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The New House!

It’s finally happened, we’ve moved in! We bought the house the first of June 2011, and we moved in third week of September 2011. What were we doing for the 3 and a half months in between? I thought you’d never ask!

First let me tell you about the house. We’re in Wilmington, MA. Our house is a 1969, 2 floor colonial, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, fireplace, full basement (unfinished), about 1100 sqft living space. We’re on about 14,500 sqft lot, 50ftx290ft, long and narrow. The house currently green with white spots (previous owner patched up some spots with primer and left it) so it’s very ugly.

We want to first say thank you to Lisa Pijoan, with Wilson Wolfe Realty. She worked with us for just over a year in finding the perfect house. We visited dozens of houses with her, and made plenty of offers. We found the perfect house in our price range (hence the amount of work needed) If you’re looking to buy or sell, we HIGHLY recommend Lisa, she rocks!

We upgraded the house, significantly. We bought it as a fixer-upper, and underestimated the time and money it would take to get it ready to move in. I don’t regret it though, it was worth every penny, and all the sweat, blood (usually quickly followed by) and  tears.

A brief overview of what we’ve done thus far: (I will jump into greater detail on select items in coming posts. Stay tuned!)

  • Pulled up nasty old carpet in living room and stairs
  • Tore down wall between kitchen and dining room, and opened up wall between living room and hallway
  • Ran multimedia wires through wall above fireplace for TV
  • Replaced basement exterior door
  • Washed, primed and painted all rooms
  • Stripped wall paper from master bedroom, then decided to skim coat
  • Refinished all hardwood floors (great job by Square Floor Service)
  • Refinished kitchen cabinets, new sink, counter, tile back splash
  • New floor in kitchen and dining room
  • New bathroom: shower/tub, walls, vanity, toilet, floors
  • Ran new outlets in kitchen, light over sink, replaced a few plugs and switches throughout house

It was a collective effort, we’d still be working on the house if it wasn’t for our friends and family helping out. Heather and I would like to say special thanks to my dad, Michael Lozzi and my brother, Mike Lozzi Jr., for hours and hours of work in demolition, construction and finish work throughout the entire house. Thanks to my father-in-law, Ken Dorothy, for the beautiful bathroom. Thanks Kirk for the electrical work. And thanks to our many friends and family (Dan, JJ, Diane, Michelle, Nancy, Kyle, and some more I forgot)  who helped paint, clean, wash, and move in! We couldn’t have finished it all with you!

And what I’ve already discovered as being a new home owner: there is always plenty to do around here. Our goals for the next year or two (in no particular order)

  • Replace siding and windows
  • Remove oil heat and install gas
  • Add gutters
  • Paint deck
  • Replace stairs on deck
  • Throw a play room in the basement
  • Rework entire back yard
  • Patio

So there you have it. We’re new proud home owners having fun making our home the best it can be. Check back soon or subscribe to my blog, I’ll be posting a lot more photos, videos and info about what we’ve done and will be doing.

LJR Construction

If I may take a moment to show off my brother.

My older brother, Mike Jr., most commonly goes by junior. Following our dad’s footsteps, Jr has impeccable skills in the ways of craftsmanship. Jr pays close attention to detail and ensures utmost quality on EVERY task he performs.

He is currently self employed as LJR Construction and he can be emailed at juniorloz1@yahoo.com.

Craftsman Homebuilder

If I may show off my dad for a moment.

My dad, Michael Lozzi, is a master of the trade. In the business since I could remember, he has built exceptionally beautiful homes, commercial buildings, residential complexes and more. An absolute professional, my dad has constantly received the praises of his customers time and again.

It is a true blessing that I have had him available to work on my house. Not only physically performing work, but also advising and counseling me in the correct ways of doing things.

If you’re ever in the market for a renovation, addition or anything for your home, check out my dad, his sites are www.craftsmanhomebuilder.com, and www.newenglandhandyman.com.

Hardware stores: Home Depot vs Lowe’s

Home Depot Rocks!

