What's Up This Week

What’s Up This Week: Countdown to Final Inspections, The Last Lights Go In, & Figuring Out How to Furnish This Place

Whew! What a week…or two. Just when we hit the final sprint of our last-minute inspection To Do’s for this whole house renovation, the Universe pumped the breaks and threw us a couple of weeks without any childcare help, so most of our time and productivity has been eaten up by the tiny vampires that live with us. What a timely reminder that we’re not really in charge of anything around here.

Our time at the house has been very limited, but it’s full steam ahead on plans for getting moved in, because speaking of energy vampires, there’s another one coming down the pipeline regardless of whether or not the doors have any hardware on them. (Note to self: Let’s work on a different term for the female anatomy other than “pipeline”).

What’s Been Happening

The LAST of the Light Fixtures

Installing the light fixtures has been one of the most exciting signs of progress in the house, but holy moly, there sure are a lot of lights around here. We finally got the last ones installed after a bit of trial and error with fixture choices, but we’re really happy with how everything turned out and love the way it makes the house feel.

Light fixtures for dayssss in the Primary Suite, including this very Extra chandelier
Recessed lights, ceiling mounts, sconces – You name it, Charlotte’s got it.

We went with some more modern fixtures to balance the more traditional feel of the rest of the house, trying keep consistent or compatible metal tones from room to room. On the first floor, we also added just a touch of dimmable “recessed” lighting, which are actually super easy-to-install led lights that clip right to the ceiling drywall.

I mean COME ON with this grand staircase & chandelier/medallion combo. Who’s house even is this?!

The grand staircase also got its crown this week, with a brand new ceiling medallion we installed above the new chandelier. It’s made of a lightweight foam that we painted to match the ceiling, and it turned out to be such an affordable, easy touch that really gave everything a fancier look with pretty minimal effort. Don’t tell Jim, but Jack might have him throw a few more of these up elsewhere. It’ll be a good excuse for him to use the new collapsible mini scaffold he bought for something other than resting the projector on so the kids can watch Yellow Submarine on the wall while we work.

Distracting the kids with some Beatles so we can get a little work done. They now sing “Yellow Submarine” All. Day. Long. Every day. It’s just darling. 🤦

To Inspections, And Beyond!

Childcare or not, the Final Inspection countdown has officially begun, so this is our last weekend to wrap things up before the inspector comes next week. We have no idea how it’s going to go, but we’re doing our best to identify any lingering issues and get them handled in the next couple of days.

This old house is big, and it needed a lot of renovation and restoration. Literally everything mechanical, from the electrical to the plumbing and even the HVAC system, is completely new, so there are a lot of things to check. There have also been a few remnants from Charlotte’s previous life to take care of, like removing piles of old wires and unused electrical fixtures that had survived all the previous rounds of demolition. Jim’s not a fan of heights, but one of the perks of buying an old fraternity house is that it comes with its own giant 3-story fire escape, which was needed to meet “boarding house” code requirements. It’s definitely come in handy for accessing those hard-to-reach places, like 30-feet up and over a bay window.

Pile O’ Wires No. 24
Source of Pile. Thanks for the lift, fire escape!

The Great Facebook Marketplace Hunt

The imminent inspections also means that’s it time for us to turn an eye towards the litany of other tasks we want to finish up before we move in, like painting a few odds and ends, installing family-friendly toilet seats, hanging some privacy curtains, and getting some basic storage pieces in place to make unpacking a little easier once we’re there.

Here we see a Jack in her natural habitat, planted on the floor with a bucket desk, scouring the internet for good deals on used furniture.

After nearly four years of renovations and three children, our wallets are a little…light. So for the time being, much of Ms. Charlotte will be decked out in the finest furnishings Facebook Marketplace has to offer. It’s a big place to fill, and much of our old furniture won’t work or is staying put at our old place, so we’re having some fun hunting for new-to-us stuff that will both work for our needs and not make it look like we’re still in a fraternity housed filled with somebody’s uncle’s hand-me-downs.

We also like that it’s a lot more earth-friendly to give an old desk a new home instead of buying everything new, so we’re doing our best to source as much as we can secondhand & locally. That said, we still need to store the extra sheets somewhere, so we’ll fill in whatever gaps we have from our world-famous Lancaster outlet shops, then hit the internet for whatever we just can’t find. That Amazon is one tricky mistress. Speaking of which….

Necessary(-ish) Things This Week

Built-In Family Toilet Seat

Toddler Proof Your Pooper. Just do it.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Chip Bars

Who has time for whole meals?

24″ Foam Ceiling Medallion

Low-budget fix for jazzing up light fixtures

5′ Fold-Up Mini Scaffold

Forget ladders, go for the scaffolding. It folds up!

What’s Next…

  • First and foremost, please cross all your fingers and toes for us that we pass inspections. We are So. Close.
  • Once we get approvals, we can finally start to move some furniture into this joint. We have a basement, garage, and gutted 3rd floor/attic space littered with random items we’ve collected over the years, so it will be a lot of fun to get everything into its new home for the first time.
  • We’ll also start to figure out what things we still need, what we can wait for, and what we’ve managed to lose track of between all these extra storage spaces. (Whatever we’ve lost, it’s Jim’s fault. Definitely.)
  • Since most of the dirty stuff is done, we’ll also try to get everything cleaned up in the hopes that it stays that way. Wishful thinking.
  • Oh yeah! There’s a baby on the way, so it’s time to get organized for having said child. The plan, like all our previous births, is to have this kid at home, so there’s plenty to do to make sure we have what we need to set Ms. Charlotte up for her upcoming doula gig. Bring on the birth tub!




  • Rachel Gawn


    • jack

      Thank you!

  • Suzie Smith

    This is amazing Jacki and Jim…and congratulations on the new little munchkin soon to be in your midst!

    • jack

      Thank you!! Our midst seems very thick these days 😂

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  • Pingback: What’s Up This Week: Our Final Inspection, Our First Furniture Haul PLUS: More of Jack’s Favorite Cake! – Charlotte House Revival on May 1, 2021