First Things First

First things first. We ALWAYS change the door locks immediately! Like, right after closing. It is the very first thing we do every. single. time. You should do likewise. Especially if you purchase a rental. To my knowledge, this is our very first home that had previously been a rental. I just have no idea the last time the locks were changed and how many dozens of people could have keys.

Here is what we were working with. Apparently this is original. I find it to be a bit goth, and it doesn’t seem to fit the house or the neighborhood at all. I can’t make sense of it.

gothic door handle

We looked at several options, and the 90’s faux brass was, as always, the most affordable option. We’re cheap, but we do not like 90’s brass at any price. We considered brushed or satin nickel as we’ve used and loved those in the past.

 brass door handlebrushed nickel handlesatin nickel door handle

We ultimately decided on oil rubbed bronze because the richness just seemed right for this door and porch. I also wanted some contrast and was afraid the nickel would be too light in color for whatever we eventually choose to paint the door.oil rubbed bronze door handle

Schlage bronze handlecombo pack door knobs

There were several shapes and prices to choose from, some as much as $300. We went with this one from Kwikset because the price was best ($93) and it could be re-keyed on the spot to match the other locks we were purchasing for the back and side doors.

20131011_190919So for $155 ($62+$93), we had new handles/knobs and deadbolts for the entire house and they all used ONE key. Kelly at Lowe’s promised that they could be re-keyed in “about three seconds.” He was pretty dead on. He had it done in the time it took me to take this picture. It’s as fast as unlocking the lock…as simple as turning a key. And it can be done multiple times if you need that for the future.


My husband installed the front and side door knobs while I tracked down a second screwdriver (they go missing as often as tape measures thanks to a certain tool-loving three year old) and changed out the back one. It may have taken 30 minutes? Max. I wasn’t really paying attention.

husband changing locks

new door handle installed

I had to resist the urge to sand that down and prep for paint. This is just temporary. First things first.

Next, you have to clean. This can vary greatly from house to house. Since we love to get a fixer upper, we usually purchase homes that are pretty dated or cluttered or smelly. Sometimes they’re decently clean and just horribly decorated. But sometimes they are gross!

Warning: I told you yesterday that we’re close enough that I am going to keep it real. Here goes.

We have seen some nasty filth. However, this is the first time we’ve seen mold growing ON TOP of the toilet seat. Not just a ring in the bowl. Not just a bit of urine under the seat. Not just some mold around the lip of the bowl. No. I’m talking mold that had grown out of the bowl and over the seat. I’m guessing that is because this house sat vacant all Summer with a broken A/C. Please, please let that be the reason. Ewww.

I wasn’t even going to consider cleaning them. And I figured you didn’t want to see pics of them. This blog is (or will eventually be) for pleasant pictures. We bought three new seats at $6 each. Oh yeah, best $18 ever spent. There was a day when we would have scrubbed three toilets covered in mold to save $18. Praise the Lord those days are toilet seats

Another first in this house was human feces. We’ve dealt with animal filth/feces before, but this is the first time we’ve actually had to scrape human feces off the floor.  And by “we,” I totally mean the hubster. I birthed him three little clones. All naturally. Two of them weighed over nine pounds. I didn’t have to play that card, because he is amazing and lovingly decided on his own to do that chore, but don’t you think for two seconds that I wouldn’t have played every card in the deck to get out of that one.

No, people weren’t pooping on the floor. At least not that I can tell. It was the result of a plumbing backup. The previous owner wanted us to pay half to have it fixed, remember? Ha. Yeah. We didn’t.  She paid to have it fixed, but cleaning up the damage that resulted is why we were even able to afford this house. This neighborhood would have been well out of our price range otherwise. So woohoo for sewer problems! And woohoo for amazing husbands!

Tell me what you think