Monday, September 01, 2014

Front hallway re-do

For those of you keeping track, we have made very little progress fixing up our little fixer upper home. There have been some behind the scenes modifications, such as updating the electrical panel and replacing the wall heater (the one that was charring wood in the attic and vented carbon monoxide directly back into the house), but even these upgrades will likely not be appreciated by the next owners -- the new circuit box is functional, but looks like shit, and they will curse us daily for not putting in central heat and air in our little sauna.

What is that about next owners? Well, we have decided to throw in the towel on our little Cracker Jack box, and focus on buying our dream home. Instead of a planned 5 more years here, we are looking to sell in a year and a half. This will give us some time to save more money towards a down payment, and do a spit shine on our current house. Instead of modern cement siding, she'll be getting another rotten paint job that will fry off in 5 years and make the new owners hate us even more (our house currently looks post apocalyptic due to how bad the last paint job weathered). If by chance we get stuck here, i.e. another housing bubble, we will have made the place liveable again. But -- then I'm going to for sure need that new kitchen :)

Our spirits are renewed under this new plan, and hopefully we will get on track with both indoor and outdoor projects. The indoor ones we outlined are kind of fun. We even thought of a Designed to Sell level upgrade for our craptastic bathroom that will give visual wow, but won't cost too much money.

Our most recent project was a re-do really, as we had already addressed the front hallway area to some degree. This time the impetus was to hang up a coat rack in anticipation of kindergarten starting this week for Hank. The key holder/ mail holder was already located here.

BT also refinished the front closet door and replaced the molding. He has been doing these two upgrades as he addresses each room. The doors are all custom, and hand-routed. Back in 1948, somebody likely would have thought the fabricator of these doors did a lousy job, as the routed lines are barely straight. By today's standards, they are considered well made and worth preserving. In addition to general touch ups on the doors, BT needs to rebuild the area around the door handle, as a chunk of each door was removed to put in the handle. He also replaces the hinges. It takes him a weekend to re-do a door. We are down to just 2 more to do -- yeah!

This door has a deadbolt instead of a handle. This was the way the door was when we moved in. We heard the previous owner keep guns in here. The utility of leaving it this way is two-fold, though both reasons are totally ghetto. One, if this door had a handle, it would compete with the handle of the front door if both were open. Also -- this is our safe closet. Anything of value (and only one non-working classic gun) is locked up in here in case the house gets broken into again. So, yeah -- the new owners will likely think we were weird and swap out the handle, but perhaps with time they will realize why we had it this way.

The light fixture was also something we had had changed early on, but I cleaned out all the dead bugs.

I also cleaned out the closet. The shopaholic in me wants to buy all new hip and coordinated boxes, but the environmentalist in me knows it is best to use what I have. This closet truly holds a hodge-podge of junk. What -- don't you have an Oktoberfest box, too?

The only remaining project for this area is the front door. BT just wants to refinish the one we have, but I have had my eye on some modern made alternatives. Will keep you posted on who wins that battle and additional progress!

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