Saturday, September 26, 2015

Apartment woes

 First let me say that as I spend a lot of time over at our new little rental house, I find myself having bad or at least critical feelings toward the previous owners.
I am working on this.
But, honestly, not very hard.
I get a certain amount of enjoyment out of grumbling about their poor treatment of the house, their inability to fix things properly and the messes they left us.
I have dealt with so much GRIME!
It makes me think bad things and then I think that maybe I should look more closely at my own house.  
Is my house this grimy and I don't realize it?
In my unkind moments I think that my house is not this disgusting.
But in my kinder moments I think maybe it is...
I go back and forth.

Since I'm gone so much these days, my house is definitely suffering.
At the moment it is definitely dirty.
So I should be less judgmental.
But not right now...right now I'm going to judge.

Our new little house has a basement apartment.
It's a simple place with one bedroom, a small living room and a kitchen.
Quirky is probably a nice way to describe it.

My sister took a few "before" pictures.

The entry to the apartment
(standing in the entry to the laundry room)

Our original plan was to paint, replace carpet and fix broken things.
The living room:

The view from the bedroom into the living room and kitchen beyond.
You can see the weird little heater on the wall there.

The kitchen is small and has an unusual layout but really isn't bad overall.
Problems: broken tiles (visible in the picture below), broken drawer, and no heat in the room.

There is a small closet in the living room and when Jaime, my niece and obviously a positive person, saw it she said, "Look at this cute closet. We can put our coats on these hooks."
To which her fiancé responded, "Unless we have to keep our coats on."

The bathroom is TINY.
A miniature toilet, a small pedestal sink and a very small shower.
We knew from the house inspection that the shower was probably leaking so we decided to replace it.
We opened a can of worms there, I will tell you.

This is the laundry room.
It has a dungeon sort of a feeling but functions.

We started ripping out the shower and discovered that it had, indeed, leaked.
The leaking (over a significant period of time...grumble, grumble) caused the boards in all of the surrounding walls to rot.
Including a main living room wall (the one with the heater on it) which was a bearing wall.

They all had to be torn out.

We also discovered that the vent fan that was located in the bathroom was not vented anywhere!
It simply sent the moisture into the area above the ceiling...
which would be the floor joists of the house upstairs.
The house was built during world war II so parts of it were obviously built from whatever was available.
Inside the wall, it was framed with pieces of fruit/vegetable crates.
I thought that was pretty cool to see.
I wish I would have saved some of those pieces of wood but I wasn't there and it all got taken to the dump. 
(sad face)

Tearing out the back wall.  
Now the laundry room is visible from the apartment.

View from the laundry room side...tearing out the wall.

Here's the view of the living room today:
New carpet was supposed to be installed early next week.
I don't think that will be happening.

and what was once a bathroom is now just a big hole.

We decided that since we had to rip the whole thing out, we may as well improve some things.
So now we are putting in a bigger shower, a vanity instead of a pedestal sink (a little storage is always nice), a normal sized toilet.
We are also taking some of the space from the laundry room and putting it into the bathroom so that we can add a closet in there.
It will still be a small bathroom...we didn't want to spend the money to move the plumbing around,
but it will be better for sure.
And not gross and old and moldy and leaky.
And the vent fan will actually vent the moisture OUTSIDE.
Imagine that.

We have also decided to put a more normal heater in.
It should be able to heat the kitchen and living room and hopefully the bedroom too.
The bedroom does have a separate electric heater though, just in case.

Today, as the new plumbing was being installed and the duct work rearranged,
water began coming up from the floor drain and the toilet drain
 (which no longer has a toilet on top of it)
Apparently our main drain to the house was plugged somehow.

It made a big mess
but Frank worked on the drain and we think and hope that it is fixed.
I really don't want to call a plumber.

I did have to work there all day without running water or use of a toilet.
That was fun.

I leave exhausted at the end of each day.
But things are slowly coming together.
The upstairs is ready for the new renters to come next week...all I have left to do is clean the grime off of the oven, (grumble) which I couldn't do today due to not having water, and mop the kitchen floor.

Frank does harder stuff than I do and I'm amazed at how much he accomplishes each day.
Today he was up in the attic fixing the upstairs bathroom vent 
(which vented into the attic instead of outside...what is wrong with these people???)
and it was a hot day.
He did drop an electric drill on my head as he was trying to work up there though.
Which is another story I suppose.

Anyway, those are my updates and my woes.

I'm sure we will love the place when it's all done!


  1. Sounds like a pain, but I actually really loved reading this! it made me feel like I was there :)

  2. I'm glad. :-) I wish you were here...I'd put you to work! hahaha

  3. This is exactly why we don't own a house. We would do all of these stupid things because we don't know any better and in 50 years the next owners would be like "who are these IDIOTS?" Oh. That's me.

    Our first apartment was a basement in Provo and the shower was so small I touched all four sides standing in it, and my husband had to bend over to get his hair wet. Well, he couldn't bend, it was too small, so he crouched. And we had a pedestal sink. Awful. Where do you set your blowdryer and make-up?! Ahhhh the good old days.