Operation Spare Room - Done

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It is, of course, WELL past the time we have completed our guest room. (It's actually still lacking the wood trim...we're still stripping that) So in a very quick rendition of our escapades... after the drilling for wires, electrical work and insulation we hung drywall.
For five days, between the hours of 6pm and 2am we hung drywall.

And let me tell you, Josh and I are generally very easy going with one another... but the true test of our relationship was this process...

Some of our lessons learned:

  1. Neither one of us are mind readers. Use your words.
  2. A grumble does not equal a word.
  3. Rachel is a weakling.... (really, holding dry wall above your head while standing on a ladder puts your strength into perspective).
  4. Do not, I repeat, do not wait until the last week before your self-imposed deadline to accomplish something.

That said, the drywall is securely up, mudded, sanded and painted.

Our new windows were put it. (YEAH!!!)

And (drum roll please) the finished (save the wood trim work) spare room!!!

Not half bad for beginners eh? In the subsequent months we opted out of such a big project for the rest of 2009... however we did paint ourselves silly to help feel like we were getting more accomplished.

Upstairs hallway, Dining room

Downstairs bathroom

So there you have it. The spare room is perfectly usable with only a few items needed... three rooms have gotten a bit of a face lift and we are stocking away funds for Project 2010...

A balcony/deck.

Wilbert be Damned!

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Meet "Really-Big-Drill-That's-Still-In-Our-Attic" aka "Wilbert." This weapon of mass destruction was loaned to us for the explicit purpose of taking a total of 45 seconds to drill a hole through a brick chimney for stringing wires from the basement to the upper floors and again from attic to lower floors. It did it's job well. . . however, it seems to have deeply offended my husband. Why? Because it's still in the attic and his response as to why always has an edge of "I'm punishing it!"

Moving on from Wilbert. . . Josh managed to be an electrician for a few days.

During this time, we also removed a ceiling full of dead, dirty sheep. See:

Yes, we wore masks, goggles, long sleeves, had the windows open, and generally took every precaution. I STILL managed to get a nasty skin rash from it. Every where I scratched - a gazillion tiny red, itchy bumps took over. Mind you, I'm the kid that would roll in poison ivy and not think twice. . . how this happened - no idea. Regardless, one week full of oatmeal baths and Benadryl later, I was fine. We continued on and (thanks Iyz) put in the new insulation in our ceiling and exterior wall. Yes, it's just the normal pink rolls. We thought about all the fabulous other options - spray in insulation, spray foam, etc. but cost wise, there was no competition.

We're feeling warmer already.

Operation Spare Room - Demolition

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Well it’s time. It’s time to just do it. To get this project started… or as Josh would say… “Let’s kick this pig!” (Why that phrase? I have no idea).

Friday, January 30th we leave for Bloomington to pick up our fellow laborer, aka my brother. Thankfully we geared ourselves up by dining at a lovely restaurant in Bloomington called Casablanca. It’s a Moroccan restaurant along one of the many food-lined streets. I recommend the tea and honey lamb. Mmmm.

Friday night we didn’t end up doing much since we didn’t even arrive back home until well after 10pm. So Saturday begins our true work.
I actually had a bit of photo editing to finish up for a freelance project and was unable to partake in the initial demolition… however keeping the animals from flipping out was a chore in and of it’s self. I captured my working environment...

The guys did a pretty admirable job. Below is a collection of their handy work.

Triumphant poses. At this time, we were able to take a look at our present state of wiring.

Comforting, no? A $1200 quote for re-wiring later and we came to the conclusion that it was time to learn electrical. And by learn I mean cheer Josh on as he shadows his uncle. ;o)

Cheer with me now... Woo!!! Way to go!! Yeah!!!

Operation Spare Room

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What better to do in winter weather than completely overhaul your spare bedroom, right? Exactly, a perfect time... when you're reminded that your house has no insulation, it makes motivation to add insulation pretty noticeable. Mind you, initially I was simply thinking of painting the spare room... My husband had other plans. "Aw, why not just totally re-do the room?" I then thought he meant get new light fixtures. It wasn't until he was getting quotes for electricians and typing "insulation" into google that I became a little worried.

