This house…

was designed by a guy, you can tell! One way almost any woman would know is that the house breeds dirt: the walls are logs, with ledges.

wall

The window facings are fancy, with ledges. The kitchen cabinet doors have floating panels with edges. The downstairs floor is plank pine boards, with cracks between the boards (more edges). The water has iron scale, which makes things cruddy. So the house although it looks really basic, (it’s two log boxes side by side) is high maintenance, and that’s before you add anything else. Some of this, we’ve done something about, some we haven’t, some are in process.

When we moved in, all the double-hung windows had grid inserts in them: extra edges! I quickly took the grids out of the bottom windows, fewer edges in one fell swoop!

The hanging kitchen cabinet doors will be removed altogether. Both those and the lower cabinets will get painted, (most of the house is varnished wood,) and if we can swing it, we’ll buy new doors for the lower cabinets, with plain floating panels and no more ridges or edges than need be.

The log wall that was the interior of the laundry room was sheetrocked when we redid the laundry last year. The door facings and trim along the floor have plain right angles, the only thing fancy about them is a bulls’ eye corner blocks in the top corners of the doors & windows. I made sure the bulls’ eyes we bought were concave – no extra edges!

The replacement windows we’re buying slowly but surely mostly have no divided lights, NO EDGES. Those that do, the grids are not added, but part of the window.

Gee, that only leaves the walls, floors, doors, and the trim along the floors, doors, other windows and ceiling!

The upstairs floor has wall-to -wall carpet, except the bathroom, which is tile. My dream for the bathroom floor is ONE PIECE of vinyl or other sheet flooring.

bathroomfloorWe took the carpeting (beige, cheap) off the stairs, making that much easier to clean & maintain. (Ever hauled a vac up and down the stairs with a bad back? It’s a memorable exercise!)

The upstairs floor redo is waiting on the roof. We’ll redo the floor with something like wood flooring, high-end vinyl (or linoleum, if we can find it) and use area rugs.

I LOVE area rugs, you can wash them or send them out to be cleaned. You don’t have to drench them with nasty chemicals, worry about how much water you’re using, etc. I only buy flat woven rugs without backing. Why? Because they wear twice as long (you can turn them over) and are easier to clean. I can put down a nonskid mat if need be, but why add plastic to your home or wear out the carpet twice as fast if you can avoid it? (Also, instead of buying expensive rug underlayment, go to a fabric store and see what they’ve got for rug backing, used for making latch hook rugs. Works fine here, can be cut to fit AND it’s much cheaper!)

The only reason I’m considering buying underlayment is that it’s a one-time purchase that can potentially make the house much warmer. If I buy some, it’s likely going to be like this:

http://www.thefeltstore.com/default.aspx?CN=D56BAEF50A55

[Edited 4/23/13, the company still exists, but no longer sells the product. What I was linking to was something like the link below. That link no longer works either I’m afraid. I was looking for 100% wool rug padding, which obviously has gotten harder to find! 12*5*14]

http://stores.americanrugpad.com/StoreFront.bok?gclid=COKehfKh4bYCFccw4AodEh8Ayg

The downstairs floor will either be pickled (the painting technique) and then varnished or just painted. The cracks between the planks are slowly being filled with brown RTV. I’m not sealing the space between the planks, they need to “breathe” as the wood expands & contracts with the weather. I’m just trying to cap the gap between the top edges so that there’s no hole for the dirt to go into. It’s time consuming and sort of fussy, but I love not having to get on my hands & knees, scrape out the space between the planks and then vac up the dirt! When I get the floor done, I may just start caulking the walls!

I want to talk to Gary (our log home guy) before I do, just in case though. They would look the same,just be much easier to keep clean, No more climbing on a step ladder with the small vac!

If you’re getting the idea that I hate my house, well there are things I don’t like about it. I love most of my neighbors, I love my yard, and there are aspects of this place I’m really fond of. But there are others I’m not. When I get the house empty enough, that will help a lot, but there’s still a lot of work that has to be done, both to get this place where I won’t hate all the work it requires AND purging all the stuff.

Cleaning is just interesting sometimes. But I hate not being able to feel finished about it. I don’t mind cleaning, I mind being oppressed by it. Even if all the stuff was taken out of the house, without some more changes, this house needs a regular cleaning schedule that includes a vac for the walls, floors and trim and scrubbing wherever there’s water. That’s oppressive, at least to me, so we’re actively changing it a bit at a time.

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