Cleaning out a drain

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Having our gutters replaced was an exciting prospect, made more interesting by suspense filled discovery of which gutter drains would or would not actually drain. Turns out all but the front drain which has been thoroughly consumed by the oak tree roots and was only made of clay to start with will probably work.

This drain out back (just inside the neighbor’s fence), however, looked so nice and white and plastic but was filled to the brim with leaves/dirt etc. Suggestions were made to call expensive people like plumbers but I decided that my arm fit in there fine and I went and got some kitchen goves, a bar-b-q fork, some tongs and started jamming my hand in there digging away.

Here’s the view of what was sticking my hand into (got in there down to my armpit eventually):

And after doing this for a while I grasped something that felt strange and then another thing and then another. For a second I wondered what I’d do if I pulled up a human hand, or an alligator attached to me, but no, it was treasure left for me by kind passers by:

Yes, that’s right. 2 shingles from shutters and a BEER BOTTLE. Ironically we should be glad that a helpful pubgoer decided to drop his beer bottle down there however many months or years ago because that and the shingles probably formed a damn and stopped up the drain with the ensuing leaves and dirt to that when I finally got my arm all the way down there to where it bent towards the city drains, it was totally clear. Here’s hoping I don’t have to do that again soon.

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Still gouging and working inside

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in Painting, Parlors/Dining, Renovations | 0 comments

The pictures below are as of about 3 weeks ago (sorry – catching up). As these things do, the inside painting job ended up taking almost a month longer than we initially expected, and we continued to make the same joke over and over again from The Money Pit “How long will it be?” “‘Bout Two Weeks!” hahahaha, sigh.

But despite the time running longer than we’d like and it now being mid-February and we’re still not moved in, the work the guys did on the inside was really top notch. They continued to take the plaster down to the lathe in big gouges and because I didn’t get any good pictures the first time around I made sure to get a few when they went to town on the dining room and the downstairs parlors.

You can see the full view of the dining room destruction below. Note the crazy green and red colors. This will be the last time you see them.

Here’s the foyer which is pretty much finished being painted. The gorgeous strange hanging angel light is still bagged and there’s still ladders and plaster dust everywhere, but the much calmer cream and champagne colors are now in place. We graduated the color from cream to very light cream at the first picture rail and took that all the way up to the second floor hall to white on the ceiling (or technically the color was called “Mayonnaise” but we don’t like to think about that).

The second parlor walls have been finished in a nice lavender/maroon with a darker maroon picture rail. At this point unfortunately the strange green gradation is still seen above the picture rail – I was still having trouble believing in this room as this just looks odd. This is the only room we’ll be able to save the ceiling artwork though, and I was still hoping that we had chosen well on the walls to bring the ceiling artwork out but not be too crazy (or too LSU Purple)

And the front parlor ceiling looks so much better now I think in clean creamy off-white. This will be the last room to have wallpaper as it is on back order still.

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We are done painting the outside!

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Exterior, Painting, Renovations | 0 comments

The exterior is finally done. I have waited to post pictures until they were really done, and that included a colossal disaster with a very incompetent gutter company that then had to be redone by a second company… but at last, we have the exterior finished.

We went with an historic color: Litchfield Grey*. It ended up looking a bit pink in the end, but it’s interesting because it depends on the sun/shade or how close you are to it and what else you’re looking at. It can sometimes look more creamy, more tan and sometimes more pink. Regardless of what color you think it is, people seem to agree that it is a massive improvement, so we’re very happy.

*Yes, for those of you (you know who you are) who would find it amusing, I have been making endless Northrend/Wow expansion 3 jokes about the name of the color of my house…

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House is unwell

Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 in Exterior, Painting, Renovations | 2 comments

After the house was primed they put this anti-rust stuff on every nail which was good because they’re being thorough but it kind of looks like the poor house has measles.


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House alone

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Exterior | 0 comments

We took this picture from across the street and it’s kind of funny because it looks we’re the only house on the block from this angle, like some big farm house. I know it never looked like that because it burned and was rebuilt at the same time as other houses on the block but it’s a cute optical illusion.


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Primed house

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in Painting, Renovations | 0 comments

The first color we picked for the outside (which was corroborated by neighbors, friends and passing new acquaintances on bicycles) was called elephant gray.

Despite it’s name it was actually a nice deep grey with just a faintest suggestion of mauve to it. Unfortunately the painter said it was too dark and would rapidly fade, and since we aren’t tripping over extra tens of thousands of dollars we are just dying to spend on paint every 5 years we decided to find something lighter.

The painter then suggested we try the primer tinted elephant gray at 50% to see what that looked like.

This is what it looked like. Weird sad mauve:




I figured it was a good thing we didn’t plan on doing the whole house in this color, but a few passing neighbors thought it was the final color and said they liked it. Oddly it was also pretty close to the color I was originally arguing strenuously in favor of (and learning that Americans say the word mauve very differently than I do :) )

And here it was and I quite disliked it. Looked already kind of sad and dirty already. Next up almost painted…

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Plaster Gouging

Posted by on Dec 11, 2011 in Painting, Renovations, Upstairs Bedrooms | 2 comments

Here we are in the interior inspecting the work the plasterers have done… So far we’ve been exceptionally pleased with the people we hired. Plaster work is their specialty and they are gouging the walls all the way back to the lath and then replastering, sanding etc.
But it’s creepy the way the walls look while they’re in process. Gouging is the right word for it. As if the walls and the house itself has been grievously wounded, cut to its bones, the skin peeled open to see what’s behind.

I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize the house to this extent, not while we’re fixing it. So I tell the poor media room it’s for your own good, this is only necessary surgery and soon it will all be done and you’ll be all fixed up. Can’t wait until it’s done!

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