Friday, February 11, 2011

Living Room - Before & After

Next in the line up is the Living Room. Looking through the pictures made me realize that I need to take some more pictures of how the living room looks right now. Things should be changing in the next couple of months (we've had the supplies since Thanksgiving...)

Here is what it looked like during our first walk through of the house.
 We were half hoping that he would leave the autographed Micky Mantle such luck.
To the right are the stairs and in the far corner a door to the hallway. This door was blocked so you couldn't open it.
 If you look closely, you can see where there used to be a wall. the previous owner patched with a piece of sheet rock. 1/2 of it is still there and the other half I cover with a blanket. Classy, i know. I keeps it real.
The living room the first day we got in the house. (after Graham already pulled out the carpets laying on the floor.Lucky for us, they weren't installed and kept the floors in relatively good state.)

 Primed and ready for paint. We masked the whole house and rented a spray gun to prime the whole house. History Lesson: The previous owner lived in the house for 25-30 years and was at least a pack a day smoker, in the house, every day, all day. EIW. We washed (and by we i mean Graham as I was home with the boys who were 23 months and 4 months old) with TSP. The walls were streaked with orange goo dripping down the  walls. Once all the walls we clean and dry, hubster sprayed it all. (except the bathroom, sunroom & mudroom) Then we had a painting/cleaning party!
 The ceiling fan. Can you see the dust and cigarette smoke residue on the shades?!
 My lovely grey walls.
 The ceilings are still primer white. I was going to paint them a pale grey, but my pale grey turned out to be too dark. Soooo, I have a patch of dark ceiling right by the other door (which no longer there after it fell off one day....) ah yes, ANOTHER project. Though really, with the kids it's better gone, just another door for baby's brother's fingers to be shut in...
This reminds me that I need to find pictures of the "new" light fixture we scored at one of the Rejuvenation factory sales. 
The original curtains that I made and was never 100% happy with....
And here are the Ikea curtains I bought a few months ago. I must take more photos tomorrow to give a better view and explanation of the changes to come.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Energy Audit

At the end of 2009, I signed us up for an Energy Audit/program through the city. I received a letter a few months later telling me that we made the waiting list. Then I believe another telling me that the $ for that year had been exhausted and that we were on the list for 2010. December rolls around and we finally get a letter asking us about our electric/gas/etc bills are. We only have electric wall heaters and try to avoid using them as much as possible (problem is they kick on during the super cold winter nights anyway). We replaced the broken pellet stove with a new Hearthstone wood stove at Thanksgiving in 2009. Because our house is a sieve, we have been going through A LOT of wood & Bear bricks. Already almost 2 cords of wood and on our 2nd pallet of bricks for this winter!
Anyway....this morning was our energy audit. Now I can't remember if this is a grant to cover the costs of what the Auditor recommends OR a program the city has to offer the upgrades at low interest, long term plan. It turns out that we are eligible for a new refrigerator(!) toilet & insulation in the attic. Apparently he mentioned the water heater but didn't say anything about replacing it or insulating the ceiling of the basement (so much cold air comes up through the floor into the main part of the house). Unfortunately windows are not part of what they do (we are working on that on another front...)
Next step is a mock up or list maybe(?) of what can be done and what the following steps are. Maybe at that point we will understand what exactly the deal is.

Getting up to Speed.

( I have been trying to finish and post this since Friday night...I had some technical difficulties so hopefully I can get more posts added today.)

I think the best way to start off this blog is by posting the history of what we have done with our house since we purchased it in August 2009. I am thinking I will tackle each room every day until ALL the rooms are updated. Looking through all of the pictures I feel few things. 1. We have done A LOT in the 1 1/2 years we have had this home. 2. Inspired to finish a room/anxious to have at least 1 room done! 3. Amazed at how some rooms have already been changed since i first decorated.

I am hoping that this blog will help me get projects done even if they are "small" projects (we all know that in older homes there is no such thing as a SMALL project!)

Okay, to start, let's see the outside of the house...I am going to have to take some updated pictures of the front yard this weekend...

Sold sign & the Dodge.
 We replaced a window last spring.
This past winter, we learned how badly we were taken advantage of by Penguin Windows. WAY over charged. We gave in after a 3 1/2 hour house call sales pitch and the allure of only having to pay $25/month (which was never the case) This was one of our first lessons. We HATE paying more than we should and assumed that if a Penguin window was that much surely Milgard would be hundreds if not thousands more...We have now found a wonderful company, Classic Sash & Door, who will being doing the rest of our windows. This window will be the last to be replaced as we will keep it around as a reminder....more on the windows later.
The Trash pile. I think it got bigger before it got smaller...

Believe it or not, these pictures are from almost exactly 1 year ago! Interesting to see the difference in the weather. It was unusually warm and the daffodils were already blooming. This fence is still not 100% finished. We (meaning the hubby) need to put on the decorative gate boards and trim the post next to the house. This is one of the many projects that is 95% done.
This is another old picture from last spring/summer. the plants have grown in more, the drip system was installed and all of the mulch has been laid. I will aim to get new pictures this weekend to show how much it has changed since the plants were first put in.