Cabinets and Floors!

We are so tired. 

Completely exhausted. 

So is my mom and dad.

And Aunt Lisa. 

 

Leon and I had no idea how hard this would be. Don’t get me wrong, we are having a blast! But, we are ready to move in! 

 

Friday, Leon and I went to the new house. He worked on the last of the toilet leak issue: 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m so proud of him. He’s really diving into all this handyman- repair- work. 🙂 

 

 

While he did that I painted the frames on my cabinets: 

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I finished my 2nd coat of the base color on everything except the front of the doors. Hopefully this weekend I can finish the cabinets. 

Note: The first set of before/after shots. See that the upper cabinets were on the wall in the “before” and on the counter on the “after”? There is a story behind that… keep reading! 

Before: 

 

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After: 

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Before: 

 

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After 

 

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!! I’m soooo happy! Once I do the glaze and top coat I really think they will look amazing. 

So, the upper cabinet was coming away from the wall, as if it wasn’t secured to the wall very well. Leon and I tried to take it down so we could install wall mounts or locate a stud. He unscrewed all the visible screws and then tried to pull the cabinet down. It wouldn’t budge. So, we left it there, thinking there must be a screw or two that we didn’t see holding it up. About 30 minutes later, I was painting cabinets about 3 feets away, and Leon was scraping up laminate flooring and the whole thing fell down… it was one of the loudest noises I think I’ve EVER heard! Scared the living crap out of me! Turns out the only thing holding it up was some paint! All is well and Leon and my dad re-installed it. 

 

 

The floors were delivered Saturday! All 126 boxes…. 

 

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The sad part is, I don’t think it will be enough! 

 

We started in the master bedroom: 

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We had to lay a moisture barrier because we are installing the floors over a concrete sub floor. The black things against the wall are the spacers which are ensuring we maintain the required expansion gap. That is important because as the weather changes the floor can expand and contract. If there is no gap, the floor could buckle and that would be bad! 

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This is about as far as we made it in the Master bedroom. There were a lot of complicated cuts that took a long time. Leon and my dad did our cuts for us:

 

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And Leon brought us boxes as needed:

 

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Mom was our runner…

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Aunt Lisa tackled another bedroom and she did amazing!

 

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And she’s done!

 

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Whatcha think? 

 

I LOVE the floors! 

 

🙂 We are SO lucky to have such supportive, loving family!! 

 

Remember that huge dumpster we rented? I bet you were thinking “they’ll never fill that thing!” 

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Well… “Before” 

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and… “after” 

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Yea.. Insane. I know. 

 

I’ll be honest… I had typed out a nice long, funny blog but my computer flipped out and I lost it all.. so this was my second attempt. Sorry for the lack of details.. but I’m going to  bed! 🙂 

 

One last thing before I sign off… 

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🙂 Thanks for reading!! 

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Cabinet Transformations!

Have I mentioned how excited I am about this product?! I mentioned in an earlier post that I took a class at Home Depot on how to do this. I was initially planning on waiting to do this until we moved in, since there was so much other work to do at the house. But Leon knew how excited I was about doing it, so he insisted I start right away. I’m not done with the process yet but I’m far enough in to give you a good idea of what I’m doing. 

 

 

 

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The hardest part of this whole thing is the prep work. It took me a day and a half just to prepare the cabinets in the kitchen. (I plan on also doing the cabinets in the hallway, the laundry room and both bathrooms). I’m going to walk you through a step-by-step tutorial because I know once you see the transformation you will be running to your local home improvement store to buy this kit. (And you will need help – I learned some great tips in that class). I’ve already been contracted by my mom and Karen to come do their cabinets once I’m done with mine.

Here are a few pictures of my cabinets before I started: 

 

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 I chose Espresso as my color because I love the look of dark cabinets. There are tons of choices ranging from white to blue to brown to black. Just pick what you like best. 

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(Espresso from the http://cabinets.rustoleumtransformations.com/colors.php website) 

 

To start the prep work you have to remove the doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets I suggest using an electric screwdriver because my hands started cramping! Before you start tearing down your cabinet doors, you must get organized. Map out your kitchen and number each door and drawer location. You will need to remove the hinges and any existing hardware from each door/drawer. Do this one door at a time. Remove the door, remove the hardware from the door and place all hinges and screws in a zip lock baggy and label that baggy with that door’s number. Put that zip lock in the cabinet it goes with. (See the number 10 in sharpie on the bag? That bag is on a shelf in the spot that those hinges came from). 

 

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Then write that number on that door. I wrote it in the space where the hinges go so it would still be there once I’m done painting the door.

