Thursday, June 30, 2011

Preparing for the Weekend

Clearly, this upcoming weekend is going to be a long one. Not in the "UGH MAKE IT STOP!" way, but in the "I get three days off" way, which, IMO, is way better.  Even more awesome is that I will most likely actually get to enjoy it, since times are slower at work and I won't be hounded all weekend by people wanting to do work stuff.  I hope they're all drunk or on vacation this weekend.  :)

This is good because that means I have three whole days to tackle the house! There is a growing (and growing) list of items that need to be completed:

  • unpack the kitchen (so that one room in the house can be nearly complete...and we can actually eat on real plates)
  • paint the two doors for the downstairs (so we can have actual doors that are complete that lead us to the bathroom, rather than doors that are haphazardly laid against the doorframe and falling apart)
  • install aforementioned doors and put on handles (so we don't have to walk through the powder room to get to the bathroom, and can actually enjoy our new dual-sink-awesomeness)
  • belt sand and paint the upstairs bedroom ceilings (so we can finally move the mattress upstairs and make a real semblance of a guest bedroom)
  • move all the upstairs stuff upstairs
  • Organize the bathroom stuff (right now we're using bathroom stuff out of plastic bags and boxes.  It's not that awesome)
  • Organize the closet (again, because Husband had to remove everything to have the carpet put in and then forgot where everything went)
  • Try very hard not to buy stuff for the house that we desperately need
  • Clean
  • Clean
  • Clean
This is all the stuff I want to do just this weekend.  But what I really want to do is go have a triple-feature at the movie theater and then laze about the rest of the weekend.  But alas, no.  We have done that all week and cannot do this anymore.  We have got to tackle this house.

The great feeling is that it's gorgeous.  The house is already starting to just be amazing.  There's just so much more to do and it all feels very overwhelming at times, particularly when I wish I was much richer than I presently am.

SO...what are you planning for July 4h?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ride On This Magic Carpet!

No, I'm not about to break out with an Aladdin song.  We got our carpet in!

Carpet isn't really a before-and-after thing.  Every overall shot shows a nice even carpet in all the rooms, so you can't really tell why we'd replace it.  The downstairs was okay (except for the murder stains and/or blood-red paint dotting the carpet), if a little...I dunno.  The color was just meh.  It didn't match the paint I put on it, but it similarly didn't not match (thank god we didn't have cranberry colored carpets or anything).  Picture of before?  Yes.

We chose a slightly darker, warmer, richer color for our bedroom.  It's not a remarkable change, but it overall fits in the room so much better.  :)  Wanna see?

Blurry McBlur pic!  Yeesh.  Here is a pic of the closet, which you can tell the color more:

It's such an inviting color.  I can already imagine how gorgeous the finished product will be once we have furniture and a new (read: matching) bedspread set in the room.  :)

For those that care, here's a close up (before and after) of the carpet colors:



It also looks great next to the bathroom tile!  Here's the doorway between the master bath and the master bedroom:

The upstairs looks great too!  We chose a lighter shade than we did for the master bedroom, but the same carpet brand and quality.  We mostly just needed an update to the upstairs bedrooms because it was clear that there used to be kids up there.  The old carpet had old candy stuck into it, paint stains, and random black stains in both rooms.  Additionally, it was clear that they had added carpets to the rooms but not the hallways, because there was a visible cut at the doorway lines that I always hate.  Now?

Guest bedroom
Hallway (clearly)
It's a marginally darker color than it used to be, but it's such a seamless finish now (no more carpet cut marks!) and it's softer and better quality than the old stuff.'s over!  No more renovators coming over!  Now it's back in our hands. 

First up on the list?  Move everything back in the rooms, and clean the insides of the kitchen cabinets and pantry (the silica dust seeped in), put down some liner, and start unpacking!  I'm anxious to start actually cooking again, and using real plates and glasses and silverware. 

Then it's a long list of stuff to do after that.  I imagine we'll be taking it slower, since these last seven weeks have been a flurry of do-do-do.  We've been really enjoying just coming home after work and cuddling up with a movie.  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

No Woodchucks Allowed

Because we have brand new wood floors!  Installed Friday.  And it smelled good in the house!

