Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gutting the Stench.


It has been a year. When we started, every room in the house had its own swirling cloud of flies. The top floor smelled like dog piss, the basement smelled like mildewed cat piss, and the main floor reeked of cigarettes. (The sellers were smoking in the house while we walked through for our first tour.) Oh, and the well stocked refrigerator, left without power for weeks in the heat of summer, offered the faint aroma of a rotting corpse.

So first thing: we cleaned, we scoured, we bleached. And if it still smelled, we carved it out like a tumor and threw it in the dumpster.

Here are some shots from those earliest days one year ago.

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Living room. What's behind the wallpaper?
More wallpaper!

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I can't remember why Jaime ended up pressure-washing the yard in the middle of the night.
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Kids sleeping while we work.

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First floor bedroom.
Down comes the fake wood paneling, down comes the wallpaper behind it.


Behind four layers of water-stained ceiling materials, the leaking drainpipe of the upstairs shower. Every pipe in the house was rusted through.


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Kitchen. Opening up the floor plan...

(Jaime wearing my steel-toed boots.)

Bye-bye, cabinets...



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Knob-and-tube wiring. Note the charred wood behind the electrical-taped splice. It's all gotta' go.

The living room door gets bumped from three feet wide to four feet wide.


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First floor bathroom. Before demo...


... and after.


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The first floor hallway gets a doorway into the living room.

The view from the back room to the front room.


One-year-old Theo with his favorite hammer.
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Master bedroom. Before demo...

... and after.

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Kids' room before...
... and after.

Collateral damage, incurred while demo'ing the pink tile shower on the other side of this wall.
Sparking knob-and-tube wire.
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Upstairs bathroom. Sadly, the pink did not make the cut. Before demo...

... and after.
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Debris.



Haulin'.




 Scrappin'.


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The basement. Stairs before demo...
... and after.
Before...
... and after.
Every 2x4 floor plate was saturated with cat urine and whatever other moisture made it into the basement. Every stick went away.
Before...
... and after.
Behind the wood paneling was this leaking pipe to nowhere. We fixed it.
Note the water on the floor. No wonder it felt musty down there.
Pressure washing the crumbling filth.


... And this became our home.

More recent photos showing our makeshift home, while the upstairs remains a construction site. Note that the walls have been drylocked in gray. The basement is now 100% dry, and as I write, this is where the kids are eating breakfast.



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