Newly married — with little money–and a “handy man’s special” of a house to remodel, I had NO idea what type of adventure I was in for. Our first house was not the “House Beautiful” dream I had envisioned. Unfortunately, with interest rates through the roof, my darling husband informed me, “this is all we can afford.” Reality check time! Well, at least it was on a quiet street and I didn’t have to walk up three flights of stairs. So………OK we can make this work. I dreamily saw the “after” picture while totally skipping over the “living through the rehab hell” part.
The whole house was in desperate need of everything. Picture this……..red kitchen sink, avocado green shag carpeting, mustard tile, red flowered wallpaper. Be Gone! Our master bedroom resembled a sample board of brick, mirror, stucco, and plaster on each wall. It all had to go, but…….Lesson #1 Don’t rip out everything all at once. This causes a massive mess throughout the entire house with no relief of escaping to a room that isn’t a disaster. It isn’t long before you’re overwhelmed. So much for being a first time rehabber.
I love plaster walls, until I had to take them out. Chocking back dust (horrible for an asthmatic) was a constant reminder of how well built this 1929 house was. Then, sunshine revealed that the plaster’s fine dust particles were not going to leave anytime soon. Uhhhh! I’m still vacuuming dust and I moved out of that house years ago:))
Next came an unexpected surprise. Lesson #2–Don’t use your dilapidated garage as a weigh station for debris. We figured it would do until we could afford a dumpster right? Wrong! Mr. French–our elderly neighbor informed us a skunk and black cat were cohabiting in the garage. No way!!! Way!!! So my husband’s attention was now off the house and on how he was going to get the critters out of there. His solution: shovel by shovel–more plaster removal. Uhhhhh! Shoveling the debris into a dumpster that was now dumped on my potential garden bed was exhausting. Lesson #3– Take debris out all at once–house to dumpster to save time and your back.
No critters surfaced until the last pile of debris lay in the corner. One shovel into that pile revealed a scared cat and a spraying skunk. Wow, didn’t consider this in my rehab plans. Mission complete. Debris gone along with a black cat and skunk for now…….