Friday, June 29, 2007
Background: The house came with an old, moldy washer and dryer. They worked, but the washer hoses were breaking down and needed to be replaced. Sue helped us replace the hoses, but had a very hard time tightening everything down enough that it wouldn't leak. For about a week the washer worked fine but the water switch leaked. Then finally, with lots of effort and plumber's putty, we fixed the leak. Literally a day later, the washer started walking across the floor and throwing water everywhere (but not out of the original leak, or any leaks we could find - the water was literally being thrown out of the bin). At this point we had had enough.
Result: we spent some money and got some sweet new laundry machines . They were delivered today (and the nasty old ones were hauled away, leaving us as the winners of the laundry battle). I am very excited because our new space-age washer only uses 14 gallons of water/wash (as opposed to 40 for a normal washer). We have to go buy special detergent because regular needs too much water. I am also very excited that both machines have cute little displays telling me what is going on and how much time is left. We have the smartest laundry machines in the world. Ok, except for the super super fancy ones that cost a grand each and wash your clothes with steam, then fold, iron and put them away for you. But I swear these are the next best thing.
At first Max was curious about the space ships in our laundry room, but then one started to spin and she decided she was terrified of them. I expect that to last about two days until she realizes they are fun to climb on.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Says Max. She's right. It's been in the 90s for the past few days so we're kind of sweaty around here. Sweaty and covered in paint - I am working to get the stairs done so we can hang up pictures on them. This has required some creative floor protection. Luckily we still have the wrapping paper the movers used to carefully protect each CD, candle, and bottle of shampoo we own. Now a bunch of it is taped to the stairs. Max HATES the paper on the stairs, and is angry at me for putting it there. I have no sympathy. I figure a cat that will dive into and explore our heating ducts should be able to handle some paper on the stairs.
Monday, June 25, 2007
So after moving everything we own into the back two rooms of our house, we left they key with the flooring guy and headed to Boston. We returned last night to a lonely cat and some absolutely beautiful floors.
So needless to say, we're totally psyched about it. Floors like this were what we had imagined for our house and having them so soon makes the staple pulling worth it. :) Now we're left to unload all of our belongings from our kitchen and laundry room, in the most careful manner possible so we don't scratch the hell out of it.
See more pictures of the floors before we scratch them here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8640358@N04/tags/floors/
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Question 1: Isn't it inconvineint to have all of your furnitute shoved to the side of only a few rooms in anticipation of having the floors redone?
Answer 1: Yes. Highly inconvinient. However, one very nice side effect is that Chad and I have been eating most of our meals outside under our big tree. It's been really hot here (in the 90s) but it's nice and cool under the tree.
Question 2: How's the painting going?
Answer 2: Sweaty. Tiring. But moving right along. So far I've managed to paint the living room and the master bedroom... stay tuned for the grand unveiling.
Living room taped............... and painted
Question 3: What's next?
Answer 3: We head to Boston on Thursday and Friday, and when we're gone the floors are getting refinished (yay!). So this means all day tomorrow will be spent moving everything we own into our kitchen and laundry room (luckily we don't own that much stuff). Pictures to follow once they're done!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The trip to Staples was easy and I ended up getting the same chair we use at the office for conference room chairs (on sale, no less!). We then headed to Ikea, and despite having directions, we managed to miss a turn and went about 5 miles off track, eventually stumbling upon the mall. The King of Prussia Mall is in the town of King of Prussia. Honestly, who names a town "King of Prussia?"
Anyway, the KoP Mall is hands down, the largest mall I have ever been in. We're talking absurdley big here. It took a few minutes to locate and walk to the Apple store. By this point, we had driven around tyring to find the mall for a while, so we were getting down to the wire. Once we left the mall, we only had an hour before Ikea closed. That'd probably be fine, except that we didn't know how to get to Ikea from where we were.
With our fingers crossed, and a few wrong turns later we ended up at Ikea at 8:30, a half-hour before it was to close. We rushed to the work area section, picked out the desk (I already knew which one I wanted) and made it to the checkout just as Ikea was officially closing. Of course, the desk wouldn't fit in the car. Luckily we were able to tie it to the roof of the car, and we were on our way.
The next morning, I set up the desk and chair and was on my way to a productive work day in the new office, with no sore back or neck at the end of it.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Background: After Chad and I closed on the house, we came home, unloaded our stuff, and got ready to go out and celebrate. As we're walking out the door we hear water running. We go check it out, and the toilet has overflowed and flooded the bathroom. Keep in mind we've been homeowners for all of two hours at this point.
So the downstairs toilet gets one point for that sneak attack (we did use it before buying the house and it worked fine) and for discouraging any work by being totally disgusting.
Rachel gets 2 points for braving the grossness, removing the offending broken equipment (below left), and cleaning it all up and installing a shiny new fill valve and flapper (right).
It actually wasn't even very hard - I just bought a fill valve and flapper kit (Fluidmaster brand) at home depot and swapped them out following the instructions. If only the washing machine leak could be thwarted so easily...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
If we had moved ourselves, I would have tossed stuff like that in a grocery bag in the car. So bizzarre. For example, the following spices (below left) produced an absurd amount of paper (below right). Seems like a bit of a waste, but who am I to complain as someone who didn't have to carry it. The company is apparently going to come back and pick up the material, so here's hoping they recycle it.
