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Saving Big Money at Menard's

This is one of the mornings I felt a little grouchy at my alarm clock for yapping at me. My body is just as tired as when I managed to crawl into bed last night.

The work on The Stinky House is coming along nicely, even though it feels like forever in real time.

In the two weeks since I closed on it, we have:

  • Sanded down all the floors (oak in the entire house, except the kitchen which is maple).

  • Scrubbed and scraped gunk and goo for days from the walls, floors, ceilings, trim, cabinets, stovetop, oven, sink, registers, etc.

  • Hauled out the junk. The street department left a dump truck in the back over the last weekend, and with some wonderful help from some friends, we filled that with leftover mattresses, box springs, a vanity, chairs, tables, dishes, a china hutch, trash, old tile, old flooring, old curtains, old curtain hardware, old shelves, a toilet, various kitchen apparatus that was left in the cabinets, some yard waste. There were trash bags full of the trash blown around by the alley and in the yard. For some reason, the backyard has been filled with the wrappers from feminine products. At least, it's just been the wrappers and nothing worse from that whole... Ugh! I've never had the urge to throw up so much as when we were cleaning up this house.

  • Removed the garden of weeds in the front, around the side, and in the back.

  • Removed the jungle of grape vines growing over half the garage, all over the fence, and draping over the red bud tree. I didn't know I had a red bud tree when I bought the house. It was too covered up to tell.

  • Speaking of weeds, I've never seen weeds grow as tall as saplings, but yes, there were numerous weeds as tall or taller than I am. That's not saying much though. God gave other members of my family the height. I have to fake it with high heels.

  • Trimmed trees.

  • Patched walls; filled holes.

  • Major overhaul on the bathroom. (Thank you, A.H.!) Sink out; toilet out; tile out; dog-chewed trim out (who knows what that story is, but it looks like a tortured animal was trying to escape); tile board out; loose plaster out; new shut-off valves in; green drywall in all the places necessary; taping and mudding done; skimming all the walls with plaster done; beautiful pattern on the ceiling done; filling in all the necessary places on the floor done; caulking done; priming done... (Again, thank you, A.H.!)

  • Painted the front doors and mailbox.

  • Removed the nasty, stinky, green indoor/outdoor carpet from the porch and steps. E and K started taking off the old glue with wire brushes. I don't know if there is a better way, but that's something we can finish later.

  • Scraped loose paint off various places in the house.

  • Primed the entire house and closets and the built-in cabinets. There was leftover goo from beauty products that I discovered in the linen cabinet, dripping down the bead board through several levels of shelving and landing in a puddle on one of the lower shelves. Whatever it was didn't smell very fancy.

  • Started the real paint--still quite a bit to finish there.

  • Had a plumber in. He's redoing the spaghetti bowl of clogged galvanized steel pipes with PEX. He also installed a new kitchen sink faucet and is making sure all the wet parts of the house are functioning as they should. (Thank you, T.D.!) He also removed the nasty garbage disposal. Someone in the past attempted to fix a leak in it. I'd just rather not have one. It's one less thing to maintain.

  • Had old waste lines removed. Those are being replaced. (Again, thank you, T.D.!)

  • Installed a new water heater.

  • Had electrical looked at. That's a major project that MC Contracting is taking over. (Thank you, M.C.!) All the switches and outlets in the house make me glad I have home insurance. Can't wait to have those redone. One of the kitchen lights started smoking when I turned it on. Eek! They're replacing the feed line into the house. One bright spot is that the 100 amp service I have is fine since all the big appliances run on gas. There aren't many big electricity eaters. No breakers have tripped even with all the power tools that have been running.

  • Started taking down lights for replacing. (Thank you, M.C.!)

  • Made friends at Ace Hardware. I'm over there every day buying more primer, more paint, more tools, more brushes and rollers, new garbage cans, a new garden hose.

  • Started to make great friends at Menard's and Home Depot. I've been there buying lights and more lights, a new toilet, a new sink, a new refrigerator, new bathroom flooring. Hopefully, I can stop with the "Saving Big Money" thing at Menard's soon. I save the most when I don't even step foot into the store.

  • Fallen into a register. This was my cue to stop working for the night when it happened. There's no feeling quite like falling backward and not knowing where you're landing. It's a bottomless pit in that moment--time runs in slo-mo, and you can't stop yourself anywhere. The good news is that I only have bruises and a busted duct in the house instead of busted bones.

So, lots of work has been done, and there's still lots to do. I leave you with some pictures of the progress.

Finally, on the bright side, my car is now trained to stop automatically whenever I come up to Ace Hardware, Home Depot, or Menard's.

front door
The smell of the house hit long before walking in.

Living room before. The color of "Frozen."

Dining room before. More "Frozen" colors.

Cleaning off glue from the nasty outdoor carpet.

Inside the linen cabinet: drippy, smelly goo.

The backyard before. Anyone need a free mattress?

Old vinyl tiles getting scraped up.

Starting into sanding the floors. Wow!

Layers of ick under the refrigerator.

Oven before. I'd rather have the harvest gold color.

Someone started an update here. No thank you.

One bedroom before. Out of control triangles.


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