 

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The reason you have to go through all this is because your cabinets have been there for years, and each door and drawer hangs differently. If you try to put door #1 in spot # 2 it may not close properly. 

Now is the time to use wood putty to repair any major imperfections in your cabinets or fill in hardware holes if you plan on removing hardware or changing your current hardware out with something that is a different size. 

Once you get all your doors and drawers down, you need to clean them. You can use your de-greaser of choice but I loved Krud Kutter. It got some serious grime off these cabinets. 

 

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I piled up all my doors/drawers, cleaned them and then cleaned the cabinet frames. This took FOREVER because they were seriously gross. 

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Oh – by the way – you know those fake drawer fronts in front of your sink? You CAN take those off… very easily. The just pop right off.  

 

Here is what it looked like once I got all the doors and drawer fronts off:

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The next step is optional. I decided I wanted to add hardware. Here is what I chose: 

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I bought this super handy template to help me measure out my holes for the hardware. 

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After I marked where I needed to drill the holes, I used a nail and hammer to make a dent so my drill wouldn’t drift. Then I placed a piece of Blue painters tape on the back of the cabinet, to prevent blowing out the wood on the back. 

Then I grabbed the drill! 

 

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(Tim – the – Tool Man – Taylor grunts are now coming from me) 

 

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I love the smell of saw dust in the morning. 

 

After you clean everything really well and drill any holes for the new hardware, it’s time to open your kit. It includes a deglosser and scotch brite pads. This will cut the shine and cause you to NOT have to sand your cabinets! (YAY- NO SANDING INVOLVED!) This part is time consuming. You have to put some elbow grease into it, really scrub them. Make sure you are scrubbing in the direction of the wood grain. 

 

After you rub in the de-glosser you have to wipe it off with a damp cloth and then dry the cabinet with a clean dry cloth. After waiting an hour, you can start the fun part; painting on your base color. 

 

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You have to work really fast now because this isn’t normal paint. It is thinner than normal paint and dries much quicker. 

 

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Here is one of my drawer fronts with the first coat of the base color: 

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And a picture of a few painted drawer fronts next the a non painted one: 

 

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And after the two coats of base: 

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I also started on the doors. Each side of the door needs two coats so I started with the back side, let it dry, then painted the first coat on the front. I still have to do the second coat on the back and front of the doors. 

 

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I still haven’t painted the cabinet frames. Once I get the two coats on everything and let it dry for a few hours, I can start on the glaze which gives it texture. The glaze kind of sets into the wood grain and helps it stand out. You don’t have to do the glaze but I like the look. After the glaze is done, I have to apply the clear protective top coat. Then I can add my hardware and I’ll be done!

 

 

So, what do you think so far? I LOVE how it’s turning out. I can’t wait to finish these. After I’m done with the cabinets I’m going to deal with those hideous pink counter tops. 

 

One. Thing. At. A. Time. 

 

(that’s my new mantra because I’m a bit too eager for my own good.)

 

 

Plumbing and Tile Work

Thanks to our loving family we got a lot of work done last weekend. So much work that I’ve been too exhausted to even post anything! Leon’s dad got us a lawn mower so Leon mowed the backyard. That made a HUGE difference in the overall feel of the backyard area. I took hedge trimmers to the things growing around the fountain. Check out the difference:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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I bought a skimmer from the pet store (it’s intended for an aquarium) and shock and started the cleaning process.

We rented a huge dumpster from the town for all of our trash. It’s a good thing too, because its almost full! You don’t realize how much trash you have until you have to haul it into a gigantic dumpster! 1680 square feet of carpet and carpet padding, a dishwasher, cut down trees, baseboards, tack strips, 300 sqft of broken tile, linoleum…. that’s just half of it.

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Someone has been trolling our dumpster because things have started disappearing from it. (Who in their right mind would want that disgusting dishwasher?!??) But we don’t mind because we pay by the ton for disposal so the more people take, the cheaper it will be for us!

Leon’s dad and brother installed the new back door this weekend. I love it.

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Karen is a master at tiling so we asked her to help us tile the bathrooms and laundry rooms that were previously laminate.

Before Karen could get to work Noel had to tear up all the old laminate flooring.

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When we bought the house, the previous owners left piles and piles of unused tiles in the shed. We had enough of the 16″ x 16″ tiles to do the guest bathroom. Karen did an amazing job.

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Here she is hard at work with the wet saw… I was too scared to do this part… I used it once and kept thinking of my dad’s friend who recently lost a few fingers to a table saw. :: shudder ::

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She even taught me how to do it!

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And here I am grouting the master bathroom..

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She was supervising me….

