Monday, December 30, 2013
It's been a very eventful 2013, with a wedding, a new house, school, and new jobs! There are no signs of slowing down yet, so in the few days of vacation, I just wanted to stop and wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Here's a list of our house New Year resolutions that you'll get to see progress in 2014:
1) Finish up the entryway opening ASAP!!!!
2) Scrape the popcorn ceilings in the living room.
3) Remodel the kitchen (summer).
4) New flooring (before Christmas).
5) Raised beds for the vegetable garden (February).
6) Drip irrigation for the garden (February/March).
7) Plant an orchard (February).
8) Fix the broken sprinkler system (spring).
9) Replace the mantle
11) Host Christmas 2014
12) Move out of the apartment and into the house!!
and more! We can't wait to tackle 2014!!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Apologies for the horrid formatting. Cell phone blogging is awkward at best. The apartment has been without Internet for a few weeks (since the infamous flooding incident), and the house isn't quite "get ready for work" ready.
This last weekend has been a flurry of activity. Lauren and I got out into the front yard and cleaned up all the downed tree limbs, hopefully stopping the steady stream of landscapers with a pickup and a chainsaw from ringing our doorbell. They wanted $500 for what took us about 2 hours with an axe and a pair of gloves (I didn't want to waste all the gas on cutting tiny limbs with the chainsaw).
We also sanded and prepped one of the living room walls for painting. Unfortunately the backing glue for the wood paneling, along with damage from tearing down the paneling made for a rather uneven finish.
Now we have to decide whether it's uneven enough to redo, or whether the wall is fine to be painted. Lauren painted a small part gray, but it looks too blue at the moment. Perhaps we should restart? We'll see.
I'm all finished prepping the opening in the entry way to be reframed, and the miter saw came in the mail. Now it should be relatively simple to frame and drywall the new opening.
We're off to Indy for a few weeks, and then we move in!
Friday, December 6, 2013
We've owned the house for all of 3 weeks, and so far we've had a delay in closing that forced us to push a bunch of deliveries back, a broken down car, a broken down washing machine, a flooded apartment, and now an ice storm! Needless to say, we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop!
2013 has been a very memorable year, both with positives (getting married, starting law school, buying a house), and with negatives (two major dog emergencies, multiple major expenses at inopportune times).
What better to (hopefully) cap the year off than an ice storm! Right?!? After stepping outside at one point and hearing a nearly constant "crack, crack, CRASH!!!", I knew this was gonna be a fun one!
So far there have only been two major tree limbs that have fallen from my trees (along with a bunch of smaller branches.
|One limb fell right in the middle of the yard. The other is sitting on the chain link fence and the neighbor's yard|
Well, looks like I'm in the market for a chainsaw! I'm not stressing at this point, just sitting in front of the fire, enjoying the ability to work from home.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Here are the long awaited before and afters!
First, the dining area
All this paneling was relatively easy to pull off. A couple crowbars and a few hours, and we got most of it down. The biggest difficulties were 1) giant pieces of nail-laden wood paneling flying at my face, 2) the older paneling splintering, and 3) feeding the electrical outlets through the holes in the paneling.
Then, we got the paintbrushes out and painted the "cozy room" and the fireplace.
This is just using a white paint and special masonry rollers (they're extra fuzzy). Another fun part was yanking off the mantle. A couple crow bars and a few minutes of tugging, and it came right off!
We took care of a few more odds and ends as well.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
|Our new home!|
|We got angry!|
Monday, November 18, 2013
Closing was today!!After dealing with a week and a half of logistical nightmare, we finally signed on the dotted line, over and over and over again, until eventually they said enough and we now own the house!
There's still one small hiccup between now and us getting the keys. Due to the fact that our closing was delayed by a few days, we have one more document that needs to be corrected to the proper closing date, and then we can swing by and pick up the keys!
Not only that, but with my first law school final out of the way as of tonight, we can focus on the next two months. We don't have to move out of the apartment until mid-January, so we have two months to affect any changes we want with no furniture to move around.
Now comes the fun part, a list of DIY projects on the horizon!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
We're almost 2 weeks away from closing, and things are coming together fairly well! There's just a few things to take care of mortgage wise, and then comes the fun of signing all the documents.
|Our new refrigerator!|
As we have slowly rolled closer and closer to owning a house, we've made some appliance purchases as we found deals. The biggest purchase so far has been the refrigerator! We got a great deal on an LG door in door model, saving us over $1000 at the expense of a couple scratches and dents where they won't even be noticed.
I also caught a great deal on a mailer at work, getting a great garage refrigerator and a nice looking entertainment center for a total of $200!
Now, between the 2 fridges and the chest freezer, all our refrigeration needs have been taken care of.
However, right as we were rolling along, another emergency situation hit. We're not exactly unfamiliar with emergency situations after one dog got bit by a snake in the same month as $800 in emergency car repairs. Add on to that a $300 vet bill for the other dog to get sutures, another $500 vet bill for the first dog to get his herniated disk in his back repaired, and now a broken washing machine.
That's right, the 2.5 year old washing machine I bought brand new in 2011 blew a transmission all of 6 months out of warranty.
|The offending Whirlpool Cabrio|
So, after some emergency triage (yes, i found a service manual and got into the diagnostic menu), I declared this washer to be a lost cause, and we started our search for a new washer. I had a brand new copy of Consumer Reports sitting on my coffee table from the refrigerator search, and ended up giving it a quick read. I settled on either LG, Samsung, or Maytag. Given that we didn't have much time at all to sit on our hands and do research, I think we got a pretty decent deal.
We got the new washer "new in box" for $550 off of list, and $250 off of the best prices I could find.
|The new Samsung washer|
It's got a ton of great features!
Beyond that, there's not much more to report on the house front. We're keeping our fingers on the pulse of the riding lawn mower market, hoping to get a good deal, because that is the first thing that needs done upon our moving in.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
As of right now, I am finishing up polishing off the inspection contingencies on what will soon be our new house!
|The state of my desk is quite messy!|
With this starts a new era in our lives, a shift from renting to owning! From dumping money down the drain to rental companies to dumping money down the drain to home improvement companies!
My wife and I are both very excited about this opportunity, and can't wait to get moved in. I'm so excited I set up a blog!
I'm a scatterbrained, random type of guy, so staying focused on one thing is impossible for me. Therefore this isn't strictly going to be a DIY home improvement documentation type blog. I'm also going to toss in tons of information about how we saved money on the home improvements, and on our frugality in general. I may also spread out an talk about other stuff on occasion, so I in no way guarantee that there won't be some mission creep.
As of now, we are planning what we want to do to the house between closing and when we're going to move in (2 months). After receiving the inspection report, I have an idea of some of the small tasks which will happen, along with a few of the "must have" changes that we absolutely won't move in without. We have also negotiated with the seller to do our own repairs of some safety issues, so that's going to happen prior to moving in.
We are going to try to tackle all of this before moving in:
- Replace the A/C Circuit breaker with the proper one
- Put in GFCI protection in the kitchen and both bathrooms
- Fix the improperly grounded outlets in one of the bedrooms
- Replace the existing chain-link fence with a wooden privacy fence, including a chain-link dog run
- Fix/rewire one zone of the sprinkler system so it runs properly
- Fix the two sprinkler heads that water the fence and the neighbor's driveway
- Tear down all wood panelling
- Buy a new refrigerator (and possibly a new oven)
- Start a garden and orchard in the backyard
- Replace the bamboo and plastic flooring with hand-scraped hardwood.