Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fix and Repair

We're not wealthy and didn't buy a turn key place with the latest bells and whistles. So, we're making repairs dnd discovering more repairs are needed.

It sucks. The more this country sinks into the abysmal economic hole, the more company we'll have in the fix and repair department. Like I told a friend, "Thank God we know how to live on ingenuity, duct tape, rice and beans and recycled parts."

And though I bitch about Sweetie's mess in the pole barn, he has found a spare propane regulator, a sufficient supply of screws, bolts and caulking and brake pads for the truck.

But, the day will come when we'll have to spend money. I dread it.

Meanwhile my good friend and her GM retiree hubby blissfully spend his retirement check. In the past week they've gassed up the 2007 Dodge truck three times; eaten out every day including taking us to lunch yesterday after having breakfast with his mother three hours earlier. Mark my word, later this month we'll hear mumblings about not having money. Within their extended family one will borrow from another until next payday arrives.

Yet they're the sweetest people I know. Even without money at the end of the month they'll help someone move, babysit their child or offer a place to stay temporarily.

Meanwhile, we'll work toward getting this place in shape and find amusement in our dog and cat; enjoy TV, internet and library books(our entertainment budget) and have coffee with friends.

As for the challenges here, most revolve around a ton of deferred maintenance. Whenever there was a leaky faucet or window, it was eventually repaired but the damage done by the leak was left as is. Consequently we have three flooring soft spots, paneling to replace beneath four windows and several pieces of moulding to replace.

Every time we turn around something else is missing a part or it's so filthy it's stopped working. As Sweetie said this morning, "I'm surprised this place isn't roach infested." That made my skin crawl.

The ironic thing is shelves were full of cleaners, disposable razors and air fresheners - all coated in dust, spider webs and grease. I shudder to think of their toxicity, but I set off two bug bombs inside and two beneath the place when we were last here.

I spent an entire hour scrubbing ONE ceiling beam in the living room. If I wipe a damp cloth across it I still have yellow/gray residue on it!!!

This is a 1982 Schult the previous owner bought in 1984. I doubt the walls were ever scrubbed. The original carpet is in both bedrooms and hall. Newer carpet is in the living room but is heavily stained. We'll pull it all up in January.

The propane company was just here for an inspection. When they pulled out the range I about upchucked. No need for a mop or broom beneath it. Sweetie is there now with a carpet razor cutting the vinyl flooring away. Not even going to bother trying to clean the mess.

I've taken a slew of pictures but am having trouble with my camera once again. Suffice to say I'm scrubbing more today and making spaghetti sauce.

One day at a time we'll make progress. Later this week we return to the UP to load up and winterize the place. It can't happen soon enough.

So much more to talk about but I have work to do! Have a pleasant day, Treesong


2 Tramps said...

Lots of activity going on for you there. Isn't it great that you two have the talent and perseverance to get through whatever might come your way.

Mayberry said...

Ugh! We rented a house like that once, it was "discounted" for doing a little fixing up. It took eight roach bombs to kill all the little monsters, and a solid week of cleaning and painting to make it habitable. It actually cleaned up rather nicely and is still my favorite house we've lived in. I sure miss that huge deck...

Hopefully your place cleans up nice too! Sounds like you've got a long way to go...

Sixbears said...

Pace yourself and don't let it get you down. My wife got her SS settlement. We did buy a toy, but only after paying back taxes, eliminating a credit card bill, medical bills, a tank of heating oil, and all that.

There is such a backlog of repairs that I'm not sure where to start. If it ever stops raining, I'm doing a roof patch. It's a tiny leak, but they don't get better on their own. First things first I guess.

HermitJim said...

One step at a time, my friend! Just do what you can, when you can!

Good luck on the cleaning!

Anonymous said...

Mobile homes that have not had good repairs to them are hard. Your flooring is probably particle board that absorbs water and then falls apart. Be sure to check floors in the kitchen, bath and around the hot water heater - often times a less than adequate repair has been made - every tiny bit of damaged floor must be removed and replaced with plywood or oriented particle board.

Paneling can be replaced with non matching paneling and then primed and painted. Kitchen cabinets and counters can be 'freshened' with a special product (no I can't remember the name) found at Lowe's and Home Depot - ask in the paint department. The cost is minimal, goes a long way, and is easy to use.

A great cleaner is Krud Kleaner - takes off years of old cigarette smoke, caked on grease, etc - it's time consuming but only has to be done once. Of course, vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease work wonders too.

I know you'll be happy when you're done. We bought a unit in a great 55+ park but when inspecting went thru the floor in front of both toilets and the main sliders - scary but easily fixed. Also had to spend hours taking off the cig smoke from fans, walls and even wires from lamps left in the unit.
Ended up moving to a quieter section but tripled our purchase price - all because we cleaned and repaired with very minimal spending.

Anonymous said...

Boric acid, sold in pharmacies (sometimes in formulations labelled as roach powder) is the best roach killer there is. They eat it as food and it dessicates them. As they begin to die, they go home to their nest, where their corpses are consumed by the next generation and any nest occupants, killing them as well. You want to poof some under stove, fridge, any place they might hide, but pets and small children shouldn't get more than a teaspoon of it, maximum, because it will dessicate them, too.

treesong said...

Just to be clear, we don't have cockroaches. Sweetie just said he surprised this place isn't infested with them.

The main bug seems to be a variety of spiders. The webs were loaded with dust and dog hair and hung from the walls, to the point it reminded me of The Monsters' house.

SciFiChick said...

It sounds like things are moving along. It may take a bit of time to get things squared away like you want them but just think how great things will look when you're done!

James said...

What you have is a set of skills that is marketable or at the very least you can barter with them. Not everyone is handy fixing things. WTSHTF everyone will need skills to help them barter for goods and other services. Just a silver lining!