffered all day as a result. I thought the basement carpet was good enough to let Codie play on, and three minutes of floor time proved me wrong. I laid down a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl, and picked up a tabby. Ick. I attempted to vacuum up more cat hair, and my Oreck went caput. Fortunately, I get free maintenance. Kids & I went out running errands today (and taking the vacuum to its doctor) and started feeling a lot better in the fresh air.
We met with Zach at Jabara's when he got off work and learned that we can replace the carpet throughout the whole house for about $1,600. This includes installation and a good quality pad. Installer is coming out Sunday to get the exact square footage calculated.
Then we headed to Lumber Liquidators and picked up some gorgeous laminate for the main floor at .85/sq ft. The pricing was actually $1.15 on the finish we chose, but I mentioned that I saw it discounted online and the rep seemed eager to accommodate. We got underlayment at $15/100 sq ft roll. 335 sq ft of laminate + underlayment + some finishing pieces for the staircase area = $400.50.
A house rid of this cat smell and hair is worth far far more than $2,000 in my book. I. Am. ECSTATIC.
We came home from all the excitement and the smell is like a ton of bricks walking in the door. We were so nauseated we had to leave, which means back to crashing in Mom and Dad's basement until the flooring is all ripped out.

The Dumpster was dropped off this morning (at $220 from Waste Connections - by far the lowest we found, but also franchised in Derby), and I'm sure our neighbors want it gone already.

Amount spent today: $620.50
Amount spent to date: $

Case Closed!

Thursday, December 16
We closed today!!!! Hallelujah! Wednesday was a very frustrating date of failed communication with our lender (I would never ever recommend working with Supreme Lending or Just go to Fidelity or Meritrust), and we were beginning to fear we would not meet 0ur closing deadline. Documents were sent over, however, and we are in! For a substantial amount less than we expected, to boot. Hellloooo flooring options!
Didn't make much progress on the house today, as we have had crazy errands to run all day for things not home-related (I forgot there WAS a world outside of this project).
Tonight is our first sleepover in the basement. Here's to hoping Zach doesn't freeze my bras!

I'll put him inside a box, and put that box inside another box...

Wednesday, December 15
Let's start this off with a confession: I did not set foot in the new house once until after dark. Supposedly I was busy cleaning out our old rental (we turned the keys over today), but really I just needed a mental health moment.
It has been decided that it is impossible to make any true progress with kids in the house. As previously stated, they can't be allowed to play in a space so filthy, which means I'm so busy keeping them out of the filth that I make no progress on ridding the place of filth.
So Carson went to play with Mary tonight (hooray!).
I'm getting tired of crashing my parents' basement and living out of shopping bags, so I worked my tail end off into the night to get the kitchen completely unpacked (check! Organized logically? That's for another day) and boxes out of the main living areas. Our bedroom and Carson's bedroom have become the catch-alls for packed boxes. Main floor, kitchen, Codie's room and den are now usable spaces (except for the cat hair and revolting odor everywhere). Zach had already gone to bed at my parents' by the time I got the boxes done, so tomorrow night should be our first night in our new home!

Amount spent today: $0
Amount spent to date: $

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Riding Solo (for real this time)

Tuesday, December 14
So yesterday I claimed that rode solo on the house, when truthfully the kids were with Brandi most of the day. Today, they really were home with us clear through until dinner time. Since we moved our beds into the new house yesterday, and it's not quite livable yet, we stayed overnight at my parents' last night. We got the kids over to the new house with us this morning around 10, and Carson's face was priceless. I opened the door for him and he was in awe. "That's our couch!? And our chair?! And my table?! This is my new house!!" I wish I'd videotaped it, he was so excited.
I, on the other hand, was less excited. The cat smell is back with a vengeance! I tried starting laundry again, but it's just not keeping up with the major damages this home has suffered. We decided today that the carpet in the main floor is not salvageable, and must be replaced within weeks. We are set to close tomorrow, and need to see where our savings account is at after this. I just can't put Codie on floor that has this kind of filth (which produces an angry Codie, which means I'm holding Codie all day long, which means I'm getting nothing done on the house).
Lucky for us, the cable is still on in this house. I was able to get Carson set up in the den watching cartoons while Zach demoed the bathtub (it had a hole knocked through it). We got a new bathtub. We could have saved money with a $109 steel tub, but we knew we wanted a deep fiberglass model that was $239. Why pay $100 for something you're eventually going to replace with a $200 model? Nicer tub won. We aren't ready to tile the surround in that bathroom yet, so Zach picked up a veneer-like surround surface at $12/panel. We're not sure if it's waterproof. We just won't shower in that bathroom until it's actually tiled. Do as we say, not as we do, because we KNOW this temporary fix was sketchy.
I went through the house vacuuming the ceilings and walls (you read that right) to get rid of all the cobwebs. Can't say I've ever done that before, and by the looks of it, no one had at this place either. We have amazing vaulted ceilings in the living room, and a chandelier hanging from the highest pitch.The chandelier chain has collected a LOT of dust over the last 18 years, and I have no idea how to clean it! I've extended out the vacuum hose as long as I can, put the vacuum on top of a chair, climbed an 8 ft ladder, and STILL can't get to the top! Maybe we'll just worry about that when we're replacing that light.
When Carson got restless with cartoons, we started putting up our Christmas tree. Didn't get too far, so it's a little Charlie Brownish for us right now.
Kids went to my mom's for dinner, and that gave Zach and I a little time to prime the living room. It's already white, but we've heard (and hope) that priming will help deodorize. I'm unsure of how safe it is to have our kids in this place until we get the smell out.

