If you’ve been paying attention you know that I’ve been doing some mini-renovations around my house to make it more livable for me and to hopefully make it more desirable when I put it on the market. This post focuses on the changes inside my house since the middle of September. First off I’ll do the staircase. In general, except for a few delays in getting the finish on the stairs and the paint on the walls this is the big success story of how a smoothly a renovation can go. Here are the before pictures. Sorry they are a little blurry – I took them with my phone as an afterthought right before I went on vacation. You’ll notice boring off-white walls and ratty berber carpeting. I’ve already taken down the artwork and stuff on the shelf in these photos prior to the renovation.
Now…. TA DA! Here are the after photos. I am really pleased with how this turned out. And for you NC State fans that are whining about the Carolina Blue walls – trust me, they are Carribean Blue. I had a Carolina alum at the house and she said that it definitely wasn’t quite right for Carolina.
Happy Happy Joy Joy.
Now I’ll talk about my cursed laundry room. AHHHHHH! This is a cautionary tale of “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Here are the before pictures. What a mess. I’m almost embarassed to post these, but usually the bifold doors are closed and the disaster was hidden. And those bifold doors. I swear some days I just wanted to rip them right off the tracks and toss them over the railing and down into the marsh. They’d get stuck, they’d squeak, if you weren’t careful they would bite you too. Hate them.
I’ve been jonesing for a laundry sink ever since I moved to this house full time. I had one in my last two houses and they were invaluable. The problem of course, was how to reorganize that little laundry room to meet code. You see, the electrical panel for the entire house is in there, it is on the right side wall just out of sight in these photos. Anything having to do with plumbing has to be at least 3′ from the electrical panel. Just good common sense. That right there meant that I couldn’t stack the washer and the dryer on the wall where they originally were. Either the sink or the washer would be within 3′ if I did that. Hmmm. My contractor CB and I puzzled over this. Obviously one not so good solution would have been to just do it anyway and play dumb. I’m not that kind of person though.
Eventually we hit on the idea that the laundry room was deep enough to put the washer and dryer AND the laundry sink on the left side wall. The beauty of this solution is that it forced me to get rid of the bifold doors. I need a bit of wall space in the corner where the washer and dryer were going to go. Bring on the oh-so-cool rolling pocket door. Ok, we have a plan. I hand CB my keys and go on vacation with fantasies in my head of a completely done laundry room when I get back. God I was so naive.
This seemingly small rearrangement of appliances and the addition of a sink required a few things to be moved or added.
- The 220 outlet for the dryer had to move to a new wall.
- The washer water supply and drain had to move to a new wall.
- The dryer vent had to move to a new wall and then hooked up to the old pipe that ran outside.
- New 110 outlet had to be added for the dryer, I wanted the old one left where it was for the fold out ironing board.
- New plumbing had to be added for the sink.
No biggie! Right? Uh, not so fast.
Funny thing. After cutting a hole in my garage ceiling to rerun the dryer vent my contractor learned that the wall that my dryer now backs up to is sitting on a floor joist. Well well well. That means the dryer vent couldn’t be run down into the garage to hook up to the old vent pipe. Shoot. I guess we have to go UP! Now not just the wall, but the ceiling sheetrock has to be torn down. Oh, and a whole new pipe has to be run to the outside wall. And, guess what – where it goes out of the house, the ceiling had to be torn down to hook up the outside vent flap to the pipe. OH Shit. That is in my master bedroom closet. So, I got home from vacation and found a laundry room that has the sheetrock partially finished and the entire contents of my master bedroom closet all over my bed. Sigh. Yeah, nothing like random men going through all of your personal items in your closet. Ha. TMI.
Since I got home before all of that was done I assisted in putting it all back together. I finished sanding my closet ceiling and since everything was out of there I ended up painting it before I put all of the stuff away. That was sort of an unexpected bonus. It needed to be done, I just hadn’t gotten around to it before.
I also ended up doing all of the painting in my laundry room and installing the fold out ironing board by myself. Hopefully that saved me a little bit of money. While I was doing that I kept looking up at the really ugly fluorescent light fixture in the laundry room. The cheap bastard (I mean the frugal person) in me finally won the ugly vs. it still works don’t mess with it battle. It would have been a piece of cake to replace during the month+ when I didn’t have a washer or dryer.
Ok. So a month and a couple of weeks go by. I have a new washer and dryer. I have a new laundry sink and a lower cabinet and all the plumbing is hooked up. Here are the after pictures. It is really hard to show this since the room is so small, but it is a much better use of the space.
Now you may ask… is it done yet? Oh hell no. I am still waiting for the upper cabinet, and I am still waiting for the siding guy to put up a new piece of siding to cover the old dryer vent hole on the exterior of my house. Sigh. I’ve been waiting for about 3 weeks on that now.
The worst part is that yesterday the ballast on the crappy old fluorescent light went. NOOOOO! Couldn’t have gone during the renovations when the light was on for most hours of the day. It had to wait until everything was in its place and a ladder is a tight squeeze. @#$@#%@^@$#%
Today I went out and I bought a new light fixture. It’s a pretty one, but it is still fluorescent. This time the cheap bastard lost the battle and the decorator won. I wish I could say that it was a piece of cake to install. Frankly it was not. I swear whatever could go wrong during the installation did. My ceiling under the fixture looks like swiss cheese. I kept hitting strange things so I had to move the anchors. One side fine, get it all set, try the other… nope. Try again… nope. Try #@$@#$ again… nope. Finally I had to move the fixture enough that I needed to chop out pieces of sheetrock so that I could still pull the wires out of the ceiling directly into the fixture. What a mess. Somehow, even with the trip to Home Depot (and only one – that’s a victory in itself!) after 3 hours of standing on a ladder holding a light fixture over my head with one hand and tightening the screws with the other while swearing I am done. Murphy’s Law was definitely in action for me today.