What to do with musical instruments for Showings?

LocrianAugust 2, 2012

We're moving along getting the property ready for listing. All of the boxes and most of the furniture is in storage. Have to finish hoeing out the downstairs closet of holiday decorations, rebox, and off to U-Haul.

That will leave my music studio...eeeeeeeeek! It's in what is considered an "optional 4th bedroom" (10'x10', one door/no windows). I will take most, if not all, of the books, scores, and assorted paraphernalia to storage, leaving a desk with matching bench and guest chair. The chair pulls out & is just long/wide enough to pass as a twin bed with the right accessories.

Would it be better to leave it as a music studio, just pared down of course. Or set it up as a bedroom?

If left as a music studio, how is a delicate way to request mittengrabbins be kept out of harms way... It would be horrible to come home and find a potential new owner entwined in the wires of one harp while the others bust their guts. And the piano remembered it was just a harp in a coffin.

(As you all can probably tell, we're first-time sellers and want to make it as pleasant an experience for agents & buyers to work with us. Yes, we'll be agent represented once they get back from their Summer vacations.)

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This sounds best set up as an office or keep as a music room. I don't know where you live, but a windowless room wouldn't be a legal bedroom in Massachusetts.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Hi mpinto. Northern Virginia, here. *\0_

The room is an interior on the lower level (walkout). It's listed on the plats as "optional 4th bedroom". I call it the music studio :-) The lower level is fully finished with a full bath, closets, fireplace, etc.

I'm seriously considering keeping it as a music room, just for my convenience. But! A lot of potential new owners want that 4th BR option...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Put the covers on the harps, for sure, and it would help if you could kind of corral them in a corner behind stands or something. They would be prettier without them, but nobody can resist plucking a string or digging a fingernail into gold leaf to see if it's real.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:37PM
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If someone really needs 4 bedrooms ... then 3 bedrooms + an interior basement room with no windows does not add up to 4 bedrooms.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:17AM
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A bedroom requires an egress window for obvious safety reasons. Trying to pass that space as a 4th bedroom is a misrepresentation.

Provided you already have a designated office in the house, then play (no pun intended) the space up as a music room ----- remove the desk and chair and display instruments to their best advantage. A harp is a beautiful thing, but a COVERED harp is ominous. Take others' advice and place the harp in an inaccessible corner.

BTW, is that space sound-proofed? If so, promote it as an asset. Anyone who has a teenage musician in the family knows what I'm talking about!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:36AM
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>. A harp is a beautiful thing, but a COVERED harp is ominous. Take others' advice and place the harp in an inaccessible corner.

Sorry, but unless you're factoring the cost of replacing the harp(s) into the price for your place I wouldn't do that. No harp is too inaccessible for people to force their way over and fool with it if it's obvious what it is. Is it worth losing a harp to have that room make a better impression?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Should maybe have mentioned for those who aren't aware that the cost of replacing a harp can easily be 50 or 60K if it's gilded, and currently a factory regild if they should just damage the finish on a gold one is ~30K.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:30AM
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WritersBlock, LOL, yes people love to touch the harps & make "angle wings". That's what I call the gliss. No gold leaf on these babies. They're "folk" harps rather than Golden Goddess of the Orchestra ;-) The piano is an old Spinnet, a very Plain Jane.

ChiSpa & MareMa, no, believe me, we are NOT going to misrepresent this as a bedroom ;-) I'm happy to present this as 3-BR.

The RE inspector this morning banged us on the dividing wall buckling. It is noticeable, once he pointed it out. Since it's an optional "room" he, hubby, and carpenter are discussing taking it down right now. Glad we paid to have an inspector pre-listing. For our own peace of mind.

Oh! Since the storage unit is climate-controlled, we CAN move all the instruments into it. O_o was hoping to only have to move the piano once tho...

If I keep one harp here, as I don't relish trucking to storage every time I get a Hospice call at 2-o'clock in the morning ;-) would keeping "him" in one of the "child/guest" rooms be appropriate? Or would the sitting area in the M-BR be a better option?

Thanks everyone for the discussion. I really appreciate it. =).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Hi WritersBlock, oh so true on pedal harps. They can cost as much as a house in some markets! At least a car... The balance point alone around small children has me running for the harp rather than the kid LOL

I'll probably store the wire-strungs. I'd be devastated if someone was garrotted. The gut-strung (although very expensive to restring) is safer. He's the one I use as a therapy harp anyway. A Gothic-frame harp is less intimidating, too. People think more "Mists of Avalon" or Church Angels when they see one.

And...the wall is tumbling down. Hubby, Carpenter & Helper are moving all the instruments into the laundry room (12'x12') so they're safe. Sigh. This townhouse is giving me more grey hair than what I need... The stone facing on the fireplace isn't code compliant either.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Locrian - sounds like you have things resolved even though it doesn't sound like the best choice to have to deal with.

Now on the stone facing on the fireplace not being code compliant. Is that current code or was it not code compliant when it was installed either? Even though it might not be code today if it was to code when installed it should be grandfathered in.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Hi Lyfia, the fireplace is faced with slate. The inspector said it is flaking and slate isn't "heat tolerant" safe for a fireplace.

So far he's been pretty reasonable: no GFI in powder room, loose shelf-bracket in linen closet, cracked underside of stair step, and sticking latch on gate. Plus the bucking false wall...Which really WAS a false wall. It came down with a few good pulls on the drywall & 2"x4" "slats".

20-years living here and never had a problem with the slate. It doesn't look flakey to my eyes. It looks like slate.

BRB. Had to go squeak the floor boards in the kitchen. He just said the joists are too wide apart?!? (Carpenter just rolled his eyes & laid a finger beside his nose...our code for "we'll discuss this dreck later.")

When we bought, this was new build, new subdivision. Sigh.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Something that was built 20 years ago and done at that time does not need to meet code of today. If it was code then that is all that matters it. If you change it now then you have to meet code.

That said putting GFCI in the bathroom is a real easy thing to do and worth not having a buyer come back over.

Any code violations of todays code is not valid if it was to code when it was done.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:33PM
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You could tuck the harp into a corner and put a dog X-pen across the front.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Lyfia, that's what Capenter explained about "code", too. He had also been a building (commercial) inspector before retiring. The joists were code compliant when built.

And the slate... Carpenter showed Inspector that it was rated for fireplaces. It's in the write-up from the FP manufacturer...pre-installed. So glad I've saved all the original documents.

GrayWings, the one harp I'll keep here lays down. Right now I have him up on the closet shelf in the bedroom. Ah, the joys of a 4-pound/4-foot harp. I've used an X-pen during "harp petting zoos". Very effective for keeping them from running loose around the hall LOL. And keeping mittengrabbins with dirty mittens from grabbing.

Almost forgot! Carpenter put in a GFI plate, that was all that was needed. The receptacle was wired for it. He said the foreman probably ran out of GFI plates & told the crew to use a regular one. It's on the GFI circuit properly now. The cracked stair step underside we're discussing. And TaDa, I squirted WD-40 on the latch. No more sticky latch :-)

When do we get to the fun stuff?!? My scene & set design skills are languishing. Are we there yet? I'm bored. Ooops!

Once the dust settles, I'll probably be posting pictures, asking a slew of questions about "staging", too. Are first-time house sellers as "retentive" as we're being :-)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:54PM
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