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This room was a mess, it took 3 weeks to redo. First drywall was layed over the old cracking walls, then smooth sanded. New doors and trim were installed and everything painted. Much was learned by me about VOC paint as well as contractors, again.  He said it would take 3-4 days and after 4 days he barely had the drywall sanded, but not finished.  He said he underestimated the length of time it would take and I had already paid him for the 4 days.  He then said he would keep working until it was done and not charge me anymore.  I said fine, not knowing it would take him another 4 days.  He took all day, 8 hours to take out an old door and pout in the new prehung door.  He took all day to lay drywall over old walls.  He took all day to install 46 feet of baseboard trim.  Etc…He then sent a letter after finishing, asking for 36 hours more of paid work, even though he only worked 24 more hours, barely at that and he had said he would not charge me, according to his “principles”, he felt he needed to finish his jobs, no matter what.  I thought to myself, I will see you in court, if need be! According to him, he is a teacher, going through a divorce, laid off from work, and his sister told him to check out Craigslist, where he contacted me through my ad.  I could write a book just about the guys I got through Craigslist!  OMG!

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how i saw the house

how i saw the house

 

 

Many Victorian homes are renovated with extreme attention to historical detailing. This can become a bit manic and extremely expensive. These Victorians are colorful, vibrant, quite wild and beautiful, while more modern, newly built Victorians have a simpler palate.  We wanted something in-between, non-traditional but also respectful of its history. We liked the idea of the tall 10 foot ceilings, typical of early Victorians.  Most homes in our price range were bungalows and had lower ceilings which to us felt a bit confining.  The attic was uninhabitable and there was no access to it but we thought we could make it into a living space eventually, which would add significantly to the square footage of the entire house.  The neighborhood was one of our favorites and since our first month in Portland, it was the one area we returned to to shop and enjoy a pleasant meal.

We knew the house had great bones but quickly became aware of some of the issues, especially after the “heady” feeling passed and we had our inspection.  The water in the basement, the unpleasant odor permeating the whole house, old fixtures and pipes and many other not so charming details suddenly loomed over us.

Siding

The siding was metal, pale blue, unattractive, and covering up beautiful original trim details and old wood siding.  We realized you cannot paint it, the paint won’t stick and you cannot paint or trim any detail on it.  The only solution was to rip it off.  Once we did we were happy to find the original wood siding in great condition, but the trim was missing.  Basically all the normal trim on a Victorian house was gone.  There were gaps everywhere that allowed you to look through right into the inside of the house.  The old paint also had to be stripped.  So our two painters took to their heat guns and proceeded to spend the next 3 months hand stripping the original lead paint off the entire house.

 

   

 

 

 

this is how the house looked the day we purchased it

 

 

this is how the house looked the day we purchased it

 

 

wow this was a huge shock! no trim whatsoever!

wow this was a huge shock! no trim whatsoever!

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