Saturday, February 28, 2009

Odds and Ends

Justin is a perfectionist. Today it nearly killed him (psychologically). See, we had planned to have all this wood backing in the walls to make hanging cabinets in the kitchen easy. But, when we went to install the range hood, the backing was too low and there were no studs where we needed them. Ah, ha! Justin would just cut out a piece of drywall, install some plywood in its place and screw the plywood into the studs. And he did...but he over-engineered his solution with a bunch of pieces of wood cramed up beyond the hole in the drywall and screwed in and then he forgot to move the electrical line to the right so it would line up with the electric in the hood. And then he broke a screw in the contraption. So, when he decided to take it all apart to move the electrical wire, it didn't come apart nicely...the broken screw held some pieces in place and he had to bend the wood to get the wire rerouted. When he went to put the wood back in place, it didn't fit nicely like kind of angled in. He had to shim the fastening brackets for the hood so that it would mount nicely. And this operation just killed his perfectionist spirit. But I offered no consolation. It was 7:28 pm and I was ready to go home.

Here's the kludge with the shims and Justin with a sassy attitude.

Oh, but the kludge was good enough because the hood hung nice and level and hid all the rough stuff behind it.
Satuday wasn't all about the hood--we did lots of other things too. Justin's dad, Jon, came over to help for the day and he patched all of the subfloor to prep it for the patching that the floor refinishers will do next week. Meanwhile, Justin installed our bathroom radiant floor heating system and the self-leveling compound that it lies in. I pulled out the rest of the staples in the wood floor, removed all of the tape from the rooms we were finished painting and finished painting the second coat in the living room.
Here's our new bathroom floor with the warming coil set into the cement.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two more coats

This has been a rough week, mostly for Justin. Justin woke up at 3 am on Monday morning with a wicked case of food poisoning/stomach flu. He was up most of the rest of the early morning in an uncomfortable state and stayed home from work (an unusual occurrence). So, we didn't make any progress on Monday night as planned on our project--I was too busy nursing him back to health and baking zucchini bread. Tuesday morning, I met the countertop fabricator at the house for countertop templating. This has to be the most unscientific trade out there. The guy took 8' wood slats and laid them out on the cabinets and then hot glued them together to simulate the frame of our cabinet. Not a single measurement was taken to verify the location of anything. We shall see if we get the countertops for which we're paying.
Tonight, finally, we can see the finish line on the painting chore now. We've got two more coats to apply: one coat to the living room and one coat to the upstairs bedroom closets. Justin and I sacrificed an evening to the brush and roller and finished the painting in the bedroom downstairs, started the living room and both closets in the bedrooms upstairs.

Here's our finely painted closet in the spare room (maybe we'll call it the kitty room since I think we'll be putting the cat gym in here).

Our "shades of blue" living room. The color of the trim is a real clasher right now but getting the white on the molding isn't a priority...lots of other things to do!
And another surprise! Doug, our stair railing craftsman, dropped off our newel posts for the stair railing. The posts look a lot better in reality then they are depicted in the catalog--a pleasant surprise!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Narrowing the Gap

For those of you who don't know, I sold my house and the deal is closing at the end of March so we have our move-in date: March 28. I have the U-Haul rented and even a few boxes packed. This news made progress this weekend all the more important as we don't have much time left before we make this place our home.

On Tuesday last week, our cabinets were delivered and our top priority this weekend was to get them installed so that the countertop templating crew can get our countertops crafted. Justin spent most of his evenings last week setting and leveling the cabinets so we thought that we'd have loads of time to work on things like painting and pulling staples from the floor this weekend. Unfortunately, he must have picked the easiest cabinets to install last week because it took the entire day Saturday to install the rest of the kitchen cabinets. We were there until 8 pm finishing the job. But they look great:

Here's our newly painted kitchen with our white cabinetry.

Here's Justin installing a base for the tall cabinets. This is our new pantry.
On Sunday, we made our way over to the house bright and early, despite our long day on Saturday. On the agenda was painting and installing the cabinetry for the upstairs bathroom.

We spent the morning spraying on the tan paint for the hallways, stairway, bathroom and extra bedroom. There was a lot of surface area and with my faulty wrist it was going to be worth it to tape off the ceilings and spray on the tan paint. We had two coats on by noon and the sprayer cleaned up too. It was a huge time/joint saver. The only bummer was that the tape took off a bunch of the ceiling paint so I'll have to go back over the edges with more ceiling paint at a later date. We got nice clean lines between the ceiling and wall though.

