Archive for February, 2012

Vintage Purple Walls With Newly (And Over) Stained Floors

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Dining Room is Regatta Blue, While Entrance Foyer is Mint Majesty

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Colonial Rose? More Like Flamingo Pink!

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With A Name Like “Caulking,” It Has To Be Good

A few nights ago, I found myself with a few hours free, so decided to take on some of the “minor” basement projects:

1) Caulking
2) Attach a dryer vent hood
3) Adding a weather strip to the back door
4) Attach a pull chain to one of the lightbulbs

Attaching the fancy chain attachment to the lightbulb took all of two minutes. It was GREAT. Something small and easy to do, but made me feel like a success. Great way to start.

Adding the weather strip to the bottom of the back door required a bit more thought and elbow grease, but I was up to the challenge. The strip was a bit too long – of course – so I had to do a little cutting on my end to make it work. It only became problematic after I attached it and gave the door a pull. When I examined my handiwork, I learned that my basement floor isn’t even. Surprise! So with the attached weather strip, my basement door drags a bit across the floor and now needs a little extra pull/push to open all the way. However, the basement is much warmer now and I’m comfortable knowing little friends won’t be crawling into the house to stay warm or search for food.

Oh – and speaking of little friends – a friend warned me that little furry animals like to crawl into dryer vents for warmth and sometimes can’t get back out. And DIE IN YOUR DRYER VENTS. I immediately fast forwarded to having to stick my hand down the vent to pull out the rotting carcass of a dead rat and added a dryer vent hood to my list of things to buy. Totally easy to attach, it fits right on there and when the dryer emits hot air, these nifty flaps open up to release the air. Genius really.

Then the caulking. Caulk gun, check. Great find from community forklift – I’ve mentioned them before and I’ll do so again. Love those guys! Silicone caulking, check. Brother whose mind is in the gutter, check. We had the most ridiculous conversation on how to caulk a hole. From “just pump it with your hands until something comes out” to “stick your finger in the hole to loosen it up a bit,” there wasn’t a single thing we could say or do that didn’t just sound diiiiiiiiirty. Even the “you just have to push through it the first time, it gets easier” line had me in tears from laughing.

So, dear readers – the lesson for today is that one way to enjoy your home repairs is by finding sexual innuendo everywhere you can.

More on the gut wrenching and ever more complicated task of cabinets and flooring in my next post. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Impulse and Kitchen Cabinets

Homeownership reminds me of living in Uzbekistan.  There’s a different language when working with contractors.  You have to sift through what they’re saying, while trying to listen to what they are actually saying.  Not to mention a whole lexicon for construction materials and supplies.  No one is ever on time, goals fall a bit short of their deadline and there is little respect for a single woman’s attempts at doing this stuff.

That said, I have been very fortunately to have some guy friends who know what they are talking about and have referred good people to help me navigate through this culture shock.  It’s still a shock nonetheless.  The example I will use to illustrate this today will be kitchen cabinets.

Never having owned a house before, I really had no idea how much cabinets cost.  Do YOU?  My cabinets were fine.  After they were cleaned up a bit, they were actually kinda nice.  But as we were gutting out the whole kitchen, I decided, why not?  Get rid of them too.  A new set for such a small kitchen can’t be more than…what?  1 to 2K?  WHY HAS THIS NEVER COME UP IN CONVERSATION?!

My all around repair guy didn’t bring it up.  My friend who is acting as my advisor through this whole process didn’t even flinch when I said “get rid of it all.”  I may have even been channelling a little bit of the Joan Crawford.  Who knows.  Point is, ladies and gentlemen – DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR CABINETS.  Refinish them.  Repaint them.  But do not throw them out, as a new set is likely to cost you 5K to 9K.  For wood boxes?!?  I just don’t get it.  But there you have it.

Lesson learned.  To make up for it, I promptly went on craigslist to find anything salvageable – we’re talking both for my kitchen and my pride at this point.  Fortunately, fortune has smiled at my foolishness.  I found a set of 1950s Sears white metal cabinets that will work nicely with my theme.  They were available for what I thought is a reasonable price – $150.  Granted, they need a good scrubbing and spray paint over.  And I had to rent a U-Haul to pick them up.  But all in all, a “new” set of cabinets for $200 is a much easier pill to swallow than 5K.