Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lost Camera Connector

So, we have a TON of progress and interesting photos to post on the blog, but of course somehow in the process of packing, unpacking and moving we can not seem to find the stupid connector for the camera to go to the computer to upload the photos. Which sucks, because a picture is worth a thousand words. Like how the rain is coming into the master bathroom through the roof...

or how the bench we bought off craigslist a few weeks ago is coming out in the breakfast nook, The bench is there but it is behind all the boxes.

 or any of our new purchases like the lawnmower.

But since we don't have the pictures to share, I guess I'll have to use the "thousand words" to describe things.

1st- Rain, rain go away
As we last explained, our main bathroom is gutted for renovation making the master bathroom the only usable bathroom in the house, it is also the bathroom with the leaky roof, so close your eyes and imagine...
it's 3am, it's dark, it's storming outside, you have to go the restroom, you step into the restroom and ....drip, drop, drip, drop, it's rain water dripping on your head. You run out the restroom and stare at this room with a floor filled with water and more drops falling by the minute. You don't have time or energy for this. You have to pee, and get to bed, because in a few hours the baby is going to be up, and you have to have energy to deal with him rather you like to or not. So you stand there and finally you yell... "S&#@!!!!" and plunge into the water works, do your business, wash your hands and then promptly drag your wet, soggy self into the clean bed. You do this same routine, every time it rains, day or night, because you already went over budget last month and you need to wait till the next 2 paychecks before you call a professional. Finally your yelling and complaining gets your husband on the roof to do a temporary fix by pouring tar over the problem spots. This SOLVES NOTHING, because now it just drips harder in a different spot in the bathroom. And of course it's the middle of spring....so it rains like every other day. But today.... thank the Lord...you finally pay 1/2 down to the professional roofing company and within 14 days the roof has been promised to be fixed. You do a happy dance, you take down the umbrella you put into the bathroom. You change the words to the song to "NO" dancing in the rain and then you post on your blog, but you have no pictures to post to show this excitement so you use a ton of words that tire out your hands to explain what a few sentences and a picture would have done instead.

I would like to tell you about some of the other things, but man my hands are actually hurting now. So I'll just wait till later.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 20 of Home Ownership (budget)

Keeping track of costs of a housing rehab is of the utmost importance especially when buying a foreclosure! We could easily spend $30,000 today on the kitchen alone if we wanted. But alas we do not have that kind of cash sitting around. So we made a budget.

Previously we were keeping track of our expenses via quickbooks on our home computer. I really liked it because it was secure in the sense that as long as we had our laptop we did not have to worry about anything. Also our bank allowed us to download the transactions in the appropriate form to import to quickbooks. So there was a little bit of work making sure the correct accounts were charged but it wasn't impossible. Nevertheless, we recently switch to a different bank which formats their documents differently. Resulting in me not being able to figure out the necessary steps to easily update our existing information.

So now we are using Mint again. We previously used mint and it is a great website. The only thing I do not like about it is that they do store your passwords. And if you followed the news at all you will realize how easy it is for a hacker to get your information even when following best practices.

Another knock against Mint is that the bigger it gets the more interesting it is going to be for a hacker. Which was why I left the first time. Mint was blowing up and it had recently being acquired by Intuit. (who I believe also makes quickbooks).

However, you can't beat mint at what it does. It does a great job of going through your online accounts and scrapping the information and putting together budgets.

So as of today we are over $300 over budget! (I purchased a lawn mower for $350).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 56

Bathroom Electrical

In the bathroom we are installing a new overhead light and two GFCI receptacles. We are also upgrading the electrical to current code. The drawing below is a rough sketch of how it is all going in.
The above picture is the east wall. There is also one light switch beside the door that controls the overhead light that is not shown in the above picture.

We know we eventually want to put beadboard along the walls. Our original plan called for beadboard to go from floor to ceiling. But due to budgetary concerns we dropped this
idea for now. However just in case we change our mind and decide to put beadboard up to 4’. I placed the outlets high on the wall so there wouldn’t be a conflict. Also by placing the outlets higher there is less chance for our young son to shove objects into it. As a secondary precaution we purchased tamper proof outlets. Hopefully Gloria and I will be able to figure out how to work them.

Another big advantage of redoing the electrical is that we finally have a room that is properly grounded. It is my goal to continue redoing room by room the electrical so that every plug is grounded. And then one day I want to get a natural gas back up generator but that’s far into the future.

Well we better get back to work. Gloria already set up a little get together so now we have a deadline to finish the major projects.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

House Day Number 56

I just want to say thank you for taking time out of your day to read our blog. You are the only reason we do this.

Since moving in we have been discovering something new.

The bathroom is still not complete. So far we only have the cement backer board installed on the floor, and today all new electrical will be put in. We have already hit our budget for the month.

We currently have a problem with the only toilet in the house. Because it is in the master bedroom the floor has experienced water damage. As such the toilet is not the most stable toilet. I can see it now instead of me leaving the toilet set up. My beautiful wife is going to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Quietly sleepwalks through the house at 3 AM so she doesn't wake up anybody. Makes it to the toilet and as soon as she sits down.

The toilet along with my wife falls through the floor and into the crawlspace below the floor. She is going to be covered in raw sewage and her legs are going to be sticking up through floor and she is going to be IRATE! LOL don't worry I will take a picture just for you ;).

Since moving in we have stopped the leak in the shower on the cold water line, by cutting the line. The leak was coming from behind the wall in the nursery as such I just decided to put that project on hold instead of ripping out my son's bedroom wall.

We still do not have hot water. The hot water tank will light and heat the water but then it goes out after reaching temperature. Also the temperature and pressure relief valve leaks on the hot water tank. So we may have to purchase a new one. We have another water heater in the cottage that I may bring over to see if it will work.

