Monday, May 30, 2011

Fan the Flames

So while I didn't end up working this weekend (thankfully, nothing came up!  Whoo!), our visitors from out of town made it impossible to do any housework.  Even after they took off, we lazed about because we were exhausted from the Go-Go-Go of the weekend, so the only real work we did was install our new fan in the master bedroom.  This is the before:


This (as always) was more difficult than just removing the old and installing the new, and I will itemize the reasons:

1) The original fan was not installed in the middle of the ceiling.  In fact, it was installed two inches diagonal to the center of the room, so it was doubly-off-center.  Why?  There was a patched spot where it clearly used to be (in the center).  There was also another brown spot where it looks like they originally tried to install it, then said "eff it".

The large brown spot is where it used to be.

2) Because of these random patches, husband decided to go trolling through the attic to determine why it was installed there (was there a stud missing?  Was there an electrical box issue?  Was there an AC unit in the way?  Were the previous owners frightened by a squirrel that was presently occupying the space where it needed to be installed?).  The answer was no.  There was no reason why it was installed in its present location.  Sigh.
3) Now that the decision was made to move the fan to the center of the room (i.e., where it's supposed to go, McLazies!), I had to patch up the previous holes.  I like spackle!  Especially because it's pink.  Plus I am a fan of things that change colors.
4) We do remember the ceiling detexturizing debacle of May 2011, right?  Well, as you can see, the ceiling texture was not removed from the ceiling itself, because a) I couldn't reach it at the time and b) there was a ceiling fan in the way.  Now, there was no excuse. So I became a detexturizing, ceiling painting fool.  It was actually quite comical, because while I was doing this, husband was drilling holes into the ceiling can imagine how that went.  I had ceiling in my eyeballs and hair for the remainder of the evening. 

So here's what it looked like when we were done with the prep-work.

Before everything had dried, clearly.
And....the epic finale!  Here's what it looks like now:

Modern, chic, and centered (though it doesn't look like it from this angle on the bed). What more could you ask for?  Nothing, because this fan is gorg.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sneak Peek

So I have no real updates.  I have only dirty sneak peeks!

Since the kitchen completion, I kind of crashed out.  We've been moving the rest of the stuff this week since I have to work this weekend, so we've been trying to get everything moved from the apartment to the house.  Considering most of the house wasn't packed yet......that means that husband spent most of yesterday packing and filling up his truck with stuff while I was at work, and mostly moving by himself.  I met him at the apartment after work to fill up my vehicle, but I didn't bother unpacking it because I had more important things to do.  Namely, taping off the upstairs rooms in preparation for paint.

But see, here's the deal:  With this husband-bartering-his-life-away-for-home-renovations deal, we figured out that we could cut down on a lot of in the costs by doing the demo work ourselves.  Plus, demolition is fun.  We are having new carpet installed, new wood floors, new tile, new granite, the bathroom is getting almost an entire makeover, and all of this is happening quickly.  So we have to rip out the counters/backsplash (where we can), rip out the tile (where we can), rip up the carpet, and paint the rooms upstairs before any of this gets done.  The renovation guy says the order is supposed to go: 1) Granite, 2) Tile 3) Carpet 4) Wood.  But since we elected to trade out the crap tile in the hallway and the newly-discovered-to-be-crappy bedroom carpet for the same wood that is being installed in the living room, we figured we could probably convince him to get the carpet guys to come and put down the new stuff, since it didn't touch any wood or tile (it's only going to be in the upstairs and on the staircase).  So Wednesday morning, we were told "I'll see what I can do."  So I figured last night, I needed to rip up all the carpet and starting painting to prepare for it, just in case he called this morning and was like, "We're coming out Friday" and I had to paint two rooms before they can do the carpet.  Sigh.  So I was freaking out, because not only did I want both coats of paint and the trimwork to be done by the time the carpet guys installed, but I also wanted it done by Saturday, since we'll be having an impromptu guest over and I don't want her to be like, "OMG what is wrong with these disgusting walls". 

