7/31/2006

Collateral Damage of Renovation/Restoration: Scaring the Neighbors

I'm starting to feel bad for our neighbors. Before we moved in, there was a very nice, tidy couple with a baby that lived in the Prairie Box. They planted some flowers in containers on the porch, kept the grass mowed, did some minor work on the house, and lived a nice, typical suburban life. I'm sure that they were universally beloved.

And then we came along.

Now the grass is long and weedy, and the planter boxes on the porch are neglected and empty. Every few weeks, a large pile of rubble appears at the curb, containing everything from carpet to 2 by 4s to curtains. We stay up til 4 am sanding and hammering. They have to wonder what the hell we're doing over here, especially since it was such a "nice house" to begin with. It's not like the Prairie Box was one of those neglected, forlorn homes that the neighbors are thrilled when you start fixing it up. Our house wasn't the eyesore of the neighborhood. To most eyes, our house was fixed. I'm seriously waiting for someone to come over and ask exactly what we're doing to this poor house.

Speaking of what we're doing to the house... I was supposed to go camping on my days off this week, but due to the extreme heat (and never-ending to-do list) I decided it would be best to stay home. I haven't accomplished too much yet, but I did get a second coat of shellac on the living room floor. Finally. With the addition of the second coat, it's starting to get a nice, uniform shine. It was a little shiny with one coat, but only on the dark part of the grain pattern. Don't know why. I'll put a third coat on tomorrow and see how much glossier it gets. I don't want it to be mirror-shiny, but it needs to be more uniform than it is now.

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish on my next 2 days off:
  • Finish the floors - completely
  • Sand woodwork (weather permitting)
  • Declutter the dining room and office

I also need to find a way to get the paint off of the living room windows. The genius second owner painted them without sealing them, so the paint is damn-near impossible to get off. The only thing I've found that works is paint thinner and lots of elbow grease. Each window will take at least an hour, but I won't be able to work on them until the weather cools off a bit.

1 comment:

ben said...

don't fret too much about the neighbors, when we moved in everyone was worried too. (we came from the trailer park, had two little kids, and began by painting over the "Tiffany Glazed" walls.) We've since gotten along just fine with the older neighbors.