What we are doing:

In what spare time we have, we decided to spend it (and our savings) on remodeling our rowhouse in South Philly. When we purchased our casa it was a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 1 bath that hadn't been touched in 50+ years. It's currently a 4 bed, 2 bath construction site with so much more to do it's hard to believe.

We use this blog to mark progress, say hi to friends and family, rant about the process of remodeling, and try to have some fun along the way.

- Bryan and Christina

Friday, July 25, 2008

A view from the top, and Netflix tips

Often people have come to our house over past couple of years, and immediately they say "hey, have you ever seen the Money Pit"? Cue our eye rolling and then say "yeah, it's pretty funny, that Tom Hanks sure can act". But the real question I have after this occurs, is why do people think that buying an old house and fixing it up means you bought a "money pit"?

Sure old houses need some TLC, and in some cases (like ours) they need some pretty major surgery. So they can leak in bad storms, but chasing down that leak is morbidly fun at times in my sick mind. McMansions, in my opinion, are even worse than buying a "money pit" nowadays.

When you buy some Toll Bros monstrosity, do you have any clue what is in the walls, or for that matter what the walls are made out of? Christina and I have driven past many a track development and seen that in lieu of wood 2x4s many developers use the metal studs. Not for nothing, but what's wrong with good ole' lumber?
I know what my house is made of. Yes, it's probably because at this point I've lost any trepidation in knocking a hole somewhere and seeings what is up. But I think that's part of the fun of an old house...you GET to knock holes in things and really get a feel for the bones of a house. New construction has lost that. The time was when people built their houses by hand and knew every square inch. That's why I own a "money pit".

Plus I get to buy LOADS of tools, and unlike confused suburbanites with thin interior walls, I know how to PROPERLY use them. They're dirty, they sometimes cough and wheeze, but that's the point.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie for whatever reason, rent it. It's great. And the "two weeks" line repeated throughout it is the best...and most accurate part of it.

Enough of that soapbox preaching, on to the show!
Family and friend status on the house:

The third floor drywall is 90% complete, and the final taping will be today. Our friend Niko will start tiling the bathroom floor and shower in earnest tonight, with it taking at least this weekend. I'm going to "help" by staying out of the way and priming the bedroom walls.

We're STILL WAITING (thanks Sonia and company) for our wall mounted sink. That means the half wall of tile might have to wait another week or so, but let's have a drink tonight and hope not.

Christina took some artsy fartsy pictures last evening, and I'm willing to share these artistic endeavors with everyone. The picture on the right is a shot of the space on the landing to the third floor. Good stuff. The hole you see in the left part of the picture is a niche that will be there for...I guess a hanging picture as it's pretty damn narrow. Maybe I can squeeze some Star Wars figures on there for good measure as well.

On the left is a decent shot from the bedroom into the bathroom. It's pretty self explanatory now that I'm looking at it this morning. Eh...

The second one on the right here is just a shot of the closet where you can sort of see the stair railing and the little side closet poking out. We liked this one because you can really get a sense of the angles in the room with the ceiling slope after I pulled down all of the dropped plaster ceiling that was there before. BAM! Not to be some prick, but dropped ceilings are NOT the way to go in a house (I'll give you the basement if you want).

And lastly, but surely not least...I made a decision in the whole compressor/nailer debate I was having with myself (and my wife). In the end I bought a Bostitch "3 pack" that had a pancake compressor and three finish nailers in it. After research and seeing all of the various projects that we are discussing over the next 6 months, it just made sense. As a compromise, I didn't get a framing nailer and instead I'll be stealing my friend's for the time being (he has a new 4 week old daughter...I think he's out of the framing jobs for now).

Anyway, here's yours truly getting oh so gangsta, as the kids call it nowadays, with the nailers last night. Christina insisted on the picture, and since I don't mind being embarrassed on the interwebs, here you go:


B. Williams said...

Oh I remember the day I got my Bostitch "3 pack" better than Christmas it was.

Gene said...

Fun toys! The real question is not have you seen "The Money Pit", but have you seen Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House that it was based on?

Bryan and Christina said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Glad to see I'm not alone in this tool-filled world.

Gene - I have seen the original, but I would think it's been 20 years or so. Looks like it'll have to be in my Netflix list. Thanks.


Mom/Jane said...

Hi Bryan

You've always been "tool gifted" Since you could walk, you have been practicing for this remodel job. Let's start with a hammer - you developed your hammer skills while beating the side of the Victrola with a small hammer tool I used to reupholster our dining room chairs.

Plumbing....little did I know that when you shoved raisins up your nose, you were really teaching yourself about plumbing. Wow! What a resourceful boy.

There have been many other moments - like when you smeared super glue on the front of your Dad's car, It was your 1st paint job.

And....I still haven't recovered from "someone" shooting the beak off of my wooden cardinal lawn decoration...what was that about - nail guns?

Anyway....you are living your special purpose.