Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More electrical

And then there was light!  I have some of the lights back on downstairs with only the porch light and the one in the front of the house to connect.  I should have been done last weekend, but Seth wanted to put a ceiling fan in the living room.  We picked one out this weekend, and every day since then I have attached a new fixture.  

I did my best not to make too make the holes in our ceiling very big, but the harder I tried, the larger the hole became.   I guess I have my next project.
Here are pictures of some of the holes in the ceiling.  The last one I had to make to run new romex down the wall for a new switch.

Having done very little electrical work, and no real training with wiring, I kept having these scary thoughts that when I finally turned everything on, the whole house was going to go up in flames.  But we finally have lights downstairs and the fan and all the lights work. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Knob And Tube

Although our house was rewired two years ago, we found that all the lighting on the first floor was on an old circuit with knob and tube wiring. So I decided that it was time to rewire, thinking it would only take me a few hours......
Well over a week later I have most of the wires in place. The reason it took so long was that the wires from the living room ceiling light went out into the porch, then under the floor of the upstairs bedroom, then behind the baseboard and finally back down to the switch right by the front door. The porch light and the foyer light were all spliced into this circuit behind the baseboard upstairs. So, I had to make holes in the ceiling inside the front door and then take off the baseboard upstairs to run the new wires. I really didn't want to do it because that is the only wall which still had plaster (all the other walls upstairs have exposed lath with very little plaster - most of it was like that when we moved in).
Anyway, I now have to put in new electrical boxes in the ceiling and then attach the new fixtures. I'm hoping to finish everything this week but then I thought I would be finished last weekend! I even added a new light outside which was painful because it was really cold and after a few minutes my fingers would go numb. People in our neighborhood thought that we were either really brave or completely crazy to have bought the house, so after my little stint in the cold trying to drill holes through the front of the house and fishing wires and putting up the light, I think I have convinced them of the latter!
Well, I will hopefully post some pictures of the mess I created soon.

Handyman - this economy sucks

So, I have to finish the plumbing for the master bathroom by the middle of February, so that we can get it inspected for the truth in housing (we have already gotten a couple of extensions and I just want to get it over with).  Because both of us a really busy and the work is going really slowly, I put an ad on craigslist for a handyman to help me finish the plumbing.  In less than 24 hours I got over 50 responses.  

Some of them were over qualified, some wanted me to pay more, some wanted to do it all themselves.  I am now trying to narrow down the list and get in touch with some of them.  I was just surprised though how many contractors didn't have enough work to do and were willing to help me for less than half of what they would normally make.  Some guys wanted more money and wanted to do all the work themselves.  There were others that just came right out and said that they didn't have any work at all or were unemployed.  This economy sucks and I feel really bad for them.  But at the same time, I can't hire them all as we also have a limited amount of money to spend at this time.

I really don't know what to do.

Monday, January 12, 2009

List of house projects!

When we moved into the house, we came up with a list of things that we need to do based on the truth in housing from the city, things our insurance company wanted us to fix and other improvements that we needed to make.  S's parents were going to come up to help in November as they knew what they were doing.  So here is the first thing on our ambitious list of things to get done.

Renovate and extend the bathroom.  

The original bathroom in the house was on the second floor.  It was small and the old clawfoot bathtub was placed under the slope of the roof, so it did not have a shower.  I could not find a picture of the bathroom and this was the best I had.  The ceiling was a horrible purple and the wall paper had big blue and purple flowers.
We did put in a makeshift shower at some point until S's parents came up to help with the projects.

So far we have extend the bathroom taking away some space from the bedroom, installed a new tub and sink and also moved the laundry into this bathroom from the basement (to get around a truth in housing problem). While we were doing this, we ran new PVC pipes for the waste that would eventually replace the cast iron (which I have not finished yet) and PEX tubing for the water supply.  

But we still have to finish the framing for the bathtub which is sitting on 2x4's and frame the walls.  In the meantime, we have a tarp hung from the ceiling where the wall will be eventually!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The house and yard

The House...

The Yard....

And this is a picture from the other end of the yard.  The house is all the way in the front.  It used to take me about 2 hours to mow the lawn.


Last year we started to look for a house with a yard for our dog Buster.  In June we found the perfect house in south minneapolis with a huge yard that was a third of an acre.  The house is a hundred years old and needs updating and quite a bit of work.   The huge yard and the original wood work were the redeeming qualities off the house and we figured that we were up to the challenge of renovating the house.  

I started this blog to chronicle our progress with the house and yard and also to motivate me to keep going.  I will also post before, during and after pictures of our different projects.  While we hope to be finished at some point, I doubt that we will ever be really done and will always have something to fix or do.....