Friday, August 7, 2009

on becoming quaint in stages

The house, front view. If we were going to live here, it wouldn't be that color for very long... and Rob feels just as strongly about it as I do, maybe more!

The garage, from the back step. The back yard is mostly weeds (Rob reseeded the front, which looks great), and I would consider the garage a tear-down, at least to the studs, maybe. But I will confess to being on the far end of spectrum of "neat freaks." I can admit it. It's cool.

The back porch/door. Some previous owner had built a rickety porch of 2x4 and plywood, all painted black.

The plywood was rotting through due to pooled water over who knows how many years. There were squishy-feeling sections that weren't very safe to stand on.

So we ripped it off. Turns out there's a perfectly functional little stoop underneath! Perfect! The plastic bin to the right is covering the yet-to-be-moved sprinkler system controls. Also to be moved: the pipe running four inches off the ground across the deck.

The railing of the porch, back door in background.

New view, sans pop cans, trash, and redneck "porch." I vote "most improved."

Previous owners had painted over wallpaper. It took me and Bethany two full days to peel off the wallpaper, and we took some of the drywall with it. Cec had to mud the ever-loving daylights out of the plywood and ripped up wall to get a semblance of an even plane.

A semblance of an even plane! Painted nutty beige. Gotta love those beige planes.

From the living room into the foyer. The carpet is from a previous owner, but the black plastic underneath is covering and protecting laminate flooring that Rob and Cec laid.

Look at that pretty floor! And in the back right, do you see that lovely slate tile? The only problem with putting slate tile in a house we're going to sell (please, sweet Jesus, let it sell) is that now I want it in a home I actually LIVE IN. It's so beautiful and slate-y, like slate should be.

The living room, from the kitchen door. When he moved in, Rob tore out the wretched black window and door trim, but he had nothing to replace it with. The black baseboard is the plastic glued-down stuff that's usually in an elementary school cafeteria.

Detail of the black baseboard and missing trim.

Detail of the new trim and new wall color - more nutty beige, and the trim is city lights. I wouldn't have gone with the pale yellow trim, but the paint was already there (previous owner!), and why buy any more than you have to? Am I right?

Partway through. Couches are moved out, one wall painted. Black plastic base not ripped out yet.

We've begun in earnest. Step 1: Make enormous mess.

This picture makes me happy.

Finished living room. Painted walls, new trim, new white door punched through into bedroom (previously accessed through the wood door in the background), new sockets and switches. Cec and Rob closed off the opening between the one adjoined front room to give us two separate bedrooms. This picture also makes me happy.

The closed off door. The wood door (previous photo) is just out of frame to the right.

The gutted bathroom. There were three or four layers of vinyl tile/linoleum/etc, then one last layer of ceramic tile that had been laid into cement. So Cec and Rob covered it over with cement board to ensure a level floor surface.

ISN'T THIS PRETTY?! I love the floor (Rob's choice) and paint color (mine), and just marvel at the transformation wrought in this space. It's so encouraging. We've yet to add the caps to the countertop, and still have a TP holder and towel hooks to install, but this bathroom is just so nice. I think it's the slate-y slate slate.

I washed the blinds, evidently for the first time in their short lives? Which reminds me, the ones here in Bozeman are overdue...
WHAT? You don't wash your blinds? I think that means something is wrong with YOU, not with ME.

The mostly clean original cast iron tub. I love the tub, but it's old enough that parts of it will never be white again, and not just the parts where the enamel's worn off.

Laundry area. The washer/dryer had been perched on the rotten stuff in the background, and it was a wonder they hadn't fallen through. The carpet in the foreground (cut from the foyer piece) was laid to keep the dog from destroying more of the floor and to block a hole at the threshold that was admitting cold air and mice.

Midway. We've torn out the flooring and the particleboard underlay. Because it had gotten wet (laundry room, after all!), it came up in quarter-sized chunks that drove Dad nuts. He measuring for the plywood to replace it. Also, his different calf sizes are due to a childhood bout with polio (in case you were curious).

The mostly finished laundry room. New flooring that is nice and smooth, new trim, added a cabinet over the washer. All that's left is wiping down the washer/dryer and getting them hooked back up.

Back door. Hung upside down, they nevertheless put a bolt on there anyway, which subsequently broke. Rob had to tear out the trim because Thrall (previously mentioned pup) had destroyed it in his vigorous desire to leave the house. When Dad pulled the door to replace it, he found an electrical main lining the casing. Wiring isn't supposed to be in door casings - they should be wire-free so that you can nail/drill the door frame in and secure it. This wire had exposed copper from being nicked by several nails/screws, and Dad said it was a miracle the place hadn't burned down. Maybe Thrall was trying to WARN THEM!

