Friday, February 11, 2011

Home makeover shenanigans!

We have a few home makeover projects in the works right now, it seems like it is always something.

Our house was yellow when we bought it in March of 2005 and it faded in the blazing Arizona sun over the first five years we were there to an ugly and drab off white.  Last fall we decided it was time to update the exterior.  My husband and I both love blue so we went with that.  We were in a bit of a rush when we picked the colors because we left Austin with friends for the night and wanted to get back to him, so we made the decision pretty fast.  I think my husband had a darker blue in mind (which I though would absorb too much of our AZ sun) and I had a light blue, so we ended up with bluer that blue which is a pretty bright blue.  We have gotten used to it now, but at first we both were thinking "what were we thinking?" since it was so bright. We have gotten several compliments on it since then, but you never know if it's honest, or just trying to comment on it and being polite.  The cold weather settled in on us before we could finish painting the white trim and outer buildings, but now that we are warming up we are working on finishing it up.

On to project #2.  So first a little history- when we bought our house we REALLY wanted to live on the AZ side of things because we both work in AZ so it made more sense for income tax, and well, I really dislike UT.  There were three houses on the market in our tiny little town.  We made an offer on the first one, which had been on the market for four months, and they withdrew the house because it was their weekender from Salt Lake City and they decided to keep it after all.  We made an offer on our #2 house, which had been on the market for a year, and they withdrew it because it was an elderly couple and the wife wanted to move closer to their kids, but the husband did not ever really want to move.  The third house was stick built, but it was a piece.  It looked like it was built in three phases, each looking uniquely different and each having it's own heating system of which one didn't really seem to work and the others were sketchy.  There was cracking in the walls where the foundation was shifting, and there was termite damage, needless to say it was a nightmare, so we of course passed it over.  We drove around one last time in desperation knowing we had to move relatively quickly out of our rental.  Then we spotted the new "For Sale" sign in what is now our front yard.  We looked it over and it seemed like a nice place at the time, especially since we were first time buyers, and desperate!

So our house was originally a modular pre-fab home with three beds and two baths.  The people we bought it from took out one of the original bedrooms to expand the living room, and built on a stick built addition that adds two bedroom, a bath and a formal dining room.  It's about 1700 sq-ft on 0.44 acre, so we have a pretty huge yard.  I have never lived in pre-fab house before, so it's all new to me.  So my big lesson that I learned this month is that mobile/modular homes have their own sizing on just about everything.  Meaning you CANNOT go to Lowe's to buy a bathtub to replace one in your house.

Now you see where I am going with this disaster, one of our original tubs in the modular part of the house developed a crack right in the middle of the floor of the tub.  My husband tried epoxy and silicone and other repair stuff to no avail.  The standard tub that comes in these kinds of homes is ABS plastic, aka garbage!  It commonly cracks, and you cannot repair it.  But as I said in the previous paragraph, you can't find a replacement at a regular hardware store.  I did not know this so I suggested to my husband that we just go buy one for $200 and wah-la replace it.  Oh silly me!  Oh and let me say that after we realized the new tub was not going to easily fit, I looked into purchasing a second tub with the right dimensions, but it was $260 and we would either have to have it shipped (which cost about as much as the tub) or go to Phoenix (6 hours away) to pick it up.  So we have worked and worked to try and get that dang thing in and had to mostly cut out the original walls of our bathroom.  Finally after much stress and frustration we hired a plumber to come in and make it work.  And work on it he did, and for the past week and half (not continuously of course).  He finally figured out a solution to install it and make it work $180 later, and that was after he did not charge us for a lot of his time because he could not figure it out!

So tomorrow we are off to the big city once again to buy new bath/shower walls to cover the holes, a new track to set the edge of the tub in and tiles to re-cover the floor since the new tub left a one inch gap from where the old tub rested.  Ugh, how did this simple seeming project turn into almost a $1,000 renovation?

We could just put up regular gutters, but the seamless ones seem so much more functional.  The problem is there is only one contractor we know of locally who does them, and my husband tried calling them last year for an estimate and they never returned his call.  We did not actively try to pursue them, so hopefully with a little more effort we can talk to them.

All of this makes me want to move so much more.  We are still looking for jobs for my husband, but so far nothing has panned out.  What I know for sure is that I never ever want to buy another pre-fab, they are such a hassle!

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel when you say you have all of these little jobs, but they take over! We have a few of those at our house right now! LOL

    Hope it all gets better soon! :)


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