Posts tagged ‘apartments in Columbus’

March 2, 2016

A Labor of Love aka ‘We can’t let shit go.’

Dealing with all the flooding caused by the City demolishing the house behind Hallie (the duplex we bought from the Landbank in Sept of 2013) had worn us out. I stopped posting about it because it seemed rather hopeless honestly. The more days that past, the more the hard work we had completed was getting ruined. The Land Bank stated we had to prove that they caused the damage and so with that and the fiery motivation that drives me, I set off to jump through some hoops.

After estimates, inspections, our insurance refusing to cover the damage (it was part of the process that was required) and SO MUCH PAPERWORK, we finally met with the City Attorney’s office in May of 2015. It was awkward coming face to face with the Head of the Land Bank, the villain of our story. He kind of reminded me of John Ritter from Three’s Company minus the humor , obviously due to the seriousness of the situation. Both Joel and I agreed though, it was hard to dislike the guy.

I had never felt so much like an adult as I did that day, spouting facts with a cool calmness while assuring the City Attorney that the building could still be saved once the water drained. It was exhilarating and completely freaky all rolled into one. In the end, an agreement was reached.

It was about a month before we received the deed to the adjoining parcel of land where the demolished house had backed up to the yard of the duplex. It was another month before a crew could come out dig up the yard and replace the pipes which did ultimately join the two properties. Another month, for all the water to drain out of the basement and for the house to dry out. Another month after that, dealing with all the electrical getting approved. You get the idea, a lot of time had to go by before it could be worked on again.

I cannot emphasize enough how much Joel completely busted his ass on the upstairs unit. I worked on it here and there, but mostly kept Cam from getting into everything. We did have some help for several weeks, when Joel’s friend, Geoff was in town and was looking to make a little extra money during his stay. (Shout out to you, Geoff!! I was glad I wasn’t helping carry out an original, extremely heavy clawfoot tub!) Our neighbor, Tim was also cool and helped Joel carry in the appliances. (Unfortunately, the new fridge didn’t work and I was helping carry the new one out and a replacement back in.) #agony

Without further ado, here’s the completed 2 bedroom, 1 bath upstairs unit of Hallie.

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May 2, 2014

Dresden : Week 9 It’s starting to come together!

As promised, I’m back to posting the final weeks of rehabbing the Dresden House. At the time, it didn’t seem like it was ever going to end. Things weren’t going smoothly. The upstairs bathroom was attempting to be worked on, but the toilet kept leaking. INTO THE GREEN ROOM. WHICH WAS ALREADY FINISHED. It was sort-of disastrous. We had JUST REPAIRED the ceiling, now we had to cut a hole to allow the water to escape. It was less-than-fantastic. It’s at this time Joel began to call his skill set into question. It’s easy to feel like you are going to lose your shit when things keep going wrong. I honestly didn’t doubt him for a minute. It’s much easier for me to doubt myself then him. Joel is awesome, end of story, so I figured there had to be something else wrong. FINALLY, it was discovered that the toilet had a hairline fracture. So no matter how good everything else was put together, it was going to be an issue. Fortunately, we discovered it BEFORE the renters moved in, so that’s sort of an upside, right?

Anyway, crisis solved and onto the next project. Here we have the living room. Here’s some photos of this tragedy to jog your memory.

BEFORE:

Karman trashed Dresden, erehabbed livingroom 3 copy

Karman trashed Dresden, rehabbed livingroom2 copy

Karman trashed Dresden rehabbed  livingroom1 copy

Karman trashed Dresden slate entryway copy

Ever heard the term ‘elbow grease’? Yeah, a whole lot of that went into scrubbing this slate entry. I don’t have a good after pic, but you’ll be able to see it on the final walk-through video I took (that I’ll post in a couple weeks.)

AFTER:
For us, this room was one of the more stand-out transformations. The refinished hardwood really sets it off.

livingroom completed. dresden

livingroom front window dresden copy

Thanks for checking it out! I’ll have another room to view next week. 🙂

March 17, 2014

Dresden : Week 8 Bring on the green!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thought it would be great timing to post about our next room we completed, The Green Room.
Joel has been told before by people that he is very lucky. Lucky to know what he does, to be able to do what he does, to get the jobs he does. It’s a little bit irritating, because it’s not luck at all. It’s hard work. He may have a knack for learning the mechanicals inside a furnace or a car or heck, even my printer. He’s good at figuring out how things work. It takes practice and making mistakes and lots of labor. It doesn’t involve luck.

