Friday, February 19, 2010

Final Chapter of the Alaska Homestead

Well its been a crazy couple of months; remodeling the Alaska house so we can put it on the market, having the movers come and get our stuff, I lost 23 pounds since the surgery relieved so much of the pain I have been living with for the past couple of years and oh yea, I retired.

We finally got the house ready except for a few details but the hard part is over. Repainted throughout, new bathrooms, redid the kitchen cabinets, carpet throughout, new blinds, all new baseboard trim, etc. Put new tires on the truck for the trip south...$1,100 and they were just regular truck work tires not the fancy raised white letter tires.

The movers came and took two days to pack everything and put it into storage (we rated 14000 pounds and we only had about 7000 mostly tools and books). The furniture you see in the pictures of the remodel are going to be given to Nr 3 son Matt or donated as we are going to be only having old stuff in the farmhouse....anything newer than about 1965 is not something we are contemplating. Shappy chic I believe they call it.

After 33 years of off and on service in the Marine Corps and Army National Guard I have retired with 24 years of active duty and I dont plan to work for a while. I will be enrolling in school in Missouri to work on a 2 year Agriculture degree and to earn my master welding certificate and I ultimately plan on having an off-farm job but not another career. I am 50 on my birthday and I have been working full time since my very early teens and I just want to concentrate on getting the Missouri homestead up and functional. There has been an interesting outcome of the retirement I hadnt thought of before though. I dont think anyone has asked me what I did for a living in 10 years but its happened twice in the week since I retired and all I could say was I was retired....and they just look at me like I am an alien

So here are a few pics of the happenings:

Having the movers come was almost bittersweet; we have lived and loved in this house for almost 12 years but at the same time it is very exciting to be starting our next chapter.

We ended up with 7 crates full. We waited to do the painting and recarpet until ht e move was over but then we only had a week to get it all done before the house went on the market.

We completely gutted the bathrooms and redid them...I had to lay new sub-floor upstairs because we opted for old fashioned linoleum tile which has to have a completely smooth surface or it will show imperfections. We are going to lay the same type of tile in our farmhouse kitchen so this was good practice and we are very please with the results.

I have lost about 15 pounds since this picture and I continue to lose. We are on a low salt and low fat diet and my blood pressure is now down into the middle of normal and I take no medications except vitamins.

This gives an idea of the type of looks so good and very clean.

New vanity, sink, fixtures etc.

And my beloved Holly May has lost 15 pounds herself as we are both on the low salt/fat diet and we both decided to limit any alcohol intake to an occasional glass of wine with dinner.

We painted the kitchen and stripped and re-stained all the kitchen cabinets. Holly lined everything with contacts paper, I repaired everything and it came out great but man that was work.

I took the cabinets apart and repaired everything and then stripped, sanded, and re-stained them and they came out so much better. We ended up not putting any polyurethane on them and I really like the look.

Stripped and sanded the handrails and then re-stained them with a polyurethane stain and replaced the old brackets with stainless...they came out really nice.

To save money we ripped out all of the old carpet and padding and hauled it to the dump ourselves..big job that killed my back.

The house without carpet was an echo chamber.

The padding we installed was much better than what was there before.

Note that there was no baseboard moulding in this picture. I ripped out all the old cheap looking stuff and added new througout the house but I couldnt do it until the carpet was laid.

And some pics of the final product as its on the market...$227,500.00 if your interested.

Its hard to see but the color is butter cream with pure white trim (including the wainscoting, base molding and chair rail we installed).

Remodeled downstairs bathroom

The walls are khaki with one wall white. Carpet is berber and we installed steel hollow core doors (front, back, and to the garage). All interior doors were replaced with solid wood raised panel.

The door to the garage had to be fire rated and we made sure we followed all code is self closing, we replaced all of the smoke detectors, etc.

The colors are all neutral and peaceful..thank you HGTV!!

The handrail looks better ne'

Downstairs bedroom

Matt's room

We redid the entire laundry and renovated the washer and dryer..they look like new and work great now.

The final product of the upstairs bathroom the way I replaced all the old plumbing fixtures and part of the plumbing...I hate plumbing.

The upstairs master bedroom is a light green with the back wall white. Its very peaceful and serene.

We didnt install closet doors in any of the bedrooms as I hate them. Let the new buyers decide what they want but I like the curtains.

All interior doors are new solid core raised panel and stained honey pine. We went with white for all the baseboard trim to not overwhelm with wood and because it looks crisp but I dont know how practical it would be long term if you had kids.

And I am still working on the garage..another dump run or tow and we are waiting for the hazardous waste turn in day to get rid of all the chemicals, cleaners, old paint etc. we collected over the years.

Well there it is. We have had 4 showings so far, everyone likes it, one prospective buyer is seeking financing and we have another one tonight. Life is good, we are looking forward to the day in a couple months when we get on the ferry and start our journey south.