Ok, cheesy blog post lead-in aside (couldn't help myself), our foyer underwent a big change several months back that I never shared.
Before we get into all of that, on the other, non-literal hand, I also wanted to share with you all that where our home is concerned, it's really not always sunny. I know you guys see a lot of pretty transformations and you've probably heard my many omgweresolucky stories about the great things our new house had going on when we moved in like new and refinished flooring, fresh paint (which I mostly re-painted anyway), new plumbing fixtures, doorknobs, freshly finished basement, etc, but there definitely have been some troubles as well. Because of that, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the bad things that we've encountered in this first (little over) year of living here.
So sit back, and get ready for a lot of first world problems.
Back to the window... it was one of those things that we didn't actually do, and I wasn't sure how I'd create an actual useful (and interesting) post about... wait for it... replacing a window. But I feel like it's made such a difference and may help you guys out if any of you have a similar foyer set-up as we do with a gigantor window (we get all the direct afternoon sun) that basically cooks your walls, flooring, carpeting, photos, etc. Not to mention makes the house incredibly hot.
Since our hardwood flooring (and stair railings) in the foyer had recently been refinished and restained and the carpeting on the stairs was new, we couldn't really tell how badly the sun had faded the "before" version out over the years. Just in the months we had lived here before replacing it, we noticed a few photos fading. Also, the stair railing would be so hot in the afternoon you couldn't even touch it. It was intense. We literally felt like bugs burning under a microscope in there.
But we also knew it had a slightly rotted lower corner. Before we moved in, after inspection, we had the previous owners agree to fix all the wood rot around windows, doors, etc that was found. The only thing they didn't fix was this window (they're pricey), so we kind of always knew it would be an issue eventually.
Fast forward one rainy night I was heading down the stairs and when I turned the corner in the foyer in front of the door, I felt a splash on my shoulder.
Not generally a good feeling when you're indoors.
The water was seeping through the rot and dripping into a big puddle in the window trim. So we knew it needed to be fixed. Since my brother-in-law is awesome and works for a company that installs custom windows and the such, he suggested we replace it with a "low-E" window. That way, it would filter out some of the light and keep it cooler and protect our stuff inside from fading.
Here's a couple photos of the window coming out... It was weird having a hole that large (for a few moments at least) in the front of our house.
Check the gorg rot situation...
So after some repairs to the casing...
The new window went in and we love it!
While when you look at it, it doesn't appear tinted, you can see the camera captured it a bit differently than the windows surrounding the door. It really looks almost identical to the old.
So besides not worrying about the rain coming in, it is really nice knowing that it's much more efficient (the foyer stays nice and cool even on super hot days), and we don't have to worry about our hardwood flooring and stairs getting bleached by the sun. So weird because it still lets in just as much actual light but the UV rays are filtered. Pretty awesome.
Maybe if you guys have a similar big window situation in your foyer that may need to be replaced soon, you can consider getting one like this. So glad we did.
Now just to prove that it's not always sunshine and roses around here... Let's move on to a few more issues we've had. I don't have any photos and I'm not going to turn each mishap into a saga (I'll try not to at least), so I'll just list them...
1. That one time water inexplicably started pooling up around the baseboards in the basement. Turns out when the basement was finished, someone drove finishing nails into a main drainage pipe for all the sinks down there (not gross water, but still annoying). Thank goodness for plumbers that can figure that stuff out.
2. That other time (or 20 times over like 3 months) our basement started filling up with what can only be described as sewage poo death odor. Fun times. Apparently some of the plumbing wasn't vented/set up properly down there. It's a long gross story, but it's fixed now, thank goodness. Oh, and also, in my next life, I should go into plumbing because they've made a small fortune off us here (we've also had some minor plumbing issues in our kitchen and laundry room that were fixed when we first moved in).
3. When we moved in (right before one of the rainiest Springs last year) and realized that our gutters had possibly never been cleaned in 15 years. Not kidding. We're talking the craziest waterfalls pouring down the sides of the house (and all the windows) which caused so much water to pool up around the base of the house. We had SUCH a damp basement that first Summer. After installing a dehumidifier, having the gutters cleaned (and having them repaired as the weight from the water and debris inside of them had caused them to literally pull away from the house), we've had a waterfall-free and much dryer basement situation so far this Spring/Summer.
4. Oh and speaking of those gutters... we started noticing tons of erosion around the base of the house where all of the water pouring over the gutters for years had caused the dirt to wear down really far. One night during one of those first bad rainstorm flooding situations, we had water pour in around our main sewage "out" drain in an unfinished part of the basement. At first I was freaking out because I was thinking it was coming from the actual sewage pipe, but we noticed it was fresh water. So Brad goes out in the pouring rain and sees water literally flowing down into one of those eroded areas against the base of the house right above the area where the pipe went out through the wall. Basically the water was flowing down into the ground around the basement walls and seeping in wherever it could (around the pipe that went through a cement wall into the house). So we had to have a landscaping company deliver massive truckloads of fill dirt and pack it all around the base of the house and fill in all of those gaping holes. Pretty crazy what dirty/broken gutters can cause. During one of the many plumber visits, one of the plumbers also sealed around the pipe better. We've since had no moisture come in, but I think that's mostly because of the fill dirt and the fact that water isn't pouring down like a waterfall off the gutters anymore in that area.
5. That time when we moved in in March (it was a coooold March last year, the first night we were here it was like 25 degrees), and our furnace wouldn't work. It had worked fine and passed inspection before we moved in, but of course, it decided to mess up our first (freezing) night here. Basically it was missing a small part that kept it running (that I couldn't even describe to you) and they replaced it. Oh and speaking of furnaces, the "finished" basement was not as finished as we thought. The new furnace for the basement area was in place and looked ready to go, but the gas wasn't hooked up and it wasn't vented properly (at all). Imagine me walking downstairs to find 20 holes cut out of various areas of the finished walls and pretty trey ceilings down there so they could find a gas leak they discovered. It was fixed, and they worked super hard to get it all set up. But still that was kind of stressful.
Oh yeah and speaking of even more furnaces, the first winter after that, which was the first winter our tenants spent at our other house, the furnace went out over there. Awesome times.
6. When we discovered a month after moving in that 457 wasps had set up house in our guest bedroom (and were ending up all over the rest of the house) after building nests in the windows in there that had been repaired due to a little rot on the sils before we moved in and they weren't closing properly. Brad ended up going full-combat on the wasps and fixing the window so it's been wasp-less since. And can I just take a moment to acknowledge that if it weren't for Brad, I'd be living here in a wasp-infestation rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere. I'm generally pretty tough and don't mind getting my hands dirty, but when it comes to stinging insects, I literally run and hide.
I feel like there's been a ton more little things here and there but those are what really stands out when I think about it! Overall, we've had such a wonderful experience in this house and owning two homes, we (more than) realize all of the issues that can go wrong, but it's totally worth it. Most of those issues were caused by the house just not being kept up (gutters), or repairable things like the annoying plumbing issues or unpredictable hvac problems. But we feel totally lucky that those have been the "big" problems and that nothing super major has happened. I'm just so happy that we have such a beautiful home and that it's finally getting some TLC. And also, even happier that a wonderful family is calling our previous house, home. ♥
I hope you all have a wonderful week!