Some pictures I never posted

Here's a few pictures of what things were looking like a month ago. In the I added a few trees, built some planters (the unpainted one has since been painted), dug a second garden bed for planting next year, got a solid lawn going, stained the patio tiles, touched up some exterior paint, planted flowers, and replaced the front door/door trim.

I'm also planning the next project to be finishing the kitchen renovations. I finally came up with a layout in my head that will work without moving around too many fixtures around. Along with that I plan on replacing the current counter top with a marble tiled countertop, tiled back splash, tile the floor, and a breakfast bar style table. I should be able to finish it all up for under $500, but that will probably wait until Christmas break. Kitchen, upstairs bathroom, and a garage are the last three big items on my list--then I can sell and start all over again.


Back for Floor

This past weekend I finally made some time to finish the rest of the hardwood floors that had been waiting for over a year now (all of the upstairs except the largest bedroom). Coincidentally it was also the first time I've had a working camera since May. I'd like to send a big thanks to Erik who spent all Saturday helping me. They came out about as good as I could possibly expect from 100 year old floors. Once I mow the yard then I'll get some pictures of that up too(tomorrow, weather permitting).

The sanded floors looked spectacular for the most part, almost to the point where you think maybe they'd look better a lighter color. However, there were areas, especially right at the top of the stairs, where the boards were pretty damaged from the previous owners' animals. The hardwood is laid directly on the joists with no subfloor, so I wasn't going to take any chances sanding down more than I had to. The dark red dose a great job creating a uniform look throughout. Not to mention I already have half the house with the dark floors and there's no chance I'm going to tackle another refinishing job anytime soon. The three strained muscles in my back now are enough to content for quite some time and I still have the stairs to work on when I'm ready to put myself through all that again.


Not really house related but...

So my camera got a bunch of sand in it on vacation to San Diego and it's out of commission until I fix it. The backyard looks a ton better once things filled in so I'll try to get that up when I can. In the mean time I figured I'd post a little something I worked on for father's day. I found had found an old picture of my dad from his twenties with his German Shorthair, Trouble. I decided to replicate it, foo man chu and all, with my shorthair, Laser. Thanks to my cousin Sarah for helping with the photos. Here's how it turned out.


Got a little sidetracked

So I haven't posted an update in a while. Sorry. I got side tracked with finals, Tara's graduation, and what have you. Regardless work hasn't really stopped (or even slowed down much). I finished off the entrance way (in the process of saving for a new door), trimmed out the new attic window, painted an accent wall in the living room (spice up the blah), and completely landscaped the entire backyard the day after I did the bushes. When I say completely landscaped I'm talking 3 yards of topsoil, a couple trees, grass seed, peat moss, got rid of all the scrap I'd been hoarding... the works. I need a better picture of the yard but here's some pictures of the other stuff and 1 of Laser since he didn't manage to sneak into the regular photos.


$25 never looked so good

With Tara's graduation coming up I decided it was time to get things at least presentable for company. Last night I caught a post on freecycle where someone listed 15 bushes they had dug up and bagged were on the curb and ready to go. Mapquest showed it was 2 miles away and 20 minutes later they were sitting in my back yard. I got home from my final today and planted the bushes. I was thinking about getting one of those black plastic boarders but then remembered the pile of pressure treated wood I still had. I dug a little trench and pounded in 2x6's all the way across. Then I laid down some landscaping felt and topped it off with mulch. All-in-in the whole project only cost $14 for the felt and $11 for the mulch. Still no grass but I'm getting there. Here's a reference picture of what it looked like before I did anything. w00t.


Trapped in the closet, Part V

Today I put down some tile in the entranceway. I already had leftover grout, thinset, and other supplies so it was literally just the cost of the tile. Found some decent tiles for 67 cents a foot, making the grand total of the floor $10 (+$3 for smaller spacers). The walls are still primed and I figured that paint them tomorrow so I can combine the thinset/paint curing/drying wait times and keep this moving along.


Trapped in the closet, Part IV

Today I finished the inside of the closet. It's painted, clothes rod is up, and some shelves are in. I primed the entrance way and the drywall patching I did outside of the closet to. Right now I'm looking at another coat of paint for those, lay some tile in the entrance way, install trim, and paint the trim. Oh and I still need to strip and pain the massive wood door.


Trapped in the closet, Part III

Yesterday I laid some hardwood floor for the closet base, framed it, and drywalled the dividing wall. Also patched up the drywall on the inside of the house. There's a little bit of patching yet to be done in the closet, but not too much. It's already serving as a great place to throw crap. Remaining I still need to mud the joints, paint it, put in shelving/bar/stringers, and repair the threshold.


Trapped in the closet, Part II

After finishing Tom's closet I moved on to creating a closet where there wasn't one on the first floor. When you enter the front door there was a small entrance way, perhaps 3ft deep x 6ft wide. I'm walling up the middle and adding a door to the blocked of area from the inside to create a closet. Placement of the door may be slightly weird, but at most I could have moved it over another 4 inches if I cut through a second stud (where it is now only required cutting one stud). The wall is not load bearing in the sense it's supporting the house, but it is most likely supporting a portion of the porch roof so the less alterations the better. I've got the door in, now I need to lay some new flooring, frame out the wall, and drywall things up.


