Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


General pre-closing update

This week has felt really busy but I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell I did besides work. I have been putting in a few hours of overtime this week to make up some of the scratch I overspent last weekend up at the lake.

Last night, however, I did go to the library and do a few searches in their catalog to get a feel for where info on my house and neighborhood might be. My house sits in sort of a black hole between neighborhoods, as far as historical information goes. It’s not technically close enough to Union Park to claim the Union Park neighborhood. It’s too far north to count as Capitol Park. The plat it’s on is part of the “Union Addition” but that’s pretty meaningless to me at this point. The houses in the area are very middle class, built between 1905 and 1945. I found a few books on general Des Moines history, but one book I found right before closing is exactly what I want to read. It’s called Historical Residential Architecture in Des Moines, 1905-1940. SCORE!!! Unfortunately, it’s in the closed stacks of the library so I can’t take it home with me and pore over it repeatedly. I’ll just have to be content to visit it in the library and take notes and copies of relevant information. But the book is so great because it focuses specifically on two house types: bungalows and four-squares. I’ll be sure to share the exciting bits!

Brandon and I have a plan for the first few days of ownership. Here’s how it goes, sing along if you know the words:

Friday, Aug. 17 we close escrow and take ownership. We immediately begin clawing at the walls and floors like frantic badgers, ripping out carpet, pulling down paneling, and generally causing mayhem and destruction.

Saturday, Aug. 18 we borrow someone’s pickup truck and haul away the heap of trash we will build on Friday. (More about waste removal in a minute.)

Sunday, Aug. 19 we do additional cleanup on the place and make bundles to put out on the curb for garbage pick up.

Monday, Aug. 20 my grandma will hire the cleaning ladies to wipe everything down and give it their best on the kitchen and bathroom.

Tuesday, Aug. 21 we’ll start the tiny bit of moving in that we’re going to do: a bed and a dresser. We’re basically going to just live in the front bedroom, since that room needs the least amount of work and we need the rest of the house clear to give space to work on the woodwork and walls and everything.

And so on and so on.

So, about the waste removal thing:

When we bought my grandparents’ house in Clear Lake it was left to us to clean out all of the stuff Grandma and Grandpa didn’t need to take with them to their assisted living apartment. This amounted to 25 years’ worth of accumulated odds and ends saved fastiduously by my depression-era grandparents. We had like, five garage sales and for whatever was left that we couldn’t sell or donate somewhere, we called the local garbage company and they brought us a dumpster to fill up. It was a nice industrial sized thing that they let us keep for about a week. I think it was like $30 for the dumpster delivery and pickup, and $15 to dump it if it was under a certain weight. So like $50 max when all was said and done.

Since I’m new to Des Moines I decided to call around to see what rubbish haulers charge for their services around here. The first place I called quoted me $270. The second place said $390. I began contemplating buying a 30 cent book of matches and just setting fire to the looming pile of garbage.

Then I had an epiphany. Well, I wish it was that dramatic. It was more that I just saw the answer staring me in the face after having looked at it for weeks and weeks. As I pulled my mom’s garbage can up from the curb, I realized I was probably calling the wrong people about getting my garbage hauled away. I needed to be calling the Metro Waste Authority. Or rather, I needed to Google them. Anyway, I found out that they sell $5 stickers that you can attach to bundles of carpet and other oversized items that don’t fit in the regular garbage cans. So that’s certainly an option for us. ALSO, the landfill east of town accepts pick-up truck loads of garbage for like $16-30. So that’s what we’re going to do.

Now, tonight I have plans with two coworkers of mine, my uncle, my uncle’s pick-up truck, and a brand new dolly that my husband is going to buy after work today. My small collection of friends, relatives, and tools are going to move the washer and dryer from my other uncle’s new house to my new old house. I’ll report later on whether my plan actually functioned as it was intended.

Next Tuesday we go another round with the contractors, this time getting a quote from a big name electrician and another chimney inspection for a second opinion.

[tags]carpet, chimney, contractors, dryer, electricity, fireplace, garbage, landfill, neighborhood history, paneling, washing machine[/tags]

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