Monday, September 29, 2008

we just need a little gas!

We have already rescheduled our closing on the house from last Friday to this Wednesday. As of today, the gas company still did not show the balance on the account had been paid. They won't turn the gas on until the account is cleared. Better yet, we can't go to closing because there is a lien on the house because of the unpaid gas bill! So now we are scheduled to close on Friday. I have been spinning my wheels thinking about everything that needs to be done since last week, so I sure hope we can get the gas on and get the house inspected in order to close. That way, I can stop spinning and START WORKING! I never realized how much I really love gas...

the end to one obsession

After what seems like a zillion kitchen plans, we made a discovery yesterday that seems to have brought the IKEA Planner madness to an end. At Sears, we found a beautiful Jenn Air freestanding range that has a gas cook top and electric ovens below! Eureka! In addition, the burner controls are on the top right, so little hands can't reach them, and the larger lower over can cook by convection as well as conventionally. The top oven is the perfect size for everyday cooking. This find has eliminated my obsessive quizzing of everyone - "Range or wall oven and cook top?" and has made the kitchen planning much easier since we have found the goddess of all cooking appliances!

Friday, September 19, 2008

imaginary construction

The hardest thing about remodeling a foreclosure is not owning it yet. We are chomping at the bit to just get in and start doing things, but closing is not until next week. Meanwhile, we continue to meet with contractors and get estimates on all of the work to be done. This morning, we met with an electrician who kindly pointed out several more items that if not fixed are a not to code and b very unsafe. Thanks. The list gets longer, and I see our $ not stretching as far as I'd like... Oh well.

We should be able to start working next Friday afternoon after we close. I say "should" because the gas has still not been turned on in the house yet. There is some difficulty in getting the gas company to send a bill to the listing agent so they can pay it and get reimbursed by the bank. We have yet to check the furnace or any of the gas appliances. So if we haven't got gas flowing, we may have to push back closing. On the flip side, the well has been fixed which we did not expect. Saved us some money that will probably go to the electrician :)

While we wait to get in the house, I obsess about the kitchen. I have drawn up literally hundreds of kitchen plans at this point. I have researched cabinet makers, counter tops, name it. In my attempt to go green, I am looking at things I would not have thought of before. I'm trying to find out if a cabinet has particleboard in it and if it does, does it have added formaldehyde? Do the finished have VOC's? Is there an unfinished option? The hard part is that solid wood cabinets are much more expensive of course than the less eco friendly ones. Cabinets seem to be the hardest for me - some of the other materials are easy choices because of their appearance and their "greenness". Recycled glass tiles are gorgeous - it is just a question of how much of the tile is actually recycled. Same with counter tops. Anyway, I could go on (and on and on) about kitchen materials and the benefits of a layout with the oven and cook top separated vs. having a range. Maybe later. I need to go read some of my kitchen remodeling books from the library!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So we are planning on doing some work ourselves on the new house, but we've been there before and would love to hire some folks to do some of the dirty work. This whole week has been about meeting lots of contractors, designers and handy people. We have been to the house almost every day, and poor Peanut has just about had it. She is so happy to run around on the sidewalk, but once we go inside, into the Ergo she goes and it is HOT with no power on and being so close and snuggled into mommy. She has be a very sweaty, rosy cheeked munchkin this week. I just can't let her down since we have no idea what is on the floors and she will put anything she finds in her mouth.

We have had some good meetings with folks - it looks promising. I think we will be able to hire someone to do most if not all of the kitchen at least. We are meeting with someone tomorrow who is giving us an estimate on cleaning too, which I'd really love to pass along and not do ourselves. The house was owned by some really heavy smokers and the ceiling and walls need to be scrubbed before they are painted to get the stench out. It is not going to be fun work and really I'd rather save my energy for painting over all of the garish colors. What is the deal? Almost every foreclosure we looked at had crazy colors on all of the walls. Beware - if you have bizarre colorful walls, your house might be next!