Pictures?  Yes.

Before - Good from Far, Far from Good
Not the best shot, given I couldn't get one that didn't cause a glare.  It's really a beautiful hickory with red tones.  Gorgeous!




As with all things, it looks so much better in person.  Not only are the slats larger, they double-floated the ground so it's extremely even and it's engineered wood unlike the cheaper "tap-in" wood that was previously in that bowed up in many places and had started to peel.  Plus the color...OH the color!!!  Pictures do not do it justice.  But just look at how it matches the kitchen and bathroom tile!

However, I do notice that the living-room paint doesn't match the floors now.  It's just as obvious in the pictures as in person.  I'm going to do the touch-ups on the living room with the present paint as a test.  If the current paint dries evenly (where you can't tell I just touched it up), I'll probably leave it and deal with the color.  If it's a remarkable difference in color and sheen and I'd have to repaint anyway, I'll go with a warmer tone of the same shade to make it match.  So, we'll see.

There is one board that Husband is mad about.  See, he left while they were doing the wood.  Apparently, this was a mistake, because there's one lone piece of wood that's about three shades ligher.

I think in the grand scheme, it's not that noticeable.  But he is extremely observant of these types of things (he should be a plastic surgeon), so he's in a tizzy about it.  (The best part is, they left another 10+ pieces for us that are all the perfect color, so they had no reason to nail down the wrong color, but they did.)   I have told him to call the guys to fix it, but they'd have to un-nail all the pieces leading to it to replace it and then renail everything back.  It'd be a good deal of work.  I think it's probably just going to get a loveseat or rug put over it instead.  :)

In other news, Husband told me this morning that he received surprise visitors.  They came to install the carpet.  Interestingly enough, no one told us that they were coming to install the carpet, so Husband was frantically trying to remove the bed, TV, nightstands, and all the closet containers so they could put down the fresh stuff.  Oh and I was going to paint the ceilings and trim in the upstairs rooms before they did the carpet, which now I have to do on the new stuff because no one notified us.  Winning! 

I'm only marginally mad though, because I'm also really excited to see the finished product!  :)

So...what do you think?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Knock on Wood

Or in our case, the lack thereof.

We were told that the guys were coming out Wednesday (yesterday) to install the wood.  So Husband and nephew came over and they went Team Power Activate. 

Now this is what the living room looked like on Move-In-Day:

This is what it looked like Monday:

Yeah.  What happened?  Renovation happened, that's what.

When I got home, this is what it looked like:

Apparent proof that my husband is indeed part panther.

Good work, boys.  (Despite that the scent they kicked up smelled akin to a dead mildew monster hiding under the wood slats)

Of course on Wednesday, it rained here.  Heavily.  After like, 7 months (slight exaggeration) without rain.  The one day that they have to come and install an item that cannot have water on it.  Sigh.  They came anyway, but only to float the ground (badly) and leave on every light and fan in the house.  Oh, and leave the house unlocked.

Then today, they were presumably supposed to show at like, 9am.  They showed at 1:40pm.  Winning!

I don't even know if they're installing wood or just drink all our sodas.  But I'm excited to see the finished product.  Are you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tile and Grout and Counter Me, Baby


The bathroom granite is in.  A makeshift (clearly temporary) cabinet has been made for the master bath.  Most excitingly, the tile is finished...which means the shower is finished!  But perhaps most importantly (but not most excitingly), the toilet is also in.  Yawn, but whatever, it's a necessity.

So, pictures?  Yes.

After!  (But before the granite guys had cleaned it off)

Granite + New Faucets and Sinks = Awesome!

One of our good friends built this cabinet in like, twenty minutes.  I love that in addition to being dual sinks, it sits higher up (comes just above waist level on me, and i'm about 5'8).  I've always hated bending halfway over just to wash my hands, and it also gives it a feeling of being firmly seated in the ADULT category.  I can't imagine any three-year-olds coming in here to wash finger paint off their hands.  (And thank goodness for that!)

Here was the model that our buddy had to work with:

Husband make good drawing

Anyway!!  Onward with pictures, right?  Who cares about drawings of cabinets.

