Thursday, April 16, 2015

Energy Upgrades, Action Shots!

After the crazy cold finally broke and it was above 20 degrees, the guys started the blown-in insulation.  It took about a week and a half due to the large size of the house and the fact that it has all sorts of extra blocking in it so they had to drill even more holes than normal. That's going to be fun when I finally get around to painting the house!

Stage One: I have to do what? 
This is what happens when you're a hoarder and you have to clear out your attic so guys can air seal it.
Good thing I have so many bedrooms.

Stage 2: It looks like giant wood borer bees are attacking my house. 

Apparently my aluminum siding is some real vintage stuff. Like some of the first siding ever made in the late 40s after WW2. Which means the first slacker to own this place might have been the original owner, who couldn't be bothered to paint it a mere 20 years after it was built. It also means it's super thick and doesn't have mounting strips/clips/nonsense so it's really hard to re-attach. The guys working on the house had never seen it before and were concerned about messing it up when they went to put it back on. After I stopped laughing, I told them that after someone hits your house with a car, you don't really worry about dents in the siding anymore. Also, it's already so fantastic looking, dents could only enhance the appeal. Ahem.

The house is looking really great right now.

Wood siding seems to be in excellent condition, so my dreams of
ripping off the aluminum siding aren't so farfetched afterall.

Stage 3: Holy shit balls everything is covered in dust, how did heat ever stay in my house, ever, at all.
Snuck in through the radiator pipe hole.

No wonder the tub was always so cold, aka this closet is now a dust bin.

Well well well. Air leakage anyone? No wonder why this was such a good place to store wine.
Stage 4: Bye bye rust bucket boilers. We were the same age, I'll miss you. Not.

Mid heating system replacement.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Before and Afters Part 3

Because who doesn't like an 18 month wait to see stuff.

Oh the horror show that was the rest of the house did not stop here folks. Just kept going. The rug was a lovely shade of vomit after mexican food, and covered in cat. Cat hair, cat food, cat barf, cat pee. SO NICE.

Outdated electrical? Check. 
One million holes per wall? Check. 
Peeling paint and dirt smears? Check.

The ceilings, as in the rest of the house, were these lovely acoustical tiles. Failing in several places, with dirty brown seams. Very restful. One lovely tenant had decided that the trim needed some pizazz and painted on what looked to be glow in the dark paint that no longer glowed.

So in true my house fashion, shit got much, much, worse before becoming even slightly better. Because under the cat carpet was this:


Except here it was punctuated every three millimeters with staples and nails that had been holding down the rug pad. Where did they think that pad was going to go?!

After a mere three hours of back breaking, handnumbing scraping, hammering, and chiseling PER ROOM, I had a thing of beauty. Hahahahaha. 

Just kidding, it looked even shittier:

Tar, adhesive, death. Wonderful! I cried, I drank, I covered it with paper so my floor guy could unwrap it, like a really terrible present.

Fast forward 15 gal of spackle, 3 weeks of painting, and some major floor sanding. Plus 4 new (salvaged) doors for the bedrooms and bathroom, window coverings, and new schoolhouse style lights.

Oh look, something finally livable!

Sorry these are so blurry, I'm sure my arms were not working at this point.

Why finally post this? Well the apartment will probably be coming up for rent this year and I need to remind myself that even when renovation seem impossible, it will turn out ok. Because I will need to upgrade the kitchen once more. Stage 2 of 3 will consist of new Ikea cabinets, a dishwasher, and the microwave hood installed, but as a circulating one only for this stage. I upgraded the stove this past summer and bought the microwave hood at the same time, but never installed it because I needed electrical for that. The pantry/laundry room will stay for now, as will the countertops that I painted black. I plan to do butcherblock the same as in my kitchen, so I need to wait until the wall comes down to install it. Spreading the renovation out in stages means that the apartment will be vacant for less time, and I'll be able to spread my costs out over several years.