12 Days to Go

Every day this week I’ve been going to the house after work and staying there past midnight. This weekend my wife was out of town so I had to work on the house myself, painting while I watched people walking outside and enjoying the amazing, rare weather (and events like Streets Alive and Ithaca Food Truck Roundup).

I encountered some mission creep on Saturday when I noticed the kitchen faucet was leaking. I’ve never fixed a faucet in my life, but the internets told me it was likely that an O-ring on the cartridge was failing. After dismantling the faucet, however, I couldn’t pull the damn cartridge out. Again the interwebs saved me and I learned that cartridge pullers were a thing and could help extract them when they won’t budge.

May 9 Update 1

You screw the puller into the cartridge and rotate that big nut, pushing it against the faucet’s main pipe and magnifying the torque you’re applying to help extract the stuck cartridge.

May 9 Update 2

While I was out getting the puller I decided to just get a whole new cartridge rather than replace the O-rings. Installed the new one and the faucet works good as new.

Then the rest of the weekend was spent fixing the terrible walls in the living room:

May 9 Update 003

And repainting ceilings like this one in the foyer:

May 9 Update 004

The ceilings involved more mission creep. I tried fixing a portion of the living room ceiling that previous owners had overpainted with red. The new ceiling paint didn’t quite match and I didn’t think I could stand to live with it, so I ended up repainting the whole damn ceiling. The dining room ceiling had marks on it too, so that also got repainted.

On Monday the floor guys told me they had filled the entire floor and were ready to start sanding the next day.

May 9 Update 006

May 9 Update 005

When I visited Tuesday night they had finished rough sanding the entire second floor…

May 9 Update 007

with some portions sanded to a higher grit (the darker area).

May 9 Update 009

This is why I hired professionals. Whoever did it before not only left sanding marks all over, but they took off far more material than necessary. The big belt sanders used for refinishing floors are dangerous. These guys managed to remove just what was needed.

May 9 Update 008

Tonight (and by tonight I mean May 8 even though I’m writing this at 2 am on May 9) the floor guys stayed until 7 pm to finish sanding the entire upstairs. We were forbidden from doing work up there. I suspect they’ll finish the downstairs tomorrow, which is why I can’t thank our friends Keith and Stephanie enough for coming over and helping us paint the downstairs trim.

The plan seems to be to start applying polyurethane on Friday. Since we’re out of town this weekend and feeling guilty about it, the timing is perfect: we can’t work while the polyurethane is curing anyway.