6/3/14

It's not always sunny...

...in our foyer anymore.

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!

24 comments:

  1. Tiffany this is a great post. One of your very best (and I think they are all amazing, so that is saying a lot). This is an excelent reminder of something I have been thinking about lately. Whenever we are doing a budget we should always set aside a little for this kind of emergencies. Which are like house emergencies, you know? It´s so easy to buy so many things when we are so much into makeup and beauty that we tend to forget that these type of things happen when we least expect it.

    Thank you for the reminder. Keep up inspiring us all into bulding a beautiful home and cultivating our beauty/makeup skills ;)

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  2. I've been asking you on all your social media when you're going to Vegas this year. I figured I'd try here since I don't think you've seen any of my posts. Btw I've been a loooooong time subscriber of yours and admire all your work. You're the best beauty guru out there by far (in my opinion). ��

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    1. Hey! I'm sorry! Totally didn't see any of that! Well, no concrete plans as of now, but we're dying to go back!!

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  3. Great post! I've been watching your youtube vids for years! Didn't realize you had such an awesome blog too. I have a lot of catching up to do!

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  4. When I bought my house the first thing my dad said was "Water is now your worst enemy." I had no idea how right he was!

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  5. Thank you for replying. I was really hoping you were going this month as I'll be going for my birthday for the first time. I would have LOVED to meet you.

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  6. Your story reminds me of the experience we had with our house in the beginning. It seems to be normal to have some issues. Some are worse than others, but it comes all out to the same: a house needs to be entertained. I see a house like a 'living object'. We will always be doing some works to improve it. It makes me proud to see what we have achieved so far. Every new project is a little challenge. I wish you two the best of luck and happiness with your house.

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  7. I really like what you did with the house - my husband and me are currently thinking about changing our Foyer. I will show him this post later, so we can talk about it :)

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  8. Thanks so much for this post! I've been reading your blog and following your videos for about a year now and really enjoy them. However, this post really made my day knowing I'm not the only one with house issues. We bought our first house (a little 3 bedroom '60s ranch) and have discovered SO many issues, with water in the basement being the biggest. It's so nice to know that even newer, more modern homes like yours still have issues.

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  9. OMG- the wasp story had me cringing. I am deathly allergic to bees/wasps/hornets and the like so I am so glad you didn't get stung!

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  10. I can totally relate with the wasps only we had bees. Our house sat empty for awhile because the previous owner moved in with their fiance. We had bees build a nest in our mantle ugh. We've also had problems with mice, flies, bats, and other animals. Home owning is so much...fun.

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  11. Love all the light that window provides.

    www.highheelsandtutus.com

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  12. Even though I wouldn't wish those home problems on anyone Its nice to hear, as a fellow homeowner, that I'm not alone. I love home decor and decorating and when I have to break the bank for furnace repairs, plumbing issues, a new roof, etc, etc, it is a huge disappointment and a boatload of stress. All part of being a homeowner though and I wouldn't change it for the world! Thanks for sharing! :)
    -Monica
    Shimmering Image

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  13. Thanks for sharing the hardships you have been facing as a homeowner. My husband and I are also homeowners and it's nice to know that there are others in the same boat as us! We have also had some issues with basements flooding and lovely sewer smells :) Although it may not help solve problems, it's always nice to know that you're not the only one!

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  14. I need to look into that "low-E" window thing. We have a big window in our front living room area and it gets so hot in there. Not to mention the sun has bleached the couch we have in front of the window. The window is older and we've been talking about replacing it. Will need to look into that kind of glass as we would benefit from it greatly.

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  15. Where does your brother in law work? Does he do work in intown Atlanta?

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    1. Sorry! disregard the question. I already have someone to install a new window. It's actually not new but was custom made (82" long) 30 years ago and has been sitting in my garden shed all this time. My house was built in 1913 and this window was made to match the other old windows in the house. So your post inspired me to get the window installed. :)

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  16. I can totally relate. My husband and I bought an 86 year old house and have experienced a lot of the same problems. The previous owners lived here for 7 years and don't maintain a single thing (and had very questionable taste in paint colors).

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  17. Such a nice idea, replacing the window with a tinted one that helps cool the home! Great home improvement! I love that the window doesn't appear to be tinted at all!

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  18. Really quick beauty survey, def need help for a new app! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HDS8R82

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  19. Sheesh. It sounds like you would've had recourse for lack of disclosure from the former owners. Or your inspector for not discovering some of these!

    I can commisserate so much on the basement wetness. We've had TWO floods (both times destroying finished basement/refinished basement...and have had to dig up our entire basement floor since to put in a new system to pump water out in the case of another flood. We are now in the process of a third refinish.

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  20. Good work…unique site and interesting too… keep it up…looking forward for more updates.
    Emergency plumber Atlanta

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  21. There are really a lot of pros and cons on being a home owner. It can be overwhelming at times, particularly when you have to deal with problems regarding your plumbing and HVAC. But every problem has its solution. And with the right people to help you, it can be solved quickly. Anyway, your house is shaping up very well, and with a little more push, it will be the home you've always wanted for your family.

    Georgia Fuller @ Day Aire

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