Roller coaster

Because Mrs. Bell's house was being sold as-is, when we made our offer Brett made sure that we could inspect and cancel if necessary. The inspection was this past Wednesday morning, and it was action-packed.

We knew there was plenty going on with this house that we'd have to address, but seeing it all spelled out on an inspection report, with a few things we hadn't noticed, was bracing. That said, things seemed to be moving along fine (I was taking pictures!) until they got down to the basement and crawl space (we have both).

I was chatting with Phyllis in the kitchen when Brett came upstairs and said "Ok theres a potential dealbreaker down there." The inspector found some water and was convinced that basically all three of the waste pipes under the house were rusted through. Huge deal.

Eventually they got to the fuse box (yes, fuse box) upstairs. The inspector said that it had wrong fuses in it and acted like it could pretty much burst into flames at any minute.

The sellers have stated clearly that they will be making no repairs, so staring down the barrel at these two large issues, along with an endless list of others, you can imagine how heartbroken we were. The only thing to do was to get professional plumbers and electricians there to assess the damage and make our decision then.

I went to work Thursday pretty much certain that the necessary repairs were going to be more than we could deal with right now. Until I got a text from Brett that said "Good news, call you in a bit." As it turns out, the plumber said it was no big deal. The water was coming from a foundation issue (which we knew about and are having repaired). He said "you're going to remodel arent you? We can replace the pipes then, it's fine for now." The story with the electrician was the same. He said it's perfectly safe for now, and when we're ready we can upgrade service and get breaker boxes all at once. No big deal.

Also, the two old furnaces and two not-quite-as-old air conditioners? Covered under a transferrable maintenance contract.

Everything is signed and returned, and it's our (worse for wear) baby now. I'll dedicate an entire post to the kitchen soon as promised, but for now a few shots of some fun and/or horrible things you haven't seen.

Here's the stove in all it's original glory. I can't say I haven't thought about having it restored. It's just that I've thought about a big stainless Wolf range more.

The flooring in the entry hall. Don't fall in love, it's gotta go, along with the asbestos tiles in every closet in the house.

Bedroom number three, which we refer to as the Blue Room. Half the paper is gone because it was falling off the walls, and what remains up seems to be seriously stuck.

The hollywood bath between bedrooms 2 and 3. Yes, the wallpaper is a chinoiserie design, no, sadly, there's no way to salvage. Inspector guy also said not to try using this shower!

The sink in the hollywood bath. There's room for two of these on either side of the window, and indeed there are two of the mirrored medicine cabinets, but for some reason there's just one sink with a big built-in vanity. There will be double sinks in here eventually, along with lots of marble and polished chrome. And who knows, maybe some new chinoiserie paper.

The powder room in all it's purple fixtured, bronze mirrored, fluorescently lit glory. There's a plan cooking for in here too, especially since I found good deals and free shipping on sleek Duravit fixtures on

The dining room, with the coved ceiling that first made me want the house. See all the windows? That's why I think I can get away with black walls here, as well as a pale blue ceiling.

Original barkcloth drapes. Everyone had disappeared when I was taking this so there was nobody to hold them open. It's a cityscape sort of pattern with buildings and trees. We'll be using them for a while as they're the only curtains that remain.

The coved ceiling in the double entry, shot through the doorway we plan to close up when we open up the wall. LOVE these ceilings, and love the ribbed glass, although we'll likely remove and salvage that for use somewhere else. It feels a bit congested now, and you know how I like open space.

A shot of the fireplace and bar, and the doorway to the entry. That dinner plate hardware will be visiting Hiles for some chrome plating and returning home. The bar cabinetry is shot, but rest assured a bar will be there again, with some mirrors and better lighting.


Raina Cox said...

David, it is going to be so lovely.

I know nothing about vintage stove, but surely its eBay sale would pay quite a bit towards a sleek new Viking.

P.S. I am quite envious of your dinner plate hardware!

David said...

Thanks Raina, I think it will be too, it's just going to be a long road getting there.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Wow. Purple. But! Everything else is going to be fantabulous. Can't wait.

soodie :: said...

i hope all goes well. i can see your vision from your words. it will look just GREAT!

Living the life in The Little City said...

Does the stove work? I like the chrome top.

home before dark said...

To magic makers, this is some kind of heaven. At the end, you will have created a beautiful home to your taste. You are in for a bumpy but most wonderful ride. This home is crying out for vision and talent...and more than a wee bit of money. It sounds like between the two of you, all it is covered. Enjoy the chaos!

David said...

Kathleen, the stove does not work. The plan is to move it to the garage and buy a cheap stand-in until we get to the kitchen. By that point I'll have a better idea what we're doing and I know if we're going to restore or replace.

ChrisToronto said...

There's gonna be a whole lotta decorating going on!

Russ Manley said...

You sure have your work cut out for you David. But it'll be fun I'm sure, hope to come back here in a year and see all your design dreams realized. Good luck with all that.