5 Day Project Marathon: This Is What “Vacation” Looks Like

I took a few days off from my day job over this week and next week, which means I’ve got five full days to knock out the rest of the projects on the bank list. That’s 120 hours of paint, drywall, swearing, awkward happy-dances, and at least one more facial splinter in my immediate future. Some people do beaches for vacation, I do sawdust.

To put a little additional pressure on myself I called the bank this week to set up the walk through with the appraiser, which I expect will happen about this time next week.

Here’s what I’ve got left to tackle:

1. Finish sheathing and siding the barn.
My uncle is lending me a couple of strong backs tomorrow and Monday to help knock this out.


2. Sort the last section of the rubble pile. I still find this completely effing ridiculous… I’m pretty sure there’s no rule that says I can’t have a big pile of fallen-down barn in my yard if I want to.


3. Finish painting the master bedroom, and install outlet covers.


4. Patch the drywall where the skylights used to be. Which just so happens to be at the top of the stairs, where I’m going to need to rig up 3 ladders to reach. Yay. And then there’s the swiss cheese that is my parlor ceiling.




6. Put a light fixture here to fix the “torn” wallpaper. (You know it’s taking every ounce of willpower I’ve got not to start tearing that wallpaper off instead, right?)


7. Re-install bedroom window sash sans broken glass.


Things not on that list: sleeping, showering, doing my dishes, whining.

Anyone want to take bets on how many times I fall asleep with a paintbrush in my hand over the next five days?

The fun starts now…

19 Responses

  1. Don’t you want me to come and go through the rubble pile? I can come this afternoon! Text me!

  2. Too bad you can’t just hang a picture over the hole in the wallpaper… I have to agree with you that many of the bank list projects seem to be pretty ridiculous and a matter of opinion rather than necessary at the moment.

    1. Exactly. I agree with things like the roof of the house that needed to be replaced, and even the missing basement windows. But the rubble pile and the missing outlet covers? Come on…

  3. I, too, find some of these things a bit ridiculous, especially the rubble pile. I’m pretty sure I see houses ALL THE TIME with tons of stuff in the yard. It’s an aesthetic choice, right?

  4. Glad to hear you’re getting some strong backs to knock out the barn…can one stick around and spot you on the upcoming 3 ladder episode? 🙂 When all is said and done, I bet I’ll hear your send off to the appraiser/underwriter all the way here in CT!

  5. Good luck, Kit. This will be an intense push, but you’re almost there. Do you think the appraiser had some ulterior motive in her ridiculous list? Did she want Liberty for herself? It almost seems like she tried to make the list as difficult as possible to scare you away. I just don’t understand how rubble and paint are integral to the bank’s loan. My fingers are crossed for y

    1. You know, I like to place blame on the appraiser (instead of saying appraiser and underwriter every time). So technically the appraiser listed these “defects” on the appraisal as items she took into account for the value of the house, and she very clearly noted “no reinspection needed”. Then the underwriter got nervous about the list and technically the bank made me escrow money before they would give me the loan.

      So if she hadn’t noted the items in the appraisal (and usually they don’t for as-is appraisals) or if the underwriter had an actual brain, then I would be fine.

      The weird thing is she noted stuff like 2 missing outlet covers (I mean, how much did that affect the value of the house) but not stuff like the missing garage door, unfinished hearth in the master bedroom, missing window sash from the master bath. So I could definitely have been more screwed.

  6. This is what my vacations usually look like too, unfortunately. Good luck, that’s a lot to do in a week. But if anyone can do it I know it’s you.

  7. Awhile back on the morning radio news there was a story about a woman who had called in to say how she had beaten jury selection by acting mentally ill (my ears perked up as I work in a prison hospital for the mentally ill). The story went on to say that the JUDGE who had dismissed her from jury duty listens to the radio too and heard the story, remembered her and had her arrested! Does the ‘bank’ read your blog I wonder?
    Onward and Upward…I dare anyone to force me to clean up my rubble pile(s)…though I would make sure the neighbors kids couldn’t get onto the property and get themselves hurt playing in it.
    Maybe the underwriter errs on the side of caution?

  8. OMG why did you say this,”not stuff like the missing garage door, unfinished hearth in the master bedroom, missing window sash from the master bath.” you could be screwed! Good luck! Buy the beer in advance of finish, you will be too tired to go get it.

  9. Ya know… the appraiser may not even know the bank made you escrow the money based on her list. AND it may even be a completely, different appraiser that the bank sends out. Mortgage underwriters are being way way more wierd everyday. I hear all kinds of stories of what they are requiring people to do.

    But you’re almost there! Do you have the escrow money earmarked for anything specific? Although, because they are being so damn weird, it may actually take a while for them to cut you the check – so be prepared for that!

    But hopefully you can breathe easier next weekend and party it up some!

  10. In 3 decades of buying and selling, I’ve NEVER encountered this kind of hold-back for ludicrous items on an as-is property. I think they’re taking the piss for sure, although they’re probably not that smart.

    More money, I know, but couldn’t you replace the skylights? They’re a bit easier to install than drywalling/plastering the ceiling up 3 ladders and the sunlight payback (never mind added-value) would be brilliant. Still, it would involve more roof time……

    And just to reiterate the theme here: You are effing awesome!

  11. When I looked at that sweet baby minutes after she was born, never could have envisioned that she would turn into this person that could accomphish so much. Many cudos Love u mamie

  12. A word of caution about removing the wallpaper. The house I grew up in was a home that was built in the 1920’s and had plaster and lath walls. After I was married and gone, my Mom chose to move in with her sister, and rent out that lovely old home. The jerk that lived in it used an unusable fireplace to heat the home, cause the cost of natural gas was higher than he thought. So, the heat of the never used fireplace made the wallpaper come off the walls. The old wallpaper was on the ceiling and the walls both. However, it ended up that the wallpaper was more than just for decoration. It was used as a sealer, kind of a tape and plaster before drywall. So, at the corner where ceiling met wall, there was nothing, the wall and ceiling barely met. So, we just taped and mudded best we could to make the 2 meet, but probably should have had a plain wallpaper replaced and painted over, as was original. So, my suggestion to you is to think carefully about removing that old wallpaper. It may be more than just decoration. It may be sealing your walls, (if it is original to the house). Depends, I suppose, how much alterations have been done by previous owners. Thanks for letting me post.

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