Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 1 - Relief

Well, look what's back, my first blog, the one I started a few years ago that chronicles most of my time when I lived in Wisconsin.  It's been dormant for the last 3-1/2 years because most of my blogging has been over on my good grub site and if I had any random thoughts, they were posted on Facebook with a single photo and usually a single incoherent thought.  Facebook is fine but for many photos and lots of unstructured sentences with random, incoherent thoughts, nothing beats a blog.

I'm treating this more as a journal of the house so I can look back and have a timeline of where we started to where we ended with all the changes we made along the way.  I know this blog is out there where all planet earth can read it but I suspect few will, other than family and I suspect they are on the fence.

I've changed the name of the blog from Jock's Random Thoughts to Jock's Renovation Realities.  I thought about naming the blog Jock's Old New House but big sis already has a patent on that name for her house, and besides that it's really not that old of a house, originally built in 1978.  It's not that we purchased a house that needs any major renovations, it's more decorating and minor upgrades, but one of my favorite shows is call Renovation Realities on the DIY Network.  The show is about couples that take on renovation projects in their house with a budget and time frame.  Usually, by the end of the show, the husband and wife are mad at each other, they are over budget and never finish on time.  Now do you see why Jock's Renovation Realities is such a good name for my blog?  Thought so.

Unlike big sis who prefers to trade cookies and pies for lattes and invoices, we will be doing most of the work on our house ourselves.  I need a hobby and this house will be it.  A void was left in my life a few years ago when I quit coaching softball and baseball after the little ones graduated from high school.  It's amazing how much time is spent chasing kids from one field to another and from sport to sport.  It's funny because you don't even realize it until it's over, then you wonder what happened to the time and how did it go so fast.  

But enough of that, time to introduce the star of this show and that is the house.
We closed on it last Friday, day 1, after waiting for two long, excruciating months.  That was our fault because we were trying to push the first payment back as far as possible since we have a lease on our present place until March.  It really wasn't too excruciating until the last couple of weeks and I kept thinking "What's going wrong nobody is calling me?"  But as our Realtor told me "If you aren't hearing from anyone it means everything is going good, they normally only call if something is wrong."  Turns out that quote from our agent was dead on because the next day I got a call and the water coming into the house had high concentrations of lead and failed its inspection.  After the testing agency found out the house had been empty for the last 7-8 months, they went back and ran the water for a couple of hours and re-tested.  The water passed its second test, as we learned, high concentrations of lead are common in houses that have sat for extended period of time.
It's an all brick house nestled among tall oaks and ugly bushes, thankfully, the ugly bushes are leaving.  In the front you enter from the lower level with most of the living space located on the second level.  In back, the second level exits, on grade, to a large deck that will hold lots of outdoor cooking devices.
The reason we settled on this house, besides the fact it is out in the country and we have space, is the kitchen.  Not that the kitchen is great, it's not, actually well used with too much paint on all the cabinets and cabinets that don't match but it has new granite counter tops and top of the line appliances.
This kitchen has loads of potential and doesn't require a complete overhaul, maybe a face lift and an island.  Besides that, how many kitchens have a built in charcoal grill?
That's where the tour will end today, more tours will come as we move through the house making our own personal changes so this place feels like not only our house but also, our home.


carriegel said...

I have no problem trading cookies and pies for invoices and lattes. At least the work gets done and done right. Have I told you that the name of one of my carpenters is Ron. Don't laugh but he could be Ronnie's son. Fortunately I know how to handle him.

Is that a Wolf stove I see in one of those photos? I see you have a farmhouse sink and dishwasher drawers just like me. Go figure.

I'm looking forward to seeing your projects.

Chris Porter said...

Yup, good eye, it is a Wolf Stove and the refrigerator, can't really see it in the photos, is a Sub Zero built into the cabinets. The stove has two level gas burners, one for simmering and the other level for high output, burn the crap out food high heat cooking. The oven is electric that can either operate as a normal oven or convection type. All that sounds good but the real magic is made on my $100 Weber.

carriegel said...

The red knobs gave it away.