Thankfully, husband talked me off the ledge.  He was like, "The carpet guys aren't going to come that quick."  Then he bribed me with Mexican food.  (It works every time.  I'm a sucker for Pappasitos.)  So instead of freaking out, I simply taped off the trim in one of the rooms, we ripped up some carpet (to find some surprisingly-new padding underneath - Score!  Less to have to pay the carpet people for!), and helped unpack.

So here was my one official update, to the master bedroom door:

From this:



And here are my sneak-peeks:

Soon to be featured throughout the downstairs
It's this rich cherrywood-base hickory wood.  Awesome.  Gorgeous.  Looks amazing in this room, looks amazing everywhere else.

This is pretty much exactly what our kitchen will look like.   We're doing an Ubatuba granite...

with this Mirado undermount sink and faucet...

 and diamond-laid tile in the backsplash as shown above.  Our backsplash will be the same tile that will be going on the floor and all throughout the bathroom, but I don't have the exact picture of it.  This floor is as close as I can find, though it has a bit more green in it where the darker elements are below:

If you combine the basic color and the way the tile goes from diagonal to straight in this pic... will have what our tub will look like when we're done.  Gonna be awesome.

We've got the granite guys presently cutting the granite, and it sounds like they'll be finished and installing (fingers crossed) next week.  That means kitchen and bathroom countertops will be done!!  Got lots of work to do before then...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kitchen - Before and (Sort-Of) After

So, the kitchen paint is finished!  Let's do a true before and after, eh?


With the dining light removed (it actually didn't look too bad with it) and the window shades put back on!

Before the door and the trim was finished

 Not so great from this angle, but just wait until the next updated photo.  You will be floored.  Trust me.

Please note the lack of ceiling texture in the after photo!

I cannot express to you how disgusting the pantry was (door and interior) in pictures.  The best I can do is above, which can only scratch the surface of disgusting.  After five coats of paint, this is what it looks like:

Not brand new, but definitely a remarkable improvement.  I had to do the door, every shelf, the walls all around, and then do it all over again four more times.  Not fun.

So when Amanda came in and started taping off, she did an awesome job.  But given that I knew I'd be painting the ceilings, I didn't worry about taping up there, since I'd have to touch up anyway, and the ceiling texture is not a tapeable surface in any way.  So once the paint was dry and I did the trim (twice), I had to paint the ceiling.  I don't have a before picture, because you know, it's a ceiling, and in the dark you can't really tell.  But here's a good representation:

See the yellow in the middle?  That's kind of what color it was before.  What was crazy, was that you couldn't really tell it was that color until the white went on.  So yeah.  Oh, and check out that texture!  It's way detexturized sirs and ma'ams. 

So yeah, when I was painting the ceiling, I did end up taping off the wall so I wouldn't get white all over the wall.  Except guess what happened?  It bled through.    And then I still had to paint the green off the ceilings as well:

So I did all of that, and then had the bleed-through, so I had to go back and touch up the green.  Now, in most places, I could have just touched up the blatantly-wrong places, and been done:

Like so.

All fixed!

Except I have this problem with putting my name on something that's not perfect, or at least as close to it as I can do.  I can't in good conscience walk someone into a room and be like, "I painted this!!!!" and have them internally go, "Well there's a spot there, and a spot down there, and one up there that she missed." because that equates to "Wow, meet Taylor McLazy."  So...I was like, Ninja-Touch-Up.  I cut in like a mofo. 


Turned into this:

And this:

Turned into this:

The thing is?  You can only see these changes when you're close up.  I could take a far-off picture of the 'before-touch-up" part and you could be like "There's nothing you need to do.  But when you get up close, you see the minutae of what I did to give it an overall amazing look.  For example:

It didn't look like that before, dude. 

