Sprucing Up The House For Spring Tips

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Spring is coming, and many of us are ready for some changes around the house. Spring Cleaning, of course, but also new looks, and other ways to make our homes ready to welcome spring and summer.

    I am not doing much except for taking one weekend a month to do a "house show" cleanup. We are slobs, and as I cannot do a whole lot physically, I can't keep the house under even a semblance of control. When we were renting from friends of husband's, the house was still being shown. At least once a week we had to be ready to show the house on little notice. I have found that realtors here are LOUSY with time, and 24 hrs notice often meant 6 or less,most often around 2.

    We did get the house ready to show each time, so I KNOW that the kids can do it and so can husband and I. I am picking a weekend at random and the house WILL be ready as if we had to show it. Of course we don't, but it is a way to help the entire family get motivated,Know what I mean??

    We are in an apartment and don't intend to paint. For those of you who DO intend to paint, how picky are you about the color?

    If you go to a paint store you do NOT have to pay the listed price. IF you are not terribly picky about the color, ask to look at the rejects. This is paint that a customer didn't like after it was mixed up. Manycans never left the store. They are usually in the back and the number of cans available varies. I haven't bought paint in a few years, but it was $4-$5 per gallon or $20 for a five gallon bucket. Prices may be a bit more, but they shouldn't be anywhere near the price of the normal paint.The buckets are generally some shade of white or taupe that a contractor or apartment manager didn't like. I have seen anywhere from under 1 to over 100 cans of paint in the storeroom. It can take some digging, but usually is worth it. All types of paint can be in the reject pile, anything from the cheapest flat latex to oil based outdoor paint to the more environmentally friendly paints to the ones with primer built in.

    I got much of mine from Sherwin Williams, but other companies had similar pricing. The locally owned paint store here was the only paint store that did not give a substantial discount. They offered1% off the rejects, and their reg pricing was way more than twice what every other place in town was charging. So you might or might not find it useful to stop at the locally owned stores. Home Depot had a special rack in the back of the store for these paints and were within a few dollars of Sherwin's price. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore often has paint, but here they were about the same price as the rejects at the stores, and there is no way to know how old the ReStore's paint it.

    For an easy fast textured look, consider wrapping some twine around the roller before you paint. It gives a nice look and is far faster than sponging. Another easy, fast techinique is to get a big roll of plastic wrap from Sam's and put long strips flat against the wet paint. Smush them a bit if you want, then take the plastic off and pitch it. A friend of mine cut a cheap shower curtain into 3 or 4 strips, put it up like the plastic wrap, smushed and wrinkled it, then carefully took it off. Then she put the curtain onto a wall painted another color and smushed it on. It gave a wonderful effect on both areas. The second wall had some of the paint on it and helped pull the paints together. I would suggest having someone help you or else making a rod pocket at the top and putting a broomstick handle or other stick through to help control the curtain. She used the broomstick handle and when she got the paint covered plastic on the wall she slid the handle out. The handle would have pulled the plastic down if she left it there. I wish I had photos of the finished walls, they looked way more awesome than the description indicates!

    What are you planning for house updates,if anything?
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Susiestar!

    We have started out spring cleaning too. We are between "seasons" now--football season is over and its still too cold for fishing and boating--so we do a room or two every weekend. Last weekend we were out of town, but the one before we cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom--cleaned out and reorganized all the cabinets, washed them inside and out, cleaned and polished the kitchen table and chairs, cleaned the oven vent, etc.

    The weekend before we cleaned the family room--took everything off the shelves and polished/washed/dusted everything, moved all the furniture to vacuum, cleaned furniture, washed windows and curtains, got a new TV (old one finally gave out) etc.

    This weekend we are working on the school room--I homeschool the 8yo. We may get most of the downstairs finished this weekend too. Its cold and rainy, possibly snowing tomorrow, so won't be doing any thing outside.

    When the weather gets nice and the inside is done, we are going to paint the deck, front porch, and trim around the outside of the windows.

    Last spring/summer we did landscaping and painted the inside of the house.

    When it gets hot in the summer we are going to work on the basement. We did it last summer, but its gotten some clutter that needs to be donated and some boxes that still need going through and some old homeschool stuff sorted and sold/given away.

