Monday, January 9, 2012

All I wanted was some baseboards.

I'm a simple gal, really. Scoff all you want, but I like simple things and I just don't really believe in killing yourself for dumb reasons. I don't understand why you see homeowners go into massive amounts of debt for a killer backyard when you can only use it for three months a year (at least around here). Or when you see people re-doing things because their tastes have changed or simply because they think they can afford it.

Int his economy and being realistic on what you could sell your home for, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money. And I think people think if they throw down $10,000 on a bathroom that they are always going to see a return on their money. You might.... but assume you won't. That's my theory. Mostly because I don't have the cash to be throwing around.

But we've lived in our house for six years. We've done a lot to the house (added a bedroom and a dining room, gutted and replaced the ghetto bathroom which only highlight was that we had a garden hose for a shower, and made a larger storage closet upstairs utilizing wasted space), but we have a lot more to go. (No, the laundry room hasn't been touched.) But that brings me to this weekend. On Friday night, while watching a marathon of HGTV (which FYI? Needs to come off the air because it makes DIY-talentless people wield hammers and crowbars when they have no business doing such a thing.), that my living room looks like shit. The walls are cracked, full of weird holes, the weirdo putty shoved into a large hole for no reason (it was there when we moved in), the stairs make awful noises, but mostly? I feel like it wouldn't look like shit if we put some baseboards in, patched the walls (since all four walls had a different size baseboard), painted and put some new carpet in. Mostly because the carpet has an unfortunate smell that I just can't fix anymore. And it all started after I realized that brown walls (though I love this brown a LOT), brown furniture, and brown carpet make me feel like I live in a cardboard box. Except an expensive one.

 So see the wall to the left of my TV? You can kind of see the ghetto state of my baseboards.

Now, on Saturday night Matt said that he's happy to help, but that I would have to learn how to do some shit myself because he's not a work horse. (I know, I laughed at that too... it's so sad when dementia hits a person so young.) So I had to learn how to prep a wall for drywall compound or whatever that white stuff is. But guess what? Sanding sucks shit. I got it done though, and he showed me how to apply the white stuff and I have no interest in that.

On Sunday- I went to Home Depot and got us a drywall sanding block because according to HGTV, it's easier to use than sand paper. (Ladies- if your husband hands you sandpaper? Shove it up his ass and get a really snazzy sanding block.) While Matt was skiing, I decided that I was going to sand that drywalll stuff down and take it upon myself to rip up the rest of the baseboards.

Lesson number one is to never let me have a hammer. Or a crow bar. And especially don't let me have the two together because I will make large holes where baseboards should be. After making two fairly large holes that were beyond a "patch job" I decided I should just let Matt do it.

When Matt came home he laughed at me and said was an idiot. I'll take that because I did knock two holes into the wall. When Matt went to look at the wall he discovered a "small room" (his words) and said he was going to the garage. When he came back I was putting laundry away upstairs when I hear a power tool start up. And come down to see this:
Yeah, that would be Matt cutting a giant fucking hole in my living room wall to see what the secret room is about. But lesson number two? When you find unexplainable cracks in your wall like this:
It's maybe because the jackweasel that lived in your house previous put up drywall and only connected it to the wood on the ceiling... not actual supporting vertical beams like you know, a WALL would normally do. We discovered that while making a hideout fit for a troll in our living room.

And you remember that time I bitched the entire summer about our backyard looking like a home remodel nightmare gone bad? And then Matt was awesome and cleaned it? We've regressed.
While Matt was doing that I noticed that we have other holes in other parts of the living room that need more than a patch.
But the secret hideout? Looked like this when we got in there:
Someone handmade this rickety shelf and it was left in there. It's all plaster and lath (suck) with what I am assuming to be asbestos wallpaper (on the back wall) and that curved wall to the right is where the stairs are.
So. We now have a hole in the wall, and we can't make the opening and wider because there is a support beam right along the edge of where Matt cut. We have two options: 1. is to repair the wall like we never opened it up. 2. make the cubby some kind of storage (books and movies?), put trim around the door and have it be a weird thing in our living room. Any ideas on what you would do? Have any of you encountered such a thing? 