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Finished product:

Laundry Room –

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Guest Bathroom  –

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Master Bathroom –

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I just LOVE the transition Karen created into the master bathroom water closet.

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Noel and Leon worked on the plumbing too. We had a leak under the kitchen sink and the bathroom toilet that needed to be repaired and also a few leaks in the irrigation line. The previous owners had a reverse osmosis machine under the kitchen sink and the weight of that mixed with the water from the leak resulted in the bottom of that cabinet to cave in so they removed the reverse osmosis and removed the bottom of the cabinets. We are going to replace that piece of wood (the “floor” of the cabinet) with a new piece of plywood that I will coat with water and mold resistant paint. Here is Noel under the kitchen sink…

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Leon is working on replacing the toilet valve in the master bathroom water closet…

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Henry and my dad teamed up to replace the hideous gold wobbly fan in the living room with this beauty –

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MUCH BETTER!

Noel and Leon were trying to put the door back on the bathroom but they couldn’t figure out which door was the right one. They tried a few before they found the door that fit. We were giggling.

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Here are the men hard at work under the kitchen sink;…

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We are so grateful that Noel and Karen spent their weekend helping us out. We go so much done! Thank you guys! We had a blast working on the house together.

If you are being observant you may be wondering, “What were Sarah and her mom doing this whole time… there are no pictures of them.” Well we were being silly:

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And we were working on one of my most favorite projects for the new house. My cabinets!!!

This post is already a bit picture heavy so check out the next post for step by step pictures of my CABINET TRANSFORMATION!

A Work in Progress

Our next door neighbor at the new house came over while we were working at the house so we got to meet him. He was super nice but unfortunately doesn’t live in the house anymore. He is considering selling it and he’s going to be asking about $15,000 more than what we bought ours for. His house is the exact same model and is a traditional sale (whereas we bought the house on short sale). This is SUPER news for us because that means we just made about $15,000 on our house! 

 

Leon and I are best bud’s with the Home Depot folks. We’re considering buying stock in the company since we were there six times this weekend. Yes… six. I counted. 

 

Yesterday we bought a new back door to replace the one currently in the house. This is the old one… 

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(We don’t have a dog!) This is the new one: 

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I’ll take a picture once it’s installed this weekend. 

 

We also got a security door for the back door because I am a paranoid nutcase er… I mean concerned wife. Honestly, without the sliding back doors the only way we can have a nice breeze through the house in the winter is to get a back security door so we can open the door and keep the kitties contained. 

 

We also picked out a new dishwasher because the one in the house now is all rusted out on the inside. (YUCK!) 

 

Here is the Before and After Shots of the painting… I’ll take better ones this weekend. 

Dining/ Living Room BEFORE: 

 

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Dining/ Living Room AFTER: 

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Family Room BEFORE: 

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FAMILY ROOM AFTER: 

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I love the new color. The walls are a light grey and the trim is bright white. It’s a subtle difference but it looks very sharp. 

 

Leon was hard at work yesterday with the chainsaw. 

 

Come to think of it… he got to play with two power tools this weekend… the jackhammer and the chainsaw. I kept hearing Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor grunts coming from his general area. 

 

“MORE POWER!!!” 

 

He took down two trees in the back yard! See below: 

Grill Area- BEFORE: 

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Grill Area – AFTER: 

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Check out all that beautiful brick work that was completely hidden behind that bee-filled overgrown tree!

 

The water fountain behind the grill now looks amazing as well…

 

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Okay… AMAZING might not be the right word yet… but once I skim it, shock it and wash the rocks it will really shine! This is going to be my baby. ❤ Now that it’s not hidden behind the overgrown tree it looks really nice. 

 

Leon also cut down the two trees on the side of the house: 

BEFORE: 

 

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The trees were not green when we got the house…. So they came down! (Besides who wants to walk through a jungle?)

 

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What a huge difference this makes. I’m pretty sure the back patio has doubled in size. 

 

I’m a fan of minimal trees/bushes because I think the cleaner look is more modern and fresh. Also, I don’t like to do a ton of yard work. I want to get rid of the plants next to the fountain as well because I think that fountain is so pretty it shouldn’t be hidden. Maybe I can plant some pretty colorful flowers there to add some color and fragrance to the backyard. Any suggestions for flowers that flourish in AZ soil? 

 

This week we are staying at the old house, packing and getting ready on this end. Friday the in-laws are coming into town to help us with the new house as well. It’s going to be nice to have the extra help. We are really hoping to get the floor done this weekend. 

 

Oh – I saw this online and Leon insisted I use it in the blog anytime I talk about something I found on Pinterest. So if you see this picture, you’ll know my brilliance was inspired by Pinterest. 😀 

 

 

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Until next time, fellow Pinterest junkies…. 

