Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I am already dreaming of a million ways to use the $300 gift card.
- Will it be a new vanity for the bathroom (instead of recycling the current one)?
- Will it be a new medicine cabinet for the bathroom?
- Will it be a new toilet for the downstairs Harry Potter bathroom?
- Will it be shelving for our basement so our DIY paraphenalia isn't all over the floor?
- Will it be something else?
Hooray for houseblogs.net!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
So, no sexy pictures - sorry. Maybe once I get a new transformer I will take one or two photos. Because, you know, transformer=sexy.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It's often pleasant to walk down memory lane. I was inspired to do so by the new contest sponsored by houseblogs.net. I have absolutely no qualms about shameless self-promotion if it means a chance at a gift card (hey, we need to finance the bathroom remodel somehow!).
It was fun reminiscing about the first days of homeownership and revisiting my blog posts. Now that we're closing in our second year in the house, I love going back to see how far we've come. What was my very first DIY project? It was ripping down the hideous wallpaper in the kitchen, as you can see above. I quote myself saying, "I was tickled to find out that I could remove all of the wallpaper in the kitchen with one hand, no chemicals or scraping needed! The whole thing took me less time than taping one room to prepare for painting!" Of course, I did come to find that the paint that was underneath that ugly stuff was lead paint.
It's amazing that we went from that to this:
It's even more amazing that I used to tape off rooms before I painted. I really have come a long way in my DIYness and, yes, I love my DIY kitchen!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
You'd think I'd know better by now.
Thom and I (admittedly mostly Thom) toiled and strained and swore for several hours at this thing. Taking the old one out: piece of cake; putting the new one back in without a leak: not so much. After many scraped knuckles and enfuriated tempers, we gave it a rest for the night. I think the basic issue was the very tiny space in which we had to maneuver. I did go to HD last night to get a basin wrench but we couldn't even fit that in the tiny hole underneath the tiny sink.
After some rest, some church, and a good bagel, I gave it another whirl. It seems that laying on my back with my foot up in the air and my tongue out made the basin wrench finally fit in there. No leaks! Much improved! We'll put in a new toilet and tile floor perhaps after the New Year and then that bathroom will be more or less complete.
The plan is still to do the full bathroom upstairs during Thanksgiving week (although I am admittedly a little afraid to attempt to do this with our usual savior, Paul, being out of town that week). If nothing else, this little lesson has reminded me to assume the worst and plan for way more time than I generally think I'll need.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Despite how pathetic it might be, I am excited about my new toilet! After some pretty hard-core research and price comparison I marched down to our local Home Depot and bought this dual-flush sexy thing. 1.1/1.6 gallons per flush. Woosh! Earth friendly and awesome - who could ask for more?
I did read on the online reviews that the seat and wax ring that comes with it (it's an all-in-one model) are on the cheap side so I'll make sure to get new of each. My plan is to start the madness the week of Thanksgiving. No classes and we're not going anywhere so we'll see how much of a mess I can make.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
After doing the bills this morning I found we had a few extra dollars left so I went ahead and ordered our accent tile for the bathroom and then made a trip to Lowe's for the extra white subway tile. We plan to do something somewhat similar to what we did for the kitchen backsplash but instead of interspersing glass tiles throughout we will do one stripe all the way across, probably about two-thirds of the way up. We had a bunch of the subway tiles left anyway so this will look nice, we think.
While at Lowe's I investigated backerboard for the tub surround area and came across this stuff by Georgia-Pacific called DensShield. It looks lighter and easier to cut and you don't need a vapor barrier. I think this is how we'll go, when we're ready.
I also thought a bit more about the lighting situation. The vanity lights that are currently there are the light/outlet combo type; obviously not to code. I thought, no problem, I'll just slap up a new electrical box under each light and we'll install GFCIs. I'm wondering though if it's actually more complicated than that and if this is a job for an electrician. I read something online that said we'd need a new breaker. Ick. What do y'all think?
It says these are "brushed nickel" but they really are more chrome-like. The problem is now finding something relatively along the same lines for the overhead light in there. I'd like something that's more angular, like these, but that doesn't look like a woman's breast (if you've been light shopping lately you know what I'm talking about). I'm not having much luck.
In the meantime, I'm planning and plotting how to piece-meal the rest together. We desperately need to replace the toilet and I'd like to do the floor at the same time. However, as you can see from the photo above, we also have an issue with old cream-with-gold-flecked tile lining the walls as wainscoting. I think I can just take a utility knife and score around the room since the bathroom appears to have been redone in the 1970s or early 1980s with drywall so I can just replace the drywall there for now. I'm fine waiting on the tiling for the walls (if that is indeed what we decide to do). The big problem is the shower since it is tiled all the way around the outside of the bathtub and the entire inside of the shower/tub area, including the ceiling. I am not sure we can afford the new tile yet but I also don't think we can live with blueboard for too long in terms of wrecking it with our only shower in the house. Thoughts?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's nice to be back at the home improvement game. I still have big hopes for the bathrooms getting done but the last of my summer grant money may need to be used for holiday plane tickets. I think the next semi-big project will be to remove the paint from the front porch decking and stairs and repaint -- perhaps removing the screening while I'm at it. We'll see. At any rate, at least I can finally go into the guest room and not say "ick" any longer.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
1) We will not be able to afford to buy the new vanity until September at least. So taking out the old one will be necessary for tiling the floor. I guess we just put the old one back in until we can replace it?
