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House Appraisal

Pete Brown - 28 August 2005

It was well worth my effort to clean up the house in preparation for the appraisal. All in all, I used just over 6 gallons of Kilz to do the house. Add to that the one gallon of yellow paint Melissa used to finish the baby room. I patched and sanded the dents and holes, primed all the walls with Kilz, primed the kitchen ceiling with Kilz, nailed up about $130 worth of cheap primed pine clamshell casing around all the doors, and *gasp* primed right over the nasty kitchen wallpaper.

That last decision was hard to make, but it made the house look livable as opposed to looking like a crack house. It most certainly won't stay that way, but it got us through the appraisal. The wallpaper absolutely would not come off the kitchen walls without taking the walls with it. We tried gel, spray, a steamer, straight tearing and scraping - everything really. That wallpaper just sucked. The adhesion of the drywall top paper to the core gave out before the glue on the paper would, so you end up with drywall that would have to be completely patched to still retain any fireproof and waterproof characteristics. That's one reason why I'll be taking it all off the wall and replacing it. My drywall practice has shown me that in a large job like this, it is actually neater and easier to do a proper taping job than to patch the whole thing. The hardest part is just lifting all that drywall.

Here's the way the hall looks with the temporary clamshell trim and all the primer. Since the primer is a bit glossy and I only did one coat, you can still see where the patches are if you look at the wall at an angle, such as the one in this photo.

It was a marathon of several nights of inhaling toxic fumes (those small respirators don't work well if you have a goatee - I actually hallucinated one night just before I called it quits; I thought I saw someone standing right behind me. The night before, I stopped when I kept getting dizzy on the little step ladder). Luckily we have a whole-house fan, and the evenings last week were mild enough to allow us to open all the windows.

On the day of the appraisal, Wednesday, the appraiser called and cancelled due to an emergency with his wife. I'm getting pretty used to this happening with contractors and anyone else that has to come to the house, so I was disappointed and a bit annoyed, but not surprised. He did reschedule and came out Saturday morning at 8 am. He did a nice job going through the house explaining things to me and asking about changes we've made. He also said that the house definitely looked fine inside even with some missing trim, so he'd likely overlook that, as it's all of $200 to fix. (it's a good thing I primed and replaced all the door trim!)

posted by Pete Brown on Sunday, August 28, 2005
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