Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stuff that needs fixin'

This post is about all the things that could use improvement in our first home. It's a cute house, and a perfect "fixer-upper" in the sense that it's not in shambles and you don't feel like tearing the whole thing down before putting any work into it. It's got huge potential if you've got the money to put into it. We're doing our best with the budget we have--but with the condition it's in now, just about anything we do to the house will be an improvement.

The first part of our house was built 80 years ago. The second part, probably 50 years ago. The third addition I think 30 years ago. In its most recent years (I'm not sure how many), it has been used as a rental. The renter obviously didn't care too much about the place, and when he "fixed it up" to be rented he did a poor job using the cheapest materials and what looks like very little experience.

The basic description:

  • The living room has this awful particle-board paneling on the walls, some kind of tiling on the ceiling (probably also particle board?), and ugly laminate wood floors. 
  • The kitchen has ugly old cabinets with laminate faces in a honey-brown color, laminate wood flooring, and otherwise regular drywall. 
  • The laundry room has vinyl flooring that was cut poorly and is chunked up in places. Regular walls.
  • The master bedroom has the laminate wood flooring, drywall, a ceiling fan that has cracks radiating from it (and can't be turned on high because it moves so much), and the closet is heavy wood in poor shape in the same honey-brown color. The walls have drywall seams, dents, bumps, cracks, chips, peeling paint, you name it.  
  • The master bath has plastered walls from the floor to about 3 feet high, then a line of black tile rectangles around the room, and I think drywall the rest of the way to the ceiling in the same poor condition as the rest of the house. Vinyl flooring that was poorly fitted. 
  • The guest bathroom has old honeycomb tile and I think drywall. It just looks like someone pasted the drywall mud onto the wall with a spatula and didn't care how not smooth it was. It seems particularly bad in this bathroom, but that could be because I stare at it in front of my face every time I use the restroom.
  • The office, hall, and guestroom all have hardwood floors. They are so old it looks like they may have been sealed a a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...but not since then. If you walk barefoot you have a danger of getting splinters they're in such bad shape, and I can't wash them with water or risk damaging and warping them even more. All I can do is vacuum and/or sweep. We hope to carpet it someday if we're still here in the future, but it's way down on the list of things to do.
  • The office has drywall I think, along with another wood closet like the bedroom. 
  • The guest room has another big wood closet and the only room with wood paneling on the walls (and the only room not painted white). I think they would look good if they were refinished, but that's the last room we're concerned with here.
All the walls are white except the guestroom. Every. Single. One. We need some color in here!
All the floors are gross. No one who rented here knew how to care for wood laminate flooring so it's very dull--they probably used the wrong cleaning product while mopping. All the edges have a dark line in front of them where the mop would push the dirt/dirty water to it and then leave it there to dry. I went around the kitchen and scrubbed with a Scotch sponge and cleaning solution and that helped a little. The rooms with vinyl flooring are filthy and have dirt caked up all around the edges, especially because whoever put it in didn't fit it very well. The tile in the spare bath is in slightly better shape but it's stained and has something on it like dried plaster or paint which I don't think will come up.

We also have an unfinished basement. There are concrete floors on most of it that are cracked, chipping, chunky, etc...sweeping down there creates a dust cloud and you should wear a mask while doing it. And blue carpeting on another section of it. Weird. If we had infinite money I'd finish it out and make it into an awesome game room or den. 

And that's [the inside of] our charming house. It's great if you want a good fixer-upper and if you've got the money for it. As we go along remodeling how we can with our budget, I'll post before and after pictures of the rooms. First is the kitchen....