Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lots of Days!

Tasks: Tearing out the back wall, reframing
Hours: Lots of hours
Who: Dan and friends
Here are some pictures =)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Days 25-26

Tasks: Reframing, removing plugs, removing hardwoods
Hours: 16 hours
Who: Dan, Ilana, and Goober
The house is getting coder and colder. It was in the mid-30's on Saturday, and low 40's on Sunday.

Ilana removed the outlets upstairs and took out the hardwood floors. Meanwhile, Dan and Goober reframed the house, Dan upstairs, and Goober down.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Tasks: Getting the permit!
Hours: More than are countable
Who: Dan (with some help from Sulli--thanks!)
Dan worked for hours at getting the permit for us to do the extension. He finally got it today. YAY

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Days 23-24

Tasks: Reframing, taking out bathroom, removing floors, removing outlets
Hours: 16 hours
Who: Dan, Ilana, DavidiDad, DavidiMom
The house is getting colder and colder. After a wonderful Thanksgiving, we brought the Davidi parents over to the house and put 'em to work. DavidiDad took on removing all of the old outlets, while DavidiMom worked with Ilana at removing the drywall from the bathroom, and then at removing the nails left behind by Ilana removing the boards.

Dan continued with reframing upstairs, making the laundry room and opening up the former master bath.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Days 21-22

Tasks: Reframing and floor removal
Hours: 16
Who: Dan and Ilana
After taking a weekend off to finish some things up in Sarasota, we were back at work at the house. Dan worked on reframing, while I tore up floors in the kitchen. We are going to reuse the good boards to expand out the dining room.

Dan finished tearing out the bathrooms and installing a toilet in our basement.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Days 16-20

Tasks: Clean up and reframing
Hours: About 30
Who: Dan and Ilana
We have spent the last three weekends cleaning up the house and beginning reframing. For clean up, we've been removing all of the nails that used to hold up the drywall on the ceiling and other hard-to-reach places. Needless to say, I'm very sore.

I also vacuum the leftover insulation from the walls, and all the icky stuff that falls out of it. My goal today was to make the house poo-free. While I think I got rid of all the rodent droppings, there is still some cricket stuff, as it is very small. I'll get it all, though. At one point today, a cricket jumped out at me. I yelled, "Oh no you don't!" and whapped his little butt out the front door with the vacuum. Haha, cricket! Score one for the Reeves!

We also had a company come in to remove the nuisance trees around the house (including the one with the huge bough on the roof). We found we had a gorgeous flower bush (no idea what kind) in the backyard. The picture shows dan standing next to it, as well as some close-ups of one of the flowers.

Dan has been reframing, moving walls to configure the house as we like. Yes, I married a man who can move walls...yay! So far, we have combined two small closets upstairs into one big one, removed a small closet to create a hallway space to go to the addition, and removed overhangs in the kitchen space that will be replaced with tall cabinets.

We are also both spending a lot of time on research and design. Sulli helped Dan out with some CAD drawings, and I've been researching green technologies that we can actually use in the house. I was disappointed that the way our house is situated rules out solar power for now, but we are looking at energy-efficient windows, insulation, and toilets, as well as cisterns.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 14

Tasks: More drywall, more nails, kitchen removal
Hours: 8
Who: Dan and Ilana
Well, I have the dream kitchen I wanted back when I was 24 and eating out all the time...NONE. Dan ripped out all of the appliances. Everything, including the kitchen sink. He also took out all of the ceilings downstairs, while I stuck to tearing out drywall and nails. I am getting quite good at it.

One thing that made our tasks this weekend tougher is that there was no dumpster available. We have a tree guy coming in this week, so could not have the driveway blocked. We now have piles of rubble throughout the house.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 13

Tasks: Drywall removal, nail removal, bathroom destruction, gutter fixing
Hours: 8
Who: Dan and Ilana
I spent the day pulling nails and ripping out more drywall, while Dan smashed in bathroom tile, removed toilets and sinks, and changed the gutter system to move water away from the house.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Week of Oct 12-Oct 17

Tasks: Get quotes from contractors
Hours: Varying
Who: Dan
Dan got quotes from many contractors on things like tree removal, radon mitigation, concrete pouring.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 12

Tasks: Drywall tear-out, nail removal, painting basement
Hours: 8
Who: Ilana and Dan
Tore out more dry wall, put second coat of paint in basement.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 11

Tasks: Debris clear-out and alarm re-install
Hours: 6
Who: Ilana
Spent the day clearing out the debris and installing a new alarm

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Day 10

Tasks: Clean up and alarm installation
Hours: 4
Who: Ilana

I went to the house today and spent some time running up and down the stairs with insulation and drywall.

