1. One little repair can easily turn into huge rebuilding project.
2. Complete leveling house before finishing new drywall or repairing plaster.
3. When removing built in cabinet in bedroom and finding a fireplace hidden for 60 years, do not step on hearth to read the newspapers stuffed in chimney. The hearth may fall.
4. Make sure you have more than enough lighting when sanding drywall. What you think is as smooth as a baby's bottom, won't be when your lighting is installed.
5. If your wallpaper is stuck to the face of 40 years old drywall, it will take less time to remove the drywall and replace it, than to attempt to scrape the wallpaper from the walls. Yes----Tried all the methods and WILL never try that again. I really spent months, scraping wallpaper from the walls, then re-mudding the walls, then sanding the walls. If I was actually paying someone to do this I know it would have cost much much less to replace this old drywall.
6. If your electricians can not follow direction, and electrical drawings, go with your gut feeling and run them off. I really think Sivell Electric did a CRAPPY job re-wiring our house, and they only did the rough in. They were sloppy, messy, and the thought of them makes me so angry, even though it's been a year this week since they finished the rough-in. (my regular readers know that I don't mention names but, I couldn't say one positive thing about their service.) Well everything works. (we think, I can't say I've used every outlet)
7. Never use vinegar to clean marble. Vinegar will eat the surface of the marble.
We really accomplished a lot at ThirteenEleven. At the beginning of 2007, we had no working toilet, no running water in the house. No lighting. ( We had 4 plugs at the box in the basement and everything was ran from extension cords. ) No heat, our HVAC was totally re-worked. New floors (ground up joists, sub-floor, etc.) in the baths were installed. But the flooring was not. The floors were totally re-built in the sun room, and the kitchen. (supports, joists, etc.) The vinyl floor was scraped from the heart pine in the back bedroom, the parquet was scraped from the oak floor in the foyer. Holes were patched in the floor from the huge old vents. Chris removed and basically re-built 5 of the old double hung windows. (they had termite damage and new cords for the weights.) In all of the exterior walls that were replaced, insulation was installed. Tub, Sink, Toilet, fixtures, outlets, switches, lighting, and appliances were all installed. The floors were sanded and 80% re-finished. Eighty percent of the walls have been painted. ( I am sure I am forgetting some things) We moved into the house the end of August. I began this blog in June as a tool used to share pictures of the house with out of town friends and family. Since then the blog has been viewed by as far away as Australia and opened over 4,000 times by readers.