Formulating a plan of attack

These last two weeks have been exhausting. On week days, I go from a full day of working at my office directly to our house to clean and scrub it of the remaining filth. Meanwhile, Jeremy works half days and then after lunch, he heads to the house to clean and devise a plan of action for the next month. My goal in these last two weeks has been cleaning the house as much as possible. Cleaning is such a time-consuming chore, but it’s always more fun when friends help out!

The wood floors have been the singular focus of my ire, and their filth seems to know no end. After trying and failing to clean the floors with a dry/wet mop and wood floor cleaning spray, I resorted to a much more physically aggressive plan of attack. With a good old fashioned bucket of soapy water and two heavy duty brushes, Jeremy and I scrubbed every inch of the first floor of the house.

Of course we’ve hit some hiccups already. Our drywall contractor seems to have disappeared even though his task is only half finished and he left some power tools at our place. He also left a bunch of trash bags in back yard, which covered the drain and caused rain water to back up in the yard and creep into our basement. I have resorted to sending him daily text messages that alternate between angry/threatening and friendly/jokey (to keep him on his toes). I’m taking bets on when we will see him again.

There is so much to accomplish in this house, and after spending time here the last two weeks, we now have a list of priorities areas we hope to accomplish in the next month:

Upstairs, our focus for the next month is on updating the electric outlets, installing recessed lighting and ceiling fans in the two larger bedrooms, installing new walls, floor trim and ceilings to replace the crumbling plaster, and building a walk-in master closet! If anyone wants to help demo plaster walls, please let me know!

Downstairs, we plan to open up the floorplan by removing some load-bearing walls. An engineer will draw up the plans for us tomorrow, which we will submit to DC for a permit. We’ve been told the permit process for removing walls is relatively quick (fingers crossed!). Then we’ll work with a crew to actually remove the walls and install beams to hold the weight of the house up (definitely not something we should should do ourselves).

Once the first floor is more open, the real fun begins. In the fall, we hope to design and execute a new kitchen and a small powder room on the first floor. We also want to turn the addition in the back of the house into become a sun-filled breakfast nook. Those dreams are still very far away. For today, let’s focus on the small victories: We have a new roof. We know how to use a shop-vac. The floors are starting to look clean. The house smells much better. Next week, we get an all new HVAC system and upgraded electric panel.