Posts tagged ‘husband and wife duo’

October 18, 2013

Hallie the Duplex : Week 4

We have water, people! We have water!
You wouldn’t think this would be so exciting until you try to do various tasks without it and see how difficult it becomes.
Combine that with the only usable toilet being Arden’s toddler potty and you’ve got a real mess on your hands.

*Disclaimer: I didn’t mean to pee on the floor, but it’s easy to overshoot when you are practically kneeling.

So this week we had great weather thankfully and with the generosity of Joel’s friend Steve letting us borrow his generator, the power washing was underway.

Here we needed to remove caked on dirt that had been accumulating under the old siding.

Hallie duplex week 4 joel power washing

Over in the front, Joel power washed, but the walkway is the most noticeable. The arrows indicate what shade it all used to be.

Hallie duplex updates Week 4 front sidewalk power washed copy

You can also (sort of) see the 2nd front door that was put on which is starting to do a better job at balancing it visually.
For me, this front is a bit challenging because it has such a huge blank space. It feels like a window should be there, but that would take us a considerable amount of extra time to tear down the drywall and through the brick just to do so. In lieu of that, I made due with 2 bushes, purchased for the low price of $17 a piece. (Fall is a great time for deals!) I edged a flowerbed for it, added mulch and VOILA! It’s looking more like a residence.

Hallie duplex week 4 front flower bed

In the meantime, Joel was spraying the back of Hallie blue. We still need to paint the trim back there white, but it also is a considerable difference.
It finally feels like we are making some progress!

Hallie duplex updates Week 4 side painted copy

Coming up!: I add onto our workload by deciding I need to paint the porch. Meanwhile, Joel is piecing together block windows to install.
Catch you guys next week!
Halloe duplex updates Week 4 Coming up next week glass block copy

October 3, 2013

What’s new with Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 2

Hallie Duplex, week back of house copy On Saturday morning, we woke to a sick child, broken car windows for half our street (including Joel’s mustang) and deflating news from the water man that in the scrapper’s haste to make off with all-that-was-metal, they broke off the main source water pipe in the ground. What this means for us is, we cannot get water until we tear up the surrounding cement basement floor and fit new pipes. *YAY!* While we were hoping to power wash and paint (with our newly purchased handy paint sprayer) this coming weekend, it will have to wait until next week when the water can be turned on.

In other news, Joel’s electrician friend will kindly be able to obtain a permit for us that will be $150 as opposed to the previously foretold $400. Oddly enough, if you are a homeowner and live in the home, it is easier to get a permit than if you are just rehabbing it for future renters. Oh, laws and rules, how you baffle me!

Here’s what we HAVE been able to accomplish.

1.) Back shingle-type siding has been removed and disposed off. The wood siding underneath is fantastic! Very excited to see how it will look once primed and painted.

2.) We were not so lucky with the vinyl siding in the front. Upon deciding I really couldn’t bare to look at that beige atrocity anymore, Joel promptly ripped it down, only to discover that there wasn’t much wood actually underneath. Instead, plywood and insulation were popping out. SO, we began the tedious task of putting up pine siding and applying white primer to help seal it.

3.) That crazy-clinging ivy vine has been removed , albeit one side left to go. We’ve also removed the remaining overgrown brush.

4.) A cracked, up-heaved cement walkway lines the side of the house and we pried that up in areas to allow for plants. We decided not to go crazy with the landscaping, as it will be on us to keep maintain, plus everything will die off as winter nears anyway. I opted instead, to just split out some of my hostas and decorative grass from home and plant them here. We also purchased several evergreen bushes and mulch that will go in place after the power washing. I’m excited to cover up the eyesore that is the concrete pad with mulch. It will serve a dual purpose, not having to all be dug up AND it will preventing weed growth.)

Of course, there are still many nay-sayers that feel free to spout off their opinions as they pass. It is amazing the things people will say out of superstition, sheer stupidity and fear. I understand that change is difficult but this neighborhood has seen it share of despair and is on the uprise whether they are ready to embrace it or not. Fortunately, there are many positive comments as well. Continuously hearing “It’s about time!” really makes us happy and helps keep us motivated. It may be a small difference, but at least we are making one.

Hallie Duplex, week 2 side view copy

Hallie Duplex, week 2 front view copy

September 25, 2013

The Not-So-Fun-Facts about Hallie-the-Duplex

Joel and I were eager to start working as soon as we closed. Not because we think it’s fun, but because in our-little-plan-in-our-heads, we anticipated obtaining Hallie much more rapidly. In reality, due to all the technicalities of the process, it wasn’t possible. So now to put it bluntly, we basically need to haul-ass to get the outside up to code. We have 60 days from the date of sale. (We are given 6 months for the interior.) Since we are doing this as a side project, and there is only so much daylight after work, it really doesn’t leave us much time before it starts getting too cold for these kinds of shenanigans. 

NS FUN FACT #1: Climbing ivy is a enormous pain (in your entire body) to remove from brick. It is so well adhered to the sides of the house we both could swing on it. Seriously.

NS FUN FACT #2: When we originally toured Hallie, it was pretty obvious she was hard up for some good old-fashioned back-breaking work. Once vacated, scrappers wasted no time stripping her of a every last bit of dignity. Taking every appliance, the furnace and any copper wiring. This translates to = we have no electricity. Turns out a lovely $400 will have to be sadly parted with in order to obtain a permit from the City just to be able to rewire Hallie. *Gulp.*

NS FUN FACT #3: Hallie is haunted. Or so say the locals, who are endlessly entertained by us, as they stand in their yards or on the sidewalk to watch our labor. Stories vary from 1 to 4 men being executed in a drug-deal-gone-bad (Is there such a thing as a positive drug deal experience?) The lost souls are apparently trapped in the building, unable to find closure. When I point out that there had been a raccoon who had taken up residence in the 2nd floor (thus making noise and shuffling around) no one seems to make the correlation that it (or another animals in search of shelter) was the source of the ‘haunting’. Today, I calmly explained to a chatty fellow (who has lived in the neighborhood his entire life) that Hallie hasn’t given me any creepy feelings of doom when I’m working there, so I assume that the structure is at peace and happy now. (Who wouldn’t be excited at the very prospect of getting a make-over?!)

When Joel researched it, he did find that a previous occupant had died and the death was unsolved. It doesn’t say that it was in the house. (Insert spooooky music and WOO-ooo! That’s my ghost noise.)


Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Photo #1: Ivy ripped down from the front of the house.

Photo #2: New door installed and painted (still needs trim.) The vinyl to the left will also be removed and a 2nd door for the upstairs entry will be placed there.

Photo #3: Terrible shingle-type siding in the process of getting removed to expose the well-preserved wood underneath. This will be power-washed and painted the same blue as the door. Also, awesomely large brush pile we’ve acquired. Oh and a new door was put in back here by Joel.

Photo #4: Our new trailer! To haul away our awesomely large brush pile, bring us more doors, drywall, tubs, vanities and the lawnmower. An incredible time saver and a welcome relief to the Outlander, who is usually abused beyond belief.







Back view removing siding and brush 3 copy