Sunday, February 14, 2010


What kind of crazy people buy each other a house for Valentine's Day? We do, of course.  For our second anniversary of Bungled House ownership, we didn't do any house projects. We went out to eat, we cooked good food, and sat around and watched the Olympics.  Wonderful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After, After and In Progress

Because what's the point of finishing a project if you haven't already started a new one that will monopolize your time?

First, I will start with the Hallway before:
And hall after:

It just feels more like an old house now, doesn't it? The color of the walls is actually green, though it looks kind of grey in some photos.  It is a Behr color, Spiced Oregano, but I have never been impressed with Behr paint, so it is actually Olympic Premium Paint.  Olympic Premium is a zero-VOC paint, and since I've been meaning to explore the low/no-VOC paint world, I decided to give it  a spin in a small space.  I'm pretty particular about my paint quality; actually I'm a little on the obsessive side.  I enjoyed using this paint, it had good coverage and very little odor.  I really love the color with the wood, too.

We are still hunting for a door to replace the white one in the picture above.  It is the bathroom door, and someone was not kind to it; it's badly dinged, there is a mortise cut out for a hinge that doesn't exist, and all of the panels are cracked or covered in holes from towel racks.  So eventually the plan is to use it in the kitchen for the doorway down to the stairs (currently void of a door) and find a replacement for the bathroom.  We're in no hurry, I actually don't mind the white door for now.

For the next before and after, I give you Beast to Generic-Modern-Day-Furnace-Not-Yet-Worthy-Of-A-Catchy-Name (or GMDFNYWOACN, for short):

I don't really have much to say about this, considering I did zero percent of the work. It's a Trane, 95% efficient.  I can now walk everywhere in the basement and not hit my head.  Kevin can too, as long as he walks only North to South and doesn't try to go West.

Finally, I give you in progress:

This is where I left off on the stairs on Sunday to become a Saints fan and football fan all in one night.   As you can see, there is still paint in all the crevices and cracks, which will take me most of this next weekend to pluck and sand out, but I think I made good progress.  I think I can hear the bungled house thanking me for rescuing its wood from the dreaded paint-over -- either that or it's the new furnace starting up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We've killed the Beast

That's right, our sea-green beast is dead.  I was at work, so Kevin and the dog were there to witness its last gasps.  When I got home, I have to say, Arlo was visibly shaken.  Either he thinks he's next or he's afraid of the five electric heaters strategically placed around the house. Come to think of it, he's giving the heater that's pointed at us right now the shifty eye, so the evidence is in favor of the latter of my theories.
Anyway, enough about the dog.  It is COLD up in here. At last read, which was about five minutes ago since I'm obsessively checking it at this point, the thermostat is reading fifty-nine degrees.  I have two blankets on and I have only gotten off the couch twice since I got home from work.  One of those times was to stare at our basement in awe.
 This might look like a concrete floor to the untrained eye, but I'd like to draw your attention to the faint square imprint.  That used to be our furnace.  The one that was kind of handy to have around in February in Minnesota.  The temp outside right now? Nineteen degrees.

See? No furnace.  This picture also shows two of the five heaters. The new furnace is going in tomorrow, so really I'm being dramatic right now. Like I said, the asbestos abatement guys left us some heaters.  They also left our basement spotless and smelling of Simple Green cleaner.  Mmmmm.  I'll write more about abatement when I can get Kevin to explain the process in detail.

I go back and forth about the furnace. On one hand, the old furnace worked just fine.  Yes, it was from 1946, and yes it was a little on the creepy side, but on the other hand, it was a reliable appliance.  Gravity heat, for those who have experienced it is quite nice.  It is quiet and the furnaces last forever because there are no moving parts.  We are replacing something that lasted 64 years with something that will last 20 years.  However, I think, in the end, it was a good decision.  For one, our neighborhood offered a deal where we would get a 35% rebate.  That is on top of the federal Energy Star rebates. That comes out to 65% off of a new furnace.  Wow.  Also, we had gravity heat in a duplex before moving into the Bungled House (and enjoyed it thoroughly) but we felt that others who may eventually want to live here might be a little more freaked by the Beast.  Not everyone has a fondness for giant green hunks of metal.

How many pictures of the lack of a furnace can one put into a blog post?  I'm thinking three is the limit.  That was the last, I promise. It's just so weird!