Thursday, October 4, 2012

Looking Forward to No More Construction!

I'm looking forward to all the construction work being completed on Fred's house.  It's been a true labor of love and friendship spending my unemployment time here (no, I didn't collect from the state this year as that wouldn't be right since I wasn't actively looking for employment).  My goal has been to add value to his house with ideas and donated sweat equity since he had flooding damage as a result of Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

The construction work hasn't been restricted to the flooded area, but to other parts of the house that need attention.
  1. Every closet in the house (except the master bedroom) needs serious work to organize as they're stuffed with junk.  They need to be decluttered and reconstructed to better hold items.  
  2. The garage needs a new back door, an access/vent panel installed in a crawlspace, but not before an attic exhaust fan gets installed.  The area needs better built in storage shelving and a serious clean out!
  3. Fred's basement office needs to be completed.  There are a few ceramic tiles that need to be specially cut and grouted on the floor, and I need to finish floating out the sheet rock seams so it can be primed and painted.  I also need to leave tape marks on the floor so I'll know where the studs are when it comes time to build shelves and then a giant wrap around wall desk.
  4. The master bathroom needs the shower stall torn out and replaced, and there's some sort of leak that doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, the water drips down the chandelier in the formal dining room - YIKES!!
  5. The guest bathroom needs SERIOUS updating as it's easily 30 years old.  It needs a total demolition and rebuild, but the budget won't allow for that.  The best bang for the buck would be to tear out the old 4"x4" wall and shower tiles, replace all the sheetrock, tear out the double vanity, install new lighting fixtures, and go with a basic color scheme (the builders have three different colors in the room!).
  6. The first floor powder room also needs to be updated with paint, new lighting, and a new vanity cabinet.
  7. The walk in pantry has yet to get started, but will have floor to ceiling shelving in some areas, a wine cooler and a dehydrator cabinet.  Under the stairwell, pull out vertical racks will be installed.  We need to move the old fridge and the freezer chest from the garage into this space.  There was talk of a possible utility sink installation, but that might be too difficult.  This will be the dream of the gourmet cook/Mom who always needs more space/the canning junkie (like myself).   
  8. The basement windows need to be replaced as they're original to the house and are not energy efficient in the slightest!
So far during this unemployment season, we've managed to:
  1. Update the outside deck by adding three feet to it, tearing down the old railings and installing new wood and iron balusters, and install new lattice around the base.  It also got a new overhead canopy to allow use of the deck even on hot days.
  2. Reclaimed the old furnace room with a new workbench and above bench shelves, painted the room and installed new wiring for additional lighting, installed new sheetrock that had been damaged in the flooding, and created framing for peg boards to hold tools.
  3. Build a giant room divider/bookcase around a support pipe in an office/craft space (could be converted easily into a kid's bedroom or play area), installed new sheetrock that was damaged in the flooding, hung wainscotting and installed chair rail and baseboard, build a desk and supporting frame in a old closet that was torn out and turned into a comfy nook, installed new wiring and lighting in the room, and repainted the room.
  4. Laid ceramic tile in Fred's future office, build framing over cement walls for shelving that's yet to be built, hung sheetrock that was new and replaced flood damaged sheetrock in the space.
  5. Tore out old sheetrock in a stairwell and installed new sheetrock, added new wiring and lighting in the stairwell.  Stripped the old stairs of carpeting and paint, then refinished to the original wood grain, then stained and polyurethaned it.  Added 1"x"1 decorative tiles to the runners/kickplate.
  6. Installed sheetrock and wainscotting in the future walk in pantry.
I've been a VERY busy woman since I left my last assignment, but I can't complain as I've developed some incredible skills that will one day help me to build my own house or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity or some other organization.  As hard as it was often working 7 days a week, it's been my honor to help out someone else and make a difference in their life.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!   :)

Yeah, you read that right - I'm starting to consider building my own small house (forgive the really bad music - turn off your speakers!) or a cob house so I won't have a mortgage payment!  Do you see a theme here?  LOL    

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