Monday, August 10, 2009

The House is Getting X-Rays! Wheee, Lead Assessment! Lead Removal Loan!

Wow, I forgot the blog in the busy-ness of dealing with the house :]

After glancing at the previous post, I can update a bit and say we got rid of the bats! Critter Control from Syracuse, $1,6OO. Amelia didn't seem to have any adverse effects from the rabies shots, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone. And we got rid of the knob and tube and rewired the whole house, including wiring in smoke detectors in the basement, down/upstairs and the attic, and we have overhead lights almost everywhere now, so Joe was able to put fans in our bedrooms. Hard to believe the bat removal was almost as much as the electrical work.

Joe lost 15% of his income due to a company wide pay cut for everyone in his position. Around the same time Utica got money for lead removal, I thought 1 million, but I also saw 2 m. online, so not quite sure. Utica has the worst lead poisoning rate in NY state outside of NYC. The day it hit the news my father in law pointed it out and said we should apply.

We ran in circles figuring out where to apply, and ended up at Gro-west. We barely knew they existed because we considered a victorian in this program- [sorry the link keeps disappearing]

Gro-west had us fill out paperwork and said they'd use funds from whatever programs we qualified for, and we did qualify for the lead money, thanks to Joe's pay cut and the recession. To qualify you also have to have a kid under 6, and we have a 2 and a half year old, and for some programs you need to be in certain parts of Utica, such as the brewery district, or the west side in general.

There's a 5 or a 1O year loan, and the house must be owner occupied for the duration of the loan. The loan is forgiven at 2O% and 1O% a year, respectively, so if Joe's job doesn't transfer him, we won't have to repay it. He'll probably get his own store before the loan period ends, but it's still an interest free loan.

They're fixing a lot of structural problems other than the lead paint. I cried when the guy left and Joe told me what he said, we've had so many things on hold waiting to see exactly what this loan will cover. They're going to raise our porch. Most people need a new furnace or roof, and both of those things are new here, so our big ticket item is the porch, structurally it's a danger to the house. We got the house for $52,OOO largely because the porch needs so much work.

Along with raising the porch, they'll replace the rotten porch floor that was covered by carpet for decades, and the peeling lead painted beadboard porch ceiling, and the peeling rotten wood skirting [whatever the proper term may be?].
~They're going to finish the wood floors I've been removing the layers of mastic from, our 9O year old inlaid wood floors some assholes covered in mastic and carpet and parquet crap, will finally be beautiful.
~They'll fix or replace the stairs.
~Fix the kitchen. I ripped out the dropped ceiling, and the walls don't go up past where it was, and it's a wreck in there. New flooring over the sixties possibly asbestos containing linoleum.
~New windows upstairs, major lead issue there, and there's energy efficiency money involved too I'm sure. Attic too.
~New windows in the basement!
~Insulate the attic floor [we have NO insulation] and add a floor where the previous owner tore the wood up.
~We get a railing for our porch stairs, the old one rusted off, and the house came with a wheelchair ramp, as it is we carry amelia on the concrete stairs, always. It's a code violation and they cover bringing the house up to code in general.
~He mentioned a new front door, 2 options of steel doors, one will have 9 panels of glass in the top half and look good on a foursquare. I love the original lead coated door, but for resale I think it would look better to have a new one, as long as it gets the glass doorknob we already have.
~Most of our doors don't close, so we'll get the doorways reframed, finally. our

[interruption for me to cry again, Joe just told me they put sealing the basement walls on the list. My glass and the big kiln are down there, I'm just starting to plan a full fledged studio, walls etc] they'll also fix the crumbling plaster wall at the basement stairs, where you track lead dust in if you walk into the kitchen.

finally our bedroom will have a door! when the door fell off we left it off because the hole was so deep and previously repaired and just shot to hell. The attic door also is unhinged on the top and can't close well, All the bedroom doors [4] don't close.
~They'll fix the crumbling cracked plaster above Amelia's door.

the fireplace is unusable because it's painted with regular wall paint, and the fireplace is too small to use, plus it has a weird diverted chimney that doesn't go straight up, no one on the block uses them, the chimney sweep had only ever seen one like it, and that was 2 doors down and couple decades ago! I read they were common in Sears kit homes, not that we have a kit home. I learned the architect for these foursquares actually lived in the house 3 doors down, our neighbor knew him. Anyway, they may fix that problem so we can install a pellet stove!

Basically they'll fix everything we need fixed. We've put off so much and stopped partway into some projects waiting to see what this loan would cover. We didn't raise the porch yet because we were waiting to see if this loan would cover it. We've been waiting so many months, and now they're sending lead testing peeps NEXT WEEK! x-raying everything and doing some in depth testing, but we all know there's lead, although the results will be interesting.

Some recent shots, and the house on our first walk through-
pre move-in-






better room shot from a few weeks ago-

dining room before-

today- it's a catch all room for now, and full of crap not in the kitchen since I ripped out cabinets-

before, note the parquet I was ripping up and the damnable mastic-




today, entering the basement-

before, our ONLY bathroom-

[I didn't go up for today pics, Joe's sleeping, so most of the newer ones are just are more recent shots]

when I was painting a couple months ago, I swear it's a pretty green, matches the bedroom below, looks wacky here, and I threw out that shelf on the toilet-

our bedroom before-




Amelia's room before-

a few months ago-

before, check that carpet out-

the room is more for packaging and jewelry assembly and totally different, but that's the current state of the floor/windows, lead paint slopped on the wood floor and all-

and yes, I like color, someday when Joe gets promoted to having his own store and we resell I'm sure I'll tone it down, and I want a white farmhouse kitchen, actually I want open shelves and antique and vintage hutches, a built in butlers pantry where the eat in area is, and no contemporary cabinets at all. Apron sink on legs. And if I win the lottery [hard since I don't play] I want an Aga. But for now I'll settle for new walls and floors, a porch Amelia can play on, doors that open and close and no cement basement walls crumbling dust into my glass when I work!