Home improvement update

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 9, 2011, 10:52 PM | comments: 0

Wow, Sunday night already. We're pretty fried, but if we look beyond the disappointment of what we didn't get done, we got a lot done!

The arrival of our stuff took entirely too long, mostly because some stuff was double-tagged, so the driver kept looking all over for boxes that were already checked in. Then the idiot car shippers, running a week late, keep bugging Diana to meet them some place or another because of the cars on their truck or whatever. It's like, no, we paid for door-to-door, so figure it out and stop bothering us with your problems. At least we're getting a little money back. We also had an awful experience trying to get the Internet access installed, but that's worthy of its own blog post. Epic incompetence.

During the week we stayed with Sherry and Steve, we made trips to the house, but other than Diana getting one of the bedrooms painted, not much happened. We had ambitious goals for the weekend, but once reality set in, I was actually pretty happy with what we got done.

The biggest project was getting the living room painted. We did three walls in a green-like color. Painting 15-foot walls is new territory for us, made somewhat easier by the giant ladder that Steve loaned us. We still need to re-do the trip, to a bright white, but we'll get to it eventually. Really happy that after ten years, we're finally getting some paint on those walls.

We're on a brass assassination campaign. It started with the exterior doors, and this weekend I replaced a bunch of light fixtures. There were four brass fixtures with three 25w goofy sized bulbs in each, and I think they were probably ugly in 2001 as well. I replaced them with a Home Depot special, around $12 each. They're that brushed nickel kinda stuff with a glass dome. They look inexpensive, but not cheap, and with a pair of "60w" CF's, they're actually far more affective. Not orangey light either.

I replaced a light switch that wasn't working, which is weird. Put the hardware on my Ikea TV stand/cabinet, and despite the big TV, the room is no longer dominated by electronic crap. Remounted the mail box, which came loose from rusted screws and rotting wood. Lots of little things.

I bought two new tools. Finally got a Dremel, and that's bad ass. First use was to grind out the door frame for the bigger deadbolt plates. Even better, I finally bought a new drill. We had two of them, a bit older, but both were weak and aging. When I stayed with Mike in Chicago, he showed me his new DeWalt set, so I got just the drill. It's awesome. I've wanted a new drill for years, but couldn't justify it. With batteries and the drills themselves getting smaller, I think I got a solid deal by waiting.

Overall, I fully expected to spend at least $2k on home improvement, not counting furniture, but right now it looks like we're around a grand. Heck, even with the furniture, we're only at two grand. There are still a few big things to buy. We didn't get a ceiling fan for the living room, because honestly, I don't feel qualified to install it. That high ceiling scares the shit out of me. We also need a new light inside the front door, as well as a re-do on the kitchen lighting. We also got a never used, but still new microwave, which I have to mount. That was super cheap, from a friend.

Pretty solid weekend of work! I'd say we're at 75% in terms of boxes unpacked. Particularly once the new furniture arrives, it's going to feel somewhat like we moved into a new place. The exterior still looks terrible, but we'll get there eventually.


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