Not much headway on the house recently, as much of my spare time the past few weeks has been spent in non-house-related activities, like visiting my parents, baby showers, concerts, workshops and classes. I’ve been taking a drawing class and a sewing class, so that occupies two nights of my week, and last weekend I took a bookbinding workshop which was really great. The problem is I’m too busy taking the classes to actually put any of these new skills to use. Not to mention my studio (the “Hobby Lobby,” as Casey calls it) is still not really anywhere near ready, which means I don’t have a good place to do any of these activities, anyway. In any event, the fact that it’s gray and rainy is a blessing in disguise for me, because I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve had the luxury of sleeping in and just sitting around listening to the rain.
The biggest house projects happening at the moment are really more big-ticket projects still in their infancy. We’ve had three contractors in to look at the kitchen, so after we get the final estimate this week, we’ll make our decision. This is going to wind up probably costing about three times what I had originally anticipated when we bought the house, but I’m trying not to hyperventilate over it. I keep telling myself that once the decision is made and we start to see things moving along with it, I’ll forget all about the money, especially when I’m preparing lovely meals in a nice clean and modern space. Of course, right now that day feels incredibly far away, but once things get underway it will be here in no time.
Another project that has just come up is rewiring. This seems to be the way with old houses. You start out with something as innocent as changing out a light fixture, and a few weeks later you’re several thousand dollars into a very invasive and destructive rewiring job. A few weeks ago, Greg took down the light fixture in my future studio, intending to put up a nice shiny new one like we did in the office. Of course, the wiring underneath was so scary that we decided it was best left to the professionals. So on Thursday, we had said professional come out to the house to get an estimate for rewiring the office (where our computer is currently hooked up to an outlet whose integrity is dubious at best) and the studio (where there’s nothing in the ceiling but a big gaping hole with snarled live wires sticking out). His suggested course of action, presuming that our long-term goal is to rewire the entire house, is to perform the core rewiring, which involves running new wires from the electrical panel up through the center hallways, destroying lots of plaster and charging lots of money along the way. The alternatives weren’t much better though, and were probably only slightly cheaper. As an added bonus though they would install new light fixtures in the hallways and hard-wired smoke detectors. It’s a large-scale and messy job, but it’s pretty much the first step in rewiring, so it looks like we won’t have much of a choice. Unfortunately, when all is said and done, it won’t get us more than one new outlet in each room, but that one new outlet is the building block for rewiring the rest of the room, so it needs to be done. When he first told me a ballpark figure, because I couldn’t wait long enough for him to actually sit there and type it all up, my stomach started churning a little. But while he sat typing up the estimate on his laptop, we had a nice chat about the neighborhood (he lives a few blocks away), and about the other electricians we had hired when we first moved in, and so with the final estimate, he went through and took off a bit here and there, because it’s a big job and because we both hang out at the same bar, so when all was said and done it was considerably less than the nauseating number he had given me to begin with, so I felt pretty good about it. In the end, it’s another big chunk of money, but I think we’ll be hard put to sell a house with knob-and-tube wiring, and it will finally allay my fears of coming home to a charred pile or rubble, so we think it will be worth it.