As a matter of fact, the opposite could be said. After Joel replaced the toilet in the upstairs bathroom (because the renters actually cracked the tank and broke the wax seal (that prevents sewer water from leaking when you flush) it was discovered that we need to do more to the green room than just replace 2 windows and paint. When the tenant got her water turned off from not paying her bill, the pipes froze and they busted inside the ceiling. We found this out after some tests flushes upstairs. With water leaking everywhere, we had to tear out part of the ceiling to find the problem. Word of Advice: it’s good to pay your utilities. Another fun tip, if the temps are going to hit freezing, leave your faucets on, just dripping a wee bit and it prevents the pipes from freezing up and bursting.

Celiing torn out in green room copy

If you look the pipes closely, the 2 greys ends are what is supposed to be connected together.

Pipes burst in ceiling copy

So not only what there this issue, but quite a bit of the wall had to be scraped and patched to remove all the peeling.

Green room patched up copy

Then comes the REALLY unenjoyable part. The sanding. The dust gets everywhere.

Me from sanding the green room copy

AFTER priming and painting, here’s the ceiling where the hole was. Not too shabby.

ceiling pic copy

Here’s the completed room with the floor refinished. So sharp! We super love the new, brighter green! Most definitely a color we will use again!

Green room color copy

February 19, 2014

Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 19 : Interrupted – Dresden Week 5.

So I was supposed to post this last week, but the all the editing was daunting and I just didn’t get to it.
We worked on the master bedroom for several weeks. At roughly 600 sq. ft., it’s A LOT. The master bath is adjoining with another 125 sq. ft. (but we didn’t get to that yet.)

A RUNDOWN OF TASKS: (after removing the trash!)

1.) Completely replaced 4 windows.
(Ripped out old, built new framework, put in new, added drywall where needed, mudded, sanded, put trim back up.
2.) Texturized the ceiling
3.) New light fixtures
4.) Patched and painted. 3 gallons of just the blue paint.
5.) Completely redid corner beading that was shredded.
6.) Painted the ceiling
7.) Painted and reattached the banister that had been ripped down.

Now a mini story in pictures of what we accomplished.

BEFORE:
Original shot of 2 far windows copy

GETTING STARTED:
Joel ripping out old windows upstairs copy

PATCHED UP:
Windows in with drywall, patched copy

TA-DA!
Finished side windows copy

front wall first window put in copy

BEFORE:
Trash filled cubby over by bathroom wall copy

THIS ENCOMPASSES THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROOM:
Arden painted wall copy

Wall by bathroom copy

built in Dresser copy

Far window by stairs and dresser copy

Stairway copy

JUST A REFRESHER OF THE CORNER BEAD BEFORE:

Corner bead demolished before copy

AFTER:

corner I put up corner bead copy

As you can see, we need to get our mess cleaned up and sand the floors, BUT it’s made HUGE progress!

February 7, 2014

Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 17 & 18 : Interrupted – Dresden Week 3 & 4.

Hello again, friends!
All 3 of us have been butt-dragging sick this week. I’m excited to start being able to breath again and Joel is excited I’ve stopped snoring. It hasn’t been so terrible that Arden has been having snow days from school, because she definitely needs the rest.
Last week alone, Joel put in 37 hours of overtime. Needless to say, we are hoping to see an end to this extreme weather we’ve been having. We certainly could use some help getting our mountain of work completed and fingers crossed we get some relief soon.

There’s what we’ve worked on the past couple weeks.

THE GRAY ROOM
We started with a bedroom downstairs. The photos aren’t the greatest because I end up forgetting my good camera and just use my phone. Still the transformation is noticeable. Here’s before photos. Filth, excessive scribbles and chunks missing, all over the walls.

DSC_0045 (1) copy

Grey room dirty 2 before copy

After cleaning up a bit, patching, painted and new blinds:

Grey room repainted copy

Between that and the floor getting ripped out, it’s was nice to finally have a room that doesn’t stink anymore.

