Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 1 - 21, 2010 "Prepping a House to Sell"

July 1 -21 2010

Arrived in Oklahoma City and checked into Twin Fountains RV Park, just North of Remington Downs Racetrack at the intersection of I-44 and I-35.

When we walked into Mom’s house, we were a little overwhelmed. On closer examination, it appeared that nothing had been thoroughly cleaned in at least 2 years. CC began by vacuuming the carpets while Fester worked on the hardwood floors. CC finished the den and living room and the bag on the vacuum was full; in only 2 rooms! It was at this point we knew we had our work cut out for us. I vacuumed the hardwood floors, mopped them 3 times, and then applied 2 coats of Orange Glo. They looked better, but far from perfect.

The garage had not been cleaned since my Dad passed in 1996. We borrowed a power washer from John, a close personal friend I went to OSU with, and proceeded to clean the garage. When we tried to move the clothes washer and dryer, the hoses couldn’t be removed because of calcium buildup. An overnight soaking in CLR helped and we were able to disconnect the hoses, only to discover they hose bibs would not seal. So……………..a trip to the plumbing supply was in order. Another faux pas we discovered was the clothes dryer was not vented. For over 40 years, it had just been venting out the back of the dryer, onto the garage floor. There was about 1/2" of lint (combined with anything and everytthing one would normally find in a garage), covering half of the garage floor. I shudder to think what would have happened if a small flame would have ignited that lint while Mom was asleep. So.............while at the plunbing supply, I purchased a "ventless" dryer kit and installed it.

After power washing the garage and replacing the hose bibs, I decided to drain the hot water tank. Big mistake. Now the pressure relief valve wouldn’t re-seat. Right. Back to the plumbing supply. Next I tackled the overhead garage doors that could be opened from the outside simply by jiggling the handle. After 2 trips to the hardware store, and about 4 hours work, they were again “lockable”.

While CC was removing papers and staples from the kitchen cabinets I tackled the job of resurfacing the built-in desk top. 40 years of serving as a catch all had taken its toll. I also replaced the broken hinges and latches on the kitchen, bath, and hall cabinets.

Back to the plumbing. The kitchen faucet was leaking everywhere it could possibly leak. New o-rings in the spout and new cartridges did the trick. Now, no more water in the cabinet below the sink. In the master bedroom bath, the wax seal on the toilet and the tank insides were leaking profusely. A new toilet was in order. In the other bathroom, just a new seat and flapper did the trick.

The water softener system hadn’t been operational in over a year, so a visit from General Ionics was in order. After re-calibration and two bags of salt, it was once again, good as gold.

From the day Mom and Dad moved in, in 1968, the kitchen had always been dimly lit, and was quite depressing. I installed 3 new fixtures, and it made a world of difference. Now, it looks bright and inviting.

Back to power washing; the back patio and bricks/mortar. The picture below speaks volumes. Only half of the steps have been cleaned. Can you tell which half? 4.5 hours later, it looked like a new one; gray at least and no longer green. Wonder what was growing on it?

CC tackled the kitchen cabinets. This project was the largest yet. The outside surfaces hadn’t been cleaned in probably 10-15 years, so there was a natural build up of grease and grime. We tried everything to cut the grime; Scott’s Liquid Gold didn’t, Spic and Span didn’t, TSP didn’t, Cabinet Magic didn’t. Fester finally concocted a blend of Mineral Spirits and Denatured Alcohol, and SUCCESS. WoooHooo!!!!! Even the inside of the cabinets had that “grime” and had to be cleaned. Total time on the kitchen, about 40 hours. Are the kitchen cabinets perfect? No. Are they like new? No. Do they look pretty damn good for 40+ year old kitchen cabinets? Without a doubt.

One load to the dump and all the “crap” that had been sitting outside for 30+ years was gone, while CC painted the rusty 500 gallon propane tank with a car wash mitt; looks like new. Good job CC.

Window cleaning; what an ordeal. Mom & Dad had storm windows installed years ago, and they had not been opened or cleaned in probably 15 years, as evidenced by the mud dobber (wasp) nests between them. Each window consisted of 6 glass panes and a screen. CC spent 3+ days on them, and now they can actually raise and lower, and as an added benefit, you can see through them.

I called my cousin Rick, an electrician, to come by and make sure all the electrical was up to code. I’m glad I did, as he needed to add GFIC to the kitchen and both bathrooms. He also discovered that when my Dad installed the dish washer, he wired it with 18 gauge lamp cord. No wonder Mom always complained about its performance. She is very lucky it did not start a fire. Depression era children just try and make do with what they have, and so it was with my Mom and Dad.

The painters started on Wednesday , July 21st, instructed to paint anything and everything paintable, inside and out, and we decided to leave for cooler weather. The 98-103 degree days and 85-90% humidity, with heat indexes in triple digits’ for 3 weeks had taken its toll on us.

We may have stayed longer if we had any support, but, it was just CC and I. We decided to come back, after the painters are through, AND, when it is cooler, to finish the task at hand.

Long days of work left us with limited energy to visit with the family and friends. We did manage some time to have dinner with our friends, John and Vicki & family, a few(?) beers with Sid and Conner, and CC even managed to have lunch with Karla. It was a blessing reuniting with old friends and we treasured every minute.

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