Old House Update – Surviving the Middle

Coffee at 100 year old houseI finally feel like I have something to update you all on! We’ve been in that yucky middle part that I dread so much. It’s where things slow way down and it seems like NOTHING IS HAPPENING. Usually, you’re waiting on someone to do something and it’s where I lose all motivation. The good news is, I’m learning this about myself which means I can learn to be prepared for it. This is my fourth house to remodel in two years and it’s happened every single time. The yucky middle is where I lose motivation. So now that we’re coming out of the uneventful middle, I figured it’s time for an update!

repainting a 100 year old house The outside is looking better already! The paint there had two things going on — it was either cracked and flaking off OR it was adamantly not budging and stuck for life. After lots of washing/scraping/sanding, the old siding is mostly smooth. I can’t wait to see it with a fresh coat of paint. I plan to use Sherwin Williams Pure White, if anyone is curious.

repainting a 100 year old houseI was also jazzed to show up one day and see several of those front windows OPEN. Part of my initial vision is to be able to open and close those windows freely and I’ve not known if it would be possible without replacing them. Needless to say, I’m stoked about seeing some of them open. A few other exterior improvements include cutting down a few trees, removing some overgrown vegetation, and burning that giant burn pile of brush. We’re definitely a good ways away from the outside being “pretty,” yet every day we get a little closer.

I mentioned before that the entire house had to be rewired. We also had to do away with the old meter base because it wasn’t done very safely. I had to work with Entergy to determine how we’d get power to the house in a new way. I’ll spare you the details because it was a bit more complicated than I expected. At one point, I was going to have to cut a large tree which definitely wasn’t in the budget. Then, it was going to cost me around $2,000. Also not in the budget. We finally found a solution that didn’t cost as much and now we have new power lines to the house and we can use the electricity again! The lesson here is to never give up. Ask for other solutions and keep pushing when needed. It saved me a lot of money.

100 year old house shiplap and sheetrockNow, let’s go inside. Sheetrock has been hung and mostly taped/floated. I almost messed up and forgot to tell the painters that I wanted the popcorn scraped from the ceilings. Oddly, just the hallway and two bedrooms had popcorn, and thankfully I remembered in time to have it done before they were finished with the prep work. Another note for next time — make a big giant list of EVERYTHING to be done at the very beginning of the project. This way, I can look back and make sure I didn’t forget anything.

100 year old house shaker style cabinetsThe cabinets were installed and I’ve purchased what will become the master vanity. We have plugs and switches, but not power to the whole house just yet. Last week we spent several evenings (and some of the weekend) sanding those original wood floors. If you saw it on Instagram, my carpenter was able to piece together the wood floors that were salvageable from the kitchen and the wood from the porch area that’s now a bathroom. He pieced them together beautifully and I was thrilled to get to keep more of the old wood flooring. That meant, however, that we had a lot of repair work to do.

refinishing floors in a 100 year old house refinishing floors in a 100 year old houserefinishing floors in a 100 year old housePart of the kitchen floor was covered in layers upon layers of paint. I don’t know how many layers exactly, but there’s at least three different colors of blue. Other sections are covered in this thick black stuff that is likely epoxy or some sort of adhesive from the old tiles that were in the kitchen. The plan is to remove all of the above and restore the wood that is underneath. We’ve used paint stripper, adhesive removers, and sanded for hours. This is one of the main projects that we’re attempting to DIY and after 12+ hours of sanding, I’ve decided to outsource the refinishing of the floors. What can I say? We tried.

repainting a 100 year old houseI’m so happy to be able to see progress again! The master tub is in and appliances are ordered and being held until I can install them. The back door is on backorder and we’ve found a temporary solution. Crown moulding has been selected and paint colors are mostly chosen. I’ve made new lists and things seem to be moving right along. The biggest decisions on the agenda right this second are settling on cabinet colors, picking countertops, and choosing bathroom flooring. There’s a pretty good chance that I won’t make my initial deadline and that’s alright. Progress is progress!

Side note: I have some pretty incredible people helping me with this project. If you ever need recommendations on plumbers/painters/etc, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m happy to answer any questions.

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