We’re getting close

The other night I was accused of having the most boring blog on the Internet (I’m talking about YOU, Uncle Nick!)

We have been making great progress. We have reached the ‘backbreaking work’ part of the renovation: filling in nail holes in the trim with plaster and fingers, priming, painting walls, realizing there’s a blemish on the wall and fixing blemish and re-painting, painting the ceiling, and painting the trim.

But we’ve been doing some fun stuff too…like buying light fixtures for the kitchen and living room, finding bar stools for the kitchen, and purchasing knobs for the mudroom.

One thing Rob really wanted was the drainboard cut into the granite…it looks awesome!

We’ve also started ripping out the little bathroom off of the bedroom. The mauve tile and granny wallpaper had to go!

And we took our first family photo in the new house:

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I wish I could blame Mother Nature

This was a tough winter for the East Coast. The snow and ice caused major damage to houses and garages.

Thankfully, 1821 survived unscathed. Rob was so worried about the weight of the snow that he climbed up and shoveled off the entire roof. There he was, dressed in waterproof pants and boots, shovel in hand. He said that in some of the valleys of the roof, the snow was up to his waist.

But inside…well, there was one little problem. And it had nothing to do with the weather.

We had stopped by the house on a Sunday night to clean off the kitchen cabinets because our counters were coming the next day. And that’s when Rob heard the hissing. we quickly pulled the boxes, cardboard and dining room chandelier away from the wall. And that’s when we found the leaky radiator.

Part of our new, beautiful hardwood floors were warped and buckled. We hadn’t even moved in and our new house was damaged. Downstairs in the basement, there was a river of water from the leak.

I ran my hands over the rough floorboards and just wanted to cry.

Pete the contractor made a Sunday night visit and fixed the leaky radiator part. I watched as he put a fiery blowtorch near the floors to seal the metal, turning a piece of floorboard jet black.

“Don’t worry,” Rob assured me, “that will be hidden by the radiator cover.”

Luckily the contractor’s wife works for the hardwood floor place. She was very calm, saying this happens all the time. (sure, but not in MY brand new house!) Her advice was to wait it out and let them dry.

And that’s what we are doing. The buckling has gone down a little bit, but we will still need to rip up and replace some of the floorboards.

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before you send someone to tar and feather me…

our beautiful new hardwood floors (thank, termites!) check out our fancy walnut inlay!

the dining room: future home to many dinner parties.

living room...holding area for door and window molding

my kitchen! check out those BEAUTIFUL chocolate cabinets! all 46 of them!

just waiting for my stove...

hello, lover!

we've been working on the bathroom, too!

and even the basement is getting spiffy new storage shelves and a clean-up


it’s been almost 6 months…and we’re just about finished. lots of little things to be done (priming, painting, cleaning, hardware) to keep us busy for the next few months.

now, we just have to sell our current house.

any takers?

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the un-photo update

While all may have been quiet on this blog, all has definitely NOT been quiet on the job site!

Here are our milestones in the last 2 weeks:

1. we’ve got walls! well, what few walls we have left. they all have sheetrock on them.

2. my big, beautiful 54″ hood is up in the kitchen. hold my ankles, I’m going in to make dinner!

3. ceilings are primed and painted.

4. the mudroom floor is down! and i love it!

5. mudroom cabinets have been delivered, incident-free

6. stop the presses, I think we found some granite!

7. I painted the mudroom a beautiful neutral called Irish Cream. And I went all HGTV and painted the ceiling and walls the same color.

8. The floors are in! It’s starting to look like a real house!

9. We’ve got lights! And they work!

10. once the floors are done, the cabinets will go in!

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technical difficulties

I’ve been trying to upload photos to the blog of our progress for TWO DAYS…and for some reason, it’s not working.

I don’t know if it’s me or wordpress, but either way, it’s not happening.

Hopefully it will work soon!

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Well, it’s been a while since we’ve updated this blog, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been making progress at the old reno site.

After passing our inspection, we got the go-ahead to insulate the walls and ceilings. That’s when the house really started coming together. And, with the weather getting colder, it helped keep the job site a little warmer. Or maybe it trapped the cold inside…

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we passed!

Our first inspection was Friday and we PASSED!

