Friday, March 23, 2007

We cheated

We’ve been cheating on our house. Its hard to admit, but its true. But we promise, after this weekend its over.

You see, almost two years ago we bought another house. A “project” house. An investment if you will. We were not ready to start on our house, but Matt wanted a project, and the right house came along and we bought it. We never even got a really good look at it. It already had renters with 6 months left on their lease, so we bought it and they started sending the rent checks to us and we began making plans for what we would do to fix up the house once their lease was up. We closed on it on Matt’s birthday, and joked about it being his birthday present.

By the time the lease was up, we were starting to plan the overhaul of the creek house, and we worried that we didn’t have the time or money to put into fixing the rental house. The renters were happy and they wanted to stay, so we let them sign another lease. And so it went. Until January when they were officially two months behind on rent* and we went to talk to them, and they announced they were moving to Kansas in two days. What they left behind was a horror show I prefer to block from memory. If I was of the criminal persuasion, I would have set fire to the house and claimed good riddance. It was a disaster and in my humble opinion, threat to human health.

So the first weekend in Feb., when we should have been trying to finish up the creek house enough to move in, we were instead filling a 40 yard dumpster to the brim with all of the trash and rotting food and unidentifiable items they left behind. We changed the locks, shut everything down, and walked away. But then we got a call from the neighbor, and they had someone (a relative) that wanted to move in right away. And call us crazy, but somehow, we promised to have the house in a livable condition by April 1. Why? I have no idea. But this entire month has been devoted to working on the rental house. And, after this weekend, it will be livable – because my husband is a rock star.

So far we have (and by we, I mostly mean Matt)
-hauled out 40 yards of debris and trash from the inside of the house.
-disinfected and scrubbed every surface with hospital grade disinfectant (twice).
-gutted the kitchen
-gutted the bathroom
-ripped off the fake paneling on all of the walls
-patched all of the plaster
-installed wainscoting in the living room and chair rail (as a way to cover a large hole in the plaster that we could not patch).
-put down new flooring in both the kitchen and bath
-tiled the kitchen countertop
-replaced all of the kitchen appliances (this was easy, because we saved all of the appliances from the creek house for this purpose).
-replaced the tub surround
-primed the entire house

This weekend we will reglaze several windows and put a new epoxy coating on the old cast iron tub. Then, hopefully, we will be done. I have no before pictures, because as I said earlier, I am attempting to block the original condition of the house from my memory. But I will post some pictures after this weekend of what it looks like now. Then, we will return to our regular programming.

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