    My SO was living alone here with his boys before I moved in, so there has been alot of fixing up to do!

    Whats everyone else doing?
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    As you may recall, H built us an upstairs addition and has been working on it for nearly six years!

    Well it's all painted and the floors are done, heated, nice windows, trimmed, etc. Today he hung the doors and next week the electrician is coming to hang all the lights and finish the outlets.

    I cleaned up all the dust and did all the floors-they look lovely-and tomorrow I'm cleaning all the windows and trim. Once that's done, we can begin moving upstairs!

    I've already begun cleaning out old clothing and shoes and coats to either sell on consignment or donate. In my trunk already. Much as I hate making a mess to clear stuff out, the finished results are nice.

    Outside, we have a lot to do this spring, but not until the snow is all gone. I am going to start some seeds indoors next week and we're going to have a container garden all around the perimeter of the front and side if the house and on the porch. I want lots of flowers! We have to remove two trees-one in back and one in front. Parts of the brick patio need fixing and the lattice fence needs painting. We need to buy and install a new pool liner...now that I'm listing it all, it seems like a lot to do!!!

    If the wedding goes as planned, I want our yard to look nice for company.
  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Hearts and Roses,

    What are the room(s) going to be used for in the upstairs addition?

    Sounds so exciting!
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I need to retile and paint the Ode to Yoda room - gawd, I don't even like to look in there. We started packing up Yoda's months and months ago and put them in one of the spare bedrooms after his two storage units were full (the other spare bedroom is the stuff SO has brought from his storage forays that I have to research on Ebay and put into our antique booth) For every Yoda we packed, he has bought two more collectibles, and he is still buying (thank you so much Disney). You would figure after 20 years of collecting this stuff, he would have every thing ever made with Yoda in it...NOT. Every weekend I announce on Friday night that we need to spend time in that room this weekend, and get the ya, ok....but where are we going to be putting your piano. I made some space a few months ago by dismantling the entertainment center and tossing it so I could have room to wash down the walls before I paint, and he went and bought a 72 inch flat screen filling that space. If he asks me about my piano one more time, he will find out where I am thinking about putting it :(

    I have a list of things that we need to get done, but some days its like an effort in futility. I have the work broken down by room but have finally figured out I cannot get him involved in any of it, or it will never get done

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Spring cleaning the woman says..............

    Smack her! Smack her HARD! :rofl:

    What do you think I've been doing for more than a year? Hmmmm??? *taps foot*

    While I finally have it down to the ol' pull the blinds down wash them in the tub, wash down the windows.........blah blah blah.......I still have that dratted family room to get clutter free. (I swear the stuff reproduces in there, it HAS to!) I get to find time to do this (only when it's 60 plus degrees, the room is unheated) in between digging a plot that will quadruple the size of the garden this year.

    Oh, but first?? We paint. Yes, we're finally to that point. Trying to get to the paint recycle place and see how cheap I can pick it up there.....cheap or not, we're painting. Then? I tore up the carpet in the dining room as Maggie was determined to EAT it. Not entirely her fault, Betsy started on it years ago......Maggie just kept picking at it and refused to leave it alone. Discovered I still have the hard wood floors. So? Sanding them down, staining, sealing.........sanding again.......2nd sealing and I'll have a lovely floor. (and I keep telling myself that lol )

    This is of course in addition to the cleaning the blinds, curtains, windows, registers, behind appliances (shudder)........and all that fun fun stuff. I am hoping by April I'll have basically a "new" house. :)
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You have all got such plans! I wish you well on them. I just want my living and dining rooms and kitchens not to look like they are full of trash.

    Lisa, have you ever refinished hardwood floors? husband and I did them on our first house and won't EVER do that again. For a couple of years we had a spot over a door that had the floor stain on it. It got their when I threw it at the wall because I wanted to shove it down husband's throat. husband had NEVER done a successful home project, much less a home repair project. He regularly shocked himself when changing light bulbs (I don't know how, I changed them in those same lights many times and was NEVER shocked) and he considered changing a bulb in a lamp a home improvement project. I had painted, stained, sanded, rewired, plumbed and done many other jobs like that many times. But husband felt he just HAD to tell me how to sand and stain the floors, over and over even after he had done it his way and spent several hours fixing the mess he made. I kept that stain spot as a reminder to him that on home projects he listens and does as he is told. Period.

