Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The life of a Home Owner

Hello to all my avid readers! (I know I must have a ton...) Please excuse me for my lack of posts. I AM a slacker, after all. Although, I really hope to change that once this baby boy gets here. I've decided that I need to keep up this blog so that I can keep a record of my life with this little guy. So that maybe, a couple years down the road, we can sit down together and relive the "good old days". And with that as my goal, let's get started!

An update:
James and I bought a duplex almost a year ago. We bought the whole thing, both floors. I know what you’re thinking.. “Wow, a duplex? They must be rolling in the dough!”   But no. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is, we got a heck of a deal. Mostly because this duplex was a fixer-upper. Like,  MAJOR, could-destroy-your-marriage, overwhelming amounts of work, kind of fixer-upper. You think I’m joking?   Here, take a look for yourself….

Do you SEE how hideous this thing was? The porches were rotting to the point of being a safety hazard, the siding was rotting, the trees were taking over the house, the windows were the old, metal ones and way too tiny, and do you see the color? Can you say eew!?
Somehow, James convinced me to go along with the crazy idea of buying this thing.
Let me give you the details of what we’ve done with the place:
1)      The bottom floor (2 bed, 1 bath, and the garage) was completely gutted out. There had been a smoker living in the bottom floor, so the whole place the reeked of smoke. The light switches had tan rings around them, the popcorn ceiling had a very tarry color to it, the blinds were turning brown… in short, it was disgusting. Not to mention, I could touch the ceiling with the flat of my hand (And I’m not very tall) .
2)      We had to completely re-do the heaters because the previous owner had two heaters (1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs) in the same little closet downstairs and both of them were venting into 1 room. If you don’t know what that means, because I didn’t, it means that if you closed the door in that room you could potentially suffocate because the heaters were sucking the oxygen out of the room…. NOT GOOD ! So, we had to re-route the duct work so that the heaters were on their respective floors and properly vented.
3)      James had to practically re-wire the entire downstairs because it was all wrong and against code, but at least we were able to add in some central lighting. (In Washington, there’s no central lighting. Just plugs that are connected to switches so you can plug in lamps….)
4)      We replaced all the windows. For some, we replaced them just so we could be more energy efficient. With others, we HAD to replace them because of safety hazards  (according to fire code, they shouldn’t be more than 42” off the ground so that children can get out of the house in case of a fire)
5)      Other than replacing the windows, the top floor (4 bed, 2 bath) didn’t need much work. Just some paint and some TLC. We painted the kitchen cabinets white because they were ugly. Replaced both toilets, and a shower surround in 1 of the bathrooms, and a sink in 1 of the bathrooms. Also, we tore out the carpet in the 1 room with carpet because it was disgusting, and we laid down laminate wood flooring instead. But, yeah, not too shabby.
6)      We left the windows and the exterior to the contractor. What he did, was replace: the siding, the deck, the stairs, and the windows. He also did the painting. And once the downstairs was ready, he also did the drywall and paint. Oh yeah, and he re-sealed the roof and fixed/replaced the gutters and downspouts. And…….. I think that’s everything!
I would go into more detail about everything we did, but I think this post is long enough as it is. However, once my downstairs is completed, I’m going to brag and give a completely detailed before-and-after post because, we’re pretty proud of ourselves.
To conclude, let me just tell you how proud I am of my husband. James is such a hard worker. He works on something for the house every day without fail. Without him being the dedicated, hard worker he is, this would have never been possible. And I probably would have killed him haha! Oh, and don’t forget, this has all been going on while I’ve been pregnant. I think I deserve a gold metal in Patience.


  1. That is a ton of work! You are totally entitled to any and all bragging rights. I'm excited to see more pics when it's all done!

  2. Oh my gosh! You two are amazing! We've been moving and I had times I just had to go somewhere and cry because it's so stressful & so much work. I can't even imagine all you've done...and PREGO! That's so awesome! I'm so excited that you guys have such a great place. Can we come visit? We're trying to make it to Washington (were going to come this month, but had a wedding instead. Lol) Maybe in January?