Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Parlor after 2 Years and the DIY Social

As Andrea and I approach two years in our old house, we pause to focus on one part of the house that has evolved the most, the parlor.

This once completely painted and carpeted area is about 50% completed but you can see in this photo the direction we are going. Nearly everything you see was gathered up from either Urban Ore, Craigslist or was a wedding gift to us. Our efforts involved cleaning and sanding the original oak floor and rehabbing the original plaster walls. Sure, the house is still cold and we need to put in some new gutters but I think its good to have at least one area you can look at to help say to yourself, "This looks pretty good. I guess the hardwork and dust is worth it after all!"

We've also been part of a growing DIY social group in our area. Everyone in the group is dealing with houses with much character but with many issues as well. Many in the group have been DIYing for years and they have lots of great stories to share on almost every aspect of home building and maintenance. For us, as newbies, it's a bit scary to hear some of the potential costs of things ie. lateral line, foundation replacements etc. But when they tell their stories, they mostly laugh about it now and impart to us some great, hard experiences that we take to heart. We are now working on ways to use the Internet better to share our resources. However, the actual meeting of the group (at our secret location) is always the best way to talk and really hear what others are saying about something. Even though I haven't touched our old windows yet, I dread the thought of it but know I can make it happen because some of the others have gone through it or will go through it soon. So I know we are not going to be alone as we stumble into that dark alley I call "Old Window Restoration". lol

The group is based near the W. Oakland/Emeryville border so if you want to join the discussion and get some great tips, visit