Thursday, June 19, 2008

House projects

We've lived in our house for about 5 years. Whenever the weather starts to get nice each year, Dave and I seem to forget about our indoor projects in favor of our outdoor projects. We've spent far more time and money on our yard then we have on the house itself. The first thing we did when we bought the house was refinish the hard-wood floors, so that's an exception, but the second big thing we did (aside from painting rooms) was to have our swimming pool fixed up. It was nasty. It was meant to be white but it was so blackened by black algae that it was just gross. We had to have it chiseled to the rebar and then resurfaced and tiled. We both love the way it looks now and haven't regretted making the pool our first big priority.

Our kitchen, on the other hand, is still nasty. It has the original counter tops and oven. While the oven is sort of a fun novelty from 195-, the counters are embarrassing. They are turquoise faux-wood grain with stains here and there. We have approximately 14 square feet of counter space (and I'm being generous in my assessment) partly taken up by the toaster and toaster oven. The cupboards are a wreck. Some of them were brutally sawed in half and a plank put on the bottom to make room for a suspended microwave oven (which is, actually, quite nice). At some point someone put wood paneling on the cupboard fronts and painted over them, but failed to sand the sides so some of the cupboards don't quite shut well. The handles are a cheap plastic and are breaking off but are difficult to replace since they are an odd size and other handles don't quite fit the 2 holes. The cupboard fronts are painted ivory and the cabinets are painted a brownish dark nicotine color. We have a tile cockerel on the wall directly under the microwave. We don't have much cupboard space so we don't have many kitchen appliances - there is just no room. Needless to say we don't cook much and when we do, we make foods that are easy to prepare. We eat "bags" a couple of times a week. These bags are the Bertoli prepared meals that are like stir-fries or pasta dishes that are all put together and just require about 10 minutes on a skillet. We also have 1-2 real meals a week consisting of fish or chicken with vegetables and potatoes.

The walls in our kitchen are covered in a faux brick veneer. Dave pulled it off in one spot by the phone to reveal a few layers of nasty wallpaper. Dave also tore out the tiles that went into the hallway so we could get the wooden floors in the hall by the kitchen door. Unfortunately, that has led to over 5 years of a 3" strip of particle-board sub-floor where the kitchen meets that hallway before it hits the tile.

There was an add-on room that someone built in the 1970s. It has a permit and everything but it was done very strangely. On one of the walls stood a large cement block that was apparently meant to be an indoor barbecue grill. When we had the back yard repaved we tore that block down and with it came the wall. Dave and his mates repaired it and the room is soooo much better now. I'm so proud of them and the work they did. However, it took 2 years before the work got started (once it was started they were done in a month) and another year before the interior was finished, which was last summer. Dave and I painted it (I recall painting while doubled over from OHSS) at the end of the summer. Dave still has to finish the fireplace and build a stair from the living room to that room before it will be finished. I wonder if it will be done before the babies come. I doubt it. All of our weekends but one are completely booked until mid-August and Dave also has friends clamoring for help with their house projects - and they are the friends who helped so much with the room so it's tough to say no.

We have redone one complete bathroom but also haven't finished that, yet. The paint needs touching up, the baseboards need caulking, and the baseboards and door need painting. Oh, and the door requires a doorknob. We also want to repaint our main bathroom. We are going to repaint the babies' room, too.

We have sooooooooo much work to so and sooooooo little time.

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