This has got to be one of the most awkwardest halls ever. There are four doors that swing in to this tiny space. The master bedroom door, bathroom door, Alex’s room door and the door leading to the large (dog trot) hall. This coming weekend my focus will be on refinishing floors in the front part of the house BUT…this hall is my next project! Buh-bye wallpaper!!! There are three jobs that I absolutely abhor. The all time number one most dreaded evil is scraping paint and caulk off of old windows (misery!!!). Followed closely behind that is floating and finishing drywall (ugh!) you can probably guess what number three is…yup! Scraping off nasty old wallpaper that was put up with superman glue. Sigh….I scraped it out of the other rooms. I guess my time of procrastination has come to an end.
Besides some trim paint and a pantry addition (hopefully a nice built in pantry), I am almost finished with our Kitchen/Laundry project we started back in November 2010. As you noted from previous posts, it all started with me convincing Steven to lay a new floor. After we pulled the flooring up and found the old floor plan of the kitchen…the ideas started from there…mostly mine as Steven was still content to just lay the floor.
Below, I will post a few realtor walk through pics, and then the progression of the kitchen over the past year. However, if you would like to see all of the posts and photos of the Kitchen from the realtor walkthrough to recent posts, click here.
Without further ado, here is what we have been working on!
Overall, I am very pleased. You can tell that I need to paint the baseboards, they are only primed. I need to paint the broom closet door and attach it (it is to the right of the refrigerator), I need to paint the laundry room sliding door and add the hardware, and we need to put down threshholds. Last, but not least, we need to build some kind of pantry behind the door. Whew….I am tired of this remodel! It took long enough! If we ever get through this adoption process, I might spring for a new dishwasher….its a good thing Steven works for GE! But, first things first…..
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Sarcastically said of course. It all started out with me wanting a new floor. Yes, I talked the husband into that and we bought the floor which has sat in our hall for about 2 months or so. Then it morphed into taking the cabinets down, then came the laundry room addition…which lead to us putting the butler’s pantry back in its spot….so…I guess this is all my fault 🙂
But, things are looking up. After a brief interlude to celebrate Turkey Day, I painted the laundry room purple (yes, purple, I don’t know why…ok?), and Steven framed up the laundry room and put down the floor. He is currently, as I type, running the plumbing and electricity. He told me that next time I ask for “just a floor”, he will have to think loooong and hard about it. Hahaha….
It is funny to me, when I transfer pictures to my computer, to find pictures Vivian took. In fact, 62 of the 115 I transferred were hers. Here is a random sampling from Vivian the Photographer.
Well, I better go check out the plumber/electrician to see if he needs any help.
Only in my bathroom! I thought this looked funny. We have so many remodeling projects going on that items like this caulk gun start blending in with regular household items.
Well, well, I guess since I am showing you this picture, I will have to let you know that we did start remodeling our bathroom. It is not exactly what we wanted to do. We really wanted to take a wall down and move the plumbing around. However, due to my decision of going back to school next Fall, we have decided to save our money and just update the bathroom. We are not finished. We still need to put shoe around the baseboard and I need to sand and paint the doorway and window, but this will give you an idea of what it is starting to look like.
I pulled all the old flooring out, Steven tore out the shower surround and sheetrock and stuff and then he repaired the wall and we both liquid nailed the new surround in. I then caulked and siliconed it (do NOT want a mildewed shower later!) very thoroughly and Steven laid the floor. I am proud of it! Not exactly what I want at the moment (this is what I really wanted), but it looks a WHOLE lot better than it did. It started getting be very embarrasing to have guests over…especially overnight guests!
I am so busy with finishing up the school year, that I have not been able to do the finishing work. When I do, I will post pictures of the end result. Until then, my caulk gun and hairspray will need to learn how to get along….they may be there a while!
I was sitting around trying to think about what we did all year. It seems like 2008 was a slow year for us as far as the DIY scene was concerned. In the early part of the year, around March, we spent a lot of time getting construction bids and filling out mountains of paperwork for our construction loan, only for the subprime mortgage crisis to hit and, in the end, we ended up scratching the whole deal. I had to go back through my pictures to see what exactly we DID accomplish this year. I was glad to find proof that our year was not wasted. Here is a pictorial review of our year:
Finished the rent house (Hallelujah!) and took our three year old employee to Chuck-E-Cheese. Hey, we had to pay her somehow for all that painting she did!