NEXT: The UPSTAIRS BEDROOM
It’s quite spacious, which is nice to live in, but means a lot of work too. We worked on texturing the entire upstairs ceiling, not because I don’t like a smooth ceiling, but it hides imperfections. Then lots of patch work. Next Joel’s been working on replacing windows. Shown here painting outside trim. Do not try this maneuver at home, it causes incredible back pain.

Joel hanging out window to paint copy

One of the projects I’ve been working on is repairing the excessively damaged corner beading. Seen here, it’s ripped to shreds hanging out of the wall.

Corner bead demolished before copy

If you aren’t familiar with the process, after drywall goes up to give nice, crisp corners, special strips of paper with metal are put in place with drywall mud. Cover that with several more layers of mud, so it looks something like this when dried. Even though it’s super sloppy, it requires a certain level of precision. Put on too much and it takes forever to dry and causes cracks. Put on too little and you risk the drywall/metal corners being exposed after it all gets sanded down.

Corner bead with layers of mud copy

Here’s the wall after sanding. It’s important to get every blemish as smooth as possible, because what gets missed shows up when painted.

Corner bead after mud is sanded copy

We’ve also been working on painting, but I will save that for next week. Hopefully we’ll have the upstairs completed by then.

December 13, 2013

Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 12

This week has been a slow one, Friends. I was sick, now Joel’s sick. (This has not been a good year for sickness in our household with Arden starting Kindergarten!) So needless to say not a whole lot has been worked on over at Hallie. Our spirits rose briefly when Joel’s family from Michigan was planning to pay us a visit AND volunteer services for this weekend. Remaining floor removal full steam ahead! (Yay!) But unfortunately are now unable to make it. (Boo!) Hopefully, we (mainly me) are able to rally some energy to get A LOT work done to show you for next week.

About 3/4 of the flooring is torn up on the first floor. I have to say it does nothing to add warmth to the place. While my awesomely-scored-for-free kerosene heater kicked butt while we were sectioned off in the bathroom & bedroom, working in the main areas is another story. Cold seeps up through the sub-floor from the basement and with four open rooms it is way too much to try to heat, which sort of makes it unpleasant to work. You can work up a good sweat if you partake in tearing up the floor, which not only gets a person really dirty, but also makes you feel pain in places you didn’t know existed previously. Not immediately. At first I just felt awesomely strong for doing this task, but later there was a definite possibility I might die and not be able to get off the couch.

close up of floor copy

I had mistakenly tricked myself into thinking that after the boards were all ripped up that the new floor could go down. (Which actually won’t happen until all the walls are repaired and painted.) Instead a million nails still have to be removed. You may feel that I am exaggerating, but one look at this photo (of just the living room) and they do seem to go on forever. So that’s fun.

large floor copy

Let’s take a gander of the upstairs bathroom. Smaller than the first one, but equally as ugly.
The original wooden flooring here is actually in rather nice condition (probably because it was covered up.) Much to my heavy heart’s dismay, we cannot keep it because as Joel pointed out, someone will inevitably overflow the toilet (probably more than once) and it will get ruined. So tiling it is.

upstirs bath copy

The one hidden gem of this bathroom is it’s clawfoot tub. It’s original to the house and is dated 1917. It’s also extremely heavy and it sounded like an elephant playing a tuba when Joel moved it into the hallway. I have ALWAYS wanted a clawfoot tube (they are ridiculously expensive!) So we will be keeping this one to refinish for our future (larger) house. (Yay!) A much cheaper tub will be going in it’s place. So I’m extremely thrilled about this part, even though it will take a bit of work to make it lovely again.

tub upstairs copy

Until next week!

November 30, 2013

Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 10

In rehabbing, there is A LOT of dirty work. So many individual tasks that join forces to lead up to an actual completed project. Not really fun to do, let alone write about. They are often dull and mundane. One of these is emptying the house of debris. Vines, broken drywall, busted up flooring, a bevy of tires that resided in the basement, all of it must go in order to make room to start fresh. By doing so, we’ve loaded up and disposed of 10 trailer fulls so far. It is definitely the unglamorous side of rehabbing Hallie.

