Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Remodel step 1: asbestos removal

We're having a remodel done. We started the process last fall by refinancing the house, and setting aside part of the proceeds for a remodel. (Interest on money from a refinance is deductible if it is used for remodelling. We opened a separate account and are only using those funds for the remodel.)

A few months ago, we actually started planning the details of what we wanted to do, and hired a contractor, etc. If I had thought harder, I would have realized it was going to be an adventure and started writing about it earlier. Eventually, we'll have an additional bedroom, and a refurbished kitchen and master bathroom. I may write more details about the changes in floorplan later.

This past weekend was the first of the exciting parts: before the remodel starts, we needed to have the asbestos-tainted acoustic ceilings removed. We made an appointment a few weeks ago to have the crew show up yesterday, so we knew we had to have the house cleared out by Sunday night. The asbestos removal company said we needed to have all furniture out, all the art off the walls, the drapes and drapery hardward removed and the light fixtures down from the ceilings. We spent most of the day Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday finishing up. We normally park our cars in the garage, so there's plenty of room to pile everything there. We'll park both cars in the driveway for the next few months.

Yesterday we caught up on sleep, did some errands, and stayed away from the house. When we went by after playing softball, we found that the asbestos removal was complete. Our one surprise was that they had removed the light fixtures, leaving dangling wires. Today I reconnected most of the light fixtures (some are in areas that will be remodelled soon, and aren't worth replacing) and replaced the drapes in the bedrooms.

The cleaners come on Thursday, and we want to have them mop all the floors (the asbestos removal left minor stains everywhere), then we'll set up the bedroom again, and gradually move back in the stuff we're willing to move 4 times. (Late in the remodel, all the hardwood floors will be refinished, and everything on the floor will have to be moved out again.) Everything else will stay in the garage until it's all done.

I'll add photos of the empty house and the clean ceilings shortly.

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