Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My trip to Manville (or at least the girly version)

I am so tired. Pooped, if you will. We have been working like dogs on our house in hopes that someone will be kind enough to relieve us of it. Don't get me wrong, this house has served us, but not well. Since we have been here this house has tested the boundaries of our relationship in various ways, including:

Housing 2 families of squirrels in the chimney, requiring a new flue and chimney cap

The sewer backing up into our basement 3 times, the first time being on my anniversary

Refusing to turn on the heat and requiring new parts, twice

Allowing rain to come into our house by way of leaky roof, requiring a complete tear off of 3 layers of material including the original wooden shaker roof tiles. To the tune of $13,000.

Popping out tiles in the shower area, both hot and cold water knobs breaking off, and the tub drain clogging so badly that new pipes needed replacement. New tiles+ new fixtures+ new pipes+ inexperienced and unhandy owners= $1500

Part of our sewer line busting just outside of our house, requiring a $2000 replacement

Replacement of the glass in our fireplace because it decided to shatter for no reason

Just think... Over $16,000 and we will recoup none of it when we sell. Fantastic.

Please keep in mind that all of this has happened during the 4 1/2 years we have lived here. We are currently in home improvement hell. This house seems to think that we are it's sugar daddy, and it's getting old. Oh sure, at first we were so in love and so proud of her. We bragged about how pretty she was despite her years, and we loved her for her charm and originality. Somewhere along the line, our house became a cold and bitter *not nice person, starting with a B*, and her wants have been becoming more and more extravagant. So we are patching the old *B* up so we can unload her on someone else.

Because the kitchen had been wallpapered poorly, and the paint peeled off the sheet rock as we peeled it off, we recently had to prime and paint it twice. Gee, that was fun. And because the blue Painters Tape had been on so long, it peeled up some of the paint when removed. Now parts of the trim will have to be done, and touch ups are needed along the trim where our new yellow paint peeled. Since the hubby was tired, and as an early Father's Day present, I decided to paint the last 2/3's of the kitchen myself. That plus removing the tape carefully by trying to cut the tape loose with a steak knife... Well, I'm weary.

Right now though, our bathroom is giving us trouble again. We peeled up the depressing blue flowered paper about a year and a half ago and were stunned to find some sort of alien compressed wood concoction. So being the poor single income, inexperienced and unhandy people that we are, we have lived in bath house squalor. So much so, that our guests have been afraid of even entering its brown, dull and crumbly walls. I guess we had gotten a little used to it since it took us a while to be able to repair the shower situation. For a year we used wrenches where our shower knobs had once been because we couldn't afford to have new plumbing and tile put in. But before we had rigged the shower with wrenches, we were freezing our bums of showering in the open shower stall in the basement.

Ah, good times.

So, we finally have new sheet rock in the bathroom, after John's cousin did the job for us for $400 and the promise of a free crib. Now it's our job to redo the sub-standard mudding job. We sanded it down 2 nights ago, boy, that was so much fun. I blew 2 pounds of reconstituted compound out of my nose, and my lungs still haven't recovered. For all you folks out there thinking about taking a job like this on... One word. Masks. Clean up was interesting. Try sweeping up 2 lbs of dispersed compound dust into a neat pile. Shee-yeah. Since I know my sweet, dear husband has not the time or the patience, I have taken it upon myself to do the fine tuning of the mudding. I think it's the artist in me that can take the time to make sure it's done right.

Ok, ok, it's the anal, obsessive-compulsive artist in me.

Yesterday, I touched up the areas where the screws poked through. Again. I also fanned compound out from the metal corner thingys, and redid the corners where John's cousin knowingly left tape showing. *Sigh* What was I saying about family again? Oh, yeah... Family, you can't pick them, you can't live with them, and you can't kill them. Without getting caught.
Let's add "You can't ask them to work for you for free or money, because you are going to get screwed either way."

Manville, fun to visit but not for long. You are likely to end up with larger biceps and sweaty, chalky, plumber's crack.

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