We celebrated our five year anniversary
My birthday! Ahem….anyway. In 8 hours, I cleaned, primed and put two coats of paint on the living room walls. It wouldn’t have taken me 8 hours normally except that I: 1) painted alone; 2) pushed a very heavy 10 foot ladder around the room 8 times while I painted the middle and top of the room …twice! I have 13 feet ceilings. [is it 13 foot, or 13 feet?]
In April, I redid an ugly 80’s dresser for Vivian’s room and, for storage, we revamped an old shelf my brother made many years ago by adding crown moulding to it and painting it.
We took down the ugly drop ceiling in the attic. We also painted the Master Bedroom.
I sanded, repainted and recovered an old chair I bought for $5.00 at a junk store. I also managed to tick off the entire Ratcliff family and get called a potstirrer. Hahaha….that’s definitely a new one for me!
I started this blog. Yay! I pulled a metal tray on wheels out of the garbage and remade it into a plant stand for my porch. Click here for the details and pictures. Even my husband could not believe I wanted something this ugly. But it turned out well.
We went to the Philippines. What a life changing experience! Click here to see more photos of the trip. In case you cannot figure out who I am, I am the very white girl in the middle!
Vivian’s Birthday. Hurricane Gustav hit Cenla. That was very interesting. It took us about a month to recover and get all of the debris cleared and everything back to normal. I can’t complain though, we did not endure anything like New Orleans did. Click the link above to see pictures of that fun.
Was definitely not a project month. I was caught up watching the media and reading the news regarding local and national politics. I did get a call from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge telling me that they want to put my street on the National Register. Which reminds me…..I need to give her a call. That nomination is supposed to be sent to Washington in April. I am definitely going to help make sure that happens!
We worked on the attic/loft area so we can add another bathroom upstairs. Steven put up two porch lights in the back. Steven stripped a door and a transom down to the bare wood. We also stripped some paint in the hall that was caked on to the wainscoting. Click here for December’s project pictures.
I guess all in all it was not a bad year. We did not get as much as we wanted accomplished. We didn’t nearly come close to the amount of work we did in 2007. Oh well, put it on the list! It will get done eventually!
Since Viv and I got bored with pulling up plywood in the attic, we decided to play “What’s Under There?” We could not see what was under the flooring between the roof rafters, so I pulled out my camera, stuck it in the hole and took a picture. We would then pull the camera up, see if there was anything in the hole and then move on to the next hole. I remember doing this as a kid on nature walks. I would stick my camera in a place I did not want to go, make sure the flash was on and take a picture to see if there was anything lurking in there. It is a wonder I did not have a run in with a snake or other animal. This was basically the same principal and just as much fun! Here are our pictures from our game “What’s Under There?”
Yes, I did find two very old glass bottles. Other than that, I can safely say that there is no hidden treasure in our attic! I am not sure how old they are and if they date back to the building of our house (what other reason would you have bottles in the attic), but here they are all spiffed up. They will go on the “Things we found in and around the house” shelf.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Since we have five more days left of our vacation, Steven decided to continue working on the attic area. He started pulling up plywood so he could get it ready to blow in some insulation. We always thought that the plywood was sitting on rafters or beams, but when he started pulling up plywood, this is what he found:
I was excited about it because it is grooved and fits together pretty well. I started envisioning refinishing it for the loft area we are planning. Steven was not too happy about it because it meant he would have to take it up (or at least some of it) to be able to blow in the insulation. In fact, this discovery threw a huge kink in his plan and he was not happy about it at all. He is green (anyone who who has taken the Colors Communication Assessment knows what I am talking about) and he does not like his carefully calculated plans to get kinked up. We will probably take most of the plywood up to make sure all of the electrical is ran properly and up to code. When this house was built, it did not have electricity. We found gas lines, so the first owner must have had gas lamps. You can see where the knob and pole wiring was retrofit in the ceiling. It appears that our wiring has been updated and the knob and pole wiring is no longer used, but we just want to make 100% sure before moving on. It would be awful if we had to go back and pull up flooring again in the future due to electrical issues.