Total amount spent today: $239 + 24 + x
Total amount spent to date: $378 + ? + x

Riding Solo

Monday, December 13
Today was our first day of working on moving with two kids and no extra help. It went so well that, by noon, I was en route to dropping the kids off with our dear friend Brandi. We did get a decent amount of things moved in the AM, but only because Zach was taking trips back and forth alone while I stayed home with the kids and tried to get the next trip prepared. The Patron (Matron?) Saint Brandi kept the kids until 8, so we were able to get the big daily use items moved in - couch, beds, etc. I got the kitchen cabinets vacuumed and scrubbed out and most of our boxes unpacked. We also got some laundry started (this helped a LOT with improving the smell of the home. Thank you, Gain, for the creation of Apple Mango Tango). Zach got a little chainsaw excited and took out bushes that were blocking the front of the home and an apple tree whose roots were growing into the foundation. We met a few sets of neighbors, all GREAT people. We apologized for the current state of the house, and the construction site they will have to tolerate for the next several months (if not years). They reassured us that they were used to the house as it's been for the last ten years, and everyone is excited to see someone fixing it up.
Now that we have more valuable items in the house, Zach decided it was time to change the locks. Also, the original key we received was a K-State key, and that just wasn't going to fly. Zach got us some pretty brushed nickel doorknobs. We debated for oil-rubbed bronze (or whatever the dark stuff is that's modern), but decided we'd have to change out EVERYTHING (light fixtures, faucets, etc.) to maintain continuity, whereas nickel will go well enough with some of our existing chrome. Zach has the receipt for this, so $ amount to come.
We went to pick up the kids together, and I really wanted to bring Carson by the new house to show him that our furniture is now in there. He was passed out long before we returned to Derby, and it's not wise to wake a sleeping toddler so you can show him that you have upended all that he found stable in his world. He'll see it tomorrow.

Total amount spent today: $?
Total amount spent to date: $115 + ?

Whistle While You Work

Do de doo doo do de doo

Sunday, December 12
Teresa & Mark came up from Ark City to help us move (thaaank goodness). Last time they helped us move it was on their 25th wedding anniversary and a washer got dropped down the stairs. Therefore, this move was an epic success. Zach got his work ethic from his dad, and those two worked like machines, making trips back and forth of all our heaviest and bulkiest things. I mainly hung around the house, packing up boxes and working diligently while NOT sitting and talking to my mother-in-law or playing with babies AT ALL.
I got to follow Zach & Mark as they moved the Saab (a 60s family car Zach is restoring) to the new house, and got pictures of it on the street for the first time in decades. Now, it was being pulled and not running, but still! On the street! The experience was complete with a pit stop - the wheel was wobbling dangerously and needed tightened.
Remember the great plan to leave windows open to air out the house? Turns out, this was the most intensely windy night in a long time, and as a result the hinges to several windows broke. Whoops. One of the only things that didn't need replaced in the home. I know of 5 windows that need replaced (the house has 6 total). I'm hoping the hinges are sold at hardware stores, because the glass window itself is fine. Zach got them shut for now and will weather strip them, and we'll revisit the topic in the spring.
We also learned that the garage door is broken, which was unexpected. We assumed the motor to the opener was burned out, but the door itself has been backed into and will not fit in the track anymore. This means a LOT of grunting and showing of plumber's crack to get the door open. We're expecting at least $1500 for a new door and opener, and this will just have to wait.
In the afternoon, Zach & Mark took a break and watched the Chiefs get embarrassed (curses to you, Matt Cassel's lack of appendix!!) while the kids napped, and Teresa and I went to the house to do another round of vacuuming and prep work for the carpet cleaner.
And then Rafael showed up.
Riding on a cloud, surrounded in a halo of light, was our hero. Hallelujah! He is a miracle worker. See picture for the "during" shot. You can literally watch the dirt come up. Now, granted, he sprayed some deodorizer that is surely going to wear off over time, but by the end of his work, the pet smell was gone!!
He did 4 rooms, 2 landings and 2 staircases on a weekend for $115. Rafael works for Color Brite in Wichita, FYI, if you want work done. 316-393-2548.

Total amount spent today: $115
Total amount spent to date: $115

Holy Moly, WHAT DID WE BUY!?

Saturday, December 11
Got the keys to the home (YAY!!) at 12:30. We don't technically close until Wednesday, but taking prior possession to get the place livable before we leave our rental.
Lots (and lots. and lots) of things left behind from the former owners. Some of them we don't mind, like a few powerful vacuums with attachments, and a couple of TVs. Some of them aren't as great of finds, like a surge protector inside of a laundry detergent bottle (whaa?) and one huge, heavy deep freeze we have to lug out of the basement.
We spent the first few hours getting all of the stuff out to the garage, and then went nuts vacuuming and scrubbing. There's a horrible pet odor that seems hopeless. To tackle this, we tore down all the curtains and made sure all fabrics were removed from the house. We also left the windows open overnight (utilities aren't in our name yet) to try to free the scent out. The carpet in the master bedroom was so soiled with pet waste that hadn't been cleaned that it was not salvageable. We decided we'd rather live on subflooring than live on dried waste, and ripped it out. As for the rest of the carpets, a highly recommended carpet cleaner by the name of Rafael is coming out tomorrow. If he's as legit as his ninja turtle namesake, the house should be tolerable when his magic is done.

Total amount spent today: $0
Total amount spent to date: $0