Basically, what turned into a maybe $250 job with new baseboards, paint, trim, etc has grown to a bit more of an undertaking. Let's not even talk about the carpet which is grosser than I feared. I discovered while cleaning up sanding mess with the shop vac that the carpet is actually not attached to the floor. And the best part? When lifting up the carpet to clean out what I could, I found a used condom. That wasn't ours. YAY. 


Julie H said...

Well that condom was disgusting!! haha. One time I was helping clean at my brothers old house and sucked up a dead mouse under the carpet edge. HORK.

I've seen a ton of awesome ideas for under the stairs in the internet world. I bet if you put under stairs in Pinterest all kinds of fun things would show up. The first to pop in my mind is a little reading nook for the kids.

Julie H said...

Your's could just have a smaller hole

Josie said...

If it weren't for the presumed asbestos wallpaper, I would totally turn it into a little play house for the kiddos. That would be all sorts of awesome.

Julie H said...

another one

Ruth said...

I have a cubby in my bathroom. Mine isn't that tall though.
I use mine for storage. I have all my holiday decorations in totes in there.
I also have cleaning supplies.
I could see your kids playing hide and seek in there.
My house is so old and none of the studs are straight so it is a pain to do anything. Always ends up costing more and taking three times as long.

Life Love & High Heels said...

Yes pinterest! I've seen some awesome stuff on there with under the steps!

Lol lol Matt being a work horse. Loved that part.

Used condom? Um, barf.

Look at all this blog fodder!

Steff said...

A friends house growing up had a little room like this and it was my favorite thing! It was painted inside and had chairs and was a little reading nook. Even as a teenager I thought of it and always wanted one!

Tina said...

Oh my gawd, a secret are totally lucky. You get to re-purpose the ghetto drug and weapon hold.

Seriously, I'd keep the kids out but it would be good storage.

Ang said...

Gross about the condom!

Is there no way to take down the support beam? Do you actually know it's a support beam and not just a piece of wood (I only ask because it seems the like person who did it was a moron)? If you can cut higher up, make yourself a nice little built in shelving unit. You wouldn't even need to remove the wall paper necessarily, if you build the entire unit out of wood and then slide it in the hole (dirty, i know)... Paint it to match the trim.
Or, if the support beam just runs along the wall, then make a door there and turn it into a closet space.
I like the idea of a playhouse for the kids, but they'll outgrow it, and then you'll have to spend more to re-do it again. Plus, if you even go to sell and buyers dont have kids, it might turn them away from it.
If there is one thing I've learned in the past year, it's to make home improvements/repairs/remodels with future buyers in mind.

Shannon @ Bungalow960 said...

Holy crap. I was reading this post in bed last night and I squealed EWWWWWWWW when I got to the condom part and my boyfriend was all "huhhh?" and I told him he didn't want to know. Girl, I am sending good HGTV vibes your way.

Gini said...

Weird thing in the living room! Weird thing in the living room!

Condom = NAST. And HOW have you not noticed the carpet wasn't attached before?!!

Anonymous said...

Those assholes at HGTV are really just old Nazis I am convinced. I love to watch the shows on that network, but have to remember that that supposed two day project is really a project that would take Joshua 10 days to do because a) he never gets shit done on time and b) those asshats at HGTV really have a secret posse of fellow Nazis to come and knock that shit out while the cameras are not runnings.


Carrie said...

I seriously do not know how I have lived my life without you. I was reading this post just laughing my ass off...secret room...haha...only you would find a secret room in your house!! It almost makes me wish I had stairs so I could put a hole in the wall and see if I had one too.

Oh and p.s. home improvements suck ass. Our master bath wall is about 1 tap away from completely falling. Seriously. What in the hell do you even do for that?!?!

Unknown said...

I like your bookshelf idea.