Trailer of trash copy

Another thankless task would be overhauling the sewage drain pipes in the basement. Unfortunately, a toilet doesn’t just get placed in a bathroom and Voilà = usable! There is this enormous cast-iron pipe in the basement, that was (of course) ripped out by scrappers. (Actually 2 of them were.) This one, similar to the water pipe line debacle, was broken off at floor level, making the task of replacing/fixing it a tremendous pain-in-the-ass.

Hallie the Duplex Week 9 sewer pipe copy

See that black square on the wall? It’s the crawl space. It’s dark and creepy and fairly uncomfortable, especially because Joel is not small. He has bravely climbed in there numerous times to repair leaks in that portion of the pipe. Once one was fixed, another one sprung. It’s a vicious cycle.
It’s fair to say that the bathroom we’ve been working on is almost complete, but we have had to keep you in suspense just a bit longer as all the kinks are worked out.

In the meantime, here are photos from the 1st floor living room.

Hallie week 10 living room copy

Halliie week 10 , windows and fireplace copy

You can ponder to yourselves how we will fix this monstrosity. The ceiling damage was caused by a previous burst water pipe, which caved in both this room and a bedroom on the other side of the wall. All the warped flooring (both original and a layer of laminate) has been removed from this room, as well as a small adjoining bedroom to the right and the dining room to the left. It is safe to say that it is already looking a bit better than what this pic shows since this was taken a few weeks ago. I’m really excited about the windows and fireplace in this room and plan on really making them pop. Until then, hope everyone has a great weekend!

October 24, 2013

Hallie the Duplex : Week 5

We’ve been working feverishly around here to get things painted before the weather became chilled. Not exactly expecting winter winds to roll in already, but as I worked on more landscaping last night it started hailing. Always a good time to be had in Ohio!

Here’s what’s new:

Joel removing boarded window

First glimpse inside Hallie. (Audible gasp!) I know, it’s atrocious, but you haven’t seen anything yet! LOL Here, Joel is removing the board off of the kitchen window of the first floor.

Open window

kitchen window removed

Installing glass block.
It’s tedious, messy and oh-so-time consuming! However, it’s much sturdier that regular panes (aka less likely to get broken) and much less expensive, so YAY for that!

Block window in place

It’s absolutely wonderful finally having some light in this place! (Because we still do not have electric (YAY! for the slow moving wheels of ‘the process’.)

Here’s all the windows Joel has installed. (The one things are for dryer vents.)

Hallie week 5 007 side block window view copy

Moving around front, let’s take a gander at the newly painted upper portion of the house. Looking sharp with no boards and some snazzy new white trim.

Hallie week 5 front of house painted upper copy

(Joel used to do slate roofing, so he’s all pulling a giant ladder up by himself to paint the blue. Ohhh, I have a photo here! ->

Joel painting upper front copy

Meanwhile, I’m clinging onto the window with one hand (for dear life!) and painting with the other, because heights MAJORLY freak me out.

Here’s a closer look at the front porch. If you recall from earlier posts, it was pretty nasty. All new wood siding was put in. Joel did a rocking’ job on the trim. And I painted and painted and painted some more. Aside from the random light we need to replace that’s hanging, it’s really coming together.

Hallie week 5 front doors and porch copy

Hallie week 5 005 porch ceiling copy

And last but not least, around back, this lonely door here, got a coat of fresh paint!

Hallie week 5 blue back door copy

There are still SO MANY odds and ends to get done. The entire other side of Hallie is still covered in vines. Wood siding and glass block windows also need put in there. We need new railings out front and in the back, the brick needs filled with mortar in it’s bare spots. And the back upper portion of the house still needs painted blue. We are supposed to have weather in the 60’s next week (so it will dry well) so fingers crossed!

The very best part is that we have gotten SO MANY compliments from the folks in the neighborhood. One older guy that had previously shook his head in disgust when we told him we were going to paint it blue (a few weeks ago) strode by and just smiled and said “I see what you mean, it looks great! The white really pulls it together!’ Then I had another guy inquiring about renting there. He said to his friend “They are out here working every day. Every day! Can you imagine? It’s going to look amazing when they are done. I want to live there. It will be so nice!”

I can’t even tell you how rewarding it is to hear that. 🙂