3 years!

Actually it’s tomorrow, and the plan was to have a blowout party yesterday. Instead I’m sitting on a wooden chair looking at how torn apart the living room is and thinking I’d rather take a gun to my head than tackle any more painting just now. And so instead I’m blogging. Everything is a little half done because surprise surprise, it’s twice as much work as I thought again. Even with my parents and their friend (which is amazingly nice) helping. And when it comes to that punchlist, there’s more painting making its way into Phase 1. Partly because many of the most important things to paint are in the way of each other.

So here’s how it went. At year 0 the house looked great even though there were unseen things that could have killed you.



But then some issues, like this extreme crookedness, were pretty visible right away.


Back bedroom

A year later, the scope bloat was complete and instead of living in a slightly buffed up old house and tackling issues slowly, I had a shell and was looking forward to owning windows… and returning to compliance with a law requiring them. Luckily I didn’t get busted for having a chopped up door here for 3 months. Also, I just got rid of the last of this green textured plywood.


And we have to remember this mess just because. There was drywall nailed onto these half wrecked walls and the Irishman told me I had to add framing for the cabinets. I didn’t do it anywhere else and it was torture!


Year 2 ended with very, very exciting white drywall primer.


And a not-so-functional bathroom. The bucket was to flush the toilet until I finished painting the room and got the tank back on.


And in year 3? So many firsts. Paint colors!


The doors! My first love. (Keep this in mind, suitors. You’re my second at best.)


Lights that turn on (without risking burning the house down)! And none of them are in boob form!


Floors! Holy crap, they were holding up everything!


Furniture! And my mom cleaning like a (heteronormative) badass.


Of course owning furniture isn’t enough in these narrow working class rowhouses. You also have to get it inside.


And most recently, all the kitchen appliances work! I just picked up spaghetti and tomato sauce at my corner bodega and it was joyous.


So… let’s pretend it still looks like this.


Actually it looks like this. But when the living room looked like that the kitchen didn’t work and was jammed with stuff. And this actually looks pretty under control.


So a real, functional, homey house? I’m SO CLOSE. I said a small house was more than enough, but I didn’t know how hard it would be to get away from all this construction stuff in 800 square feet.

And here’s one more thing to mark off the to do list. I’m deleting the remaining banister work from Phase 1, so this is what I’m calling complete enough.


And let’s talk about the silly things that are annoying me. Like looking at mugs, toothpicks, and candles where the china belongs.


But compared to July 2013, I’m SO CLOSE. I said that before. But it’s true.




8 thoughts on “3 years!

  1. Jo

    Ah, Chad, so glad this is only Phase One. We’d miss you so much if you were totally finished. Have the party!!!!!! Jo @ Let’s Face the Music


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I’m going to take a big ol’ break after I finish Phase 1 but don’t worry, I have some old projects, a fantasy renovation about a French style mansion in Atlantic City, and other material that (I think) will still be worth telling.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. CindyH

    You are SO CLOSE! 😉 there, “said” it again for you. The mess you refer to looks like normal mess in my house without any renovation work going on.


      1. Rosietta

        This is how our house looks periodically over the past two years. Just constant demo and mess. We have tried to hello minimize the dump too. We burned a lot of our lath. We also put some of the plaster in the garden as it is old Lyme


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