Here's our nook upstairs for a desk with tan paint and white ceilings.
While Justin worked on the cabinets, I decided to edge the living room and downstairs bedroom with paint. I had some extra time and will so I rolled on the paint for the bedroom. It is sort of a light blue and is exactly the same color as I have in my current spare need to change all of the accessories just because we're moving!

The spare room with light blue paint. The masked off stuff is a picture rail that we'll paint white eventually along with all of the rest of the molding and trim throughout the house.

I also wrapped up the painting the dining room (imagine white molding).

And Justin finished up the cabinetry in the bathroom. Isn't it sleek? (And doesn't our camera lens need a good cleaning?) I'm not so sure I'm in love with the wall color. I'm thinking I should have gone with a lighter color but we'll be giving it a chance.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A marathon

Those of you who know me know that I've given up television...I've been off the tube for 6+ years, not owning one to watch. But I'm not too proud to take in a show or two when a TV happens to be on and I'm in its proximity. Back when I went to the gym regularly, I'd watch an episode or two on HGTV (that's Home & Garden Television for all of you sports fans) on the elliptical machine to make the time pass. I was over at a friend's house a few weeks ago and somehow convinced them to put on HGTV and we tuned into a marathon of "Renovation Realities". Well, it is really one of the worst DIY shows but not having a TV, broadcasting is now more than just a novelty, it's mesmerizing. So, we all watched the marathon and laughed to ourselves about how silly or stupid or down-right mean the folks on the show came across.

This weekend we had a marathon of our own, paint the whole house in 72 hours or less. We're into hour 48 now and while we are finding our pace, there's still a lot of area to cover. Luckily though, our troop of friends are coming through for us this holiday weekend yet again. Justin's dad loaned us his paint sprayer which applies a lot of paint really fast but requires a lot of prep. That's how we spent much of Saturday. Jill and Scott came over for the day and helped us tape & paper all of the trim and windows and put up about 10 gallons of primer. It was essential work. On Sunday, we had an even larger crew, Jill, Amy, Heidi and Scott to help us finish the priming and spray on the ceiling paint throughout the house. While that took most of the day, the gang did have time to get into the colored paint and put the first coat of the brown on for the master bedroom.

The day left us tired and sore and ready to get back to our day jobs for some much needed R&R. However, only Justin gets that perk. My employer is observing the holiday so I'll be recognizing Lincoln and Obama with another day of painting on Monday. It's a mixed blessing...we need to get the paint up but three days in a row is tough to endure. I have a fresh crew coming on Monday to help out so hopefully we'll make good progress. The cabinets arrive on Tuesday so we have our challenge!

The paint sprayer puts a million droplets of paint in the air. This photo shows Justin applying some ceiling paint and you can get a real feel for what its like in the room.

Here's our work crew on Sunday, all smiles priming the living room. Amy wins the contest for best painting clothes with her lovely pink housecoat.

Scott was so smitten with the housecoat, he insisted on wearing it for the afternoon--in honor of St. Valentine.Here's our new bedroom color, a nice chocolate milk, cake batter color. We'll be accenting the room with purple accessories.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So Far So Good

Things are progressing along very well at the bungalow. We spent the weekend enjoying the new furnace at the house while doing a few smaller projects that are not on the critical path but have to be done. Knowing that we have to move soon we thought that some shelves would be a good addition to the basement so we spent Saturday putting two sets together using salvaged lumber from the old basement walls. My dad stopped by to take some measurements for the medicine cabinet he is building for us, as well as to drop off his newly rebuilt paint sprayer. Things are on track to start painting this upcoming weekend and this will make things go a lot faster. We also started the patching of the base moulding where the old electrical outlets were located.

On Sunday we felt bad about leaving our other kitten Tinkerbell at home alone so she went on a field trip to the bungalow for the day. Based on her reaction to the mess I don't think she was too impressed. Once there are counters to jump on and couches to sleep upon I'm sure it will meet her high standards. While Tink explored the house Laura and I finished the trim repair and did a big cleanup of the basement, outside and the secret room under the porch. Unfortunately there were no really cool items to come out from under the porch, just a few cool old glass jugs and jars. The rest was moldy, rotten or just gross so it went in the dumpster. Ryan, Michelle and Jill stopped by to check out our progress as well which was a nice distraction.

