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Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Time It Took Us A Month To Move Into Our New House

We were so excited when we FINALLY closed on the house of our dreams, but upon that re-visit to our newly purchased house we realized that there was NO WAY we could move in.  Not quite yet.  There were two important things that needed to be taken care of before the day we could officially load our stuff into a truck and move it into our new house.  Thankfully, our new house was only 2 miles up the road from the rental we were living in, so while not being able to move right in was an emotional roller coaster, it wasn't too terrible a commute to get the work done.

Our first project on the long list of needed renovations was to deal with the pungent smell of the previous owners who had smoked inside the house.  There was NO WAY we could live in that smell.  Through all of our research, we found that the BEST (and easiest) way to decrease the smell was to paint over it (after a thorough scrubbing with vinegar).  So my husband started the repainting process.

Our sons' bedroom: light green with a bamboo wallpaper accent. 
The first rooms we painted were the kid's rooms.  We felt that it was important for them to feel some ownership in their rooms, so they picked the colors: green for the boys' room and light purple for our daughter's room.  They picked PERFECT colors.  Our sons' room had bamboo wallpaper and our daughter's room had a dark dark DARK purple already, so some added green and a pale lavender would perfectly complement the existing walls.  It took almost a week-and-a-half of painting every evening to do two coats in each room, but we finally got it done and were very happy with the results!  Of course, the baseboards were an oil-based off-white and we planned to eventually repaint these to white... but that's for a future post (in the far FAR future).

Our daughter's room: from DARK purple to a pale lavender.

Next on our list of rooms to paint was the master bedroom.  My husband and I were married in Jamaica and we wanted a cool and serine color that would remind us of our honeymoon and the cool clear waters of Jamaica... So we picked BLUE!!  Of course our off-white baseboards and closets will eventually be painted white, but just like the trim in the kids bedrooms this would be a project for the future.

Master bedroom before and after repainting.  

Master bedroom before and after repainting.
 The process of painting these 3 bedrooms took almost 2 full weeks, but the smell had gotten significantly better.  Originally, we had planned on repainting the entire interior of the house before moving in, but logistically that just wasn't possible considering our time-frame.  So we moved on to the next MUST-DO in order to move in: getting Kitchen appliances.  That's right, the house had NO APPLIANCES.

One of the things that we truly love about our kitchen is that the stove/oven is in the center island.  This gives us a "chef's kitchen" kind of appeal, where we can prep, cook, and serve all in one central location.  It's a great feature in a house that has frequent guests and parties (and a feature that we have enjoyed time and time again), but it's also a difficult feature because very few ovens are made to fit into an island, especially one made in the 1980s!  Think about it this way, an oven against a wall has a ledge along the back that goes vertically up the wall and typically has a hood/microwave above.  Our kitchen couldn't have that.  We had to find a specialty flat-top drop-in oven.

We also love the fact that the kitchen has a space for a corner fridge.  What we didn't realize was that this too was atypical dimensions!  Of course being the DIYers that we are, we wanted to do all the installation ourselves.  But even after searching for the fridge and oven that matched our unique dimensions, we ended up having to cut down cabinets and counter tops to install them.
The hole for the drop-in oven.  My husband had to cut down about an inch on either side to get it to fit (come to find out it was also super grimy under there!  so he had to spend time cleaning it too)
This is what the kitchen looked like while my husband tried to wedge the fridge
between the island and pantry to get it into the corner slot.

It turned out to be a really good thing we stopped painting when we did, because the appliance installation process used up another 2 weeks!  In the first month of owning our new house we were getting a drop-kick course in "every project takes twice as long as you expect".  But, when all was said and done, the extra work before we moved in was worth while. 

The kitchen before and after appliances were installed.
Now we were ready to move in to our Fixer Upper!  Still a work in progress, we added painting trim, baseboards, closets, and renovating the kitchen onto our list of "to-dos" and we began the process of moving our furniture and family into the house.  Living in a Fixer Upper mid-renovations had already become a complicated mess, and we hadn't even moved in yet!  The adventure was looking more and more daunting, but we were exited and ready to take it on.  Every Grimy Detail!

Please share any questions or stories about your own pre-move-in Fixer Upper below.