Finding the Perfect House Part III: Part 2: Fixing the Perfect House

Transformation: COMPLETE!

While I’m not exactly known for being manly, I am quick to start home improvement projects and repairs. Ask my fiancee; the first thing I did was start ripping out the carpet that hadn’t been changed since the late 60’s the second we moved in. It was a good 2 inch thick with various unknown fungi potentially living inside of it. Like many other older homes, (it was built in the 1940s), there is hardwood floor under all that carpet. Yet as I looked over the floors, I knew they would have to be sanded. Here’s a little bit of advice about sanding your own hardwood floors:

Don’t do it.

We spent about $200 and wasted a good week. Oh sure we made progress, but the whole process is long and tedious the point where you don’t see any change for a few hours. Then again, the contractor we later hired only spent a day sanding and it looked pretty much the same before he started staining.

But before we even go there, here’s a slide show of the before photos after the jump!

What you can’t tell in the photos is that the cabinets were very very low. And before I moved them, the only door to the kitchen had two cabinets jutting out where my head would go. Also that strange window in the kitchen with the shoddy ledges? The first renovation was breaking that into a door.

Since we had that lovely tax credit after tax day, we decided to spend most of it on renovating the kitchen. It was then that we learned the pain/joy of dealing with contractors.

First off, they have terrible communication skills.

“I’ll start working once you get the cabinets.”

We got the cabinets.

“I’ll start once you get the counter top.”

That’s a two week process by-the-way, but we got those too.

“Well, I’ll start once this other job is done and can you get a bunch of stuff I could have told you about before?”

There were days he showed up and days he didn’t. Days he’d be there all day and days he’d show up for 15 minutes and leave without doing anything. Never once would he tell us when he’d be coming and there was even a whole week where he never showed up once.

Oh, I was pissed.

Especially since the whole first floor of the house wasn’t usable and we had just given him more money that he “needed”. Actually, we didn’t have a kitchen for a month. How did we eat? Three words: Coney fucking Island. We ate at Coney Island almost everyday if we got tired of mircowaved food. We had to eat out really often, and I soon craved home cooked meals like crackhead craves….well, crack. Every tiny set back the contractor had (and wouldn’t tell us about) was one more day of not cooking a meal.

When the kitchen was done we got to cook a few meals, and we were happy. But then we had to leave the house for a few days while he worked on the floors. He put down polyurethane on our floors which is pretty nasty if you’re there, so the fiance and I spent a few days at her parents place.

And then those few days turned into a week because of more setbacks on his part.

So much rage… so much rage…

But eventually we got our house back, and he left without doing a couple things he said he’d do. (Did I mention rage?) I spent the next three days taking care of the family room, which involved a lot of scraping chipping paint (over half the ceiling), mudding, taping, sanding, and painting. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had to paint all the damn molding that he was supposed to do.

I can rage all I want, but I do know that he gave us a really good deal.

And so, here is the After Photos Slideshow!

With all the work and money we’ve put in, we may never want to leave…


8 Responses to “Finding the Perfect House Part III: Part 2: Fixing the Perfect House”

  1. Awesome stuff dude. home improvement is a never ending process though.

  2. Well, One step at a time my friend. lol

  3. Wow…..those pictures….of the old house. I’m so glad you remodeled it. Even the new pictures don’t quite give your work justice; you guys did a really great job. Can’t wait to come over again ^_^.

  4. I love the new kitchen! Hell i love everything you guys did with the house. I cant wait to see it!


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