New flooring (pre-grout) in the powder room

Powder Room Before

Minus faucets that were later installed
This is actually a photo of the upstairs bathroom, but who cares?  It looks the same.



There's actually a lot of drama about this one.  I wanted a dual-flush toilet for the ever.  I hunted, searched, price-shopped, read reviews, etc etc.  Found the perfect one (as you may have remembered from previous post).  Except, it didn't fit.  It was a 12" rough-in, which is a standard size on like, 90 bagillion homes.  Except no, the 12" rough in standard toilet that is the only thing sold anywhere ever?  Doesn't fit.  This is a 10" rough in.  Which means I had to special-order this sucker and get it shipped.  It's still a pretty awesome (high-efficiency) toilet though, it's just a regular-flushy toilet instead of the cool "push a button" toilet.  Le sigh.  But that just means that our guests will get to use the awesome dual-flush toilet of awesome.

I'm stalling on purpose, because I know this is totally the moment you've totally been waiting for, AMIRITE?!  Without further adieu, I bring you.....THE MASTER SHOWER!

And now....

Fully installed in all its amazing glory - check out that ceiling!

This one shows more of the flooring and the step

How awesome is this border?  This (in addition to the bronze squares in the kitchen backsplash) was another small point of contention between Husband and I.  I liked this, but i liked other stuff better.  I thought this was a little too girly.  (I mean, c'mon, it has flowers.)  I wanted a rope-looking Greco-Roman distressed border, but it just hung out too far from the wall and, given how clumsy I am without the addition of slippery, watery surfaces (the bathroom floor is in no way slippery, but this baby giraffe will still find a way), we figured we shouldn't install anything that I could potentially knock myself unconscious with.  There were plenty of other selections, but this was the only other one that had that Greco-Roman Ruins look to it and it matched everything perfectly, so we went for it.  Glad we did, because it looks amazing. I also love that it bifurcates the straight-tile and the diagonal tile.  It's such a classy look to me.

Here's a shot of the shelf.  I don't know why they didn't install two, and I think it looks weird without the second one, but I guess Husband didn't think to ask when it was being installed and like the sink, they probably didn't come fully prepared and just hoped we didn't say anything.  It's still big enough to put the stuff we need on it and I kind of like that we don't have a ton of shelf space to put a whole bunch of crap.  Keeps it looking nice.  :)  I also totally love that the shelf has that unfinished surface-feel to it which is supposed to detract from soap scum, hard water, and other shower-ailments.  Score!

And can I just say?  The tile guy was spectacular.  Not only did they install this stuff and kind of go the extra mile, but they went out of their way to give everything such a seamless look.  Witness:

Yeah, they cut the tile to look like that.  It gives the overall look such a polished and clean appeal.

I know I've said it a lot already but, I've found my new favorite item in the house.  It's so amazing to just be in love with so many aspects of your home and be excited to come home and play with it.  :)  Here's hoping the newness doesn't wear off anytime soon.

And after us trying it out together last night (minus glass door, of course - that's in the purchase queue), I gotta say, I don't think I'm going to hear anymore complaints from Husband about not having room in the shower.  Totally. Freaking.  Awesome.

Y'all are all welcome to come over and shower!  Just pitch in for the water bill. : )

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Turn a Garden Tub into a Dual-Head Shower (of Awesomeness)

I swear, I'm about to post the bathroom pics (as soon as the trim goes into the master bath and I can take a picture of it - it was supposed to be done Thursday but then they forgot to buy the trim, and then they forgot to have it overnighted, and then they tried to do it on Monday but no one was home and they didn't call to tell us they were coming and we needed to be home), but before I do that, I want to show you all that we (and by we, I mean 92% entirely Husband's work, 6% friend help, 2% my help) getting to this point.

I didn't take pictures of everything, and despite basically demanding that Husband (who did all the work in the bathroom, and knows all the official terms for what he did and used) write this blog post, it wasn't happening.  So thusly, the explanation falls to me.  This means you'll get a lot of official terms like "drill thingie" and "concretey stuff".  Thankfully, I do know "soldering iron" (and I even know how to spell it, yay me!), so we're at least on the right track.