So anyway, I'm not going to post a billion before-and-after-trim-touch-up pics, because I took a million and really?  It was only for my own edification.  The overall picture is just gorgeous, and I'm so proud and excited for company to come over and I can go "look at this room I painted!!!" and people to say internally (and hopefully externally), "Holy Wow, Batman!  This looks professionally done!" And I want future buyers to think the same thing.  I don't want them to come in and be horrified by the quality of paint job, such as we were when we came in here for the first time.  :) other news!  Sneak peak of what we're currently working on:

Monday, May 23, 2011

And the Move Rolls On

So...I realize I haven't updated in forever.  I'm sorry about that, but there's just been so much to do, both on the house and the apartment.  Chief on that list is packing for The Official Move, which we'd planned for this past weekend.  The problem was, there was a lot of other stuff in our lives that we had to do, so packing kept getting moved down to the bottom of the list.  I didn't want to pack up the kitchen and drag all the stuff over if I was still going to be painting and such (and de-texturing the ceiling, and more painting, and then more painting on top of that, and then having to install shelf liner).  There were a lot of items we couldn't move over yet, for myriad reasons.  But since the internet was set to start on Friday, we decided we'd start our move then. 

Except...Friday was kind of a horrid work day, and husband informs me that he has to work on his car Saturday since that's the only day he'll have help, so...we planned on me packing Friday, working on the house Saturday, then joining up Saturday late afternoon for dinner and a subsequent nap, then waking up in the evening and moving stuff over.  Except it was only going to be the important stuff (like the TV and clothes), because there is another reason:

I may not have blogged it out, but husband is like, ubermechanic.  He is the McGuyver of cars/mechanical items.  He has some guy for whom he is working on a car, and it turns out the guy is a remodeling company owner.  So...they are sort of working out this deal to fix everything we want in the house in exchange for husband-labor.  Awesome.  So...we don't really want to go through all the trouble of moving everything upstairs and into the living room, if the living room and upstairs are getting new carpet/wood, yanno?  We can't really move everything into the garage because one side is housing my Engagement Muscle Car, and the other side is housing...all the home renovation stuff for the bathroom.  No extra room.  For serious.  And PS - this guy was supposed to have been at the house measuring and preparing for installation like, two weeks ago.  The point was to redo the kitchen and the flooring before we moved in, so we didn't have to try to go through all this drama post-move.  But as is the way of contractors in general, he's only just now measuring (as in, he came by today).  Sigh. 

I will blog about our efforts in another post, but I will continue story!  So Friday I packed, Saturday I did trim-work on the kitchen, and some other stuff I've completely forgotten about at this point.  Then husband came home and we had tasty food before napping and beginning our move.  We got finished moving everything in around 11PM, then I started working on putting the fixtures back on the walls in the bedroom while husband put the bed together and set up the TV stuff (having a husband rocks).  We collaborated on putting the blinds back on the bedroom window (because you know we didn't want to be woken up at 7am by the sun, unfiltered as it would have been.  Sun = Evil when working on a house until 2am).  Then husband began his efforts for setting up the internet. 

Yeah.  That didn't go well.

They were supposed to transfer service.  So when on Friday, the internet went out at the apartment, we both assumed that it went on at the house.  Except, no.  After husband went trolling through the attic at midnight and cursing up a storm (it was not pretty) and then went outside to check the box (at nearly 1am, in the dark, with only his cell-phone light to guide him), and I (calmly) went plugging in the DSL box at every available port (to no avail), we came to the conclusion that either the internet guy did something wrong, or we had porting issues (much bigger issue). 

In the effort of continuing the (awesome) story: husband gets on the phone today.  After hours of being transferred back and forth with AT&T, he has discovered that Mr. Internet Tech wanted to get off a few hours early on Friday.  So, despite having told husband that we didn't have to be at the house to turn the service on, he took one half-arsed sweep of the front of the house, couldn't find the box, and decided, "WTF.  I guess I'll just go home." 


Wait, what?