    Our marriage wouldn't survive another floor refinishing. Not. At. All.

    If anyone is near OK and wants laminate flooring, I have enough to do at least a ten by ten room in our storage unit. My mom bought it for us because she didn't like our carpet. It never got installed because I just wasn't up to it and husband wasn't interested. Just give me a shout if you are interested.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes, Susie, I know all too well what I'm in for. LOL I've done it before with my sister way back in my younger days. Nichole's husband has done it several times with his Dad who is an old hand at such things. So if I run into a snag, there are people I can turn to for help. However.......sister in law is trying to talk me out of it. Seems he works with a guy who's dad does floors for his business and always has leftovers from a job. He sells them either at a good discount or he gives it away for free. The only real PITA about it will be letting that seal dry. Takes 8 hours each time.........dining room is the center room of the house. Maggie will have to be gated in the kitchen for 8 hrs........16 if I try the sealing all at once. Why? Because that is the only way she could get out to do her business. Living room has no door to the outside.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    don't listen to sister in law, Lisa. The OLD hardwood is already totally stabilized in your house, and refinishing it will keep it that way. NEW hardwood takes a LONG time to settle in.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Chances are what is leftover that is given away is laminate flooring. It looks like wood but behaves VERY differently. It IS easier, you just snap the boards together. But they don't seal together like the old tongue and groove hardwood and since you don't put a layer of sealer over it all, it is easy for liquids to get between the boards and damage the supports. We did put it in thank you's room, and it was okay. It was NOT super durable as advertised and he wasn't very hard on it at all. Having looked at the laminate flooring from all sides, if you have a big leak you are going to replace a bunch. Only the top is sealed. When water gets into it there is nothing on the sides of the boards or even the part where they snap together to keep it from absorbing the moisture. One neighbor had to replace hers after 2 yrs because she used a normal sponge mop on it. Directions didn't say not to, but I guess she didn't wring the mop out enough because it only took a few months for that new flooring to start bubbling and showing problems caused by absorbing moisture. This wasn't cheap stuff, or the most expensive, and she didn't have any big spills or plumbing issues to cause the problems. I will NOT put laminate in an area that gets much traffic or moisture.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. Then perhaps we'll forget the easy way and wait until it gets further into spring........so it's warmer.........and try to catch a couple of days and do it the normal way. That way maggie can spend much of her day outside and it shouldn't bother her as much.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The upstairs will consist of, or DOES consist of, two very large bedrooms with a front facing dormered window where H will build out a window seat with storage, each room has a large walk in closet (ours is twice the size as the other), a large bathroom with a giant shower and two heads, and a washer/dryer closet.

    I wanted the spare room up there to be a guest bedroom/office/sitting room but H wants easy child to move up there so he can refinish her room and make that the guest room/office. I deliberately painted that room the pale yellow because it gets a lot of sunshine and I have always wanted a very sunny sitting Room to crochet in and just chill. So, we are still in discussions. easy child gives me the sad puppy look everytime I say no to her moving up there. I kind of wanted the entire upstairs for just H and me, Know what I mean??

  13. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Normally I clean my windows, they're the tilt -in type, it still takes me all day. I clean the blinds too. I always do this during spring break. I reward myself with wine so the job is more bearable.
  14. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Outside we're going to set up some raised garden beds for my vegetables, pave our driveway, finish laying paver stones on the patio, and then do our regular raking, mulching, spring cleanup. Inside I'm going to finally paint the room we're going to use for our home office and get everything all set up in there. I'll also do my regular spring cleaning : windows, floors, etc.
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    We're getting ready to tackle the next phase of the neverending reno on our main bathroom. We got started about 2 years ago by replacing the toilet, but once the Monster Tots started toilet training I was afraid to be without a functioning bathroom for more than 5 minutes so we put the project on hold. Now that they're pretty much continent, we can continue. It will be LOVELY to clear the giant boxes containing the vanity, cabinets etc. out of our top floor hallway, where they've been living since we started the project.

    Other than that, the house is in pretty good shape except for the master bedroom. However, I'm not prepared to deal with the upheaval of doing our room at the moment, so that can wait a few more months (or years, or decades...)