I also installed a new alarm system in our basement in addition to the existing Brinks system, complete with door and window sensors and motion detectors. I was quite pleased with my handiwork, and the system should help provide extra coverage during construction.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 9

Tasks: Tear out drywall, ceilings, insulation from second floor
Hours: 6
Who: Tara, Goober, Sulli, Lionell, Ilana

On the way to the house, I bought a mini-fridge and some accompanying libations. I figure that Dan and I can reuse the fridge for a game room or guest room in the new house, but for now, it was fun to stock. And after stepping back and realizing it looked like college, we were ready to go!

Thank you to Tara, Goober, Sulli, and Lionell for incredible work! We finished off all bedrooms and ceilings on the second floor. The guys did the tearing (i.e. mess-making), and Tara and I carried stuff down to the dumpster (i.e. clean up). It was amazing how fast they worked, and things were looking completely different in no time.

Knocking out the ceilings is a messy business, as there is loose insulation directly on top of the drywall. The past owners also had some animals making nests in it, so it was extremely yucky work for the guys. The guys also took down all the doors upstairs, and carried them downstairs to the garage.

We took a break for some beer and pizza, then the crew left, and I stayed behind for a while to do some more clean up work. Let me tell you...that fiberglass stuff is ITCHY.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 8

Tasks: More drywall, clearing out back yard, drylock painting
Hours: 10
Who: Ilana and Dan
Sunday was a great day, with a lot accomplished.

First, we cleared more drywall out of the dining room. Next, we removed piles of debris that had accumulated in the back yard. We also finally cleared out enough drywall that we can see from room to room. My favorite task was painting the basement. Instead of destroying something, we actually made something pretty!

We used white drylock paint to seal the concrete block in the basement. There was some dampness down there due to improper water drainage in the rest of the house. Painting was tough, as the surface is rough and slow to absorb. We had purchased a paint sprayer, but the drylock is too thick, as it has sand in it. Dan did a lot of the painting, as it took a lot of arm strength, while I stuck to detail work and clearing out more drywall.

The basement looks great, though! It was so gratifying to finally have something look pretty. =)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 7

Tasks: Tearing down living room, white and blue bedrooms drywall
Hours: About 4
Who: Dan and Ilana
Saturday was all about getting rid of more drywall. I got there in the morning, and continued tearing out drywall in the white bedroom and blue bedroom. I place a trash can under the window of whatever one I was tearing out (these rooms are on the second floor), and had fun aiming for and sometimes hitting my targets. =)

Dan got in late that evening, so the two of us began tearing out the dining room as well. The rooms on the first floor are tougher, as they have floorboards which sit below the hardwoods, which makes them a bit harder to tear out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gas Crisis Stopping Work

For those outside of Atlanta or other points South, a gas crisis happening right now might be hard to imagine. However, Atlanta is going through a tough one. Most stations are out of gas, while those that have it have ridiculously long lines; we're talking people waiting in line for hours to fill up there tanks.

This shortage has greatly affected my travels (as it has everybody else's). I therefore have been limiting my trips to the house, as a round trip uses a gallon of gas.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 6

Tasks: Tearing out drywall, filling dumpster, removing cabinets
Hours: 8
Who: Ilana, Peter, Tara, Goober
It was a long day of work in the house. The day started out with Peter and I ripping out cabinets and drywall. We went for lunch at Five Guys, and when I returned, there was a dumpster waiting to be filled. I cleared out all the debris from the family room.

By the time I was done with that, Tara and Goober had arrived. Goober tore out the remaining drywall from the family room (yes, Dan, the stuff to high for me to reach...), and Tara and I spent the time clearing out all of the drywall, trim, and insulation already pulled. We also loaded up the dumpster with the boards from the porch Dan had torn down. By the time we were done at 5:30 or so, the dumpster was filled.

