Nightmare on Elm St.

The journey of turning the nightmare we bought on Elm St. into our dream home...

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Get well soon Sandy Pants, and a quick update

First and foremost, our yellow lab, Sandy, underwent surgery to repair a complete ACL tear in her left knee yesterday. This wasn't unexpected, we've repaired the right knee twice, and we finally felt she had recovered enough from her surgery in December to undergo surgery on the other leg. She's very woozy but is resting comfortably at home today. Please send love her way from all of the other pet loving housebloggers. To spare you the gratuitous Sandy Pants pics(as we call her at home, or Farts-a-lot, as Mike likes to call her), here are links for the interested of Sandy in healthier times:


Sandy and Chester

On Friday we spent a long time at Just Cabinets trying to get the pricing right for what we wanted. They discontinued some of the cabinets that we needed (office wall cabinets in 42" tall), so we ended up having to make a couple of changes to our plan (switch a cabinet out for an open bookcase- yuck, dust), and eliminate one area of cabinets (only one one side of the shop door and not both). I was extremely impressed with the patience and professionalism of the staff at Just Cabinets in Frederick, and would definitely recommend them as of right now. I'll let you know what we think when we get them in! We ended up going with Kraftmaid birch cabinets in a shaker style with a chestnut finish. I can't remember the exact style, but it is very similar to the Tuscan Shaker style that Lowes' sells. We felt better about our single biggest purchase for the basement to date when we found out that our neighbor "Hasn't slept well since he paid for his cabinets..." and "Plan(s) to sleep in his kitchen for a few weeks when it's done..." Cabinets are expensive!!!

Also on Friday, we made a visit to Hardwoods, Inc. a new millwork and wood retailer in town. This was really cool. They have tons of different varieties of wood and do great custom millwork. We're having them make our stair balusters at a great cost savings vs. making them ourselves (we had to cut some corners to pay for the cabinets, and the walnut staircase from Stair Supplies was one of the first things to go. Home Depot stocks a red oak box newel and other componets we can live with, but we had to have the 1.25" square balusters made, as they do not sell those). Here is the best part- we paid for our order on Friday, and Aaron is picking it up today. That's so much better than another millwork shop we've used before, who takes weeks to make even simple runs of stuff, and still hasn't returned our phone call about the balusters. We talked to the owner of Hardwoods about some other projects we have in mind, and he even told us that Sassafrass is an excellent subsitute for the American chestnut trim in our house (similar grain, stains about the same...). We were really happy to get this information and plan to become frequent customers.

Saturday I got almost all of the suspended ceiling components painted. I still need to sand them lightly with ultrafine steel wool and recoat them with clear protectant. Overall, it's a good match for the tiles and I cannot wait to get the ceiling installed. Saturday we also made the difficult decision not to expose the brick walls in the bathroom. It was making a lot of construction headaches for us, and I wasn't sure it was even going to look good in the end. So, we built walls on Saturday afternoon and spent most of Sunday running the rest of the supply lines and testing all of the plumbing in the bathroom. Over the next few weeks, we will be making our own Craftsman style wainscoting, mudding, taping, and painting the walls, and finishing off the ceiling in that room so that we can get the tub! Once the tub is in, the rest of the bathroom can be finished and should go together quickly. Yay! Pictures to come soon.

Last night, we spent 4 hours at a planning commision meeting to discuss the proposed townhouses being built behind our house. Our agenda item never came up, so we have to go back next Wednesday to try to finish the meeting. It was good that we went, because now we have a lot more information about what they plan to build (in addition to the townhomes, they want to put in garages with apartments above them which will face a narrow and congested alley) and this gives us more time to convince our neighbors to attend the next meeting Wed. July 19 at 6 pm at City Hall! Call or email me for details if you're an affected neighbor.