We might be buying a new house.

Two Requirements.

  1. Built after 1990.
  2. Previous owners agree to be interviewed.

We had another huge weekend (a few weekends ago; it just took me this long to get over it and be able to write about it) … but not without its troubles, to say the LEAST.  (I’m exaggerating though, in the scheme of things that have gone wrong with this house, these were not all in the top 5.)

Project #1
The ceiling fan in the LR.  It finally went up.  We ordered one from Home Depot and it came and the bracket fit just fine.  (However, we did have to run out and pick up some screws to mount it to the junction box.  And then we had it all put together, and had to take it all apart because one of the wires fell and was rubbing on the motor = totally annoying, and time wasted.)
Here is a recap of the ceiling fan fiasco:

  • Bought AWESOME ceiling fan.
  • Wasn’t sure junction box could hold the weight of said ceiling fan.
  • Cut hole in attic floor to see how junction box was connected.
  • Not definitive.
  • Attached junction box to stud using second screw.
  • Still not sure it was rated for 50#.
  • Took AWESOME fan back
  • Bought new fan (not as awesome, mostly stupid)
  • New ceiling fan bracket did not fit junction box.
  • Ordered 3rd ceiling fan online (hugger model not offered in store in 50″+ widths; it is just a normal fan, not awesome or stupid.)
  • Fan arrived & bracket fit! 
  • Holla!
  • Mounted ceiling fan.
  • Turned on.
  • Rubbing noise.
  • We’re dumb.
  • Took blades off.
  • Secured wires above bracket.
  • Re-attached blades.
  • YAY!!!!!

Project #2
We refinished the front door.  This too, was NOT without troubles.

Previous owners had to fill a hole cut for what we can only assume was an additional deadbolt below the handle.  They did fill it with a cut piece of wood (one, very small point for them).  So, when I started the project, I even said that at least this project was going to go smoothly because I had refinished plenty of furniture before and knew what I was doing.  I totally jinxed us.  The cut wood was not held in place by wood putty, but by regular, ole’ spackle.  SERIOUSLY???  So, after I got the door stripped down best I could, I dug out the spackle around the wood and filled it with some stainable wood putty.  It worked pretty good, and we just call that area character.

But, I’ll be honest.  The door?  It doesn’t look great.  In the light, you can still see all of the paint that I couldn’t get out of the wood grain.  In the dark of the evening, it looks pretty damn sweet though, and really transforms the room.  I stripped and sanded and stained it.  And, really just needed more time.  We can’t just leave the door off the front of our house while we both head off to work … so I only have limited chunks of time to devote to this project.  I’m going to have to scrape all of that paint out if I want to leave it stained … but we had to put the door back up on the hinges … so it’s going to have to look like this for a while (probably till next Spring).  But I left off the poly, so it’ll be easy to keep working on it over the next months … chipping away at scraping the paint out a little at a time.  (I’m not worried, our door is under a descent porch, and behind a glass door all winter.)

BUT, it does look really good in the room with the wood door & fan … completely changes the feel of the room.

Also, for our concerned family out there, we narrowly escaped burglars/crazies ALL weekend by just having a locked, screen door on the front of our house … and we didn’t tell you all about this project beforehand so you couldn’t steal all of our sweet stuff. 🙂

Old Living Room w/white paint & white fan
New fan & refinished door

Project #3
A little story.

We originally discarded the ceiling fan in the guest bedroom because it was loud and ugly.  It was the SAME exact ceiling fan we had hanging in the LR (& also one in the Den).  I bought a new white one, but it was cheap and looked yellow-ish in the room; so I returned it.  Then I bought a nice black one, and I think that it would have looked great.  BUT, I instead decided that I wanted the expensive, AWESOME fan for the LR, so I returned the black one, and said we’ll just move the LR fan to the guest bedroom so we can hang the AWESOME fan in the LR.  (See what we did there – took down the old fan & replaced with the SAME fan from another room.  Genius.)

So back to the story … when Patrick was taking the old ceiling fan down in the bedroom (weeks before the LR ceiling fan fiasco), there was this crazy bracket and it was screwed in to a plastic junction box and the stud, and the screw heads broke off.  We tried extracting them, and screwing them in further … but to no avail.  They were crazy stuck.  So, we tried just ripping it out.  In the process, we had to cut a larger hole in the ceiling.  We really just cut a lot of spackle out, because these people installed the junction box, and then just spackled all around it and up in there so it was stuck like a junction box in spackle cement.  And, we were told we shouldn’t use a plastic junction box to hang a ceiling fan.  But finally (I mean after DAYS of working on this), we pried that box loose and ripped it right off the stud.  We both agreed, we are studs!
(Side note, the plastic junction box was imprinted with a phrase:  Safe for ceiling fans.  UGH.)
(Also, see above, the AWESOME fan never happened, and I feel a little jipped in this whole saga.)

Now, fast forward to hanging the new (same) ceiling fan.  We installed a new junction box, and then drywall taped and spackled up the ceiling hole we had made bigger (even though it was all going to be covered by the fan mount).  All that work, and we could have just used the previous bracket.  But, this fan doesn’t make noise like the old one, and I bought a new globe for the light fixture, so it looks a little (little) less cheap.

I also painted a side table back there, and got some cool pulls to put on the drawers.  The room is coming together.

Moving on …

Project #4
We painted the back hallway.  Patrick spent 2 days preparing these walls for painting.  Previous owners had wallpaper on the bottom half and the walls needed a lot of spackling and sanding.  We did the work, painted the trim, and painted the walls.  The paint didn’t stick.

OMG, can we catch a break here?  We let the paint dry completely.

Then, Patrick peeled the areas that weren’t sticking properly and went to the paint store.  It’s definitely latex paint, nothing oil here.  So, he re-spackled and re-sanded those portions of the walls.  Then we primed with an oil-based primer, just to make sure it sticks.  Then we re-painted with our latex paint.  It looks good.

I did get to create my little coat rack area too, just in time for winter!  And it does will look good! … But the paint is pealing in there too … and we haven’t have time or energy to fix it yet (peel paint, spackle, sand, re-paint, ugh).

What the hallway used to look like from the front of the house …
What the hallway looks like now from the front of the house.

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