House · Uncategorized

The Little Things (like heat)

Well, it’s been almost two months since I got the keys. I still haven’t moved in, but we’re getting a lot closer. Dare I say it, February will be the month? A girl can dream anyway. In the meantime, we may have finally surpassed all the “big” projects and gotten down to the little things we’ve got left. Like hot water!

I’ve had some issues with this house (don’t bother saying, “DUH,” I can hear it from here). Just after getting the keys, I noticed the smell of gas in the laundry room. Turns out the shutoff valve for the water heater leaked, and the one in the attic too apparently. That was a $600 fix and four hours of my life I’ll never get back. But even after that was fixed, the water heater still had a weird smell. Long story short, I replaced the water heater.

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Yes, there is a brand new one with a fancy control panel that blinks a blue light every 3 seconds to assure me it’s working properly. My brother-in-law happened to be home this weekend and put it in, so no labor costs, yay!

But of course, nothing can go completely right. Remember when I flooded my kitchen? Well, my brother-in-law fixed that–he replaced the shut-off valve and everything worked as it should. Alas, that was not the end of my problems!

The water had been off for about a week and a half, maybe two weeks by then. So I went into my master bathroom and turned on the sink. Lo and behold, there was a leak. Yes, another one. One that had not been there previously! The last homeowner, or someone else–who knows (the faucet looked as if it had been in there since the 60s)–had rigged up some weird piping configuration under the sink and it had come completely apart.

Enter: new faucet. But of course, the standard pipe for the drain was too short to reach the old p-trap. So that meant more trips to Home Depot (have I mentioned that I live there?) to get a pipe extender. But! The faucet is in–it’s shiny and new, and we have cleaned the sink within an inch of its life. I will not be replacing this vanity any time soon.

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I would like to say that was the end of it, but it was not.

Since I am hoping to actually move in at some point, I had to change the locks. There are FOUR doors that go to the outside. Yes. Four. That is a lot of locks. I haven’t changed them all and I don’t have keys that go to two of them. But that’s beside the point. This weekend I decided to change at least two of them.

Easier said than done. The front door went reasonably well. It’s a metal door, not wood, and standard size. The back door on the other hand… let’s just say it’s not standard. The hole for the doorknob was too small, not a standard size. I wonder if that lock has ever been changed. Probably not. But by God, we were going to change this lock.

After drilling an accidental hole in the door (don’t ask), we figured out that the doorknob hole wasn’t standard size. This meant drilling a larger opening for the doorknob. Luckily, my brother-in-law has hole saw blades, so we rigged up a guide by clamping a piece of plywood to the door (you need it here to make sure the drill has something to catch on) and drilling in the standard size 2 & 1/8″ hole. After that, things went fine, but now there’s a hole to patch and paint.

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It’s been patched but not yet painted here.

So the door’s the end of it, right? Wrong.

There was still the little matter of the electrical issues. If you recall when I switched out all the electrical outlets, there was the problem room. Well, it took two weeks to finally figure it out (without calling an electrician). I googled the crap out of the problem. I got a gfci switch tester thing to tell me what was wrong, but I still couldn’t fix it. Turns out it was a loose wire, but not in any of the plugs that weren’t working–in the plug that was. Mhm. Lots of stress over a wire. Homeownership, eh?

So now that all those problems are behind me, I dread what might happen once I actually move in. You know, once I start using the stove and oven (which are original to the house, 1960s retro, and are not standard size, once again), and the laundry, which I have not tested.

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Look at that oven. Just like the Jetsons would use!

All the little things. And yet there’s still so much to do. But I think at some point you just have to move in, and it’s going to happen this month. For realsies.

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