Yes.  So we didn't have service all weekend, at either house, because the tech guy was supremely lazy in addition to being a blatant liar.  And husband gets probably the most ghetto "ladies" (loosely-termed) on the phone today to tell him that no one will come out until Wednesday at the earliest.

Now, husband and I have a good-cop, bad-cop vibe.  I play the understanding, reasonable, level-headed voice of reason.  He plays the "I'm gonna come to your house and chop of your limbs if you don't deliver what you told me you'd deliver under the terms and conditions we agreed upon" hot-head.  It's actually perfect when we work together to fight crime and purchase refrigerators.  However, when he is tasked with speaking with AT&T reps without me?  Things generally don't end well.  And, now that he's armed with the info that the lazy tech blatantly lied to him?  I can only imagine how that conversation went down.  Were I present, it would likely have been enormously entertaining or uncomfortable to behold.  Possibly both.

Short version, after five hours on the phone, he managed to get a tech out today.  That's probably best for all involved.

Back to Sunday!  I painted the ceiling, fixed all my green-paint-on-the-ceiling accidents, and put the last shot of trim on the entire kitchen.  I do not have a reveal picture, because all I have left is touch-ups with the green tonight, and the kitchen will be done!  Yes!!  Reveal pics tomorrow. 

Husband got a friend (the aforementioned DIY-kitchen-remodeler who also just finished completely remodeling his bath into a shower as well) came over to help with the bathroom.  Namely, I convinced husband to install dual shower-heads in the master bath.  HECKYES!!!!!!!  So there was like, soldering, and pipe-purchasing, and other stuff.  Oh, and we finally installed a (temporary) mailbox, so now we may receive mail.  Yes! 

SO, in summary:  We are only partially moved in.  We won't have internet until this afternoon.  We won't have gas in the house (meaning, we won't have hot water for showers) until later this week. So there's going to be a lot of back-and-forth to the apartment for showers/packing/moving over the next week.  Boo/Yay.  But we can now receive mail and we have a supercomfortable bed with a superawesome TV and PS3 and the house is sloooowly starting to come together!!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Renovation Marathon

So…Saturday, I received a surprise.  I woke up and worked (SHOCKING), and I received a little chat message from my bestie.   I’d been badgering her to come and help me out with the house, despite that she lived three hours away from me.  Her family are like, house-renovatey people (technical term) and she’s probably the most amazing person on the planet and every, time I’m like, “House make angry!” she’s like, “Hey, how about do that thing that’s totally easy that you never thought of before” and then I’m like “OMG I love you a whole bunches of lots.  Please move in with me and live here forever”, and she’s like “No” and then I’m like “But…but…!!!!!!!” but she won’t listen. 

So anyway, she says that she’s coming to help me.  LIKE, FROM A THREE-HOUR-AWAY LOCATION.  She’s packing up her husband and she’s driving to help out, ON SATURDAY. Squees ensue to a dog-barking-pitch.  I bounce.  I titter with glee. 

I get to the home to slap on a second coat of trim-paint, all the while whistling while I work.  I’m stupid-excited, y’all.  And how could I not be?:

Look at that face.  What’s not to get stupid-excited over?  Exactly.

So I finish the bedroom before they show up.  Touched up the walls, last coat of paint put on the window sill/baseboards/trim!  I am glee.  Would you like to see it?  Okay!  Total before and after!!!

Before (Sorry Sue!)
After!  (Without fixtures re-put on)

It's like a different room, amirite?

It's gorgeous.  I'm so excited it's over!  Now all I have to do is finish painting the doors (see pics below), clean up and reattach the outlet covers, put the blinds back in, and put in the new air duct cover we bought's move-in ready!  After eight days.  Y'all, I cannot tell you how big a relief it is.

I have a sidenote topic regarding taping that I will discuss in a separate post.