Spring is here!

This weekend was the first nice weekend of spring. I decided to take full advantage and work on some of the curb appeal plans I've had brewing all winter. I started off by priming the porch railing white. I decided that the white looked so good that I'd go white will all my accent colors. I primed the formally red stairs white to match. Then today I picked up a couple sets of white shutters, mounted those, and gave everything a coat of white paint. It's looking good so far but plenty more to come. Hopefully I can get that atrocious attic window replaced in the not too distant future.


Trapped in the closet

The closet in Tom's room is really awkward since the floor is raised to accommodate the ceiling of the stairwell. Add in the fact that when I raised the stairwell height it raised the closet floor, it doesn't help much. I had a plan for a few months now about how to make it a usable space and finally got around it. The lower panel you see folds down to reveal what is basically shoe storage on the slope. I also added another shelf above the hanger bar.


So close I can taste it

The bathroom is about 95% finished right now. The rest are relatively smaller scale things like touching up paint, decorating, and I still need to get that my custom shower curtain rod fabricated. Like I said small things. At least the bathroom is back to fully operational and I can start to a sense of satisfaction. Also the pictures may be a little weird because each shot is actually a pair I had to seem together. I couldn't back up enough to get a full shot. Now I can finally put up a picture of what it looked like when I started.


And I thought it looked good before

I spent all night putting down the grout. Considering it was my first time working with the stuff I'm pretty pumped about the way everything came out. On a side note when grouting walls expect to get a lot less coverage than expected as the extra falls to the floor, preventing you from working it all into the joints. I had to make a grout run at 9:45 to have enough to finish.


Staying on track

It took four hours of solid work but I was able to get the floor tile laid today. I get a couple days off as the thinset cures then it's back to work. Here's the latest.


Light at the end of the tunnel

With classes starting back up I might be slowed down a bit having the regular obligations, a final the 25th, and a term paper due April 2nd, but I'm going to do my best to keep plugging along. I went with a nice chocolate-ish color for the walls and am pretty pleased with the way it came out. With a little luck tomorrow I can get the floor tile down, my chair rail boards should be arriving Wednesday, then it's just a matter of painting trim, making molding for the top of the rail, and putting fixtures back in. Not sure if I'm going to go with a white or this beige color for the chair rail yet but we shall see.


Wins the race

I knew it would happen like this. Despite the slow going things would rapidly fall into place at the end. Checkout the finished ceiling w/ recessed lighting and the tiled shower. Painting and mounting the chair rail will go quickly, as will the tiling of the floor. Feeling pretty good right about now.


Slow but steady

I've been working on this all week but man, it's just taking forever. If this was new construction I'd probably be at this point in two days. Anyway right now I remounted the molding and I have to let the caulk dry so no more for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I can have the ceiling finished, the walls/trim ready to go, and I'm toying with the idea of doing the shower tiling. We'll see how that goes.


Twice the bath

So this spring break I'm focusing on trying to get my downstairs bathroom that was a half bath completely renovated and converted into a full bath with a standup shower. It's something I've been kicking around for a long time and I'm finally ready to make it happen. Here are some pictures after the walls/ceiling have been torn out, the shower is roughed in, and the electrical is run. I'm going with recessed lighting if you're wondering why it looks like someone punched a few holes in the ceiling. Those can't actually go in until the greenboard is up on the ceiling--tomorrow's project.


More curtains, closets, and doors.

I spent this past weekend getting a few more odds and ends done. I finished hanging the rest of the curtains. I installed a bifold door in the downstairs bathroom to make room for the a shower in the coming conversion to a fullbath. I took some extra whiteboard type material I had sitting around from another project and mounted to the full length of the door in the office. With the door closed I have a giant whiteboard to use with dry-erase markers for working out models and such. I also painted and updated the built in closet in the upstairs hallway. I painted it in the same style as the bathroom, added some new hardware, and picked up some fabric that my aunt was generous enough to sew into a curtain for me. I also included some new pictures of the living room having updated the style a bit. I figured with all the time spent on the hardwood floors it didn't really make sense to hide them under such a large rug. Enjoy.


A Little Decoration Goes a Long Way

It's reached the point where I'm done with the bulk of the major construction I'm doing at this point (plenty more to come down the road). No I'm focused on cleaning things up and getting it presentable a little. Here's the improvement some curtains graciously donated by my mom can make.


Let there be trim

I finally finished all the trim that needed to go back up in the kitchen/dining room ever since we drywalled. With a table saw, compound miter saw, and bench top router down in my workshop now it was easy to fly through. I was even able to replicate the style of the existing trim spot on. I'm pretty happy with the results but see for yourself. Curtains soon.