How we spent our 4th of July holiday

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! We yrppies had a pretty low-key day that involved some grilling, lemonade and fireworks in beautiful downtown Harrisburg, PA.  We scored perfect seats right across from the firing location thanks to some friends who got there early and we were home and in bed by 10:30 PM. There are definitely benefits to living right up the street from City Island and the state capitol.

Maggie micromanaging Daddy’s grilling

“Adult” strawberry lemonade

Quick pic of the Capitol as we were walking home from the fireworks.

We had purposely planned a day full of “laidbackness” because we knew we were going to be pretty tuckered from July 3rd. The hubby took off from work on the 3rd so we could tackle removing the sub-flooring, removing some metal pipes and old heating units and mow. We are used to a 15 minute mow-job at our Harrisburg house; the hubby usually completes it once a week and we move on with our lives. The mowing at the farmhouse is much more involved; it is a lot of grass.

I am used to a lot of grass. Growing up we had about two-acres of lawn that we push-mowed and then raked into nice, neat piles for my dad to collect and dump into the compost pile. While it was better than hanging wet laundry out on the line on a freezing winter’s day; it was not one of my favorite chores. I am still not a fan. I would rather have more trees and less grass. Once we move, we plan to do some tree-planting in different areas of the yard to provide some shade and wind-breaks. The hubby is also in the process of cultivating bee and butterfly habitat on the hill so we are not mowing that. Neither of us are fans of endless, monocultures.

The hubby’s bee & butterfly hill-“no-mow zone”

On Tuesday I got up, went to the gym at 5:30 AM, came home and woke the hubby up so we could get started before the house really heated up. The temperature in central PA has hovered around the mid-ninties the last week or so; this is not ideal manual labor weather for someone who is used to sitting in a temperature-controlled environment teaching on a computer all day. I wanted an early start. When it was all said and done we did not get up to the house until 10 AM. We immediately started to hack away at the floor. Once the hubby felt confident that I could not screw up removing sub-flooring;  he transitioned to removing the metal pipes and metal heating units that were left over from the gutting of the house.

Sub-flooring about to be removed

Sub-flooring and the most durable chair ever (LHU peeps you should recognize this as an old dorm chair)

83 degrees and rising…

The sub-flooring removal involved a lot of hammering, crowbarring and splinter-removal since the hubby thinks gloves are sacrilegious. At first we were only going to remove the parts that had water-damage and urine stains, but we were having so much fun we decided to do the whole thing. We had only one minor melt-down about half-way through due to the hubby thinking we were not getting enough done. Apparently he had a whole “secret to-do list” that involved about two-weeks worth of work to be completed in one 8-hour day. Renovations and heat bring out the best in everyone :).

Bend over and pull, break and pull some more

Removing the old copper pipes leading to the heating units

While I worked on the sub-flooring; the hubby cut out the old copper pipes leading the heating units around the base of the first floor. This was a wet and messy job. However it was cooler in the basement so that had to be a plus. He then came up to the first-floor and ripped up the heating units themselves. Once this was done he took over the sub-flooring job and I went outside to the Sahara and mowed.

Water damage to the floor and old metal heating units

Copper pipe cut in half ready for removal

Working on my farmer’s tan and feeling bad every time I run over a bee

Once I was done mowing the parts of the lawn that are not going to cause the lawnmower to tip over and cut my feet off (this is my fear the whole time I am mowing; I would really prefer a push-mower); I went back inside and removed the hundreds of nails that did not come up when we crow-barred the sub-flooring off the floor. I then swept and cleaned up from the mess we had made while the hubby finished trimming up the lawn and moving the metal heating units to the scrap pile. We got a little over half-way done, which means we have more sub-flooring fun to look forward to this Sunday. The finished product looked like this:

Living room without any sub-flooring; new ductwork to the left-more on that in a later post

Kitchen without and sub-flooring; the dogs approve and want to head back to the AC

It was a pretty productive day. We are trying to balance the DIY part with the “pay someone else to do it” part so that we make the most out of our monetary and time budget. If we can do it, our plan is to DIY it, but we both work full-time jobs and a part-time job every other weekend. The hubby keeps saying he can’t wait to have more time; I feel like our part-time job is worth it because we have more money. Which one do you think is more valuable when doing renovations?

I would love to know what you think; share your thoughts here.

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