Attempting To Maintain Sanity As One Year of Rehab Draws Near

Rebuilding a Beautiful, Vacant Historic Detroit Home (Episode 33)

Best friend Bree getting all-nighter slap-happy with us

B. A. N. A. N. A. S.

November 6th will be the 1 year anniversary of when we got the keys to our new home in Detroit… and as that day grows ever closer, Brandon and my sanity grows ever harder to find. Our friends are beginning to call us “Murphy’s Law,” as day after day we work to conquer another micro disaster.

Micro-Disaster 1: Counter Top

After our painters up and abandoned our job with our money, the next day we found out that our master bath counter top, which we have already had to have re-cut once, still would not fit our new vanity sinks. The two inch holes cut on-site fit our drains correctly, however a silicone gasket and the flat bottom of our vanity sinks meant that they wouldn’t sit flat on the counters. Brandon and I quickly had to decide how to fix our problem, went to Home Depot, and bought 7 or so diamond bits for our hand Dremel tool. It took over an hour of work for each of the two drain holes, but eventually we were able to whittle enough quartz material away to allow the silicone gasket to fit and the vanity to sit flush.


Micro-Disaster 2: Range

Next up, our range! Cal and Christian had our electric and gas successfully installed for our duel-fuel range and were ready to slide the sucker in. I had to climb on top of the counters to guide the electric and gas lines into the cavity of our stove as they pushed the range back into the wall and suddenly we were stopped short. After staring at the counters and range, we realized that a framing piece on the range made sure that the depth of the range was correct to the front of the cabinet, but we still had a gap in the back between our range and counter top material. The counter top company had made a measurement mistake. The next day I called, and they are now coming back at the end of the week to replace the small border piece with a new one.

Micro-Disaster 3: Tile

Next up, our tile installer arrived today and realized that we somehow hadn’t ordered enough of our hand-painted tile to finish the backsplash. We are just 6 tiles short of covering the wall. We called Virginia Tile and they told us that they no longer carried that tile and no one else in Michigan did either. I went into high-gear and located the tile online and it is now being shipped to us, but will take a week or so to get here.

Micro-Disaster 4: Gross!

As Christian was downstairs working with the plumber last week we made a new discovery. A subcontractor from years past apparently didn’t care that he was drilling through cast-iron and apparently decided it was a smart move to run phone lines through our main sewer stack in the house! That yellow stain you see dripping down the wall? You know what that is.

Cal, told us that this is the second time he has seen this in a home he has worked on! Thank goodness, no damage is really done, we removed the wire and filled the holes, so we shouldn’t have any problems, but really?

Don’t Worry, It’s Not All Bad


We are chugging along as far as paint goes. Brandon and I worked to get the maid’s bedroom ready for color and we are just about there. The pink ceilings are no more after what took us 4 COATS of primer and ceiling paint in total to cover. We have sanded and sprayed our trim and picture molding with primer and are now ready for trim paint and then color.

Friend to the rescue!

One of my best friends from college, Bree arrived from a long trip overseas and was in need of some cash and something to do till her next trip, so we captured her to help us with painting while we are at work during the day. Bree has been doing a FANTASTIC JOB with prep and paint, learning from Christian’s tutorials as she goes and making our house look oh, so fancy!

Starting to look at a color palette for the house
Painting baseboards and trim before plumbing shows up on Friday

AC and Lights

Finally, this week we did have some progress on AC and lights. Our AC install is finally complete, with our condenser and tubing placed around the house. Our new Ecobee 3 thermostat is also installed, but we haven’t turned the system on yet. Of course AC would get done just as the summer is about to end ;) Christian also installed our return air vent in the wall, which required some acrobatics over our staircase.

Just a little bit sketchy

Our electricians have begun to plug in our lights around the house, starting with our under-cabinet lights, smart switches, and 1920s chandeliers! Brandon and I spent a night with the ladder trying to decide on what heights to hang each chandelier and now they are all up and glittering! Still need cleaning and new candelabra plastic in a few places, but overall they are looking amazing in our space!

Brandon hacked our microwave lighting to be a part of our under-cabinet lighting instead! (Left) Install of our Medicine cabinet mirror in the guest bath (Right)
Bree says our chandelier looks like it came out of Beauty and the Beast


So coming soon will be ALOT more painting! Hopefully even some color on the walls after we get our ceilings and trim painted. We have lots of family visitors coming this weekend to help us really knock some work out!

We also expect more along the lines of installation of final plumbing, and the rest of our kitchen appliances, and if we’re lucky, backsplash tile!

Our Journey isn’t over!

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