The really funny part about pulling up the plywood was to find this:
What were they thinking? It appears that an attic fan was removed from this area and also that electrical wiring was retrofit. Instead of sistering some beams (or some other proper and efficient method of leveling the floor), they decided to stack together pieces and parts of wood in order to make the floor semi level and then to nail a piece of plywood on top of it. Sigh……
For some of the other “nice” jobs done to the attic, click here Not only will you be able to see the lovely sheetrock job, but also a drop in ceiling which the PO must have installed blindfolded. I laugh when I write anything about a PO…it makes me wonder if in 20 years or so, someone else will be writing a blog about me and all the horrible house blunders I made. 🙂 Anyway, we completely removed the drop in ceiling. It is not a great improvement, but an improvement nonetheless. This kind of thing makes me excited! It means progress. Steven is more of the demo man and I am the cleaner upper, detailer/finisher. I usually let him do the demo and rough in work and I come back in, fill in holes, sand, scrape, paint, etc.
Here is the color scheme I would like to use for this space once we get it all done…you know, about five years from now! I want this space to be sophisticated. These are all Valspar Signature colors by Martha Stewart. I picked them up at Lowes today.
I am thinking the lime green for the walls, maybe the dark slate blue for an accent wall. Dark brown furniture. The throw pillows and accessories would be the middle three colors: red, light blue and gray.
Here are a few pictures my daughter took. Here is the remodel of the upstairs through the eyes of a four year old:
Happy Monday everyone!
After making our annual trip to area stores to take advantage of after Christmas sales, Steven and I decided to finish cleaning the “attic” upstairs to get it ready for insulation. I am not sure if this space was used as an attic, or if it is just unfinished. There are so many bad PO jobs done to the poor space, that I can’t really tell. We are planning on turning the space into: 1) spare bedroom, 2) bathroom, 3) home theater/man room, 4) craft area. It is a huge space. It feels more like a loft than an attic. More about the loft thing later. Anyway, we basically moved things from here:
(This is going to be the spare bedroom and bathroom) To here:
To the left will be the home theater projector and to the right will be my craft room area. We had to clean up the area that we will put the bedroom so that we can pull up the half inch (yes, I said half inch) plywood that is on the floor, check to make sure the electrical has been ran properly, blow in some insulation and put down a sturdier plywood subfloor. Right now, when you walk across the room, the boards bow and squeak. One of the last PO’s decided to frame this space up for the master bedroom. The hysterical frame up and drywall job pictures are here.
Anyway, since this is a large open space, I wanted to decorate it loft style. Here are a few of my ideas:
Most of the pictures pertain to my side of the room…the super craft area. But, you get the idea. When you first walk up the stairs, to the left will be a wall of built in shelving to house all of my books. I was thinking about painting the wall behind the shelves with chalkboard paint and using white shelves. Should make a nice black and white contrast. The shelves will be tall so I can write on the chalkboard above the books. For wall paint, I was thinking about a nice lime green with accents of turquoise and brown. Maybe a splash of red accessories here and there. You know me, gotta have red somewhere.
Unfortunately, the decorating part is WAAAAAAAY far down the line. The first order of business is insulation. The second order of business is installing a bathroom so we can demo the HORRIFIC one downstairs. We only have one, yes, yes, yes, only ONE bathroom downstairs. It is hard to imagine that we have 3200 sq feet and only one bathroom. There is no other place to squeeze in another bathroom except upstairs. So, unfortunately, we are working on the upstairs so we can work on the downstairs. (Doesn’t make sense, does it?) We cannot remodel the bathroom downstairs until we have another one somewhere else. We cannot remodel the kitchen (the kitchen is ALMOST as bad as the bathroom) without having somewhere to wash the dishes, etc. (a bathroom). So, we had to sit down and figure out what needed to come first. It completely galls me that we have to spend time and money on an upstairs space before we can work on OUR living space downstairs. Oh well…. I guess it all comes down to: What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Steven and I both have one more week off, so we are trying to make the best use of our time. We are going to try to blow in the insulation next week and, while we are at it, retrofit some insulation in the walls downstairs. I sure am glad I caught that episode of This Old House two weeks ago showing exactly how it is supposed to be done! 🙂
Maybe, if all goes well, I will be able to post pictures of our framed up new bathroom next week. It will still be a while before we get the flooring laid and have it replumbed, but I can hope for the best and dream about it anyway….right?
