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House on the Market? Part 3

We set a schedule to begin going through the new house and fixing/updating/demolishing parts of the house that needed the most help or would be best completed while we were not occupying the house.  The deadline was arbitrary since we our only wish was to limit cost of storage.  So we settled on the beginning of May which would be before my wife’s milestone birthday and a large party I had planned.

First I need to say everyone’s taste is different, things we changed others might find appealing.  Having said that the front door and all the kitchen cabinets as well as the dining room buffet and some hall cabinets were a very, very light maple color.  We are not light maple people in fact we like expresso and dark walnut colors.  The kitchen is very large with mostly every built-in appliance and to start over with new cabinets would be not only wasteful but very expensive.  We started looking at alternatives, thinking likely we would need to have someone sand down and completely refinish the cabinets.  We had a relationship with a cabinet maker from the remodel of our old house several years earlier, I called him and asked who he would recommend.  He said the guy who finished our cabinets before.

After looking at the cabinets and listening to our wants, he asked to take a drawer to try some things on and he would come back with a price.  Normally I would not let any part of the cabinets leave the house for fear that would be the last time I saw the part, but we had some experience with this painter and let him take the drawer.  A day or two later he returned with the drawer looking exactly like we wanted, it was faux finished.  The cost was 1/3 the number I had budgeted to do this work, including the front door and buffet as well as the hall cabinets and a bath vanity.

This is one of those projects I was glad we had not occupied the house yet.  The odor would make anyone light headed.  I don’t know how the painter managed, but he did.  The results went way beyond our expectations.

At the same time the cabinets were being redone, many places in the house were being painted.  Every bedroom had large pieces of artwork painted on the walls including horses, fairies, plants, cherubs and even religious figures in some areas.  Like I said before some of you may like that sort of thing, it’s just not our style so we had that painted over.  We checked with the local paint recyclers to see what paints were available but in this area the recyclers are content to mix all colors and end up with gray which they market to prisons.  But don’t give up hope of recycling, if you have a large quantity of paint.  Several of the large paint suppliers will re-tint your paint for a fraction of the cost of their lines of paint.  However here we ended up using Sherwin Williams Super Paint, which has a primer in it, so only one coat was needed.  We tried other paints which were supposedly one coat paints without success.

All four of the upstairs bedrooms had built-in desk and book shelves and two of the bedroom had large display cabinets.  None of these built-ins were in line with our taste.  None of these were easy to remove but you have to start with a mess to end up where you want.  As I removed the display cabinets, I placed them in the basement.  I didn’t realize how many lineal feet of display cabinets I had until I got them in the basement.  I lined them up and it was the beginning of a wall which I planned to build in at a later time.  Since the desk, shelves and cabinets were built in I had a lot of wall repair to do.  I’ve never had a problem mudding and patching sheetrock as long as I use the light weight patching material which is much easier to sand.

The master closet had a stacked set of washer and dryer built in also.  There was a laundry room up stairs also and as we looked around to see where we could get a laundry room on the first floor we knew where we would have put it and found behind some shelves in a closet in that area was the hose bibb for a washer.  As we peeled a thin layer of wood off the wall, in the area, we also found the outlet for a dryer.  Using some of the wood from the shelves removed up stairs I covered all evidence of a washer unit in the master closet.

That’s probably enough for this installment.  In the next installment I’ll show some photo of our projects.

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