So anyway, after being done with the bedroom, I don’t want to start on The Next Big Project (read: kitchen) because I’ll be all, in the middle of it and they will be coming over and then we will be wanting to eat the food at the restaurant (and celebrate, because HOLY ACCOMPLISHMENT BATMAN!), so…I just dug at the backyard philodendron more (sigh) and waited for them to arrive.

After the long tour of the home, and the Mexican-food-and-margarita-pitcher break, we split up.  The womenz go to the Wal-Mart for supplies, the boyz go to the apartment for the beds/sheets/etc.  Amanda has decreed that we will have marathon house-renovatin’, and therefore will sleep at the house this evening and work until our tired arms and legs can no longer sustain us, crash out on our beds, and be promptly woken up the next morning by this:
What I was threatened with.
So...we gals return home with supplies (including energy drinks) and begin prepping the kitchen.  Amanda starts on the taping and I start on the ceiling.  (Oh yes.  The ceiling.)  I am briefly attacked by a very aggressive (but tinier than my pinky-nail) little house spider which launches himself off the ceiling and onto me in an attempt to, I dunno, perhaps kamikazi-bomb me?  Who knows.  He is unsuccessful, and falls to the ground, where he promptly remains in the same location (stunned, no doubt) until I accidentally step on him later.  Oops.

The boys return to the house with their bounties and, after unloading, I put Drew (the other husband) on wall-sanding duty.
Why such a blurry shot, you ask?  Probably because my shoulder/arm muscles were spasming involunarily from all the ceiling-texture-removin' I was doing.  Or maybe it was latent trauma from the suicide spider-bomber.  Whichever.

Husband rescues me, giving me the opportunity to photograph the awesomeness of our marathon-renovation.

The fruits of Drew's labor.

The haze you're seeing is ceiling dust.  Oh yes.  And possibly wall-dust as well.

The boys were so helpful!  Of course, we also had other items to help propel us into action for the long night:

Once complete, the boys disappeared into the bathroom for full-on Demolition Mode while the ladies painted.

Yes, that is a garden tub on its side.

In addition to this awesome work, they found us a souvenir.

Fully. Intact. Rat. Carcass.  Amazing!!!  *fist pump*  It was, as all of my newfound friends in this house, destroyed soon after.  Someone beheaded it with an errant foot.  Le sigh.

So this progress kept us up until 3am, when we all promptly crashed.  I have a vague memory of halfheartedly putting a sheet over the mattress and then just falling asleep.  That is all. 

Shockingly, I was not awoken to any drill sargeants on Sunday.  I think someone was as sleepy as we were.  :)

After we drug ourselves out of bed and put food in our bellies, it was back to work.  Amanda tackled cleaning and taping all of the baseboards, while I put the second coat of paint on the kitchen walls. 

Witness the paint on her!  Adorablest Person Ever.
Husband and Drew cleared out a lot of the debris from the master bath and then husband came to me with the news that we'd be very quickly replacing our water heater.  Sigh.

So they were gone forever, and they came back with a shiny new one.  Then they had to build a new house for it, I guess. 

Wooden housey thing, lovingly built by husband's adept hands.
There was a lot of banging and sawing and grunting and other manly noises.  I'm pretty sure they didn't come from Amanda, so....yeah.  This is what it looks like now!

The top of the master-bath-area

He also purchased new insulation, sheetrock, etc for the bath. We won't discuss price.

It waned into the evening, and sadly the crew had to drive back home.  But Amanda had to pose on my engagement car (and I'm sure she humped it at one point too) before leaving:

Thank you to the best helpers ever!!!  Y'all are awesome.

I am sad to notify you that I do not have an after picture of the kitchen presently.  Cry me a river.  But two coats were painted on it, as well as four coats of paint in the pantry, and that sucker looks goooooood.  Like, awesomegood.  After I put some coats of shiny stuff on the trim, I will take pictures.  Speaking of kitchen, husband and I are scheduled to pick out granite Thursday, so hopefully it should be a full-on after shot here soon.