Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our Move

A few quick shots, courtesy of my mom, an occasional commenter here. Here we are pulling the truck into our old front yard, my dad is directing me back. He did a fantastic job.
All magically loaded up, now the truck is at our new house. Here you can see our super duper friends that today, doubled as our moving crew. They were absolutely awesome and we owe them big time. We got our whole three bedroom house moved in under four hours.
And this is one of my mom's shots of our fabulous bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa). It is huge. Our house is two stories, a good 18 feet tall probably. She did a fantastic job of capturing the massiveness of this specimen tree. It mesmerizes me as we sit on the deck and look up at it. It is quite awesome.

And here is my brother and I last weekend scraping away wallpaper glue from our family room wall. This is the project that I've been blogging about so much. That same wall now has a layer of primer on it and several layers of joint compound. It is quite amazing for me to look back at this shot and think just how much work I've done.

We're in the house. My new blogging locale is in my basement, which several of our movers and even my aunt labeled "The Man Cave". I miss my little back bedroom that looked out on the backyard, but I think I'll be able to figure something out. Like getting the laptop to actually connect to our wireless router, and then I can blog from the backyard. That would be cool.

For those of you that don't know the Columbus area, we've moved about three miles north of our house in the beechwold neighborhood to the city of Worthington, which predates the city of Columbus, although now this little burb is mostly surrounded by Columbus. We're in the suburbs, sort of. Our house was built in 1966, really when suburbs were just starting to ramp up. I'm not a five minute walk from the river anymore, but I am a five minute bike ride. We'll be getting out and exploring more of the Olentangy as time allows. It should be great fun. And there sure is plenty of work around the house. Boxes to unpack, things to organize, and of course, I can't forget about that little family room project I started!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Skim Coat

Megan and I are back from the house. Today, we put in a good eight hours working. My dad taking down wallpaper in the master bedroom, my mom removing old caulk from the bathroom tub, my grandpa and brother pulling out English Ivy, and Megan and I removing glue from the family room. We did it. All the glue is gone. Unfreakin' believable. It took us a good five more hours today. We scrubbed the walls with scotch-brite pads forever. It was such a feeling of accomplishment when we finished, I couldn't believe it was over.

Earlier in the day we stopped at Sears Hardware to get everything I would need to put a skim coat on the ragged walls. Joint compound, knife, compound trough thingy, tape, sand paper, more dropcloths, and uncountless other stuff. We even found a metal table on sale for $25.00. Crazy.

So after all the glue was gone, I could finally use the stuff we purchased. I began by taping all the trim and walls. Then I dug into the 5 gallon bucket of joint compound. I can now see why it is called mud. It really has a quite pleasant consistency and texture. I loaded up the trough, mixed in a tiny bit of water with a small putty knife, and finally dug in with the big knife. The first few passes were kind of rough, but after a while, I learned how to "feel" the right amount of mud to put on the walls. I bet the people that do this for a living could do it blindfolded! By 8:30, I was ready to quit, but I had covered the majority of one whole wall. Finally, our walls are starting to look like walls rather than an art project gone seriously wrong. I can't wait to get back at it. Skim coating is way more fun that scraping and scrubbing off glue.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Our New House

Megan and I are working quite hard to get our new house ready to move in. So far, we've tackled the family room by removing the wallpaper and residual glue. Zinnser DIFF has been a lifesaver for us. We started out by using a squirt bottle and moved up to a gallon jug applied with a paint roller. After rolling on, it seems to take about 5 minutes before the glue begins to come off using a putty knife. Hard work with a sponge gets the remaining bits of glue off.

The next question: To Skim Coat or Not?


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wallpaper Glue is our Friend

Tonight we are back again at our home after visiting our new house and working like crazy to remove wallpaper glue from the family room. Fortunately, the paper peeled off without any problem. Unfortunately, all the glue stuck to the walls and not the paper. There must be a millimeter of glue on the walls! We're using wallpaper remover to soak the glue, then using scrapers and sponges to take it off. It is a long, slow process!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The House is Ours

I'm writing this evening before Megan and I are off to bed. This is the Ohio Nature Blog, but it is also my blog, so expect to see a healthy dose of house stories to come. Today at 7:00 we walked into our new house for the first time as homeowners.

Tonights update: After wanting to tear wallpaper off the walls for weeks, we started peeling off the stuff in our new family room. It came of quite easily, with only a few patches where we ripped off the paper on the drywall. The glue, that is another story. A few sprays of wallpaper remover, a sponge, and a putty knife takes it off, but this process is time consuming and takes a ton of elbow grease.

Tonight I also attacked the upstairs shower in our master bath. Loose tiles are no more. They are smashed and laying on the floor. I'm guessing this tiny shower still had the original tiles, and the tile has been leaking for a long time. The drywall was so soft behind the tiles it had mostly just crumbled away. Mildewy, damp drywall, and even damp insulation all made the lower six inches of the shower really quite nasty. I'm just not sure why the former owners didn't address the problem sooner- the tiles were really loose, I pried some of them away with just a screwdriver!

We're so happy to be in our house, it really feels like home. We've already met two of our neighbors, and we're unbelievably excited about our gigantic burr oak tree (four feet in diameter at breast height) in the back yard, a tree which we are finding the neighbors also love. We're excited to be in our house. It already feels like home, even though we haven't moved our belongings in or slept there yet. We did it, we're homeowners, and wow does it feel great.