By the way, the image on the right is what the spare room looks like. We had previously determined that it
was certainly the most hideous room in the house.

So, moving on in the story. We're over-hauling the spare room. Our to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Taking the woodwork (except the doors) back to woodwork and stain a dark walnut - to match our other woodwork and bedframe. Remove all plaster, replace with drywall. Replace old knob and tube wiring with new, up to code wiring, insulation the exterior wall and ceiling, install new-energy efficient windows, install four recessed lights, a fan/light, paint, strip my childhood bedroom set and restain, create curtains (my first sewing maching project), and generally make the decor and accessories fluffy and lovely. Ideally, we can complete the majority by March 14th. [a side note, we actually begun this late January so it was more feesible than the current posting date].

Our inspiration:

As with any project, there will be challenges. A few of ours are...between us we have zero electrical experience, we know nothing of windows, haven't a clue which insulation to use, and lastly, we both work 40+ hours a week. Minor details...

We've thankfully been able to look pitiful enough for Josh's uncle to take pity on us and help us out. The man knows just enough about everything and an enormous amount about what we need. (Thank God). My gracious brother has kindly accepted a trade of manual labor for food, laundry and lodging.

Wish us luck.

First major project(s)

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* Flashback* June 2008

Our house was a steal price wise... well, except for the fact that our plumbing is best described with this visual:

In case you aren't familiar with that angle... it's our kitchen faucet. Very pretty isn't it?

Thankfully on the day Josh and I were just going to be giving a tour to his aunt and uncle they were so moved by inspiration to help their poor, helpless, lost relatives that they immediately waved their wands and ta-da! Unclogged pipes, new pipes, new toilet, working plumbing! Okay, so perhaps I'm simply making a long story short. These images give a better description:

Have we ever mentioned how thankful we were for them? THANK YOU!!! We took a bit of lunch in our finery prior to installing the toilet.

Needless to say, if it weren't for them we either would have paid an arm and a leg for the use of our sinks and toilets or be horrifically constipated.

Faith is parking a uhaul in the driveway you've yet to own.

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The saga of our Fall Creek Eclectic home begins:

July 2008

On our closing date day we drove the Uhaul down to Indy, parked it in the driveway of our dream home and just prayed that all would go smoothly with the transaction that had been set up for that day. It'd had been a long and rocky road battling for this foreclosed home. So rocky we felt as if we were stalking the brokerage company... Thankfully our real estate agent aka Mr. Rogers, was able to weasel the house keys away from the broker at the end of the paperwork even though the correct deed had yet to come (because the broker assumed we wouldn't actually be able to pull this off). B-t-w, to add to the bizarre experience this has been, the seller's broker showed up wearing tattered jean cut-offs, unbrushed hair, low cut shirt, big silver jewelry and a very "so, whatz-up" kind of attitude. It was beyond strange in the surroundings of the clean-cut conference room of the title company.

After "closing" we went back and unloaded the uhaul in our kind-of-ours home. Shortly after beginning neighbor #1 came over. He lives on our left (looking at the house) in a beautiful brick and mosaic home. He introduced himself and cheefully welcomed us to the neighborhood. About ten minutes later our right side neighbors came over. They introduced themselves and kindly welcomed us into the neighborhood. They even offered their facilities while we fixed ours and were even kind enough to invite us over any time we needed a cold glass of water. About half an hour later we met a neighbor from down the street. He was nearer to our age and, again, happily welcomed us into the neighborhood. He and his partner had just moved into their home about a year ago. This has been a stark difference from some of the unfriendly scowls we were finding while house hunting.

Through this whole process we've been so grateful for our family and friends. We've been so helped in this whole process. Josh's aunt and uncle have whole-heartedly jumped in to help. His uncle has done an amazing job of unclogging our bathroom sinks, installing a new toilet and fixing the old one. Our friends from up north that moved to Indy the year prior to us have lent their talents to assist us in unclogging our kitchen sink and touch-ups on the old toilet. Another of our college friends was completely awesome in coming over and helping us unload all of our stuff in record time. We are richly blessed in friends.