Week 2

Tasks: Rigging and checking dehumidifier
Hours: About 30 minutes per day
Who: Ilana
I went over every evening to check on a dehumidifier I had set up in the basement. I had to drag a heavy desk over, then prop up the hose so that all of the water flowed downhill. It worked very well, and the humidity down there was down from "HI" on Sunday to 65 on Saturday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 5: Sunday September 14

Tasks: Shopping!
Hours: 2
Who: Ilana
I had high hopes that I would get through a long list of tasks, but a cold that has been going around our office seems to have caught up with me. After making runs to Costco and Home Depot to purchase some supplies, I went back to the house where I dragged two five-gallon tubs of dry paint, a paint machine, and a humidifier to the basement. I got everything set up, tore out some drywall, then decided to head home for an afternoon of rest.

The fact both the Red Sox and the Patriots are on national television definitely helped me fight the urge to keep working.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the family room as it looks now.

Yes, that is cricket poo that was hiding behind the drywall. One of many reasons we are tearing out all of the drywall, even that which doesn't look so bad (or so yellow)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 4: Saturday September 13

Tasks: Clean basement, rip out family room drywall
Hours: 4
Who: Dan and Ilana
After a yummy lunch at Goldberg's (1.5 miles away, in the same plaza as Five Guys), we headed to the house. It was exciting for me, as today was the first time I saw our house in sunlight. Every time I visited before purchase was a cloudy day. In most houses, you look forward to sunny days as it brightens your house. However, with a fixer-upper, you take advantage of the natural light to see what else needs fixing up. There is certainly a lot in this house.

Dan spent the hours we were there power-washing the basement. The house had poor draining, and moisture had seeped into the basement prior to our purchase. We are therefore going to clean out all the mud and make sure that the gutters drain properly so that this does not happen again. I'd go into more detail on this, but the basement was very gross, so I didn't really go down to see how Dan was doing. =D

I worked in the bright yellow family room instead. There was wainscotting throughout this room, which needed to be torn out before we could rip down the drywall. This was quite the task: the winscotting consisted of a piece of plywood covered by a decorative square made up of four pieces of wood, held in place by a bankboard trim up top, and a double baseboard below. The baseboard was especially complex, as it sat lower than the hardwood floor, on top of the natural flooring. This made leveraging the pry bar difficult and progress slow. I didn't have a camera today, but will bring it tomorrow to take some pictures.

After I got all the wood after, I had to tear out the drywall itself. This is done by making a hole in the drywall using a hammer or the pry bar, then ripping it out by hand. I tried to get it to come off in big, solid pieces (like when you try to peel an orange all in one big piece...) It was quite difficult.

There was some nastiness behind the drywall. A few dead bugs, some dead bug poo, some rodent poo, and a little bit of mold. The people who had the house before us really let it go to pot, but we are working to make sure that absolutely everything is done right and done well.

My arms are hurting from tearing out drywall, so I am going to take a break to watch some more college football.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 3: Friday September 12

Tasks: Preparation for drywall removal (starting with family room)
Hours: 2
Who: Dan and Ilana
A quick visit to the house after work today, as we had a going away party for friends that evening (ironically, they are moving to Boston =))

I removed outlet and light switch covers, while Dan started tearing down some drywall.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 2: September 11

Tasks: Porch removal; power washing; gross stuff vacuuming
Hours: 3
Who: Dan and Ilana
Dan spent some time today ripping down a rotted porch, then power-washing the front sidewalk. I went over after work to continue on vacuuming detail.

We also started exploring some dining options, enjoying our first burgers and fries at the Five Guys, which is a scarily short 1.5 miles from our house.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Closed on a Home Today

Tasks: Cleaning, tree removal
Hours: 6 for him, 3 for her (not including 2 for closing)
Who: Dan and Ilana
Today we closed on a home in Buckhead. It was originally built in 1980, but ran into a state of disrepair when the owner passed away about three years ago, leaving the home to sit empty.

We realize this is going to be a project, and have been preparing for the work. After working a full day, I headed over to the house to meet up with Dan to start our project. I used a shop vac to vacuum up some very icky things (e.g. cobwebs, cricket poo, bugs dead and alive) while Dan cut down a few trees and removed a large branch from our roof.