My only qualm about the finished product is the brass deadbolt against the brushed nickel door handle. I'M SO PICKY.

Rob's old room. When I first met him, it was down to the (original 1923) studs, with a chipped green linoleum tile on the floor. How I wish he could enjoy this beauty of a change. And I don't have a before picture, because I wasn't sure he'd appreciate it. Look at me, learning all about tact and being thoughtful!

Jasmine's old room, redone. I don't have before pics, but imagine a really old set of wooden gliding six-light windows. Now imagine them (in this grey of a room) with many layers of paint, the uppermost being a sort of bubblegum fuschia. And imagine one painted shut, the other painted partway open. With at least one semi-shattered pane that was almost fully put back together with silicone caulk. The part that was too shattered to repair? Taped over with masking and Scotch tape. Can I just say that I kind of hate the previous owners?

We left the color, a very deep grey that isn't too bad when fully trimmed in white, replaced the windows, trimmed the windows and doors, painted the closet doors (previously wood with some of the wall paint splotched on them), replaced the light fixture, updated the sockets and light switch.

He worked SO HARD, um, playing with Legos. I love when he falls asleep against the seat belt and is so sacked out that he drifts over until he's bent in two, sleeping soundly while drooling down his legs. Because it's cute, not because I'm into drool or anything.

Here's the thing: we have amazing friends and family. Bethany helped enormously with the demolition and painting phases; Chris got in and ripped up some bathroom, Cec is a drywalling, mudding, laminate flooring, bathroom revamping, rewiring extraordinaire; my folks came in for a long weekend of painting, trimming, door replacing, and cleaning; Aaron, Esther, and Joyce pitched in with wiring and cleaning; Dan and Lindsey (the friends who really deserve a love letter) kind of did it all. Dan owns Gemini Remodeling and Lindsey is along for the ride.

I grew up with Dan, who was a good friend of Reese's. I knew Lindsey when I was a high school volunteer for the junior high youth group she attended. I've always known Dan to be good people, and getting to know Lindsey in the hours she selflessly caulked and sanded and painted was a real blessing. First of all, they gave us a weekend's worth of time - Dad figured the nails were still hot on the trim he'd installed and Lindsey would already be done caulking it before he'd nailed up the next piece. They continued to come over a few nights after both their real jobs in order to help wrap things up the following week. Lindsey, you'll be glad to know that I learned how to caulk after you left, and I'm pretty good at it!

We figured we've made some great friends (well, I've made them all over again), and having more folks to hang out with while in Spokane makes me want to visit MORE, not less, once this house is off our plates.

So, lots of work, lots of time, lots of help, lots of beer. And since we cannot truly repay everyone for their loving abundance of grace and time, I will do the next best thing.

I will mention you by name on my blog. And, I will make your names bold. That counts, yes?


Hannah said...

Wow! What a transformation! That is a lot of work. I watch a shameful amount of HGTV Designed to Sell and you guys did way better than even Lisa could do. Now if only you had a semi-attractive British guy to host your open house...

aubyn said...

There is a semi-attractive British guy selling your house? where do I sign, as I shamefully do whatever they tell me.

samh said...

Night. And. Day. Wow.

Anonymous said...

um...we might need to have a little chat about the memo lines on your checks. word is that gemini remodeling is actually the code name for an underground brothel in spokane and that you, dear addie (with your crabs and all), are our most frequent client. i'm thinking of a new slogan for the business "for all your hammering, drilling, caulking and select stud needs, contact gemini remodeling". i haven't sold dan on the idea yet. lindsey

Rob Bedford said...

Dan = Stud.

Gailzee said...

Soooo, a picture is worth a thousand words! A "before and after" shot...5 thousand! Wow, you guys did a huge transformation on that house! Great job! I will be praying for a buyer!

Kate said...

Yeah for pictures! I'm so simple I think that's why I love people magazine so much. I can just look at the picutes and know what's going on. :) Why can't real books have more pictures? Maybe if they did I'd read more of them. Ha! The house looks amazing, what a transformation, you guys worked really hard. Nice job!


Anonymous said...

I would live there. Whatever happend to Thrall? Man, when I first visited Rob there, it was a DIVE. props to all.