Monday, June 3, 2013

Saturday House Status

On Saturday, Mom, Charlie and I headed to the house to get the unpacking started.  The electrician had replaced all of the outlets and switches in the dining and living room, so I was excited to start unpacking.

Since the dining and living rooms are the rooms that guests will see the most, I had the electrician put in rocker switches.  I LOVE rocker switching.  You can easily flip the switch with an elbow (or forehead) when your arms are full and I think they look a lot nicer.

While the electrician is updating and grounding all of my boxes, he's also figuring out the mystery switches.  The reason the middle switch is gone is because it went to...nothing.  Just like a lot of other switches in this house.

The same thing here - the far left switch went to a ceiling light that is no longer around.  Strangely enough - a lot of these mystery wires were still live and uncapped.  How has this house not burned down from an electrical fire?

This switch goes to the porch light and the lantern by the steps (the one I could never turn off).  I'm so glad to know that I wasn't crazy - there was NO switch for the lantern.  It was tied directly into a breaker.  It also had live wires running to this switch, but they weren't hooked up.  Yup, live wires were pretty much hidden all over this house.

While this electrician bill is getting huge - I'm glad to know my house is safe and there's a way to turn everything on and off without setting the house of fire.  I keep telling myself that, but every time I write a check I cringe.

Hurray! The AC outlets are in!  I can now run AC units in both upstairs bedrooms and the dining room without burning the house down!  In the heat we've had lately, this is a dream come true.  This outlet might look a little strange to you (it definitely does to me).

Here's what I learned - this outlet is a 230 volt outlet.  This allows me to run a larger air conditioner on the first floor; an air conditioner that can cool the living room, dining room and kitchen.  When you shop for an air conditioner, the side of each box shows the type of outlet you need.  Each box also lets you know how many BTUs the AC unit puts out per hour – cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour.  

Too bad I didn't know all of this before I went shopping.  Because I didn't have all the info I needed, I had to make a second trip to pick up an air conditioner.

Before going shopping to buy an AC unit:
1. Determine the square footage you will be cooling (length x width of the room)
2. Make sure you know what type of outlet you have.
3. Measure the height and width of your window opening.
4. Call ahead.

After doing the math, we determined I had just over 500 square feet to cool on the first floor.  To cool this space and fit the outlet, I needed to buy a 18,000 BTU AC unit.  I knew Home Depot didn't have one in stock, so before making another trip I called Sears and then HH Gregg.  Have you ever tried buying an air conditioner during a week where the average temperature is 97 degrees?  It's not easy.

Finally! I had my unit, time to just stick it in the window, right?  Wrong.  Since the unit is extra large it has supports for outside the window.  My dad so wonderfully sweated through this install while I dumbly asked "How can I help?"  Its sort of a one man job.

One hour after heaving it into the house, the ac unit was in the window and running smoothly.  Seriously, so wonderful.

Oh yeah, did I tell you we were ripping down the wall in the bathroom?  No?  How could I forget?  Yikes.  Well here's what happened:

When the electrician was fixing the wiring in the bathroom, he ran in to a snag - the plaster just fell off the wall.  Since this was becoming an issue for our bathroom remodel, along with the huge bow in the wall, Dad decided to rip out the plaster and put up drywall.  This also means that the medicine cabinet had to come out.

While Dad worked on the bathroom, I finally set up the code for my Kwikset deadbolt.  There were several reasons behind getting this: family members, friends and servicemen can get into my house when I'm not there and I can't lock myself out of the house.  You can set two codes, so I'll have one for my family and me and another for electrician/plumber/you name it.  It's easy to change the code so I can change it anytime and I don't have to give people a key to my house.

When I bought a new door knob and deadbolt for each door (two regular, one with the keypad), part of the reason was that Kwikset boasted SmartKey Technology.  I was skeptical when it said I could do it myself and even more skeptical when it said it only takes 30 seconds.  They were right on both counts.

I love that I can re-key it myself!  Otherwise I would have to use a different key for each door in my house.  Ha, no thanks!

ps. Kwikset is in no way paying me to say this, nor did they buy these door knobs and deadbolts.  I'm just really impressed with this product and wanted to share it with you!

Here's what the inside looks like.  The deadbolt box contains 4 AA batteries and a quick-start guide for the lock.  The light blinks red when the battery is low, green when the door in unlocked and orange when the door is locked.  So far, I'm loving this sucker!

Unfortunately, that's I got done on Saturday.  Outlet covers still aren't on so I can't cover any outlets with furniture.  This put a big snag in the unpacking plans and I left Saturday night feeling frustrated.  I've owned this house for almost three months and I feel like I've done nothing and I'm still not even living there.  The farther I get away from my settlement date of March 15th, the more frustrated I get. I'm trying to keep my eyes on the prize, but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't getting harder by the day.

I'm sick of not knowing where any of my stuff is.  I'm sick of not having a place for everything and everything in it's place.  I'm sick of being a slob.  I'm sick of living out of my purse and car.

But! I am so thankful for my family who have been patient through my frustrations.  My Dad has done an amazing job in the bathroom and while progress feels slow, things really are moving along!  We're getting there! I'm already planning my house warming party!


  1. Hey Virginia,

    Just letting you know that I just got an email from 'you' which was spam so you may want to check your gmail account and change passwords etc.


    1. PS I am so glad you got that electrician to come out! Live wires oh my!

  2. Some scary wiring in that house and really, really glad you're getting it fixed. We had bad wiring here too but you even have us beat. Lowell got us fixed thankfully. You are truly having to be extra patient with this house for sure. It took 3 months to get Grandma into her little house so you two have something to talk about next time you visit her. The main thing is, when you finally get moved in you'll be cool and safe!