Friday, July 19, 2013

I choose to believe my house is sentient and torturing me

Earlier this summer/late spring, we thought about selling our house. I mentioned it here several times. I worked and worked and worked on this stupid house, and my to do list never got shorter. New things kept breaking, or I'd notice old things that had never worked right so we'd gotten used to them, but needed to work right before selling. I worked every extra minute for about a month, then had a mini breakdown where I was so over fixing things up I couldn't even think about doing any more work, so I stopped. I stopped until early this month, when I suddenly decided that I was ready to try again before the opportunity was completely gone for this year. I made an appointment with our real estate agent to see the one house I was interested in. We saw it, I loved it (B was OK with it), we decided we needed to sell. And we've been working our butts off since then and I'm starting to feel that house hatred creep back in. "Starting" is really the wrong word; that implies that it ended at some point.

Things keep breaking. Things break that have no possible reason for breaking. Example one: I finally finally got the stupid bathroom tile put down. I was ready to grout, after seven months of tiles popping up and needing to be relaid, of being so fed up with the stupid bathroom floor that I alternately avoided it and thought about ripping up the porcelain tile and putting down groutable peel and stick tile.

Anyway, I was standing in the bathroom after taping around the base of the toilet, tub and vanity to make sure grout didn't get on them. I was holding the roll of painter's tape in my hand and I dropped it. And the tile chipped. Porcelain tile. The tile that was so hard I couldn't even use the score and snap cutter on it. Chipped from a roll of tape. I cursed that bathroom floor and I grouted anyway. And now there are two chipped tiles (no idea what happened to the other one) that have completely cracked all the way across. Today I was standing in the bathroom (not on either of the chipped tiles) and I heard a tiny little crack. I got down and saw that a piece of the tile had simply broken off. The chipped piece was still in the chip, it was just no longer attached to the tile. It chipped itself. Seriously. I left the room, got my hammer out and just held it for a little while. Then I very, very carefully put it back in the closet and went and stress ate.

Example two: the old basement doorknob didn't work. We replaced it and after a while, the tongue stopped going in when you turned the knob. That was OK, though, because for some unknown reason the previous owner had gouged out the entire back half of the door frame behind where the knob hit it and the door didn't actually latch. When we decided to sell, though, that needed to be fixed. Quick fix, right? Ha. I replaced the knob with the same exact knob. It broke half an hour later. We don't know why. It stopped working and when we took it apart the inside--the part that goes inside the door--was bent in a C-shape. The best idea we came up with was that Mr. Man was pushing on it as he tried to open it. But seriously, how on earth can a 50 pound child bend metal doorknob guts like that?

That brings us to this week. Mr. Man broke a pane of glass in his window. They're divided light windows, so we just had one small pane to replace. I didn't really want to learn how to glaze windows, but oh well. I measured and we got the glass cut. And...it didn't fit. I measured again. Turns out that the frame sides kind of turn in on themselves, so when I measured at the back it was smaller than the measurement in front, where the glass actually needs to sit. Also, the top and bottom of the glass are moving away from each other. There is literally no way to get this glass cut. I can't go to the hardware store and say "hey, can you cut this side at 9 3/4 and this side at 9 7/8?" I mean, I could, but since they use something akin to a panel saw (except scoring instead of sawing) there's no way to cut one side of the glass larger than the other. At this point I really don't know what to do. Put it in the best we can and putty it within an inch of its life? Cut it bigger and hope that we can somehow make it fit? Get a sheet of acrylic and whistle nonchalantly as I walk away?

Oh, and this.

The paint I used to touch up Mr. Man's room, the paint that should have been mixed according to a formula, does not match. Now I have to paint at least that entire wall. I should probably blame that one on the Home Depot employee, especially since she gave me the super expensive paint when I clarified four times that I only wanted the regular expensive paint. But blaming the house makes me feel better.

I did have one project go right, which always makes me suspicious. We replaced the window pane that B broke when he tripped down the deck stairs and that took all of five minutes. Silicone caulk around the opening, glass in, plastic edge pieces in, silicone caulk to seal. Done. I fully expect that it will fall out in the middle of the night or something. I just hope the house likes the next owners more than it likes us.

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