They looked at the structure, windows and doors, electric, HVAC, alarm and plumbing.

Check, check and CHECK!

Up next: insulation!

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…and after ALL that…

The wrong shower faucet was ordered and delivered.

Thanks for nothing, Gino.

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more faucet fun

I had this conversation at work on Thursday at 5pm:

Coworker:  “Want to go out for a drink tonight?”

Me:  “I can’t. I have to go the plumbing store.”

Now there’s a way to make friends at a new job!

So Thursday night we went tub faucet shopping at a family-owned plumbing shop. We’d been to Home Depot and Lowes and they just didn’t have anything we liked.

Luckily, the place stays open until 8pm on Thursday nights, because it’s SO hard to go on Saturdays and give up good working time. And they’re not open on Sundays, which I don’t understand, since that’s when 99% of the world has the time to shop. But don’t get me started on that.

We poke around on our own for a while until someone takes notice of us. Apprently me hovering and staring at him did the trick. His name is Gino. He doesn’t tell us that, I overhear someone call his name.

Even before he opens his mouth, I’m annoyed by him. He’s sighing loudly and seems rather disinterested. I mean, really, are there ANY people out there who are HAPPY to help customers who are in their stores to spend money???

We explain what we’re looking for in a bar faucet, and he pretty much tells us it doesn’t exist.

Okay. Next.

We move onto the bathroom sink.

Rob:  “We bought a vanity and we’d like to put a vessel sink on top. The vanity is 33″ high.”

Gino:  “Pfft. That’s way too high for a vessel sink. Standard bathroom vanity is 31″.”

Oh yes. Two inches. We’re WAY off.

Gino (pointing at yours truly with his thumb):  “She’ll never be able to reach.” Then, looking at me, “No offense.”

I look at Gino, who can’t be more than 5’3″ tall and reply, “None taken.” Shorty.

Gino doesn’t seem very accommodating with then sinks, so we move onto the tub faucet.

I walk over to a shower/tub combination that features a beautiful brushed nickel finish, thermostat control handles, and a vintage look I love.

“I like this one,” I tell Gino.

Gino:  “You just picked the most expensive one in the whole place. I’m not even going to give you the price.”

First the marble, now the faucet. I really DO have a knack for pricey stuff.

Gino:  “What kind of car do you drive?” I don’t like Gino’s tone, and what he’s implying.

Me:  “A Jetta.”

Gino:  “That’s a good car.”

Me:  “Did you expect me to say ‘Mercedes’ or ‘BMW’?”

Gino:  “Yes.”

I knew it.

Don’t go punishing me for having good taste, Mister.

Gino’s crazy if he thinks we’re doing this whole renovation, making everything beautiful and just the way we like it, and we’re going to throw a crappy $100 tub faucet set up in the bathroom. I don’t think so.

Gino loosens up a little and we start going through all of the faucets. I think Gino expects me to make a snap decision with his staring at me.

Gino:  “You know what I like to call this time? Pinot Grigio time.”

Me:  “This is Pinot Grigio time for me too, Gino.”

Gino:  “I’m tired. I’ve been here since 8am.”

Really, Gino? Well I’ve been working since 8am, too. And I’m not home on my couch yet either enjoy that glass of wine. I’m here, dealing with YOU, and your surly attitude and judgment of my lifestyle.

We do an a la carte shower set up, selecting from a few different collections. Gino gives us the 7:49pm discount, a deeper discount than normal, not because he likes us, but because he wants to get rid of me.

The total was a little more than we wanted to spend, but they were shutting down the lights and Gino was at his wit’s end. So we paid up and headed out.

The rest of what we need? We’re buying online. Sans grouchy salesmen.

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getting to the good stuff.

Lately, the only stuff we’ve been buying for the house has been BORING. Sheetrock. Pipes. Wood. ((yawn))

But the other day Pete the Contractor said some magical words: “you need to get your kitchen faucets.”

NOW we’re talking!

And just 4 shorts days after perusing over 400 faucets online, our beauty arrived in a big, brown box. This was the first item for the new kitchen that wasn’t a piece of plywood or ceiling beam.

Here’s our beauty:

ours, too, will be over a hammered copper sink.

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