Our House is a Very Fine House

IMG_1953Not yet, but it will be soon. We (by we, I mean mostly Ben) have been very busy with renovating our new home in Brooklyn. The house had been neglected for 8 years, so there were several things that needed to be repaired/replaced. In short, we’re doing a gut renovation.

I really can’t describe just how bad the house was in the beginning. The house had tenants/squatters so we paid them to move out so we wouldn’t have to deal with evicting them. There was an awful lot of garbage left behind (believe it or not, they actually took a lot of their garbage with them). We did some demolition. Insulation went in. Bad linoleum got ripped off. Rotten floorboards got replaced. Remaining floorboards got sanded. Roof repaired. Electricity and plumbing put in. Securing the house by putting in a new gate and new cellar doors. Etc. Etc. Etc.

In the height of the mess, in my head I knew one day it would get better (see upper left photo). That the mess would go away. That we will be able to live there. I never doubted this cognitively. But reflexively in the moment, when I stared at the mountain of trash in the living room, I had no idea how we were going to get there. Slowly bit by bit, we’re getting there.

Yesterday we worked on the house together. The house is very old, so the brick walls are worn and showing their age. Parts of the mortar have crumbled and are gone. Ben mixed up more mortar; George (one of the guys we hired to help us with construction work) showed me how to do masonry. While Ben took a conference call, I patched up the wall. Once I got the hang of it, I actually kinda liked it and found that I was even pretty good at it. So, anyone need any brick work done?

Then we began staining our hardwood floors. The house has hardwood floors, but some sections of the floor had been covered up with linoleum (see upper right photo). The exposed sections were badly worn and damaged from years of use. The guys we hired sanded the floors for us. Now the floors looked much better – almost like new, but they were a light yellow because they were pinewood. I didn’t care for the color, so we bought a stain that would stain it a weathered gray. I like the old worn look that the stain gives. When we began staining, we were a little dubious of how it would all turn out, but after we began buff the stain, the color turned out to be beautiful. The photo in the lower right shows you the original pine yellow color and the stained weather gray. Nice, isn’t it? By the way, the stained floor in the lower right photo is the same floor in the photo above it.

When we went home, we were exhausted and sore. I’m using house renovation as my cross-training.

IMG_1954Bandit also had a big day yesterday. She got spayed. We dropped her off in the morning; she was not thrilled that we were leaving her behind. Ben worried about her all day and he was glad that he had renovation work to take his mind off worrying about her. When we picked her up in the evening, Bandit was frantically glad that we were back and she was madly urging us to leave and to take her with us. The vet explained how we needed to take care of her for the next two weeks. Bandit was happy to be back home and calmed down after a while. She was so exhausted and worn out. She looked rather pitiful in her cone of shame and I said so. Ben defended her by saying, “It’s the cone of bravery!” Ben was able to work from home today, so he stayed with her. She’s recovering nicely. My poor little girl, but this is all for the best in the long run.


10 thoughts on “Our House is a Very Fine House

  1. Reno’s are so much work. It will be awesome when it’s all done! Happy to hear Bandit is feeling better too. I remember when I had Kobi spayed. She never wore a cone as she left her incision alone, but was impossible to keep quiet. I was worried about that. She healed up very well in a short amount of time though.

  2. That is one impressive project! I hope you’ll show us some photos when its done, and congrats on home ownership 🙂 You’ll really own it once you’ve gone through this process of gutting and making it your own. Glad Bandit is doing better!

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