Monday, August 29, 2011

A Let Down Kinda Day :(

Time is of the essence right now, more than ever. I have two days left as I write this email. My handyman didn't come until after 4 pm with all the supplies...only to work on the air conditioner that quit, which I didn't ask him to do but I guess he felt it was too warm in the house to work without it. After two hours of that and determining that it was completely dead with a failed motor, he said he was done for the day. Not one sheet of drywall or one sheet of cement backer board was laid. All that work Daddy and I did on Sunday to get the room ready could have been spread out a bit more. *SIGH* But, he said he'd be back tomorrow morning early to work on the room.

In the meantime I worked more on scraping the tub, then I caulked the windows, doors and other areas in the Master Bedroom, found a hall closet with wallpaper in it and finished most of it, and went and bought some insulation then cut and placed it inside the exterior walls of the bathroom so at least one room in the house will be insulated for sure. Here we go:

That's the only picture I took today as the other things aren't really too big in the overall prep but all are very important nonetheless.

I really am getting concerned this house won't be ready in two days, despite all my hard work....this needs to happen:
I need a fridge
I need a floor backer board in the bathroom
I need walls in the bathroom
I need the floor tiled
I need to put the toilet down
There's a hole in my living room ceiling that's not been addressed yet
All room floors need to be scraped, swept and then mopped
I need blinds for all the windows
I need to PACK my things here at the apartment
I need to MOVE all my things from here to there
The remainder of that closet needs wall paper scraped
The electrical boxes need to be attached in the laundry room
The bottom of the cabinet under the kitchen sink needs to addressed around the plumbing
I need to figure out what I'll use as an AC
I need a new front door (exterior)
I need a new side door (exterior)
I need a new lock on the garage
I need a new lock on the front door
I need a new lock on the side door
The broken storm door on the front needs to be removed
It would be nice if I can paint just the back of the area where the toilet will go in but somehow I don't think I'm going to make it  that far :(
The tub needs a thorough cleaning
The holes in the drywall need to be patched in all rooms except the studio/office
The closets need to be washed down inside
The holes need to be patched inside the closets

Ok, I think that's all but ummm there's two days left. I haven't a clue how to finish it all except do my very best and let things fall where they may.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walls Windows and There's a Tub Under that Mess!

It's demolished!! The bathroom walls are gone gone gone - and thank you Daddy for all the help!!

First of all let me say that youtube videos are awesome. Last night I watched several on how to remove the tub faucet, knobs, shower head and it worked! I popped that little cap off each of those knobs and unscrewed those knobs and then the trim behind it, just like the video showed me and it worked! I never could figure out how to get the spout off so we just worked around it. It may just be on there way too tight but we made it ok with it there. I'll get my handyman to get it off as I'm sure he has the right tools. Since I've been in apartment living, you can imagine the tools I have....very very few lol

But here we go - the walls are down!

And a reminder of what that tub looked like on the top edges with the moldy blackened caulk:

And now...don't mind the sheetrock dust...that will be worried about later, as will the inside of the tub and that lower outer portion near the floor but oh my doesn't it look better!?!?

Did I mention I'm so sore I can barely feel anything? OMG it's incredibly hands are literally mush and I'm thankful I can type without moving very much of my body lol

Here's what was removed, including those big force flex trash bags full of smaller pieces of sheetrock, nails and probably 1000 gazillion razor blades, as they were behind the wall for some reason, along with some St. Louis Missouri newspaper from 1996 (no idea why that was there either) and some kids toys...again, no idea what's up with all that in the walls. Here's the pile at the road:

And, finally, my mom worked on the front window, scraping all the paint off the glass. She and Daddy removed the screens from it to clean and I like it without them. The old apparatus that opened the windows to allow the breeze through the screens were painted shut by someone and the pieces aren't all present to crank them open. That's something I'd love to restore much much later as I think that's adorable but for now, it looks beautiful without the just needs the outside paint scraped, but again, that's another thing for much later...still check out this beautiful window:

So, that's my day's work (and my parents' also!) unless I get a second wind and can go back. I'm thinking I'm just going to get something to eat at this point and say forget anything else for the evening until my handyman tells me he's ready to meet me there to measure the room for the bathroom materials. I feel like I inhaled a bucket of dust (no, I had no masks and didn't take the time to go buy them, but regret that now). So I'm thinking this break is very needed. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From Happy to YUCK!!

