Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bertridge: A Year in the Life, Part One

Just like the Gilmore Girls revival, only with slightly less disappointment and better life decisions.

A year ago this weekend, we were moving into (the then-unnamed) Bertridge.

Though moving day was in mid-January, we actually got the keys to the house several weeks before. The regret started seeping in several minutes after walking in the door.

We weren't expecting to walk into our dream house. We were aware that the house needed some extra love. Built in 1948, the house had seen plenty of small renovations, but few large upgrades, and we'd had to replace the old shake roof before even gaining possession of the house.  And we were gearing up for the task of painting every wall in the house. What we weren't expecting was...
  • Years of old dog food coating the garage and kitchen floors
  • Rodent droppings in a kitchen cabinet
  • Literal piles of debris in the backyard
  • Cat pee covering every wall of what was to be Teddy's room
  • The discovery that the previous owner possibly tried to stain the wood floors around the couch
  • The discovery that half the windows and doors were missing their wood casings
  • A heavy coat of grime on virtually everything
Ah, home sweet home. 

With a lot of help (and even a little bloodshed) from family, gallons of paint, and a ton of enzyme cleaner, we were able to scrub away the grunge.  But the issue of the floors remained. We're not whether it was mistreatment or simply age that left them in such poor shape, but the dark stains, scratches, and discoloration lent the house a permanent vibe of filthiness. With the help of parental benefactors, we opted to have them sanded and stained before move-in day. Finding a Sacramento floor guy in the days following Christmas wasn't easy, but Young's Hardwood Floor Sanding saved the day.

The effect was immediate. Sanding the floors alone made such an enormous impact on the house. The impact made it all the more difficult to choose a stain. Should we say light or give it some color?

Initially, we were going to try to choose a very light stain, but in the end, due to a few subtle but deeply-rooted stains, we opted for Minwax wood stain in Colonial Maple. I worried it would be a bit too orange, but it turned out great.

And so, before we even moved in, we tackled some pretty big home improvement projects. We've made a habit of taking on a project each weekend. Sometimes it's just a matter of touching up the trim, while other times it's soliciting dozens of quotes to demolish and rebuild the pesky cement steps out back.

This post wasn't what I imagined it would be, but as it's been sitting my drafts folder for a good six months now, I'm going to go ahead and post it. Don't judge me. I'm a busy working mom with a high-energy toddler, Crohn's disease, and limited spoons. As the great Nina Bonina Brown would say - "Sue me!"

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