At least as far as the contractors are concerned, this project is nearing completion. Completion of Phase I, that is. The guys were able to turn on the water, last week, and actually keep it on! No leaks. Everything seems to work just fine. Of course, it’s only had minimal use – drinks from the tap and an occasional flush. The real test wont come until we’ve moved in. . . and are doing laundry. . . and washing dishes. . . and taking a shower. We’ll observe a moment of silence, before the big test; and perhaps offer sacrifices to Poseidon right before we dedicate one of the numbers on our keypad to speed dial Roto-Rooter.
As I’ve mentioned before, much of what we have to do to the house is a matter of correcting the bad judgement (or bad taste!) of the previous owners. Rob spent all of last weekend correcting the walls in the laundry room. When we moved in, they were nothing but pads of insulation enclosed behind a clear plastic sheet. When Rob took out the old insulation, he discovered mold, an old mouse nest, and daylight where the wall and floor meet. The wall was nothing more than plywood sheets over the old back porch. In fact, they just put plywood over the original porch screen, never even bothering to take it out. Rob spent all weekend cutting 2X4’s to reinforce the wall and give him something to attach the sheetrock to. He then cut the insulation of fit between the studs.
Saturday, Dad and I rented a floor sander. I had heard that the "vibrating" type of sander is much better than the old drum style, so that’s what I wanted to try. We started on the corner bedroom; and, even with the coarsest sandpaper we could use, we saw little for our effort. It’s not entirely to blame, I suppose. The boards are pretty warped. It would take days of sanding just to create a completely level surface. Because it couldn’t get "down in the valleys," so to speak, the old finish remained. What was left over was a somewhat-finished floor. The old stain, safely ensconced in the many dips and valleys, gives the floor a speckled look.
We had finished going over the second room with the rough sandpaper when the sander started making funny noises. Then, large chunks of metal started falling out from underneath it. The machine was still running, but, judging by the size of those chunks, if we had continued on much longer, there would soon have been nothing left but the handle! We took it back to the rental place, and were braced for a fight. Thankfully, they refunded half our money, so it wasn’t that big of a loss.
The question remains what to do with the floor? We could try taking stripper to the remaining stain, but that would be a project of gargantuan proportions. We have enough of those without adding more. I might try to just put some stain down and see if it masks the old spot, or, at least, brings them into the fold. In the meantime, we’ll be looking for sales on area rugs. BIG area rugs.
The contractors have put sheet rock up on the dining room ceiling and given it its first coat of mud. They have one more coat of mud to put in the guest bedroom ceiling before they head on into the living room. After they’ve completed that room and the parlor, our storm door should arrive. They’ll install that and be done. Uh, with Phase I, that is. (They installed new basement windows, last week, and boy are they snazzy!!)
The bathroom is starting to morph into something actually usable. It is past its "desperately ugly" stage, as Bro Rob put it, to "nearing-its-full-potential" stage. I was able to get some color up there, last weekend, and that alone was a welcome salvation from the fire-house red of its past incarnation. There’s still a lot of trim work to do, and many a mitered cut to make before we sleep. But ah, to sleep, perchance to dream of finishing up with phase I – ay, there’s the rub.