The House Remodel Begins
Yes, given time, everything eventually gets done. The house was all packed away. We found a RealtorÂ® & a contractor. I shoved all of my stuff away as well. Packed what I needed into a duffel bag and have come to San Francisco a for a month or so while the house gets remodeled before sale. While there is nothing wrong with the house, it needs updating. I really didn't want to take the chance of a builder coming in and scraping the lot & putting in a McMansion. That wouldn't be good for the neighborhood. It's a Nice Neighborhood. We grew up there and wanted to keep the feeling of it. So the Realtor, Alex Lehr, came in & said, "You've got to take out this closet. you want to open that wall up,and then...." Five minutes later he had a battle plan.
A year and a half ago Alex handled the house next door. His people came in cleared it out and modernized it and sold it in a couple of months. It came out so well and my neighbors son, Peter who handled the whole thing had nothing but good things to say about the experience. So for me it was a no-brainer. That's how Alex runs his business. Come in, clean it up, stage it & sell it. And he has done it enough times that he has the template of what buyers are wanting in his head.
And this plan involved changing a lot of things. There was a fair amount of demolition to do. In November I had done as much as I could with the tools I hadn't packed away... the bedroom closets were all being removed & rebuilt. The master dressing room needed to be stripped. I had completed the removal of all of this and there was a big pile of lumber in the garage. They were going to replace all of the doors so I pulled them out as well.
It was odd coming in a few days before the professionals were going to arrive to do their demolition and seeing marks spray-painted on the walls. It's the house I grew up in... Geepers, I never could have gotten away with that. These contractors... they have all of the fun! I had been trying to be so careful when I was tearing stuff out... Don't mark the walls and all that... When it comes down to it.... if you're removing the wall, don't worry about the wall.
The cabinets were the first things to come out. My pop made those. Hmmm, interesting feeling that... but it was good to see the tile countertop go.On the floor under the counters were blue chip stamps that had floated underneath in the 60s or even earlier. Behind the cabinets were wine labels my mother had pasted onto the walls in the 1970's. My mother was a creative & inventive decorator & problem solver, a trait she, no doubt, learned from her own mother Hilda. Oh, the stories to be told of Hilda!
The soil in that part of California is an adobe clay. It expands & shrinks every years as the rains come and go. As a result, all of the homes there develop cracks over the years as the houses flex. One of my mom's solutions can be seen in the 4th picture. the upper left had corner of that doorway has a crack in it so my mother disguised it by pasting wine labels over it. There were a few other doorways similar to that around the house. The hallway was papered in covers taken from The New Yorker magazine. One side of the hall had been papered in the 1960s so the covers dated from the mid 1950s to about 1967 or so... the other side had been papered to match in the 80s so the covers were much newer. Anyhow, by 2003 a pretty visible crack had developed right down the middle of one of the kitchen walls. Quite clearly, the obvious solution was to draw attention to it by painting a vine over it. And it worked quite well. When I pointed out the crack to the realtor & contractor They had to run their fingers over it to realize there actually was one.
And so the house remodel has actually begun. While it is true that I was hoping this would have started in August or September or October.... It is good to have movement of some kind, any kind. besides, I get to stay in San Francisco for a month or so. And, of all things, I have finally purchased a smart phone... you know those little flat things that you carry around in your pocket and take pictures with?