In my mad rush to get everything done before my move in date, my day started out great. Last night I drug my tired self to Lowes and picked up the dryer vent, so when I got to the house I started there. Though it was extremely hot outside in the sun, I removed the old vent that had openings all around it where pests and other bugs could enter the house - see the before picture:

I removed the old vent, rusted screws and all to reveal a hole full of lint all inside the walls where the previous occupants didn't use the vent system with the metal duct work:

Then, I worked on cleaning out all that lint and the entire area up including caulking the old nail (yes nail!) and screw holes, plus I evened out the edges to get the new vent installed. Finally I caulked around the entire thing to seal it off nicely from pests and the elements:

Ok, so I was pleased with that project though it took longer than I felt it was going to when I got started, because that looks pretty simple...and I'm still not sure the metal duct work isn't too long inside the house that attaches to the dryer but I think it will be right. We'll see....

Then, I had the bright idea that I'd go start scraping all that blackened, hardened, nasty, old caulk off the bathtub in order to be ready for the new floor, as it's still just a subfloor in there and the toilet is still in the dining room though it's clean as can be (thanks Mama!!).

I started scraping and some of it came off typically and other parts of it was tough as nails, but I got to the back corner and it felt weird. Why did my scraper go through the loosened caulk through the "wall" and "tub surround"??? Hmmm well, quite possibly because someone used a 3 inch thickness of caulk to fill in the gap between the top of the tub and the wall! Peering up under the tub surround revealed more issues - mold. So I realized that even though I was going to redo the bathroom at a later time, it couldn't wait. I started pulling off the tub surround. This revealed more mold, crumbling sheetrock and get this....a piece of wood going from the bottom of the window to the tub...yes wood...which was guess what?? Rotting. ARGH!!! I have like 4 days til I move. And, now I have a falling apart bathroom that needs to have the sheetrock replaced on the back wall. And, really the entire room should be done which I planned to do later - not now. However, it's going to be now instead. A quick call to my handyman and he'll be there on Monday. If I can remove all the sheetrock and have all that cleaned out, it will be cheaper. Soooooo tomorrow looks like I'm tearing walls down out of the bathroom and taking those down to the studs...

When it seems like I take a step forward, more things happen. This is something that would be done within a few months anyway and I know it will allow me to still have entire use of the bathroom versus pulling everything back out and demolishing the room later, but still I had reallllllly hoped to not have to do anything huge right now. Time is of the essence, as is money due to all that's going out right now and all that's still got to go out. lol it's ok thing at a time, one thing at a time, one thing at a time...I think lol :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Possibilities are Endless

Ok, first let me say this day was the worst I've had in terms of fatigue. I'm exhausted beyond comprehension and while I was working at the house today, it was almost like I had stepped out of myself and was just on auto pilot pushing myself to do a little bit more and a little bit more. Still, as I sit here typing, I have no energy and am completely zapped. However, I've found this little blog gets thoughts out of my head and organized so this is a very good thing for me.

I did get the office studio room swept up really good and mopped the floor in there. I can't wait to refinish it but that's not a priority right now, as I have about 5 days left before my move in day. There's just not enough time, so for now, clean is the priority. The paint splatters, nail polish and other imperfections will just have to's what it's looking like all mopped and clean:

Aren't they going to look gorgeous one of these days?? I so love them!

