Sunday, April 26, 2009

Floors are DONE! We're all moved in!

We're all moved in! The movers got us out of the apartment and into our place on Thursday. It only took a few hours. We spent all of Thursday shuffling things around. Nothing was in the right spot of course. 

Here's a pic of the floors while they were being sanded:

And here's the pics of the floors now!

Friday, we woke up in our brand new house for the first time. We were exhausted, joints were swollen and aching. We felt pretty beat up. But it was the most amazing feeling to know that it was all ours. We're sooooo lucky. 

I spent Friday putting the kitchen away. 

Saturday was more cleaning and organizing. Lucky & Mu-shu  are really settling in nicely. They seem to like all their new space. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Electrical and Potties!

So the last couple days have been great! My folks are still here helping out with the details. It's nice having them there, so they can be around when Jonathan is at work in case a contractor needs access to the house. They've also been getting bids on the foundation for us. 

Here's the table we're using in the kitchen to keep track of all the exciting things going on. Lists, quotes, fliers, and coffee!

Here's our favorite contractor, Uncle Ted! He's been working super hard the last couple days in very cold weather to get our switcher box updated and everything consolidated on to one meter. Everything looks great so far! 



A couple days ago, Jonathan was going on and on about the toilets in the house and how small they were. He wanted to get new ones. I didn't think it was that urgent but then when he sat down on one of them and I saw him chewing on his knees I decided to quit being a cheapskate let him have his toilets. So he went to Home Depot and got the dual flush kind. One for each bathroom! 

The plumber came out and unhooked the sink in the entryway and chopped the pipes back to the correct place. We were going to have him come back Friday and install the toilets too. Then Doug, with nothing left to do for the afternoon, dove in and installed one of the toilets! He and Jonathan will probably do the other one tomorrow, saving us a few bills. 

The floors will be refinished from Monday through Wednesday. We move in next Thursday! One week to go! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Knocking holes in the wall

Well, one big hole really. I guess I should explain. The house is a legal duplex. It was split up approximately 60 years ago. The units are side by side and there was no connecting door between the two. What used to be the original entryway was turned into a second kitchen. Since neither Jonathan nor I are interested in being landlords and we want to have all three bedrooms at our disposal we need to turn the house back into a single family home. 
Alameda has all kinds of requirements for the electrical, plumbing and other fun things and of course they made sure to extort their $1000 for the permit out of us in no time flat. Jeez! Now I know why people do work without permits. They really nickel and dime you for everything! But we don't want to have to reconcile it 20 years down the road if we decide to sell so we just have to suck it up and shell out now. One thing we learned from our friends; in the battle between you and the city, the city always wins. 

So, with permit in hand, on Monday & Tuesday Jonathan and Doug opened up the doorway between the two units. Now we don't have to go outside to get to our bedroom, yay! Of course, everyone loves demo work. That's the fun part. Once the doorway was open they continued to tear out the second kitchen stuff. 

The vent for the stove went up into the attic so Jonathan had to climb up there and rip it all out. The cabinet around the vent needed to go too. Then the backsplash needed to 
come off the wall. 

They tried to get the sink out but the pipes are so old that even with a big ass pipe wrench they bought could not get it loose. Guess we need a plumber for that.
Uncle Ted is coming by tomorrow to work on the electrical for us. We have 3 meters (since it was a duplex) so he's going to knock it down to one and upgrade all the service to the house. He also needs to take out the big 210 plug that went to the oven in the extra kitchen.

By the end of Tuesday there's a whole lot more space in there and it looks like a real entryway. Doug spent some time taking the molding off the extra doorway to the outside. We'll have to bring someone in to seal that up. 

Here's our list of short term things to do. Mostly the stuff that will bring us back to "single family residence" status. We have 2 water heaters, 2 gas lines, central heat that only goes to half the house... It'll all take a while but I guess when you have a mortgage, all you have is time after that. 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Close Escrow and Floors!

We closed escrow on Monday the 6th! We're so excited and happy. We cannot believe how fortunate we are to have found this beautifully maintained house. This great pic of Jonathan and myself holding our keys was taken by our awesome real estate agent Gregg Fujita. I totally reccomend Gregg if you want to move over here to "The Island" 
So there's a big list of stuff to do but only a couple things to take care of 
before we move in. We need to open up one doorway to connect the two units from the inside. So my folks have driven down from Seattle to help us rip out the 2nd kitchen and make an entryway out of it. 

We took a few more pics of the back yard 'cause ya'll were asking to see what it looks like. It looks BIG! and BLANK! We can pretty much do whatever we want. Woohoo!

I'm thinking herb garden. Some bamboo on the edges in planters to block out the neighbors. I'm sure they'll appreciate it too. I want wisteria and Jonathan wants a Japanese maple leaf tree + a Koi pond. I guess our house will be Mod-Vic inside and Japanese Garden on the outside. 

So once we got the keys we went inside with Rooster and ripped up the carpets in the second unit. Holy shit we hit the JACKPOT! Even MORE hardwood floors! We have original hardwood floors in 6 rooms! And they are all different patterns! Not kidding. They all need to be sanded and refinished. But almost all are in really good shape. The entryway might need to just be tiled till we can afford to replace the damaged section. We can wait on that. For right now we'll stain the rest of the floors a little darker (since that's the way we roll) . 
Here's the pics of the floors in each room:

Bedroom #1 & #2

Parlor and Dining Room:                                         

Here's the entryway that was previously under linoleum and a refrigerator
 for many many years. We might hold off on fixing this for a while. I anticipate a grand or more in repairs for this kind of thing. It's pretty damaged but we'll hold onto it till later. 

So that's it for the moment! My parents are here with all their tools to give us a hand. We got our permit from the city and are going to open up the doorway on Sunday. YAY! We already met several neighbors and neighbor kitties. Everyone is really friendly and we're so happy to be on this block! More to come....