We installed a under sink water filtration system. It was a breeze. The only thing is the water is not really cold. Which is normally fine except on the hot muggy days that Kansas City is known for. The dishwasher still has not been installed.

The previous owners had ran a 240v Line out side to our back patio and left the wires exposed on the ground. Not safe at all. Currently the breaker is off to that particular Line. I plan to reuse the breakers as I re route the electrical for the other rooms. Which leads to the next discovery.

It turns out that the breakers are not labeled and that they do not follow any rhyme or reason. The kitchen for example has the lights on one circuit, half the plugs on a different, the other plugs on a third and finally the garbage disposal on a fourth! That doesn't even factor in the stove or fridge.

I managed to get power to the cottage, also figured out what the second light switch in the master bedroom turns on. It turns on a floodlight in the backyard. Who would've thought that! I now only have 1 light switch left to identify and 1 push button to identify. Also Today we got the doorbell to work. We also found the part to get the A/C working but we haven't tested it. So far we have only used the Attic fan.

Our previous house only had a lot size of 0.12 acres. We now have over an acre! which we are thankful but that means the little push lawnmower we had before isn't going to cut it. On craigslist I found a 42" walk behind lawnmower for $350. It didn't have a brand on it anywhere. It had a craftsman mower and a generic deck. I quickly purchased it. Maybe a little too quickly. Turns out that the blades are so dull that while  cutting the grass it would leave random patches of grass uncut. I spent the last two days calling and driving around to find replacement blades because evidently someone was attempting to cut through boulders and the lawnmower blades were in terrible shape. Well it turns out that this lawnmower happens to be of a brand that doesn't have any support really around this city. I drove to multiple outdoor power equipment type stores before I found out I have a swisher walkbehind mower. Luckily today I found a place selling the blades for $8 or was it $18 .... I need to double check.

sorry for the long post I will be more diligent about posting so that they wont be as long.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sorry it's been a few days...

It's been a few days since Phillip or I have logged on and updated this blog. So let's do a quick run down of what we've been up to.
First and biggest: We finally moved into the house!!!!
Saturday was the move date, and we had lots of help from family members. We used 3 trucks and 2 SUVs, 2 trailers (one small, one extra large) and was able to move everything in one trip, in less than 2 hours.
We started at 10:00am and had everything in the house and was just placing furniture by 1:00pm.

A few days before Phillip and I tried fixing up the master bathroom, so that we could at least have one bathroom, ready for us, but alas, it's going to be a complete tear out. :(
I'm sure when Phillip does his post, he'll go into more technical terms but for me it just was one problem after another basically.

So now we're in this new place. Next on the agenda: get the main bathroom up and running ASAP, since going back and forth to the old house to take baths will be getting old quick, Then finish the tear out of the master bathroom, do a full investigation of the roof and get started on that part of the house project....oh and somewhere in all of this unpack and host a house warming party.

....Busy people, I know.

Monday, May 2, 2011

This Weekend

SO... Here's an update on what's been going on with the house.
But before I go into the update I must mention that Phillip's Father had a stroke after his surgery last week, so Phillip's been taken on A LOT of family obligations to fill in the gap.

With that said...
  1. Garage Sales- This weekend in Leavenworth, KS on the military base was a base-wide garage sale. So we drove the 20 minutes north and enjoyed getting throughly lost on base. We had a late start because this weekend was also March of Dimes walk weekend, but we did end up getting some great late day finds. See below:
a. Desk = $10.00
b. Floor Lamp that is also a side table = $5.00
c. Tons of "This Old House" Magazines = $2.00 (nothing like design inspiration!)
I know they don't look to be in the best condition, but give me some high gloss paint spray and some elbow grease and these old pieces of furniture will turn out to be some of the best furniture for us.
2. Circuit Breaker- Phillip labeled many parts of the circuit breaker, there are still parts of the circuit breaker that we still can't figure out what they run to. We'll have to keep trying to figure it out because bringing in a electrification will be astronomical!!!!
3.Plumbing (Toilet/Sink in the Master Bathroom)- The sink is still clogged. But the toilet runs fine. We found out from investigations that the drainage for the toilet and sink are different, so we might just need to redirect the sink's drain and tie it into the toilet's and maybe since the shower is tied into the sink, putting a boot on it for now until we get the complete renovation started.
4. Mystery Machine -We have a crazy looking machine that looks a little like a submarine down in the basement. We had NO idea what it was and could only guess it was an ancient sump pump. We do know that it was built in 1964 in Berkley, MN (that's from the label) but when we opened it up, all the wires were disconnected and the electrical tape on the ends appeared old. Kind of like someone unplugged it a long time ago.
5. Packing/Purging- At our current residence we purged almost half of our clothes, realizing we were about to pack stuff we haven't worn in months. That didn't make any sense to us so to donation company goes our old college clothes. We still have a TON of packing to go, but we are making small progress on a lot of the things we have in the house. Man, I didn't realize how much stuff you just collect over the years!!!!

This Week's To do list-
  1. Finish clearing out the demolition stuff from the living room at the new house
  2. Try to get the water going to the small detached addition so we can have a stable and safe area to use the restroom and wash our hands
  3. Cut the grass if possible.(the grass is getting ridiculously tall)
  4. Finish filling in the gaps in the kitchen floor with plywood and peel and stick flooring
  5. Finish removing staples and nails in baby's room
  6. Install water purification system in kitchen sink
  7. Install dishwasher in kitchen so we can finally turn on the hot water tank and have hot water for the big move
  8. Packing or Purging every single thing in the old house for the big move this weekend to the new place.
  9. Try to figure out what the remaining circuit breakers go to