Tomorrow I'm looking for our bedroom.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
We even had a bit of time for fun stuff, with a tasting at Harpoon Brewery, one last dinner at Vinny's, some quality sister time (with Jello!) and an afternoon history lesson with Sue and Rachel scaling the Bunker Hill monument (294 stairs).
And a chance to check out Mortal Kombat for Wii at our goodbye party
Then, before you know it, the movers are here and it’s time to go to Philadelphia. Just to recap and be clear about exactly how crazy our last bit of time has been:
Thursday (May 31): buy house
Friday – Sunday: Tear up carpets, fix stuff, visit w/Mom and Sue, drive back to Boston
Monday – Wednesday: Work. Make arrangements for leaving. Last volleyball practice. Sarah and Al arrive.
Thursday: Mom, Sue, Dad, Melanie arrive. Hooding, Brewery tour, Dinner at Vinny’s
Friday: Graduation, Reception, Visit Bunker Hill + USS constitution, Leftover Smorgasbord, kids go meet Thoughtbot guys for drinks
Saturday: Sarah and Rachel shop all day, Big party at night
Sunday: people leave ~2am, Rachel takes Sarah and Al airport ~6am, spends the bulk of the day cleaning out her lab space.
Monday (June 11): Early am trip to Chad’s office to pick up last stuff. Chad stays at work, Rachel gets thoroughly lost, almost drives into a bus, then goes to MIT to drop off thesis copies and make sure she’s totally cleaned out. Then movers arrive and we’re outta here. Unfortunately they pack up the network router first so this post will have to wait until I find other access.update (Tuesday, June 12): We are obviously insane and drove to Ambler last night after the movers left (~8pm). We got in ~2am. But we're here!
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Mom and Sue came down this weekend to check out the house and help us learn how to do a lot of handy stuff. They were so so so so helpful and we had a ton of fun. They arrived on Saturday when we had about 20 staples left in the carpet removal project, so they helped us finish that and then we spent the rest of the day planning and shopping. Then on Sunday we did more than I realized possible:
- Replaced dryer vent with metal tube, added small animal cover
- Replaced washer tubes and water switch
- Replaced trap in bathroom sinks, checked traps in other sinks
- Cleaned and killed lots of mold in bathroom
- Re-caulked bathtub
- Re-covered hole in back of house (old dryer vent)
- Re-hung bathroom door to fix stickiness
- Cleaned and mopped all newly bare floors
- Checked outlets for grounding
- Fixed loose floorboards in dining room and living room
- Peeled area of loose paint in stairwell and patched with joint compound
Here's to next time, where we might have more furniture so Chad doesn't have to run his business from a lawn chair. Though I suspect the chandelier safety device may still be necessary, in order to prevent further collisions with the light.
We have become convinced that the previous owners re-carpeted their house about 18 times, and own stock in carpet staple making companies. So many staples. Holding blue fuzz. Pink fuzz. White fuzz. Green Fuzz. Red Fuzz. Etc. The stairs were the most painful. At any rate, the carpets are up now.
The floors definitely need some work- there's tons of paint splatters and a bit of general discoloration. They've been covered for a long time. But with a bit of refinishing I think they'll look AWSEOME. Examples:
Before, carpet is slightly smelly
After, floors less smelly, ready for refinishing
Saturday, June 2, 2007
We had stuck linoleum.
Yes linoleum. Chad had pulled up the white carpet to find yellow linoleum. We didn't know what the floors would be like under the carpet, but I will admit this we did not expect (I will also
Friday, June 1, 2007
We had an ambitious schedule starting on Thursday, where we left bright an early for Ambler, PA. We arrived a early, so we grabbed some lunch at the local deli, and then headed to the house to wait for the realtor to arrive.
We did the walkthrough - I think we were both smiling the whole time. Admittedly, having been almost 3 months since we had last seen the house, I think we were worried that we didn't remember some bad things about it, or something. But, everything was as we hoped, and from there we headed to the realtor's office for the closing!
We arrived for the closing, where we finally met our mortgage broker face-to-face and went over all the paper work. Everything being in order, the other parties arrived and we got things underway. About 20 signatures each later, we were the proud owners of our very first house.
We hightailed it back with the keys and unloaded our stuff from the car, and made our first of what will likely be many trips to home depot to buy wonderbards, gloves, exacto knives, and various other carpet removal equipment.
Arriving back at the house, we hit the town to experience all that Ambler had to offer. I have to say that its great to be moving to a place with happy hours and drink specials.
The next morning we woke up bring and early, went for a run around town, grabbed some breakfast and then set to work on pulling up the carpet. If you've never pulled up carpet before, there are two essential tools you'll need - a wonderbar and gloves.
We we were well into the carpet removal process when the Verizon technician arrived to begin installing our FiOS internet and TV service. 5 and a half hours later, he'd be finished and we'd be fully operational. So now we can write this blog. :)
Also, we'll try to keep updating this as things progress. We'll take tons of pictures, which you can see on Flickr, by clicking the images to the right of the blog.
Before, with carpet (boo)