Let me show you what we started with.

Misty watercolor meeeeemories....
As per usual, the pictures don't do it justice.  This thing was gross.  Husband immediately began the process of ripping out the bathtub.  (With no shoes.)

Once that was done, we had to rip out the sheet rock (which was not mold-resistent and which, unsurprisingly, spread mold like the plague behind the tub when the old showerhead leaked).

Leaving us with all the old insulation (yay mold!)

Next came removing the tub (and finding souvenior rat skeletons):

...and removing the evil insulation.

He also had to fix the leaking showerhead on the right side with lots of soldering (no pictures, because I was a busy-bee elsewhere at the time), then test it about ninety times to be sure it wasn't leaking anymore (and it was a grueling process, because it would almost stop leaking and then he'd have to keep soldering the same spot, and if you know anything about soldering, you know it's difficult to solder over solder, so it'd be like, "shut water off, solder, let it cool down, test by turning water on a fraction. Nope, still leaking, turn water off, solder again, cool down, test.  Nope, still leaking, turn water off, solder again, cool down test...wash, rinse repeat." 

Once he got that leak fixed, he started running the copper tubing over to the left side.  Then he had to build a second shower-head mount (i.e. the top part, pictured below) and the turney-knob part.  Let's just say that we had to wash-rinse-repeat the above procedure on this side as well.  Thankfully the new tubing was less persnickety than the old stuff, so it didn't take as long.  (I think, I don't remember, because it was a long time ago and like a million things have happened since then, plus I didn't do the work and the person who did the work won't blog about his work so ....)

New shiny copper tubing!
Then he built a shower floor border thingie (see the wood thingie), and installed a proper drain (see the white thingie)...

Once that was done, he had to make some concrety-gravel to fill in the gaping hole above, then put down some plasticy stuff...

And then make some creamy concrete (with a side of Crème fraiche) and pour it in.  (The old floor was NOT level.)
Yes, that's one of my good cooking pans in use as a drain pot and occasional cement mixer.  Apparently.

Marinate for at least 24 hours, and then you have this:

Next came putting in the new insulation with a staple-gun (and I swear it was the same one my third-grade teacher used.  It was that old and crappy, but apparently it did the job).

I feel strangely against arresting Husband at this moment.
And tada!  Complete.  (The piece of crumpled insulation in the middle?  Yeah, Husband didn't enjoy putting that one in behind the pipe.  There were not angels singing in the bathroom during that ten minute period.)

Suddenly, it's a lot quieter in here...
Then he put up the black paper (I'm pretty sure that's the official term).  It looked like black construction paper but was considerably thicker and with a waxier feel to it.  I think it had something to do with extra moisture protection or whatever.  It definitely wasn't installed the first time around. 

Mrs. Clark has snuck into the picture without her knowledge.

Once the black waxy construction paper went up, the Hardiebacker could go up!  Husband began installing while I was at work, ensuring that he cut out the holes in all the right places for the shower instruments to go through...

Of course, when it got to the top pieces and the ceiling, he enlisted the help of his trusty sidekick, Mrs. Clark!  I helped him finish up (and snapped this pic):

We got done early (like three whole days early!), finished out the Hardie-backer, and I went up to take a much-needed shower before work the next day.  Except...when I came down afterward, the hardie-backer on the ceiling was laying on the floor of the master shower. 

Husband discovered a leak in the upstairs bathroom, which began to leak all over his freshly-applied work.  Sigh.

Thankfully, all it took was some caulk, and we were back in action to do it all over again.

I know I missed some integral steps in there, but when it took five weeks for him complete all of this (in the midst of me doing my own work, and actually working my day job too), I can't remember all the little items.  I'll show him this tonight and see if I can expound for any that care.

The basic story is?  It's a LOT of hard work to do it yourself.  He cursed and complained numerous times (I think I've heard the "I hate [bleeping] housework, I hate owning a [bleeping] house" about ninety thousand times over the last five weeks), but when you see the finished product (hopefully tomorrow), you'll see that it was all worth it in the end.  Let's just hope he feels the same way. :)