2) We are uncertain about what to do with the existing tile on the walls and in the shower. There is ceramic tile on two walls of the bathroom, serving as a kind of wainscoting. The shower is completely tiled, including the ceiling. Thom would like to have white subway tile, as would I, but I'm honestly just not motivated to remove all of this tile. I'm toying around with the idea of having Miracle Method resurface the tiles when they do the bathtub. We could always remove one row of them and replace them with some glass tile we have been eyeing. The existing tile and its grout are in very good shape too so it seems a waste to chuck it (and a waste of my sanity trying to remove it). However, we know we have some kind of issue with the hot water to the tub/shower. We don't, of course, have an access panel so removing tile would be helpful in diagnosing and fixing the problem. I would hate to have to mess it all up later.
So, that's where we stand. Any thoughts or opinions are always welcome.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Who wouldn't like this kind of homecoming after a nice vacation? It was great to come home late last night from Disney World to see our beautiful new floors upstairs. I'm overjoyed! A bit of touching up of paint on the baseboards this morning has made it a whole lot spiffier. We're going to move the furniture back today.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
I'll take some before pictures of the upstairs floors this week after we move all the furniture out. Don Dickel Floors (the great people who refinished our beautiful floors downstairs) is coming on Thursday morning before we leave for Disneyworld so all of it has to be moved elsewhere...fun, fun, fun.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Nothing else going on this weekend except for maybe a bit more research on bathroom reno. I'm counting the days to getting the floors done!
I also think that my now successful use of Peel Away has prompted me to use it on our front porch floor and steps - there must be at least 10 layers of paint out there and you can tell it. That might be a July or August weekend project.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Yes, either all the scrubbing or the mineral spirits seems to have eaten through my gloves. I had a blister from last weekend's carpet removal and it even ate through the band-aid. I'm not sure how much was on my skin before I noticed. Yick.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
In other renovation news, I am giving up on the dreams of the 1920's-style bathroom. It seems silly to tear out all of our tile on our walls and in our shower, which is in really good shape, and to waste the tile we bought last year. On top of the plumbing issues I shared the other day, I think it's best to just go with a vanity, get our tile done by Miracle Method along with the tub, and maybe just add an accent strip of glass tiles to punch it up a bit. I bought some samples today from cooltiles.com (the place from where I bought the accent tiles for the kitchen) so we'll see what we can put together; it just makes more sense/cents this way.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Only using one noxious chemical, I mixed equal parts of Murphy's Oil Soap and paint thinner. You can see the results above. Maybe this is what I wanted - I'm not sure. I know that removing almost 90 years of grime is not easy but I also didn't want to have to strip the wood -- maybe I've already done that. Eek.
The major concern is that when I look at the plumbing under the current sink it's a total mess, as you can see. I'm not sure what it will take it to get it into a shape necessary to be able to use a pedestal sink. I already knew we'd need to install shut-off valves, which is no big deal, but I'm wondering about rerouting, etc. to get in shape for a pedestal. Thoughts?
In other news, Don Dickel came to give us an estimate on the upstairs floors and the stairway. The rooms were very reasonable but I choked a bit at refinishing the 13 stairs: $600! I shortly considered doing this myself but just don't feel up to it. Besides, they do a great job.
I'm going to probably pull out carpet from the stairs and maybe play a bit with cleaning up the newel post and railing today. Wish me luck.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Total estimated budget: $250
Replace inefficient toilet with new
Remove vinyl and replace with tile
Resurface existing bathtub
Replace vanity, sink, and faucet
Remove and replace medicine cabinet
Retile bathtub surround
Install new baseboards
Replace linen closet doors
Total estimated budget: $2000
So, now the choices begin - we were close to buying a closeout of a bathroom vanity, marble top, and sink at HD today but it wasn't exactly what we wanted, even if it would have saved us $100. Right now it's trying to agree on things like lights - something 1920's-like, maybe art decoish. Of course, everything I like is ridiculously expensive. But, I will make a call to the tub refinishing dude on Monday and see what the protocol is - does he come before or after we pull down existing tile, etc.? I'm excited to get started!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Drywall for ceiling $60
Wiring from Home Depot $30
Lighting from Lowe's $220
Countertops from Ikea $237
Paint (for cabinets, walls) from Sherwin-Williams $60
Drawer pulls from Lowe's $60
Cork floor from Home Depot $727
Thresholds from Gray and Sons $40
Tile from Lowe's and cooltiles.com $100
Appliances (purchased separately from Sears):
Vent hood $200
Total with appliances: $4334
So, that does it for the kitchen - at least as far as I'm concerned. Thom's still jazzed about the idea of putting in some molding on the ceiling but I'm really not feeling it. I'll post again with the final budget breakdown, just FYI. I'm so ready for Bathroom Extravaganza 2009 (coming soon)!