Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Progress on the renovations...

You can see lots more of the "before" photos in my previous post. Now see the new shingles and replacement windows. Woot! Woot!



And did you notice the pretty new door with craftsman style window and the lovely new exterior light fixture?



There will be a full-view storm door and the outside trim work will be wrapped in white vinyl. I think I will paint the door black to match the shutters.

Check out the progress in the back:



And want to see something TOTALLY gross? Look at the build up of dust and grime inside our old, original 1960 ductwork that has been ripped out:

Makes me start hacking just to look at it!

Oh, and as for the pink bathroom...I have decided to go with black and white and chrome and maybe do sort of a "retro" type of style in there. At Lowe's tonight I found a nifty $100 brushed chrome 4-light fixture for the fabulous clearance price of $20!! That will go on the wall over the vanity. I am thinking of painting the walls (what little there is above all that pink tile) with black and white stripes...either wide, or varying widths.

Care to see just a portion of the massive amount of duct work they have torn out from under my house? The heating guy said I had more duct work running under my house than the local community college!

And to close things up, here is what my hallway looked like today. Eek! Between the carpenters and the electricians and the heating and air guys, my house is filthy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home makeover on a TIGHT budget.

I have been wanting to blog for over a month about all the changes going on around here, but as always, life has been so hectic that my internet time has been virtually nonexistent.

Our family was very fortunate to qualify for a special community rehab program in our area. It provides grants and interest-free loans to home-owners to help with property maintenance and upgrades. The idea is to help owners keep their properties in good condition and as a result the entire community benefits. Improvements are being made to insure structural integrity, bring electrical and plumbing up to code, and to make our house more energy efficient.

At the end of May, we moved out of our 5 bedroom house into a very small 3 bedroom apartment. All of our possessions, including the stuff stored in our attic had to be moved out. Let me tell you, that was a major undertaking in itself. 9 people in one house for over 11 years creates a lot of accumulated STUFF. I spent weeks just sorting and tossing and agonizing over what to keep, store, or toss. Everything that would not fit in the apartment is being stored in a mobile unit parked at the end of our sidewalk:

And here is the lovely view that our poor neighbors across the street have to face every day. You can see our ugly roof peeking out from behind the storage unit, otherwise known affectionately as "The Big Blue Monster."

Presenting the front of our house before any work was started. Please note that before I took this photo, we had already moved any potted plants or outdoor furniture from around our house. It really is a bit more charming and much less spartan with those added touches than what you see here:

And here is what our house looked like after the workers came and removed the lead paint that was on the exterior. It looks like a condemned property:

This is a shot of the back of our house. There is an addition that was built in the 70's with an ugly flat roof that had a tendency to leak. People always comment that our house is much larger than it appears...this addition is part of the reason. It has two small bedrooms, a small den/study and a compact bathroom with a shower in it.

The framing going up to tie the back roof into the front and make it drain better (and look better too!)

A pile of's like cleaning out closets...things always get worse looking before they get better. My poor neighbors really have a mess to look at these days.

This gives a little taste of what my life has been like lately. I have lots more photos to share. There is work going on in the interior as well. And the budget was limited, so there is cosmetic work that I am doing myself, stripping wallpaper, painting, etc., etc. In fact, before I end this post, I will share one project that I would love some ideas and opinions on...our main bathroom.

Yes, that is pink. Very, VERY pink. Even the floor is pink! This is the bathroom that is on our main hall. Unlike modern houses, we do not have a "powder room," so this is the bathroom used by guests as well as my daughters. I plan to replace and move the light fixture a bit higher up the wall and put a larger mirror over the vanity. But I am stymied about color. I just don't know what to do with the pink. Do I go bright and funky? Maybe Caribbean colors? You know, bright blue, lime green, etc. Or shall I do a brown and pink scheme? That seems popular right now. Then there is the option of black, white and pink. I really need help! Here is a shot after I stripped down the wallpaper and removed the dinky, industrial-style medicine cabinet.

Tell me what you think! Any ideas or suggestions would be most appreciated!


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