5 Days’ Worth of Progress

Today was the first trip I’ve made to our new house since closing last Tuesday. I was greeted by many renovations already! So exciting. M, his dad and a family friend were able to make significant progress in my absence. When I finally showed up, they joked that work was really going to get done now that the “boss” had arrived.

The majority of the updates that took place this week were priorities in order to pass the home occupancy inspection required by our borough of Pittsburgh. We’re not allowed to live in our house until all of the issues identified by the inspector are resolved. Most of them involve safety regulations, such as electrical issues and fire hazards.

Electrical Updates

Possibly the most important progress involved fixing our electrical issues. During the inspection, we found that half of the kitchen, and two of the spare bedrooms did not have power; nor did the air conditioner. Fortunately for us, this was the result of a faulty breaker. A quick trip to Lowes, and the problem was solved. 🙂 It was such a relief to see a text from M while I was at work on Thursday just reading “We have power.”

They added the electrical outlet to the bathroom with minor issues–the original location they’d planned to place the outlet had an unforeseen pipe behind the wall, so they had to readjust.

Added outlet to bathroom

They also updated the outlet and light switch above the sink (ignore the mess–our kitchen is pretty much command-central for the time being). Also, note the green kitchen sink. You can see a bit of it in the picture below. I’ll do a little happy dance when we replace it with a new double basin stainless steel sink. 🙂

Replaced standard switch with a fancy one

There was also an outlet outside that former owners had labeled “ice cream machine” which needed updated. Sounds like they had a lot of fun while they lived here, huh?

Maybe too much fun…


Drywall and Stairs

The guys framed in the basement stairs this morning before I made it over to the house. The inspector identified a gap between the stairs and the railing that could result in an injury should someone slip between the gap. Whoever previously owned the house clearly had some good intentions in mind for finishing the basement, but they never followed through. Here’s the before picture of the framework by the stairs.

stairs with wall framing

And, here’s how it looks now that M and his dad hung some drywall. Doesn’t that look so much cleaner? I keep hinting to M that we should eventually try to finish the basement completely so he can have his very own mancave…

added drywall to stairs

M’s dad fixed some loose boards on the basement stairs, but broke a few in the progress. No harm done–a short trip to the local hardware store resulted in the purchase of a few fresh boards to fill in those new gaps. We’re definitely going to need to paint those steps too! They need some love.

stairs missing boards

Fire-Rated Drywall in Garage

I don’t have a before picture of this one, because M and his dad were already partway through this mini renovation when I walked in–and made them take a break so I could snap some photos of “our” progress.

before fire rated drywall

This was the first project I actually had the chance to helped out! I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity a few years back while still in college, so I felt like I could be pretty handy given the opportunity. Unfortunately for me, I’m vertically challenged (short), so I wasn’t able to use the drill to mount the drywall on the wooden beam.

Mostly, I just used the chalk line and cut some drywall. Oh, and I helped tape the corners of the drywall. No big deal. 😉 We’re not completely finished with this yet (ran out of putty), but here’s our progress thus far.

adding putty to drywall

Miscellaneous Updates

Return Air Grilles

We stopped at Home Depot after finishing up with the drywall and invested in some fancy new return air grilles for the living room and three bedrooms. They were less than $15 a piece–well worth the investment! It’s amazing how much a small change like this can bring the life back into the room. Maybe it’s just me…maybe I’m just in house love for the first time, but aren’t these grilles gorgeous?

new return air grilles

We still have 2 more return air grilles to replace but they’re not the typical size.

I found an awesome blog post that provides directions for creating an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the standard grille using sheet metal and cedar wood for lining. M and I are going to give this a go when my dad returns from his vacation.


I could dedicate an entire blog post to our new vacuum. My coworkers and family were so sick of hearing me rant and rave about how excited I was to vacuum with this baby. We decided to invest in a decent vacuum from the get-go but couldn’t bring ourselves to put out the money for a Dyson. My parents are huge fans of Dyson (we’ve had 2 in the past decade), but we’d heard great things about Shark, so we figured we’d give them a shot.

Enter the Shark Rocket. Isn’t it fancy?

Shark Rocket


Bonus: Just for Kicks and Giggles

Check out this awesome wallpaper that we found at the back of our kitchen cabinets? Do you think I should try to keep it as a memento of the original state of our house? And because we’re huge fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates?

cabinet wallpaper with ships

Disclaimer: This blog post is comprised of my opinions and I received no kickbacks for promoting the products mentioned above.

4 responses to “5 Days’ Worth of Progress

  1. Pingback: Have a Ball… | (don't) Suppress the Jess

    • Hahaha. I dunno what we’ll do with it if I keep it, Kiley. It’s covered in grime and grease. Maybe I’ll just keep a small bit as a keepsake for what our house looked like before we moved in…

  2. Pingback: Part 1: Painting Our Basement – The Walls | (don't) Suppress the Jess

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