Our Big Fat House Re-Do: Introduction

It’s time to start sharing about the house we are living in and working on a little bit at a time.

When we moved here in the middle of June, it was after this house found us- literally.  We had to move unexpectedly, and so put an ad on our local Craigslist that we were searching for a new home.  The owner of this house called us- but not because of this ad, rather, because of the handyman ad we also had on Craigslist for Andy.  She put the two ads together and an idea was born.  Would we consider moving into her house and fixing it for her?  In return, we’d get a reduced rate in rent, and as time went on, we would have the option to purchase this house if we wanted.  This house needs a lot of love.  It’s been home to uncaring tenants for far too many years and is in a real state of disrepair.

However, it has character and tons of potential.  It needs a whole lot of love, and we decided to go for it.  We would do some work to the house, make it our own, and if things didn’t work out as far as purchasing went, we’d still be leaving this house in better shape than when we moved in- something we always strive to do anyway. What was exciting to us, especially, was that the home owner really and truly encouraged us to do what we would like- she wants us to make it ours.

We moved into this house towards the last half of June.  Before we even moved in I had ideas for what I wanted to do with paint colors, window treatments, etc.  But I thought it would be wise to live with the space a bit and see how it spoke to me.  I’m so glad we decided to wait.  The first round of paint samples I brought home I was so excited about, but after a few weeks they started to look drab and boring, and not at all what I was looking for.  More than anything,  I really just wanted color- I wanted life in our new home, and slowly but surely, I think this is being realized.  The more we get done, the more excited we get.  The rooms we have started on still need more work done.  But there is a beginning there, the foundation for what I ultimately hope our home will be.

We are also learning things along the way.  One of the most important to me at the moment is that it is worth the extra money for good quality paint, and a primer is also worth its weight in gold.  The first room I applied paint to was our upstairs bathroom- it was so dark and oppressive, it had to go.  What I learned with that re-do is that when you move into a home where a smoker lived, you will want to put down a coat of a mildew/mold killing primer as your base coat.  I didn’t do that with the bathroom.  Instead, it took 3 coats of the paint I was using to properly cover what was there before.   The trouble being that now, a few months later, the nicotine stains and tar stains are coming right through the paint that I put up.  Unfortunately, I think I’m going to ultimately have to start over.  Really, this is kind of okay, because the bath/shower needs to be re-done down the road, so I’ll just wait for that and then I will apply a coat of primer, followed by a high quality paint.  More work in the end, but now I know.

In the days, weeks, months, and maybe years to come, I am going to share pictures and ideas of what we’re doing.  It will be fun!  I know our taste is not everyone’s taste, and many people think we’re crazy for embarking on this adventure, but we’re really excited about it.  We’re so pleased with how things have turned out so far, and can’t wait to see what we decide to do next.  Up next, I will show you my new favorite room in the house.  My dining room.

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