Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Art of Renovation

So, you think renovation is just choosing new paints and changing the set-up of living room? Think again!

When we bought this run-down townhouse a month ago, my thoughts were just running along that lines... change wall paint, bring in new sofas, tell maids to brush the toilets' floor, extend cabinets, put a bar, and then move-in!

Well, I was very, very wrong. With the state of "dilapidation" the townhouse was in, it will be months, before I can even venture to think of buying a new sofa.

Here are the challenges:

1. LEAKING WATER PIPES - the old owner has a contested water bill amounting to 10K. She said she's not paying it because it's impossible to incure such bill, she doesn't have a swimming pool! But when our carpenters analyzed the water pipes, there are so many leaks running all over the house. It justified that excessive bill. We had to unearth and re-do some pipes on the toilets and under the sinks.

2. CEILINGS - due to the leaks, some ceilings have nasty watermarks. We replaced the ceilings with more modern Hardiflex material, and styled it as Drop Ceilings, where the lights are hidden, they're the rage these days.

3. ELECTRIC LINES / LIGHTS - eletrical connections were not much of a problem. We replaced traditional light bulbs, flourescent tubes with CFLs and we added more pin lights. We also liked the new modern switches with tiny lights that turn-on when the main lights are off.

4. BATHROOM TILES - augh! no further explanation necessary. They're old and dirty.

5. CABINETRY / CLOSETS - the kitchen cabinets and closets of the kids' & master's bedrooms have anay. So, definitely, they had to be rebuilt. We took advantage of the need to change the cabinets, by looking at nice styles of interiors of closets.

6. PAINTS - the former owner had this thing about ferns. She had them stamped all over the house using paint rollers. I think, she also painted the house by herself using dark pink colors. Yaiks! The kids' room have peeling wall papers. All of these had to be erased!

They're just 6 on the list, but the work involved will take about 2-3months of non-stop work. We used to have workers, working even on Sunday. Until we realized that the Sunday rate is just not worth it.

Let's see how it turns out!