    In the yard, I will likely dig out a larger vegetable patch this year and add some more English Ivy to the stone wall that divides the playing part of the back yard from the sitting-and-talking part. The wall is a bit the worse for wear, and I know the ivy will ultimately make it worse, but it's so pretty.
  16. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Oh lord yes.

    Previous owners were trying to remodel. They were sure Trying, that's for certain. Laminate all over the house - including the kitchen and THE BATHROOM. The bathroom where the shower flooded over pretty regularly, and the septic that was overloaded and breaking through the toilet's wax seal...

    I'm in charge of septic and under-house plumbing. Why? Because I'm the smallest adult in the house, that's why. On the job education, no joke. January our septic froze from under the house (the skirting is, I kid you not, aluminum sheets propped against the house with 2x4's) clear out to the tank and drain field. Where the main came out from under the house, it was "insulated" with some shag carpet remnants. Right where the roof's drip line hit the dirt. I actually, literally, had to saw the frozen poop pipe open, dig a trench from just under the house to a straw-filled open pit next to the house, then go under the house with a heat gun for two hours, NOT set the house on fire and thaw out the septic to the trench - then wait another 2 weeks for the weather to warm up and thaw the system.

    For some reason the piping does a weird arabesque-like zigzag under the house, as though they decided to just use whatever scraps they had to connect to the main run to the tank. Which made my job take twice as long as I had twice as much linear pipe as there needed to be.

    Yes, we are doing a bunch of corrective renovation on the electric - man, you should have seen it when Blacksmith found that the shower handle was drawing 3 volts! NOT FUN. And I will be digging up the septic, figuring out how to deal with tree roots (it goes alongside a huge cottonwood, then turns and passes a mulberry - WHO DESIGNED THIS SYSTEM???) and probably shortening the entire run by 2/3, with bidirectional ports every 40 feet (our septic ram is a 50 foot long tool of the gods, I have to use it roughly once a month to shove gaps past the roots and accretions) - and with dirt and straw piled high enough that we need never worry about frozen lines again.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    nerfherder... just be thankful you're not dealing with frozen septic systems in OUR part of the world... where you'd be digging at least eight feet down to reach the lines...

    If I could get rid of the other 5 beings in the house for about a week (or even any 4 of them), I'd make progress on getting the place in shape, but that ain't happening anytime soon.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Omg nerfherder! What an undertaking!!! Best of luck!!

    My sister used to have to crawl under her house fairly regularly down in WV to unfreeze the pipes to get her water running. She loved her land so much that she was willing to live like that until she could afford to build a proper home. Ended up selling and moving closer to her sons...lost her beautiful property but doesn't need to crawl under her house anymore!!!
  19. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Over Christmas, we paid friends of ours to declutter our house from top to bottom while we were out of town. The results were mostly fabulous, and since then we've been on a roll...

    Having a very handy husband who used to be a contractor/jack-of-all-trades definitely has its perks. He has put down a new tile floor in our laundry/half bath area, and we've painted in there too.

    Over this past weekend, he ripped out half of the hall bathroom - a tub/shower that was mounted on an 8-inch concrete slab (jackhammered the slab out too - OMG the NOISE and DUST!!!!). He's going to put in a walk-in shower and tile the entire floor - right now half of the floor is hardwood (yes, in a bathroom - that plus the pointless slab make us think the previous owner was ON something when they built that bathroom!).

    Also over this weekend, I've heard the Words I've Wanted To Hear since we moved in - "OK honey, you need to be thinking about what you want for our master bathroom, because it's the next thing on the list." :flirtysmile3: :choir:

    As for me, I plan to totally gut all the stuff in my pantry and reorganize it, I want to get my kitchen better organized, and I'm going to make some self-watering containers for veggies out of buckets that husband brings home from work. I also want a few raised garden beds, but they will have to go in my front yard, so I'm working on the containers first. It's prime planting time here in FL, actually late for some things.

    Here's more info on the DIY self-watering containers, if anyone is interested. I get buckets for free, I've saved a ton of cottage cheese/large yogurt containers, so the only thing I really have had to buy for these is the zip ties and soil (oh, and my own personal drill, since husband keeps absconding with our tools by taking them to work).