Lowe's Sucks

I bought a house, a few months ago, and it needed/needs a lot of work. So before I jumped in and just started buying up supplies and materials, I decided to spend a few hours in doing a little research. I’m a huge fan of Home Depot. With most of my family being in the construction trades, we always went to Home Depot (Grossmans before that but they’re not around anymore.) So I became a sort of loyalist to Home Depot. Before simply going there because that’s what I knew, I wanted to ensure I’d be saving money.

I took a basic list of stuff I needed and went to Home Depot and Lowe’s and compared prices. Both stores are equal distance from my house so I could easily go to either. I avoided big ticket items like appliances, since these types of items change every weekend and are always on sale. My list is below. Some items it was easy to compare, for example medium grade 25 foot extension cord. Some items were a little uneven, like a pull down attic ladder, Lowe’s had 300lb limit, Home Depot had 350lb, so I compared those two.

Item Lowe’s Home
Depot
Interior Paint, 5 gal $125.00 $105.00
Exterior Paint, 5 gal $91.00 $98.00
Hardwood Stain, 1 gal $29.00 $26.00
Hardwood Poly 2.5gal $70.00 $70.00
counter top 10′ $188.00 $104.00
Oak base cabinet 36″ $218.00 $155.00
Door locks $25.00 $25.00
Drywall 1/2″ $6.83 $6.83
Electrical box $72.00 $60.00
Breakers 20A $3.64 $3.64
Lightbulbs, 6 100w $12.50 $21.00
Garden hose 100′ $36.00 $28.00
Extension cords 50′ $25.00 $20.00
Ceiling fan $100.00 $100.00
Attic ladder $195.00 $169.00
Light fixtures, 6″ recessed $10.00 $10.00
Pavers 8×16 brick, 72 pieces $92.16 $99.36
Light fence 48″x50′ $56.00 $56.00
Fence posts $2.20 $2.36
Steel rake $19.00 $15.00
Plastic rake $15.20 $10.00
Mailbox, black metal $25.00 $18.00
Ladder 6′ $49.00 $59.00
Door 36″x80″ prehung hollow $71.00 $70.00
Multi ladder 17′ 300lb $169.00 $149.00
Total $1,705.53 $1,480.19

Home Depot is $225 less then Lowe’s for the basics. There are a couple of items where Home Depot cost more, but by far going to Home Depot was going to save me money.

Another comparison I did was to see what options were available in each store. The kitchen sink, not listed above but something we decided to buy. Home Depot has a great one we fell in love with, see it here. Comes with a nice faucet as well. We went to Lowe’s because I had a gift card, and I hoped to find a similar sink. Terrible selection. Their sink selection was small, and none came in that price range with a faucet. We were looking at spending at least an extra hundred bucks to get a decent sink. So to Home Depot we went.

I also checked out Lowe’s kitchen hardware selection. Their selection was by far smaller, and didn’t have exactly what we were looking for (brushed antique brass window sash locks). Who did? Home Depot. I ended up using the gift card at Lowe’s on some random supplies like nails and primer.

As I buy stuff, I sometimes buy the wrong item, or to many. So I need to return some items, and Home Depot’s return process is AMAZINGLY simple. Just show up with your item, no receipt required as long as you have the credit card you used to pay for it. A few scans with the reader and you’re off. Love it. I haven’t had to return anything to Lowe’s yet.

I don’t understand why people go to Lowe’s, especially the one in Woburn. Next town over in Reading, right off route 128 is Home Depot, with a larger selection and better prices across the board.

Am I a loyalist? My friends would say that I am, I attach myself to a company or brand (Coke, Ford, Microsoft, Lenovo, Starbucks, etc) and will fight for it until I die. I didn’t want to be stubborn with the house stuff, I wanted to make sure I opened my mind to any and all options, especially since I wanted to save money. It appears my loyalty wasn’t poorly placed:

Home Depot Rocks! Lowe’s Sucks!

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