The drywallers are on track to be wrapped up by Friday so we can start to mask the windows and trim for the big weekend painting show. My hope is to have all of the ceilings painted and the walls of all but the smaller rooms finished as well. The cabinets are coming a week from today and I want to get the majority of the mess wrapped up before we start moving them into the house.

Hopefully the remainder of the week has a bit less drama than last week. I don't think I can take another like that!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Beautiful Poppy

This has been a bittersweet week. Alongside all of the progress at our home, our sweet and beautiful kitten, Poppy, passed away. Poppy was the unfortunate recipient of 1:5000 genetics that allowed a mutation that destroyed her. She died on Thursday evening in our arms from FIPV. Only 11 months old, Poppy was a great cat. She had a mellow and friendly attitude and was a great cuddler. We had a special bond. I'm posting some photos of her during a happier time.

Heat & Walls

Drywall activity kicked off the week on Monday with a whole lotta hanging going on. On Wednesday, PSE installed our new gas meter. PSE had a bit of an ordeal getting our gas line and neighbor's gas line figured out since nothing about our system was up to code. In the end, we ended up being a twin off of our next door neighbor's house because it was the path of least resistance.

Here's a photo of our new meter just a day short of being hooked up by our mechanical contractor.
By Thursday, we had drywall up on all of the walls and the crew had taped and mudded their first coat. The place really looked different when we had a look on Thursday evening.

Here's our new kitchen space from the dining room.
Our main level bathroom with a nice shot of the new bathtub.
Here's our spare bedroom on the second floor--you can see the rigid insulation plug for our attic space in the closet.
Here's a shot from the stairs looking up. Straight ahead is our master bedroom. The new bathroom is through the doorway to the right and the little nook in the right foreground will hold a little desk/office space.

Our drywallers went above and beyond our expectations on Friday, skimcoating all of the plaster on the mainfloor to give a smoother look. This should hopefully take care of some of the hairline cracks and paint drips from the last painter.

The heat is on now which is wonderful. No more chilly work space. Our home is really coming together!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Weekend

We have made huge leaps forward since the last post. Our goal of obtaining the OK to install drywall was reached last Friday when our last two inspection sign offs were given. There is a great story to all of it that I will not be posting, primarily to protect the innocent.

We finished up last week with Laura coming down with some type of ailment (it always seems to happen every year around Superbowl Sunday) and a very sick cat. The insulators completed their exposed wall work (still have the blow in to do) and the plumber installed the 300+ pound bathtub. I worked at the house on Friday, Saturday and Sunday cleaning up, installing as much blocking in the walls as I could, installing the downstairs bathroom sub floor and generally getting the house ready for the drywall installation. The carpenter that we hired came by on Saturday and we worked through the plan for the new banister for the stairs to the upper floor and installed some blocking and support for that. My plan was to work on Saturday and take Sunday off to read the paper, make chili, watch the Superbowl and eat said chili. Once at home Saturday night I realized that there were a few important things that I forgot to do so I headed back over to the bungalow on Sunday morning to wrap them up. Laura made the chili and we headed to Chris and Sarah's to watch the big game and eat said chili (and seven others).

I stopped by the house today on my way back from a job site to see if there were any signs of the drywall delivery guys. When I pulled up there were no trucks on the street, but the front door was wide open. I had stopped early this morning to pick up a flashlight on my way to the job site and knew that the door was locked. I heard a lot of racket in the alley as I approached the house and this is what I saw:

Just a little drywall delivery truck (and yes that is blue sky). The house is now fully stocked of drywall and ready for the hanging crew to arrive. I'm hoping that they are there in force tomorrow to get a big jump on the work.

Tonight I took one of our cats to the vet for the third time (no improvement for about three weeks), Laura and I cleaned up the soon to be for sale house, and I took a load of random stuff to the bungalow. Apparently our collection of construction materials and fixtures do not show well to prospective buyers. Here are some other updated photos:

Main floor bath tub (under the cardboard and OSB).
The master bedroom closet pocket door frame.

Big stack of drywall in the dining room ready to go up!

Temporary filter at the upstairs cold air return.