Monday, October 19, 2015

10/19/2015 - A Quick Update and Progress Report

Well, we've been in the house almost 3 months now.  We are getting more and more settled in with each passing day.  We are down to the last few boxes that need to be sorted out and we've made a lot of progress installing organizing and storage solutions as well as getting some more painting and decorating done.  We've also had to have a couple service calls to address some issues that have come up as well as a pretty big scare a few days ago.  I'll try to give you all a quick run down as well as a few pictures of what we've been up to!

First of all, the good.

We've managed to just about unpack everything.  There are only a few boxes remaining and they are miscellaneous stuff that could probably stay in the boxes forever lol.  One of the big issues that we've had to address in the new house is the storage issue.  Our old house was considerably smaller than this one so over the years we had come up with some pretty creative storage solutions to address that.  In the new house we have all the room in the world, but no real organization so that was something that had to be addressed.

We started down in the basement.  We have an unfinished storage room there that was just a big empty space.  Thanks to a couple of trips to Lowes and a product called 2x4 basics I was able to build a nice shelf system in there that can hold a whole lot of those rubbermaid storage bins and I also picked up some plastic storage drawers to hold some of the smaller stuff.  This enabled us to fit a ton of stuff in that room while having way access to all of it as well as keeping the main floor area clear.  We also decided that room would be a good place for the cat box so I added a small cat door to the entry door to make it easy for the cat and hard for the dog to get to the litter box.

Once that was done,  I moved upstairs to the closets.  We had started on the Master closet when we first moved in, but that had stalled while we were trying to decide what we wanted to do to finish it.  So I went ahead and got to work and got it all done.  We used pieces from as well as Closetmaid, the end result is way better than the wire shelves and didn't cost a fortune either!

With that done, I FINALLY got out to the garage.  I'm a mechanic by trade, so I plan to properly outfit the garage in the near future, but for now I had to do something to get it organized.  I bought some adjustable shelf tracks from Lowes as well as some of the Rubbermaid track organizers.  The end result gave me tons of storage and doesn't take up a lot of space.  I was even able to fit two of the cars in the garage!

Once that was done I started working in the dining room.  It was good old builder beige just like the rest of the house, so after some measuring and a few trips to Lowes I got to work.  First I painted the ceiling from Beige to white, then I started on the trim work.  I added chair rail and picture frame paneling all the way around and then painted the room a combination of semi-gloss white and Pepper Red.  I think it turned out awesome.  I also made a window treatment and a matching table runner for the room from some fabric I found at a local sewing store.  As a side bonus I finally found a table that fit in the hallway alcove between the foyer and dining room a Kirklands, so the space doesn't look so empty anymore!

After the dining room started looking pretty I decided that the kitchen was still missing something.  We plan to add a tile backsplash down the road, but I thought some extra lighting would really set it off.  A little internet searching later,  I ordered led lighting for under and over the cabinets.  It definitely added a nice touch.

Now that I've covered most of the progress,  its time to go over the service concerns that we've had.  Two of them were pretty minor and one of them was pretty severe (though it was handled quickly)
The first issue was a water leak from the powder room toilet into the basement storage room below it.  We put a service call in and they were out to take a look within 48 hours.  The plumber pulled the toilet up and found that the wax ring under the toilet wasn't tall enough to account for our very thick solid wood floors.  It was an easy fix that took less than 20 minutes and there has been no other issues there.  The next service call was for a sewer gas smell in the basement mechanical room.  We have both a sump pump and a grinder pump down there and I was pretty sure that the issue was from the grinder pump.  Another easy visit from the plumber and we found that the lid had come unsealed from the crock in the floor for the pump.  Another simple and quick fix and we were good to go.

The last issue was a bit of a doozy…

I came home from work this past week and when I walked into the house I was hit with the smell of natural gas.  We have a gas range so occasionally I catch a hint of it when we're coking but nothing like this.  I ask my wife about it and she says she noticed it as well.  I have no issue doing things myself but when it comes to something like this I leave it to the pros.  The longer we were in the house, the worse it got, so after checking the usual places, we called the gas company and got out of the house.  A little while later, the service tech from Virginia Natural Gas shows up and after checking the meter outside and finding what he believed to be a pretty significant leak, we headed inside to find it.  As soon as we stepped in the house his last detector went crazy.  It didn't take long to narrow it down to the kitchen, so with my help, we pulled the stove out from the wall and as soon as we did, you could hear the hiss of the gas leaking.

It turns out that whomever installed our stove never tightened the gas line up.  It was unbelievably loose, and by that I mean that it wasn't even finger tight.  We tightened the line and cleared the room and then retested everything.  Thankfully that solved the issue, and the gas guy was nice enough to go through the entire house with me and check every other gas fitting to make sure there wasn't anything else going on.

You can believe that I brought this issue up with everyone that it could be brought up to, and I received lots of apologies and promises that it would be addressed so it couldn't happen again.  Regardless, it could have been a catastrophic problem that very easily could've destroyed our house.  So I encourage all of you, if you think you smell gas, even if it's just a hint, please have it checked out.  We were very lucky, but it just as easily could've gone very bad.

More to come!