The first week of home ownership was full of appointments with so many contractors. As I mentioned when I talked about our inspection, there was something wrong with almost every system in the house, from plumbing to HVAC to electricity. There were plenty of problems outside, too.
So while I would have loved to write about picking paint colors and going shopping for rugs, it was far more important to start chipping away at the issues found by our amazing home inspector, Robert Foster of Trebor Home Inspections.
Some of the not-so-exciting things we did:
1. Changed all the locks – This wasn’t in the inspection report, but re-keying the locks was a quick first task. The first locksmith I called, who has rave reviews online, never even returned my call. After a day, I called Browns Lock and Safe, who set an appointment right away. The locksmith who came over got three doors re-keyed in under an hour. Awesome.
2. Fixed outdated (and dangerous) parts of the electrical system – Our inspector found several safety issues with the electrical system at the house. There was a wire that was disconnected from something under the sink, but never cut off properly. I don’t know the right language to use there, but basically, there was a wire under there with just some electrical tape on the end. There was also some exposed wire behind the panel in the fuse box.
One of the more time consuming projects: none of the outlets in the kitchen and baths were GFCI outlets. Those are the outlets that have the “test” and “reset” buttons on them. Those reduce the chance of shock and our inspector said they are required around water these days.
Since we had electricians coming, we decided to throw in a few more projects, like switching out a light fixture and adding a whole-house surge suppressor. I read come conflicting reviews of whole-house surge suppressors, but Marc thought it was a good idea to add one since we’ve been having pretty serious storms each summer.
Electricians must be really busy right now. The one a colleague recommended didn’t return my phone call and the company I used when I lived in the condo was making appointments two weeks out when I called them. Since this was a safety thing, I decided to get some recommendations from friends and then cross reference the names with Angie’s List. We wound up calling Sentry Electric (which also runs a Mr. Electric franchise). It took them three hours to do all the projects I had! The wound up giving me a discount because I have an Angie’s List membership. I’m happy I spent $10 on that now!
3. Smoke detectors – There were only two smoke detectors in the house when we got in and they both had dead batteries in them. That’s clearly a really, really bad thing.
4. Water heater issues – The water heater in the utility room needs to sit in a pan (not a big deal) and is lacking a device that regulates the pressure coming out of it. Our inspector told us that this is why almost all of our shower heads and tub fixtures aren’t attached to the wall anymore. You can wiggle almost every pipe and handle that’s coming out of the wall in a shower or tub in the house. This isn’t a safety issue and it’s not urgent, but we had a plumber in to measure for the pan and give us an estimate on the regulator.
5. Roof and gutters – Aside from the electrical issues, this is probably the item that disturbs me the most. The roof on the house was installed in a sloppy way. There are parts of it where the “starter course” wasn’t done properly. That’s the area underneath where the shingles hang over the edge of the building. On top of that, our seller reconfigured the gutters, eliminating downspouts, which was causing erosion all around the property. Every time it rains, I freak out about this.
Doesn’t this seem like a really, really bad idea?
We actually haven’t gotten the roof or gutter guys in yet, but that work should start soon.
During the parade of contractors, I started playing around with my paint fan decks, just for fun. A friend suggested I try Benjamin Moore’s ColorViewer to test out some colors. I uploaded a photo and started working.
I promptly gave up. I love a fun, digital tool but I had a really hard time getting the ColorViewer to work. I’m going to wind up just buying sample paint jars like I always have in the past.
I originally thought a gray color would look good with the pink quartz counters, but I’m thinking a taupe color is probably going to work much better.
More on that next time…