Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our Own Renovation Reality

I'm not sure if you've ever watched the DIY network but they have this show called Renovation Realities. The premise is simple. They tape, usually a couple, trying to tackle a weekend renovation on a limited budget and it goes about as well as everyone expects. Horribly hilarious. There is yelling, crying and the occasional trip to the ER. It's a good show.

And now we're faced with our own renovation that before it even began was heading in that direction.

See that hole there? That's a hole in the ceiling of one of the downstairs bedrooms which is A.'s playroom. When we bought the house we knew that there had been some water damage in the past but everything seemed okay. Until this weekend. When it began leaking. Yay! Because this weekend was already jam packed with flu fun to begin with.

So The Husband tore down some of the ugly ceiling tiles that were eventually going to come down anyways. And by eventually, I mean, years from now. Not Saturday night. Then today my Brother came over and helped me break out the plaster ceiling that was hiding under the tiles which is the hole in the ceiling you see now.

So now we have the issue of a hole in the ceiling of the playroom that has to be addressed. Oh and the leaking. And the damage to the wall. So I moved all of the toys out and they have invaded the living and dining room where they will probably live for the next month while this gets fixed.

Originally, we thought we (The Husband, Brother, Dad and I) could handle this. I mean, how hard was it going to be to:
  • Rip down all of the old ceiling tiles.
  • Take down the ceiling trim.
  • Rewire the cloth wiring and add in a new ceiling light.
  • Put up a new drywall ceiling.
  • Put up new ceiling trim.
  • Cut out a section of the plaster wall under the water damage that is falling apart due to age and water damage.
  • Fix the probably minor plumbing issues.
  • Put a drywall patch into a plaster wall.
  • Paint ceiling, walls and trim.
  • Put up new window hardware and drapes.
  • Move all the toys back in.
Soooo yeah. That seemed doable. In nine years. Specially considering how in almost a year we've only managed to paint A.'s room and oh, I painted the ceiling in the dining room.

But here is where the fun begins. Once we tore down part of the ceiling the real issues became clear. Problems I'm already throwing the towel in and calling a general contractor about. My Brother tells me that the top plate in the wall is structurally unsound due to years worth of leaks from the major plumbing issue that is that the stack that runs between the two bathrooms is holding together by rust alone at this point. Awesome.

Thankfully our city has a program for poorish homeowners within the city limits that will pay 50% of the costs, up to $4,000, for immediate, necessary repairs for things like plumbing and structural issues. Yay! So tomorrow I will start calling contracters to come out and give bids, call for quotes for dumpters and filling out an application for the program that the lady at city hall assures us from my description, we already qualify for. Oh and making sure we procure proper permits. Fun fun!

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