 

 

More Demolition

My last post was a little picture heavy so I wanted to do another to include some more awesome “in progress” demolition shots…

Leon had to try a few things to get the tiles out… First he thought about using a floor scraper. Then someone suggested a hammer and chisel. After he got no where with those attempts he just started hammering the tile into a million pieces. It worked… I guess… but it took him three hours to do 1 row.

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So, then someone else suggested we rent a small jack hammer which ended up doing the trick.

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My aunt even joined in the fun!

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My mom kicked tile butt here…

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Check out the Kitchen mid- demo…

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The carpet was absolutely disgusting… I think a dog used it as a fire hydrant regularly. I was happy to be rid of it.

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Before, the family room was carpet (really badly stained), the dining room and walkway to this door you see here and kitchen were tile and the spot to the left here, in front of the alcove had carpet. It was very oddly divided. With all of it ripped out I think it already looks really big. This space is going to look amazing  with the wood laminate throughout.

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That’s it for now… Painters are at the house right now so I will post pictures when they are done!

Demolition Day!

Yesterday was demolition day.

We had a lot to do; carpet needed to come up all over the house, about 300 sqft of tile, tack strips from the carpet, and base boards all needed to be removed.

Because we are putting down wood laminate, I decided I wanted to replace the boring 2 inch baseboards with nicer, taller baseboards. This also makes the floor install easier because I can easily leave the required expansion gap and not have to worry about buying quarter rounds to cover the gap. 

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We also hired painters… honestly.. I cheated. I was going to do the painting myself, but we had Adam from Covering the Valley Painting LLC, quote our Maricopa house. He had a fair price on it and was really nice and helpful. He gave me pointers on installing the new floor, the tile backslash and the tile removal. We hired him for the ‘Copa house and then decided to have him quote the new house too. His price on that was fair too, so we hired him for that too. 

 

We had him come yesterday, thinking he could paint while we ripped up floors and stuff. He said he’d rather us have all that done before he starting painting, so he offered, since he was there, to help us rip up all the floors. He and his helper were AMAZING. They helped us tear up all the floors and tack strips, even took turns using the jackhammer to get the tile up. 

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Do you need a painter? You HAVE GOT to call Adam. His customer service is beyond stellar. 

Here, we had the carpet up in the family room, taking out tile in entry way and tack strips and baseboards… 

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So here are some pictures of what got done yesterday. 

 Family Room BEFORE: 

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AFTER DEMOLITION: 

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Dining Room/ Living Room BEFORE: 

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AFTER DEMOLITION: 

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KITCHEN BEFORE: 

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KITCHEN AFTER DEMOLITION: 

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BEFORE Bedroom #1: (Sellers bed- not ours- this pic is from the listing)

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AFTER Bedroom#1: 

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BEFORE BEDROOM#2

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BEDROOM #2 AFTER: 

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BEFORE BEDROOM #3 

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AFTER BEDROOM #3

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MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE: 

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MASTER BEDROOM AFTER: 

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What do you think so far? I think it looks huge! Paint to come next…. 

Getting our Keys!

Friday we met our Realtor at the house at 5pm and got our keys! 

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And the fun begins…. 

 

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Except… the fun didn’t quite begin right away. Because, right away I went to turn on the air conditioner. 

Our Home Inspection revealed that the a/c unit was original to the home, meaning it’s about 18 years old. We knew that going into the sale, but at the inspection the air was blowing at a chilly 72 just fine, so we expected to get a bit more life out of it. 

I turned the a/c on at the wall, and bumped it down a few degrees. We went to work and after about 10 minutes realized the air wasn’t blowing. Leon went to check the breaker and it was tripped. So, he tried to reset it. It immediately tripped again. At that point, my dad showed up, and they also tried to pull out the fuse at the disconnect, and replace it. Still, no A/C. 

 

Leon and Dad ran to Home Depot and bought new fuses for the disconnect, and a new circuit breaker and replaced both. They tried again to reset the breaker. It stayed on this time, so we ran out back to see if the  A/C would turn on. 

The fan started turning and we started cheering.

 

 

Then we heard a loud bang, saw a spark in the unit, smoke started pouring out of it, a loud hissing noise and the smell of Freon escaping and a motor burning out. The Suction Line Accumulator rusted out and blew up, contaminating the entire unit. The smell was awful. The loud whine and smell of the Freon escaping lasted for over an hour. 

 

Did I mention that this all happened within two hours of getting our keys?!? 

 

The joys of home ownership…. We get to buy a whole new A/C unit the day we get our new house. 

On the plus side, it’s only 94 degree out this weekend, so we can still work in there….