March 31, 2009

Week two

Posted in Home at 9:21 pm by ListenMaudy

I am no longer counting days since I just can’t post that often. We are staying up too late and doing too much work for me to post every day. Thus, I am counting our remodeling in weeks, not days. Besides, days would get too high and be really depressing.

Remodeling is totally exhausting. This weekend, my family came up (Yay family!) to help us out. We demolished a bunch of walls, moved the bar out of the kitchen, and went out to dinner. 🙂

I spent most of Friday and Saturday morning chiseling bricks off of the fireplace. The fireplace looks much better, but my left hand looks significantly worse. There are some pictures of our progress on Flickr.

There’s been a lot of stuff going on, but I just can’t think of much right now. We decided that we need to take a break every week, so we are going to relax on Mondays from now on, in theory.

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March 28, 2009

Connected once more

Posted in Home at 9:35 pm by ListenMaudy

We finally have internet in our new house! We got it installed yesterday, which really seems like a long time ago at this point. It’s not like we have had all that much time to catch up on the happenings on the internet or watch any tv, though.

This week, we finished moving and cleaned the apartment. Muffin turned in the keys yesterday, so we are completely finished with that place. It seemed like we would never be able to say that; it was slow going this week. Now, I should never have to go back there. Thank goodness.

Since we spent so much time dealing with getting out of the apartment, we  didn’t make much progress on the house this week. We are a little behind schedule, but I had never scheduled time for things like picking out tile and ordering kitchen cabinets and appliances. That’s what we did today instead of demo; that way we avoid paying the extra sales tax when it’s increased this week.

We should be doing all of our demo tomorrow, so I will try to post pictures Monday morning. The house should look totally different once the walls are torn down, and I’m really excited to see how it looks after that.

March 23, 2009

Remodeling – Day 1

Posted in Home at 3:51 pm by ListenMaudy

This weekend was the start of demo on the house. Since we don’t have permits yet, we started small, with the lanai in the backyard, the built-in in the living room, all of the carpet, and the popcorn ceiling in the spare bedroom. My dad and my sister-in-law came up to help with everything. My sister double-booked herself, so she had to cancel. My mom stayed home to watch their baby, my adorable little niece (who just started saying my name!).

We started with the lanai at my dad’s suggestion, and I’m so glad we did. It didn’t take longer than I had anticipated, but it was so much harder. The lanai basically just tipped over on its own. We removed the crossbeams that were supporting the main posts and then got ready to push. All four of us got in position to give it a mighty heave, and as soon as we all started pushing, it tipped right over. The metal brackets anchoring the beams just broke right in half. After that, we spent the next hour hauling wood and breaking up the grapevine.

I had thought that the grapevine was completely dead, but when we came over this week, there were little buds all over it. I’m really sad we had to prune it so badly. I hope it recovers and we can keep it. I don’t think Muffin will want to keep it, but it would be so cool to grow grapes in our backyard!

After the lanai, we got to work on the built-in in the living room. It was a hundred times sturdier than the lanai was, so it took a huge amount of sledge hammering to get it out of there. It was anchored to the floor and to the wall, but we finally got it all out.

Next, we moved on to the carpet. That was surprisingly easy, but getting the tack strips out was so difficult. It took what seemed like hours to get them up. There are still nails from the strips in our concrete. We did find really old linoleum tiles under the carpet. It’s no hardwood, but it’s really entertaining. You can see the footprint of the original house because they had lino tiles throughout the whole house. I mean, everywhere. Awesome. I hope we can just put our new floors over the lino, so we won’t have to remove it all. That would be ridiculously difficult and time consuming.

While we were doing all of this, Muffin had started scraping the popcorn off the spare bedroom ceiling. We switched places after I had done one room of carpet, so I did about half of the popcorn scraping. My forearms are completely exhausted today; it was so hard to keep your wrist at such an awkward angle while scraping the ceiling. Now, the ceiling is plain drywall, and it makes the room seem so much smaller. It’s also so much creepier.

After all of that, one of the last things we did was removing two decorative posts from the living room. They were horrible, carved posts that looked like a giant banister. They were also a weird and gross putty color. Once they were out, the room looked even bigger than after we had just removed the built-in. It was a dramatic improvement.no-more-built-in

Muffin also repaired the gate, so the dogs now cannot get out of the backyard. The first two boards looked like they had gotten chewed apart by a big dog, so the whole bottom corner of the gate was missing. Since Figaroo is too adventurous for his own good (or ours), he would have been off to explore the neighborhood. Loth probably never would have made it out the whole. There isn’t any food out there, why would he want to do that?!

Luckily, after all of the demo, we think that our design and our plans will work out really well in the house. I was afraid that we were making poor decisions in the long run, but now, I am convinced that we are on the right track. We might ruin it by picking terrible colors and finishes, but the basic remodel is looking good so far. I’m really excited, even though it now seems like it’s going to be ridiculously tiring and difficult. I think it will all pay off in the end.

(You can see pictures at my Flickr page here.)

March 20, 2009

Success at last!

Posted in Home at 6:18 am by ListenMaudy

We finally closed on the house! After we signed the second set of documents, we just sat around and waited. And waited. And waited. Just like we had been doing before we signed the second set of documents, honestly.

Not too much happened during that time. We had disagreement with our realtor, in which her main argument appeared to be, “I’m a person, and I have feelings!” That discussion didn’t go well, as I’m sure you can imagine. Our mortgage broker was awesome and harassed the lenders constantly to get us closed.

Now, that is all over! Muffin had a POD delivered, so we moved about 15 crates into it yesterday. Oh, I might have a story to tell about getting our moving boxes. The sad thing is that we will now be really busy with remodeling.

I really want to take a bunch of pictures to show our progress, but that seems like such a major commitment. I don’t know if I can do it. I’ll do my best though because there is going to be  lot of remodeling going on. It all starts this weekend with some minor demo. We can’t do major demo until we have permits, so we’re tearing out the built-ins, the carpet, and the popcorn ceiling.

I’ll try to take before and after pictures. Well, I’m sure I’ll take them. I’m just even worse about uploading pictures than I am about taking them! I’ll do my best!

March 9, 2009

More documents

Posted in Everyday, Home at 7:11 am by ListenMaudy

Muffin and I had to leave work early on Friday to drive 45 minutes away to sign another set of loan documents. Since we are getting absolutely nowhere with our lender, we sent our loan out to a second lender in hopes that they will be able to fund our loan this week and get us into our house.

The thing is, there were apparently no notaries available to drive the 45 minutes to us on Friday. At 2:15pm, our mortgage broker called to tell me that we needed to drive to Oxnard to sign the documents by 4pm. We were going to have to leave work two hours early on 45 minutes notice on a Friday. Thank god neither of us is that busy at work right now, but it was still a huge pain. There were things I was trying to finish up that suffered because of my time crunch.

Luckily, we made it to the escrow company before 4pm and signed the second set of loan documents. Our mortgage broker still wants to send our loan out to another lender, just in case neither of the first two can close this week. I’m really hoping the second lender comes through this week, for two reasons. First, because they gave us a 5% APR, instead of the 5.125% we had with the first lender. Second, I do not want the first lender to make a dime off of our loan. They screwed us over, so they can go to hell. At this point, we will save more money closing a week later at 5% than tomorrow at 5.125%, so I am ready to wait it out.

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