Then, my parents worked on scraping the wallpaper backing from the laundry room, as well as worked on the windows in the master bedroom and the bathroom. My Dad took the old plexiglass off the bathroom window and then cleaned it and it looks sooooo good other than the wood needing painting and such a sweet view of the backyard:

Then I knew I needed to address the living room ceiling, as the back corner had dropped (from the house settling, not a leak or anything like that):

In talking with a few people and researching, I learned it's best to remove the area and put a new piece of sheet rock up there. So, feeling a second wind this afternoon, I went back out there. And, started working on pulling it down, being careful not to go past 4 feet (the size of a piece of sheet rock):

What I found, though, surprised me so I stopped right there. I have a decision to make. I REALLY like the idea of exposing that wood. In knowing there's a full floor, ceilings, and walls in the finished attic, I expected it to look decent but I swear when I saw what was there, I started getting new visions of an exposed beam ceiling:

What's the worst that can happen? I pull it all down and the ceiling has to be sheet rocked in it's entirety later on? The wires can be easily concealed from the attic...and I don't have to worry about other ceiling issues. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Obviously it's not perfect up there as it wasn't meant to expose...but look at that. It's absolutely beautiful and would be a shame to cover it up, it seems....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Master Bedroom Done!

We totally finished that Master Bedroom wallpaper removal today - my parents worked their hearts out too!! It was very disappointing when I got in the closet in there and found not one, not two, not even three but FOUR layers of wallpaper...I felt like crying. Instead, I just kept scraping and scraping and scraping. In a very hot, very small space. But it's done!!! Here's a pic of it now:

And I started the laundry room, which is just ONE LAYER!! A thick layer with an odd netting on the back of it that should be interesting to work on but still...ONE LAYER!! I was rejoicing and so were my parents! lol here's a couple pics of that (first is the pile of paper, second of the way it looks now):

My Uncle goes to alot of estate sales and has a good relationship with one of the people who owns the company who does those. He's often given an opportunity to bid on the remainder from the sale, which he gives to my parents to sell at a yard sale for him. Then, they split the profits. It's a great set-up, and often there are interesting things in there. My parents told me they had a dresser in the last load of things, a white wood one. I immediately was interested. They brought's a little more retro than I had pictured lol but this is going to work out - I have plans for it as well, plus it was free and storage - something which I need right now:

So my right shoulder feels like there's a pinched nerve in there as it's killing me. My business continues to need my attention. My life is chaos. But, I love it. I wouldn't change it for anything!! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So there's a piece of glass that broke off the garage window, I believe from a neighbor's mower or something ( I HOPE!)...and I picked it up a couple days ago and sat it inside the window to tend to it later. Today my Dad and I were outside and picked it up to show it to him, hitting my hand on the glass above still attached to the window...

My Mom looked at it and said a little more and it would have needed stitches, but I really don't think it was that bad. Still, not good because I just had to put a band-aid on it and keep going!

More progress was made today. My parents picked up a couple locks for the windows in the studio office, they scraped the old paint off the windows and cleaned them up really good - check out these windows!!

Then all 3 of us worked on the TWO layers of wallpaper in the master bedroom until all of us were ready to lie in the floor from exhaustion...but it's looking so much better. I'd say we probably did 1/2 of the room today and we are really hoping to finish it tomorrow.

Whew! That's about all I can type tonight. I still have research to do on a couple projects and some good ole vegging out for a little while before I start working on my business stuff. lol what a hectic time!! But, I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Onto the Master Bedroom

Today was a pretty decent work day, even though I was on my own. I finished caulking in the studio/office and put a second coat of joint compound on the patches I made for the holes. Caulk is in every corner of the room, as well as around the doors and windows. I'm feeling pretty satisfied that all that's left is cleaning the windows and figuring out how to seal them off as they are old have have gaps, as well as sweeping (for like round number 111 lol) and then mopping.

I chose this next bedroom as the master bedroom because I like the way it's very dark during the day. Since my sleep patterns are anything but normal, keeping a bedroom dark is a constant need for me. Here are the before pictures of the master bedroom...

After the first layer of wallpaper came down:

I got all of the glue layer of that first layer of wallpaper off and it was the worst one yet. It came off in tiny pieces, no matter what I used on it or how much I soaked it. It was small scrape after small scrape, but I didn't let it defeat me....

There are two more layers to go, unfortunately. I thought there was only two total but alas, that was not the case. It's getting there though, definitely. I'm just glad I was able to get all the really bad layer off before my parents come back to help tomorrow. Now, they don't have to deal with that frustration and I think the next layers will come off much faster.

