It all happened relatively quickly. We opened escrow in mid-June. We signed countless documents. We got a call from the listing agent on August 1 saying the keys were ours. Our lender called the next day to say, “Congrats! You’re homeowners.” And by the next day, Friday, we officially closed escrow. That weekend, we entered our home and tried to remain calm as we absorbed the huge task at hand: get this place move-in ready. By the end of the month.
Since we gave 30-day notice at our apartment on August 1, it meant that we’d have less than 30 days to get the house ready. With one man doing all the work himself. This expectation has clearly been unrealistic, which is why we’re so happy my sister has offered to let us crash at her house for as long as we need.
Nevertheless, Isaiah has got quite a bit of work done for going at this solo. (I am around mostly for moral support, as I am not as handy as he.) During our first full week as homeowners, he tackled these projects after a long day at work. During the second week, he used vacation days to work on the house all day, every day. I wish I could be more helpful…
*Removed all synthetic wood paneling from kitchen, living room and bedroom walls.
*Removed wall paper and adhesives from same rooms mentioned above.
Hot Tip: A lot of people said to use fabric softener to wet down the wallpaper. Instead, Isaiah used just water in a spray bottle and a 4 in. trowel to scrape off the paper. He used a chisel to scrape off the glue residue left from the paneling. Don’t worry about chipping the plaster because you can easily patch it up with joint compound.
*Removed shag carpeting to reveal beautiful red and white oak flooring.
*Sealed wall and ceiling cracks and started skim coating walls and ceilings with joint compound to create smooth surfaces. (He used the SHEETROCK brand from Home Depot.)
Hot Tip: Be sure to use paper joint tape to seal cracks. Isaiah tried using fiberglass tape, but other bloggers mentioned that the fibers can come undone during sanding. You have to be quick with the paper! After placing mud down where the paper will go, quickly go back over the tape with more mud. Going away for a second, you will risk the paper coming loose.
*Installed dryer vent and P-trap for the washer.
*Thoroughly cleaned roof and sealed cracks.
Hot Tip: Isaiah found it useful to take the shop vac up on the roof with him to help suck up a lot of the debris up there. (We have a flat roof.)