Monday, January 20, 2014

Permits & Doors

Progress has been slooooooow at the house!  Over a month after our close date, we're still waiting for the plumbing to be finished so we can turn the water on, paint, and move in.  The subcontractors did most of the work the week after Christmas, but they haven't finished it because they don't have their building permit yet.

Two things - 1: Doing work on a house before you've been issued a permit doesn't exactly give City Hall warm fuzzies; 2: As it turns out, you can't just ignore the word "Heights" on the end of a city name when you're trying to contact their building office.

And now, I pass on to you the first important bit of wisdom I've gained from this experience: If you're having work done on your house, I don't care how much you trust your contractor.  If they tell you they've submitted the paperwork for a permit, call your city's building office and make sure they have a record of this, especially if you've been waiting for weeks.  If the name of your city ends in "Heights," "Falls," "Township," or something similar; OR if your zip code covers more than one city, it's just possible that your contractor might accidentally try to file in the wrong city, and that paperwork could easily fall between the cracks for a very long time.  Even if your city's name is pretty straight forward, still call.  You might save yourself a headache down the road.

On to happier house news!

Upon pulling into our driveway this weekend, Brad and I were delighted to see that we had a new garage door!

The old door was peeling, splitting, and had a broken spring (so it wasn't even working).

See?  It had to be replaced at the request of our lender as a condition of the loan, and we're thrilled to comply.  Now, we can do this:

We're pretty excited.

Also this weekend, our washer and dryer were delivered!  Yay!  Neither has been hooked up yet, but we'll get to that.  One thing at a time.

UPDATE ::  As I was writing this entry, our contractor called and said the plumbing is finished and the water has been turned on!  I am beside myself with glee!  Looks like I'll be spending the rest of the day at the house...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Asked and Answered

So, here's a couple of questions I suppose every blogger has to answer when they start a new blog:

What is this blog about, and why are you writing it?

(Or in less polite terms, why should anyone give a crap?)

So glad you asked.  The main reason I'm writing this is for posterity.  I want to have an account of this time for my own benefit, and so I can share it with the handful of people in our lives who have been interested.

Also, I've gotten so much help and inspiration from other people's blogs - learning from their experiences; benefiting from their expertise, successes, and failures - the online collaboration that has informed my lifestyle recently has been so immensely helpful, that I feel like it's time to become a part of that conversation, instead of just eavesdropping (like the introvert I am).  I feel compelled to chime in with my own wisdom, to gather together some of the resources I've found helpful (into a place that allows a little more narrative than Pinterest), and to offer my experience (be it success story or cautionary tale) for others' benefit.  I haven't the foggiest clue if anyone beyond my closest friends and family will enjoy my musings and antics, but that's not for me to decide.  I wouldn't feel as well prepared to take on home ownership if the author of even one blog that I've been following had let her humility or self-deprecation prevent her from sharing with the rest of us.  So, rather than keeping to myself, my intention is to open up, invite complete strangers into a small corner of my world, and let you the reader decide if I have anything worthwhile to offer.

 Is this the most gorgeous dresser repo ever?  I can't get enough of LiveLoveDIY.
 Is this the most gorgeous dresser repo ever?  I can't get enough of LiveLoveDIY.

That covers the "why..." how about the "what?"

Having just bought a house, most of what I write (at least for the first several months) will be about home improvement projects.  There will be several gallons of paint, even more coffee, and more than a few power tools, I can guarantee you that.  I'm a huge fan of re-purposing, DIY, and doing the unexpected and unconventional, especially when it comes to this sort of stuff; so you will probably see me try and fail at creating a number of things that may have been easier, faster, and cheaper if I had just bought them outright in the first place.  But for me, it's not about "having" stuff.  It's so much more satisfying to know that the things I have were a labor of love; to be able to look at a piece - a painting, a table or chair - and see beyond the object itself to the story behind how it got there: the months of saving my latte money to afford it, the years of waiting to stumble across "just the right thing," the four layers of blue paint under the final and "right" shade of aqua...  This is what I love to do.  These are the things I like being good at.

After a while, the home improvement projects will start to taper off and become fewer and farther between.  When that happens, there are a number of other topics I'll probably start writing about - everything from cooking, to spirituality, to last night's UFC event (did anyone see Weidman v. Silva II last weekend?  I'm still cringing over that ending...)  I know it's a bit of a blogging faux pas to cover such a wide array of topics, but I think somewhere in there is a cohesion of elements that will speak to some particular audience - even if it's only my mom.  =)  I have a vague vision, but I'm more interested in seeing where this blog takes me, as opposed to the inverse.

I expected to see one girl break another's arm... and instead I saw one guy break another's leg.  Not okay.
Won't you join me on my journey?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


This was a long time coming, but we managed to make it happen.  After years of dreaming, saving, and window shopping on Zillow, last month Brad and I bought each other the best Christmas gift ever:


A house.

This is our foray into home ownership, and our journey (from my perspective) to make this house a home.