PS I am enjoying our high of 75 degree weather! You won’t catch this Southern Girl anywhere close to snow! 😀
***Update: This never happened due to a lot of bad electrical wiring we found. So, we held off on putting in the insulation until we could get the electrical updated. Don’t want to start any fires! Ya know?!
On Friday I arrived home to find that my husband had the above dumpster delivered in time to make good use of our Labor Day holiday. Yipee! We had already started some demo of the upstairs, but this dumpster gave us the authority to take our sledgehammer-ing to another level. We now had somewhere to dispose of all the junk.
Unfortunately, today, Gustav hit shore and in another three hours, we probably won’t have any power. So much for our big plans for the weekend! We were able to get a little done. Below are some hilarious pics of the PO’s attempt at framing up drywall. If you will look close, you will see that he bought 8 foot boards, then I guess realized he needed ten foot board so he took another two foot board and “sistered” it. Instead of just buying twelve foot boards and cutting them down, this was his ingenious solution to his self created problem. My husband and brother became increasingly bored throughout the morning…I mean, there is only so much you can do to prepare for a hurricane, so they decided to get at least a couple things done today and started tearing out the sheetrock and ripping out the bad studs.
One good thing that has come out of all of this bad weather is: I have three bored men in my house. They have already installed the cabinet pulls and hardware that I bought a year ago on the butler’s pantry, demo’d most of the upstairs, removed the ugly half-rotted rail that some misguided previous homeowner installed somewhere down along the line on the flat roof and cut all the tree branches away from the house! Woo hoo! That dumpster will probably come in handy after the storm too. We have two very old pecans that look like they are going to fall over at any time. If they do fall, we can cut ’em up and toss ’em in the dumpster. However, the bad thing would be if they fell anywhere on our house or on one of our vehicles…yikes! (hmm…maybe we would not have to worry about the roof loan after all…. 🙂 Lol…
Well, wish us luck! The bad weather is starting to hit and the hurricane will be close to us in another two hours or so. I pray that God keeps us all safe and that those pecans are still standing in the morning!
More on the house to come…
Well, the towel has been thrown in and we have decided to go allllll the way to the drawing board and start over. We started out only needing around $50-80k in repairs, but by the time the bank was done adding their projects that “would make the house appraise for more” and making us hire a general contractor, our bottom line total of borrowing $178k was just waaaaaaaaaay more than what we wanted to spend. So, we are pulling it all back and deciding to go with Plan A, which was, do the work ourself!
We will have to get creative on finding someone to help with the roof work (we have a LARGE roof), but the other things are just maintenance issues that we can take care of ourself. I almost feel relieved to be going back to Plan A. I trust in myself more than I do the general contractor and the bank. We also were not thrilled to add all of the things the bank wanted to add, just to make our house supposedly worth more. As you can tell from our previous blog, you can see how well their theory held.
So, we are dusting off the power tools and mourning the six months lost on filling out paperwork and getting the house appraised. We could have already gutted and redone the kitchen or bathroom by now!!! Or at least sanded and repainted a porch ballister or two 🙂 It was nice for a while to think that we could have all of the work done at once instead of laboring over it for the next ten years, but in all honesty, I think we will be more satisfied and proud to come home and see the transformation and know that we had a hand in it. So, three cheers for doing the old fashioned [hard] way!
First, we are going to gut the horrendous sheetrock and drop in ceiling job that some misguided PO attempted and try to frame up an extra bedroom, bathroom and recreation room. Even though I hate that our first project is to finish space that we don’t need yet. I mean, we have 4 bedrooms downstairs already!! But, in order to gut the bathroom downstairs, we have to create a bathroom upstairs. In our 4000 sq ft house, we only have one bathroom. YES, I said ONE bathroom! So, new bathroom upstairs first, along with the extras, then we can gut the ugly bathroom downstairs. As a woman, I would like to scrape and paint the exterior of the house first, that would be a super improvement to the face of the house, but, in the Louisiana sun, instant gratification falls second on the list to keeping cool and avoiding heat stroke! So, the upstairs it is.