Where Has Heather Been

Heather says:

Moving.

It’s not a cross-country move, just a one town over, this-won’t-be-so-bad wait, the Internet co doesn’t cover the new house move?

I’m in the process of buying a house. It’s the house I grew up in, but no one has taken care of it in at least ten years.

The upside? Cost. Budgets have been examined, what I’m paying for it, what it’s worth, what it will cost worst-case to fix, and what it will be worth in a year or so when all of the work is done. What’s the market value on sanity?

The downside that may actually be an upside when all is said and done, it was in terrible shape, awful shape, I’m on a first name basis with the exterminator shape.

I’ve learned a lot already. A lot about temporary and permanent fixes. Did you know that if there is a significant gap in the flooring, that you take steel wool, shred it a bit, pack it into the hole and use expanding foam or Great Stuff  as a temporary fix? It’s definitely not pretty, but at this minute functional is what I need. Nothing unwelcome coming in to say hello are you going to eat that fixed, not a good as new fixed. That flooring will be ripped out and replaced in a couple of months, so I’ll just pretend I can’t see it for now.

The Fix It category is about to explode¹.

The plan is to tackle the house one room at a time, and get it ready to be a rental. The last six weeks all of my evenings and weekends have been spent getting the house safe for the kids and myself. I couldn’t actually charge anyone to live there, at least not yet.

There are a lot of memories in this house, some are pretty difficult to live with, but with each coat of paint, it gets easier. The kiddos will bring new memories.

I’ve been taking pictures of the progress, but I would like to have a few more afters before I begin sharing. I know that I’m not responsible for the current condition of the house, but I’m still a bit embarrassed by it.

Soon there will be tutorials on: replacing light fixtures, light switches, electrical outlets, dry wall repair, fun with water damage, water heater flushing 101, squirrel eviction, rodent control options, some basic plumbing, how to talk to contractors, and most importantly, why they aren’t kidding about using Killz in a well-ventilated area. I’ve gotten pretty quick at replacing an outlet and I’m really good at painting, even if I hate it.

I’ve started stalking the mis-tint shelf at Lowes. So far I’ve found a super nice tan for the boys and an actually not as institutional as it sounds mint for Ellie. It’s definitely possible to paint a room for under $50, including brushes and roller. (Even cheaper if you don’t have to use three coats of primer)

I keep telling myself it’s an adventure, that it’s going to be worth it.

Moving into the house wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made, but sometimes being a grown-up means sucking it up and doing the things that aren’t much fun.

I hired a moving company to handle the furniture, but I’ve still got to deal with the piddly things. (What was I thinking and I’ve only lived in that house for a year, how did I amass that much stuff?) I’ll have all of my things at the new place soon and more importantly, I’ll have Internet on Friday.

Moving stinks.

¹Here’s hoping we keep that to a metaphorical explosion as I’ve still got a lot of electrical work left to tackle.



7 Comments

  1. Chris on September 24, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Thinking of you, Heather, as you embark on this time-consuming, difficult, and emotionally draining journey. I’ll keep sending up good thoughts for your continued strength in the face of adversity, and hoping the sun soon shines brightly in your corner of the world. Can’t wait to see the before/after pics when you are done!

  2. Ruth on September 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Having had a great deal of experience re-habbing an old, old house, more than I want to remember at times, I hope you had a check done on your electrical wiring? Our old house still had ceramic insulators and the wiring hadn’t been checked in…eons? We wound up doing the wirning ourselves as the contractor who was supposed to was frankly incompetent! (Long story) Fortunately, we are people of many talents. Oh, and have your sewer plumbing checked, also. That’s a nasty mess to deal with if your sink doesn’t drain properly!

  3. Louise on September 23, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Heather: ALL the best. You got to choose where/when/how you moved. This is all good. Embrace this. This house will not be the same house you had growing up. So proud of you.

  4. Windy Taylor on September 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Best of luck as you embark on this journey. Here’s to learning!

  5. Wendy on September 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Quite the adventure and I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from your process. Big hugs.

    • Heather Solos on September 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      But I’m tired of learning and growth experiences 😉

      I hope you and your family are well.

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