Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let's talk about the elephant in the house

So let's talk about The Big Question. You know, the one everyone keeps asking me and I have no answer to - but I would oh so very much like to know the answer to myself!

Usually I can see the question coming from a mile away. The conversation starts when a well-meaning friend or relative asks, "So, how's the house going?"

At which point I wax poetic on all the things we've accomplished in the last 24 hours, then whip out my iPhone for visual evidence of important things like my new panel box. (For those of you who work with me, sorry about those iPhone pictures. I know you're sick of them, but bear with me - we've only got another 2-3 years of this project to go.)

When I pause for breath in the midst of explaining how you mix mortar to put in tile, or how we spent two hours in Lowe's last night looking at appliances, the well-meaning friend, in a desperate attempt to get me to shut up, asks the logical follow-up question:

"So, when are you moving in?"

At which point I stare dumbly at them, mumble, "I don't really know," and stumble off to find another cup of chai.

And really, I can't be any more specific than that. We are working on this house every spare moment. We've had help from any friends or relatives that we could sucker into it (and a huge THANK YOU to all of you). We had a plan and a timeline when we started on this in November, but after the first weekend, we pretty much tossed the timeline out of the window. We simply do as much work as we can in the time we have available, or work until we run out of steam. Plus, there's the "things to do" list, and then there's the "things that have broken in the last 24 hours than need to be fixed now," and that list often gets in the way of the "things to do" list. So we just keep doing whatever needs doing right now, and hope that eventually the next thing on the list to do will be to actually move in.

So you're probably now curious about what needs to be done before we can move in. Well, here goes:
  • Both bathrooms are still ripped out to the studs. The kid's bath has tile, but no grout. We need to grout the floor, then we have to tile the tub surround and grout and seal it. In the meantime, we have to run the wiring for the bathroom(lights and GFCI outlet), then put up drywall, float, tape, texture, and paint. The beadboard has to go up, and the trim. The linen closet needs new doors or at least trim strip to update the doors. We have to install the toilet and pedestal sink, lights, and medicine cabinet/mirror. And eventually, we have to get the tub re-enameled, but that probably won't happen till after we move in.
  • Both kid's bedrooms need some taping and floating work before they can be painted. I'm hoping to take care of that this week so we can get the painting started and start moving stuff into their rooms at least.
  • The new bedroom still has to have some drywall cut and rehung, then tape, float, and texture, that part, then paint the whole room. We need to find another home for all the tools currently living in there, then we can reinstall the carpet in that room and start moving stuff in.
  • The hallway needs to be tiled and grouted. There's some taping and floating that needs to be done in the ceiling where our plumber put his foot through the drywall. And then of course, it will need to be painted.
  • The den/office has some taping and floating to do, followed by painting.
  • The laundry/utility room needs to have an electrical outlet/circuit run just for the chest freezer. The floor needs to be tiled and grouted. Then there's the standard drywall repair, taping/floating/texturing/painting. And maybe THEN we can put the water heater in!
  • The (formerly pink) hall bathroom needs to have the floor and shower (eek!) tiled and grouted. Then it's hang the drywall, tape/float/texture/paint, install toilet and vanity.
Could we do some of this now, move in, and then finish it up once we've moved in? Probably so, but there's something quite unappealing about living in a house that's in the middle of a remodel. Plus, it's WAY easier to do most of this stuff (especially painting) when there's no furniture in the room, so it makes sense to do as much of it as possible before move-in.

Of course, it may come down to we simply HAVE to get out of our current house in order to sell it - we'd like to get it on the market no later than March 1. That is a mere month away at this point, and I don't know that we'll make it.

We have talked about hiring some folks to get this done faster, but frankly we like what we're doing and it's fun (for now). We're also trying to spend our money where we have to, like on supplies, instead of on labor. And even in this economy, labor's not cheap - we were quoted $1800 to lay 350 square feet of tile. Yikes! I'd rather spend my $1800 (ok, plus a little) on a really sweet new refrigerator, like this one. But I digress into shiny appliance land.

So anyway, I have no idea when we are moving in. But when we do, we'll throw a big party and invite everyone so there will be no doubt that we have, in fact, finally moved in. And then you can start asking me when we'll be building the barn. :)

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