However, not having been in this room very much, I'd not noticed there is broken glass in the window. Not sure how to fix that, so I need to look it up. I can't replace the windows right now, but they definitely all need replacing, so I want to be as cheap and simple (but safe!) as possible for the fix on it.

Ahhhh another day's work including remembering to contact my internet provider to move my service on my move date. And, I did it just in time as they are scheduled that far ahead. Thank goodness I'm a planner because my business definitely depends on a good working internet! As does my obvious social life with you guys and my new blog! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wallpaper - Bye Bye!!

The wallpaper - all 3 layers and 2 borders for the studio/office are gone!!! The walls have been washed!!! The molding and trim have been washed!!! The closet wallpaper - both layers and the border are gone!!! I started working on patching the holes and caulking today before I called it a day but that's room doesn't lack too much more and I can move on. I'm excited - can you tell?? Special thanks again to my parents who are working tirelessly to help me as are the new pics:

It's certainly not pretty, I know. But it's clean. Once I get everything caulked and sealed up, there should be much less of a chance for pests and also there will be a great savings on heating/cooling costs as well. For this I'm super excited. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Huge Wallpaper Removal Strides...

My parents are THE BEST! They came again today and helped me...this time with the wallpaper. In this particular room, there were three layers of wallpaper PLUS two layers of wallpaper border, except for the closet which had two layers of wallpaper plus a layer of wallpaper border. In the room, two of those layers of wallpaper were PAINTED and, get this, one of them had joint compound slathered over the top of the wallpaper in several spots. This room has been a true labor intensive job that my hands literally ache like I can't describe from doing. But, again, my parents helped me in the room today and, like I told them, every scrape they took on those walls was one less I had to do. And they took bunches!! Seeing as how each layer has to come off separately, it's a slow and tedious process, especially with all that glue. But another day in there and I think it will be finished wallpaper removal wise at least.

Here's the progress:

The closet in this room has one layer off of it and I hope to finish it tomorrow as well:

This is what needs to happen in this room, still, to make it ready for my move:

  • The remainder of the wallpaper off the walls
  • The remainder of the wallpaper out of the closet
  • The brown walls with no paper left on it need to be washed down to remove the fabric softener solution
  • The baseboards washed and the pieces of wallpaper that were painted onto the crown molding, baseboards, and door and window trim have to be cut with a razor and removed
  • The holes filled with joint compound in the walls and ceiling
  • The floor swept and mopped
  • The windows and doors caulked 
Then this room will be finished - for now. It will be clean though ugly. After I move in, I can take my time to texturize the walls (because of all the abnormalities) and then paint them, as well as refinish the floors. All of that will be fun (in comparison!) stuff and will make the place look sooo nice!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Floor Surprise - In a Good Way!

The old floor is gone gone gone! A new subfloor did NOT have to be laid as the exsiting subfloor was just fine underneath...and here's the improvement:

As for my I removed more wallpaper...including wallpaper that had been covered in joint compound that came off literally in 1/4 inch pieces. My hands are crap - especially my right index finger which feels like it's got a large open wound in the bend of it. I've no idea how I'm even able to type right now...maybe it's just become numb lol but alas, the progress makes it worth it. Here's a few views:

Not sure what you guys think of all this yet but I know for sure it's forward motion...feels slow but looking at the pictures I guess it's really not. I'm just wanting it done so I can move on to more fun things....then realize I just have more to remove in the other bedroom as well as the laundry room... :) 

In the office/studio, of course I've found surprises....a few holes in the walls. Here's a few:

The holes will be easily fixed...but I do realize I'll have to texturize the walls in this room...there's way too many imperfections and getting the entire thing sheet rocked is way too pricey. Still, that can be done will be ugly for a while, but clean clean clean which is exactly what I'm after for moving in as quickly as possible. 

The floor change resulted in my only being charged $200 instead of $400 for the work my handyman did. And, he really did a great job with all of it, too. 

Tomorrow I think my parents are coming to help again. When they asked what they could help with, I said wallpaper removal! It won't be too much longer in the office/studio room above, then I also have to do the closet which is wallpapered with yet another style of paper. Let's just hope it's only one layer, as that would be ideal!!