Yesterday, March 30th, marked two years since we closed on our house. We didn’t move in right away. We moved all of our stuff from our apartment and stashed it in the garage, while we began what would be a month’s worth of renovations. The first thing we did was tear up all the carpet throughout the whole house. The existing carpet was trashed, and that was taken into consideration during negotiations, where we received a “carpet allowance.” So we knew we were going to change it, but I did not realize what a project it would be to find and install new carpet. We first tried Empire, which was an absolute joke. They send a guy over and give you an estimate of $10,000, then tell you they have this sale and that sale and that sale, so really it will only cost this amount. What they will NOT tell you, even though my dad asked about five times, is the price of the carpet per square foot. They just give you a blanket price, so you have no idea the value of the product. I hated the salesman, who ALMOST got me to sign a paper thinking it was an application for credit, when really it was an agreement to pay them. After that debacle, I began a search of the area’s retailers. I went everywhere. Long story short, we finally went with Lowe’s, who had a deal on a nice plush carpet and to have it installed cost about half of the final price Empire quoted us. But the problem with Lowe’s is they’re a big national chain, and it took several weeks to get them to send out the RIGHT COLOR carpet. However, because they kept making mistakes, I kept getting additional discounts, so the final price on the carpet was an absolute steal.
In the meantime, we were all busy painting. We painted everything in this house from ceiling to floors. (Some of the floors were sealed to prevent animal odors from seeping through. It has definitely worked.) We found a gorgeous color for the bulk of the house, an off-white with hues of pink that makes the whole house feel very warm. I can see keeping this color and using it for every house we ever have. I was unsure when we first picked it, as it was Shaun’s idea and I was worried to deviate too much from white. But I love it.
We also decided to put down hardwood floors in the bedroom, to save some money on carpet and break up the flow. We went with an engineered hardwood for the master bedroom and Shaun and his dad did a great job installing that. Shaun moved the pergo flooring that was in the living room, where it didn’t belong, to the kitchen, where it looks great. Shaun and his dad installed tile in the entryway. We wouldn’t get around to putting pergo-type flooring in the offices until December. We did paint them though. My office is a light purple, another color which I adore. I had to paint the ceiling and windowsill in here myself, and what a difference! There was a smoker in here before, but you’d never know it now. Shaun went with a light blue color for his office. The only problem there is the person who lived here before decided to paint the room a dark red, and she painted the closet doors as well.
They need to be re-painted white but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. With all these great colors, it now makes me sad that I went with white for the bedroom.
Anyway, we finally moved in on May 1st, and have continued doing small projects throughout. We tiled the showers in both bathrooms, I’ve painted (thought not yet finished) the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. We installed a new storm door, and several other small things. There are some big to-dos left, and who knows if we’ll get around to them. The kitchen needs to be overhauled completely. I’d also like to redo the bathrooms. The floors in there are the only floors we didn’t replace, and while they were probably in the best shape when we moved in, they now look dingy and awful and I hate them.
When we first moved in, I had some serious buyer’s remorse. I really didn’t like the house as much as I thought I would. There are downsides for sure. The kitchen, while well-equipped with plenty of cabinet space, is short on counter space. The other cabinets in the house are a little shallow, though again, fairly abundant. And the bathrooms are a bit small. I figured we’d move when we could. Now with the economy the way it is, I figure it will be a long time before we go anywhere and that’s fine because the house has really grown on me. I think when you invest that much time and effort, you really bond with a place. I’ve learned that I kinda like painting, but I wish I were handier because Shaun is not that into doing projects. (Well, projects for the house, or us. His own projects, on the other hand..) I’ve also learned that even after just two years, touch-ups are necessary. And even after all that work, there are still plenty of little projects to keep us busy.
My favorite memory from two years ago, is after a long day of work, Shaun and I and his parents sitting on the bare, yet-to-be-carpeted floor in the living room, eating take-out from Famous Dave’s and watching the TV we’d just hooked up. I wish I had a picture of that, but I don’t. So here’s the living room under construction.