Slow and Steady Progress

Pressure washing


So I only managed to get one general contractor out to the Mulberry House to give me an estimate on adding an extra bedroom and bathroom, and he never actually got back to me with numbers. But we were approached by a couple who lives down the street with roommates and next door to his parents, that is hoping to rent from us and they don’t mind that the house has only one bedroom. So the plan for now is just to clean and fix everything up without making any layout changes.

And it turns out that cleaning and fixing is a big job. HGTV always makes a point of showing demo but then never show cleaning.

Crime scene

I didn’t take an after picture, but this wall looks a lot less with a murder scene now.

Wallpaper removal

And all the wallpaper has been removed from this wall above the kitchen cabinets.

Pressure washing front walk

Andrew pressure washed the front walk, which we’re still going to have to fix because it’s quite uneven in parts, but at least now it looks prettier.

Kitchen sink shut off valves

In the above picture you can see Andrew working on installing shut off valves under the kitchen sink. I mentioned a while back that after fixing the major plumbing problems, a drippy sink faucet was the only remaining plumbing problem. I managed to replace an o-ring on the cold water valve, which hugely slowed the leak but did not completely resolve it. But in order to fix even that much, I had to run back and forth the the main water shut off to turn it on and off to test my repairs. So I decided a slow drip was good enough until I decided what kind of replacement faucet I wanted, but either way, we needed to install shut off valves under the kitchen sink.

But after installing the shut off valves, Andrew thought they were leaking just a tiny bit so we shut off the main water when we left the house for a couple days.

Rusty pipes

When I turned the water back on a few days later, I could not detect any moisture at all, so my best theory is that the the leak never existed or the rust sealed the leak? Either way, no more leaking!

Chimney sweep

Meanwhile, we did decide to do the crawlspace vapor barrier ourselves so step one is the removal of debris, which included a bathroom sink, a fertilizer spreader (I think), and a shocking number of styrofoam cups but is mostly comprised of random bricks as well as debris from the old fireplace. So there’s a big pile of bricks and trim and plaster and soot that I’ve been working on cleaning out. So above is a picture of me after removing a few loads of fireplace debris, and after removing my safety glasses and face mask, which were also covered in soot.

After I get all the debris cleared, the next step is going to be scrubbing everything with bleach before laying the vapor barrier.

Old crawlspace door

There are also a bunch of little projects that needed accomplishing, such as putting a lock on the crawlspace door, and painting it in hopes that it lasts a little while longer.

Gold crawlspace door

When I was getting ready to paint it, I realized that the only outdoor paint I had was gold spray paint. Why not? The hardware and the bottom trim layer cam out looking kinda gold, but the rest of the wood just looks newer than the unpainted version.

Panel box ready for painting

Before painting the crawlspace door, I actually cleaned the rust off of and painted the electrical panel box.

Painted panel box

I love how shiny and new it came out looking!

Most of these seemingly random tasks are to correct items that were specifically called out on the home inspection report. Obviously adding some siding to where there is none to the right of black electrical panel box is another to-do item. Replacing broken crawlspace vents and possibly the dryer vent are other to-dos. Lots of little things.

In addition to cleaning, we also took some things apart, mostly to prepare for eventual painting. This was the first door knob I removed. About half of the doors in the house no longer latch, and I’m guessing the twenty million pieces that came out and the condition of the remaining wood might be an indication as to why. I’m hoping I can reuse these doors, but accepting that if I do, I’m also going to have to have a huge backplate to cover up the mess they’ve been hiding. And that’s likely going to have to be these backplates unless I can find some cheap salvage ones because new ones are a wee bit too pricey for my blood.

Chiseling paint

Also in the category of taking things apart to prepare for eventual painting, is the removal of cabinet hardware and outlet and light switch covers. Because these items and their screws had been painted over multiple times, we (mostly Andrew) spent the better part of a day chiseling paint off of them so that we could then use a screwdriver to remove the screws then pry the hardware and covers off.

We finally got rid of the giant pieces of furniture left in the house (the City of Kannapolis actually picks up large items at the curb along with the trash every second week!) The safe is obviously still very much in the way but supposedly there are finally plans to move it.

Giant dumpster

And this unreasonably large dumpster showed up to help with the removal of most of the contents of the shed, which is apparently happening this week by family hoping to find a few sentimental or otherwise valuable items.

What did you clean this week?


4 responses to “Slow and Steady Progress”

  1. Thought about cleaning the bathtub, but then … nah.

    Hgtv really should do a show on clean up. Pretty interesting. It’s amazing what a little paint can do, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh just reading this post made me tired. Excellent work here, Diana. Love your use of gold spray paint, only wish it were golder!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] add cut off valves for the dishwasher and kitchen sink […]


  4. […] remove clutter from the yard, crawlspace, and shed […]


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