Monday, May 30, 2011

Washers, Dryers and More Questions

We've been questioned a few times now about whether Matt actually writes for this blog.  It is true that while Matt contributes ideas, helps with proofreading and is (obviously) involved in the home buying process as a whole, I do in fact do most of the actual writing.  Today, however, with Matt off from work for Memorial Day, I asked if he would like to write a post and he happily obliged.  So without further ado, Matt's first solo post.  -Caroline

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  Memorial Day is a time for remembering loved ones and honoring veterans, but in our great American tradition it is also a time for some of the years biggest sales.  Fortunately for us, Memorial Day rolled around just as we came into the market for a washer and dryer.  This was an interesting experience as neither of us have ever purchased a washer and dryer before. The adventure involved price shopping all across Portland, several calls home for parental advice and even an offer from one salesman to fraudulently back date our purchase date so that we could claim an expired rebate.  Needless to say we did not purchase from that store.  Eventually, we found a good, and honest, deal on a great set we are very happy with.

Now where to put them in the basement?

Like everything with this house, resolving the need for a washer and dryer simply led to more questions. Our basement is not completely level and the previous owners had a level concrete slab poured for the previous washer unit. The problem is that this slab will fit a washer from the 1950's but not our large 2011 washer. Add the dryer to the mix and we have a placement issue.  So far, solutions we have brainstormed include building a wood platform over the current slab or having a larger concrete slab poured around the current one.  We will consult with one of the many contractor contacts we have acquired in this process and keep you posted.

With the washer and dryer situation mostly solved for now, we are turning our attention to our laundry list, pun intended, of other questions. Once we have closed on the house we need to get in there and start making some hard choices about what should be done first.  As I'm sure you have guessed, we will be a little cash-strapped after the closing.  We will have to decide what needs to be done right away, most of the wall paper and the carpeted floor in the bathroom are already on this list, and what should be put off until later, such as finishing the basement.  An important aspect of these questions is ensuring decisions we make now do not need to be undone in the future for other renovations. The kitchen is a good example of this. We definitely want to upgrade the kitchen, but do not have the cash to do an entire remodel all at once. We will have to plan strategically to ensure that when we replace the dinosaur of a fridge, which will be costing us extra money in excessive electricity, we choose a model and size that will work with whatever our kitchen will be when we are finished. Similarly, we do not want to completely redo the bathroom, only to decide we can afford to move one of the walls to expand it later.  Even the washer and dryer situation poses a problem because if we pour a concrete slab for them now, that is most likely where they will have to stay when we finish the basement. 

This will all take a lot of thinking ahead and probably a good handful of mistakes, but we are excited for the challenge and look forward to seeing how it all turns out!

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