Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bottoms Up!

The tops were in yesterday.  The bottoms went in today.  Rumor has it the countertop guy was maybe going to come by today to measure.  I will find out tomorrow.  There are doors in the living room.

Looks so nice.  I particularly love the counters!  I kind of hate to mess the cabinets up with handles. I brought some home to check out.  Can't wait for the under cabinet lighting to be installed.  I am already in love with the new lighting in this area.  Better go buy a new TV for the wall!

The other side of the kitchen.  The ladder is where the new fridge will go.  That wall to the right means that I will lose my magnet board (better known as the side of the fridge).  I will cook up something.  I kept wanting to put things on the cardboard counters.

We should have counters in a couple of weeks.  I am going nuts trying to choose the backsplash right now.  I think that I've made a decision.  Maybe.  Perhaps.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I left for work this morning and it was hard to go.  There was a big truck in my driveway and the guys were unloading the cabinets.  I wanted to stay and get in the way.

I had a zillion errands to run after work, so I didn't get home until a little before 6 p.m.

Wow.  Just wow.

And they aren't even done.  I almost cried.  I am so excited!

P.S.  My husband is trying to boil water for pasta in the slow cooker.  I offered to take it over to the neighbor's house to cook it, but he said no.  We may eat by 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Walls and Floors, Floors and Walls

The stairs.  If you can't tell, the carpet is gray.
We have floors.  And, we have walls.  The flooring guys (bless their hearts) are finally finished after eight full days on the job here.  They wound up being about two days longer than expected due to the issues with all of the layers in the kitchen and linoleum in the entryway and hallway on the first floor.  I am pretty sure that they will be glad to be outta here. Apparently, they also had to sand the upstairs hallway the other day. That would explain why I can write in the dust again.

We have walls in the kitchen now.  Yippee.  They put them up the other day and have come by a few times since then to add some more mud.  Most of the walls are sanded and there are just a couple of random places that need additional work.

The shower door and the mirror have been installed in the new bath.  There is a slight glitch with the door, but I am sure that will be ironed out this week.  The accessories are in the back of my van and should be installed this week.  That is, if I remember to take them out of the van.

New wall by the living room.
My big adventure for the week happened when my sewing machine broke during an important project for the new bathroom. After spinning my wheels trying to find a repair service and then finding out I could buy a new machine for about the same cost as repair; I am now the proud owner of a new Singer Curvy.  I finished the project that started it all and am getting ready to do the hand sewing as soon as I post this. A few more sewing projects and that room should be just about ready. Well, minus the artwork and a piece of furniture.

The cabinets are due to be brought in and set on Monday.  This is construction code for:  you have a crap ton of painting to do over the weekend.

So, my husband did a lot of work these past three days.  He finished the downstairs hall and the living room ceiling along with a couple of walls. He had to prime all of the new walls in the kitchen and then give one coat of new paint to certain areas.  And (worst of all) he had to paint the kitchen ceiling.  I painted the shelves that go up the stairs. He is a rock star.  I am a low level groupie not worthy for the dregs of the buffet.

To be fair, I have made all of the paint and supply runs; have spent endless hours on the computer looking for slipcovers and curtains; have gone for food and done laundry and a mound of ironing; made Swim Girl's birthday cake, took her shopping for her gift and then celebrated her birthday.  I went with Swim Girl to check out cars, made it to a movie with my sister and niece and did dishes in the utility sink about 50 times.  My, my.  I do know how to live.

Check in this week for updates.  I should have pics of the cabinets Monday or Tuesday.  Laters.

Our kitchen has walls!  The funny paint job is a reflection of the placement of the new cabinets.  The racing stripe is where the backsplash will go (approximately).  Who knew you were supposed to paint behind that?

This is on the side of the kitchen that is next to the living room.  The inset part is where the new refrigerator will go.  To the left of that, after a very small (9") counter, will be the stove.  I know, I know.  You are not supposed to put the fridge so close to the stove.  However, this is a very small kitchen.  So, we did what we had to do.

Our windows have (had) cornice board, which I hate.  It really makes the room seem heavy and small. This one is covering some hideously ugly fluorescent lights.  We can no longer get new bulbs for those lights.  Big changes are ahead for this.

You can see the patches my husband had to make to cover up the cornice board and drapery holes.  I bought the silica for the painting.  My contribution.

This was my job for the painting party this weekend.  Lame.

This is what our house looks like all of the time.  Except, of course, when the workers are here.  Then it is even messier.  

Skittles loves to play in the plastic.  You can get a glimpse of the flooring under her.  I promise, it is finished.  We just need to keep it covered for now.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Real Story

I just briefly wanted to show you what the house actually looks like when there are six guys here working on things.  I don't have all of them in the pictures, but you will get the idea.  

Here's to hoping that I won't trip on a cord or something during the next month.  

As you can see, there is lots of hazardous debris just sitting around in the living room.  To the far right is some important floor cutting stuff and then you cannot see all of the cords or the guy at the bottom of the stairs trying to finish the entry.  There is another guy outside cutting things.  This is the sixth day in a row that the floor guys have been here.  They may finish up on Wednesday.

Still on the stairs looking towards the kitchen and into the rec room/make do kitchen.  There is a bunch of stuff in the rec room, like tools and packages and then there is another guy in the hallway to the left of the living room.  I think this was taken right before two more guys came in to discuss the next day.  Cleaning my closet seemed like a good idea right about then.

And, oh joy, drywall tomorrow.  I cannot wait.  It thrills my soul.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

No Rest for the Wicked (or Dusty)

Still have plenty of flooring to go yet.
When you are in the middle of a big renovation, weekends cease to be filled with relaxing hunks of time to fritter away as you will. Nope. Weekends are spent trying to get the painting done before the guys come back on Monday. They are spent trying to get rid of some of the dust.  Weekends are for doing the dishes in the utility sink in the basement and then realizing you have more dishes upstairs to bring down. It is also time to thoroughly clean the one working bathroom since it is shared by you and about 6 different guys rotating through the house.  Yuck.

On the weekend you get up early to do normal things (like laundry) and then it's time to run to Menard's for paint deglosser only to find out that they have had a run on the stuff and you need to go to another store. Meanwhile, no painting is getting done by the designated painter.

The view from the stairs.  Those curtains are held up by
hangers.  Cracks me up to look at it.
Weekends are when you discover that you can't get on your treadmill without cleaning up all of the debris that the electrician and plumber left from moving pipes and wires.  Of course, I will have to do that again and again and again. At least there is no pounding and sawing and sanding going on above my head.

But sunny Saturdays in the early Spring make all of the difference in the world.  It is hard not to be energetic on days like today. With the car window down and the tunes turned up, I didn't even mind having to go to a second store for the deglosser.

The new pot lights for the kitchen.  Yeah.

Everyone should face their couches this way.  So much more room in here.

Tools of the trade for painting the hallway.

This cracks me up.  I spray painted the cold air return grate and went out to get it, but it was gone.  It seems my husband had hung it from the stove in the garage.  He's a thinker, that guy.

I adore this shot.  This was my grandmother's step stool.  It is covered with paint and the rubber treads have disintegrated, but we use it almost every day.  I need to replace the treads, but I can't decide whether or not to paint it.  I kind of love all of the drips.

I won't clean the paintbrushes in either bathroom since they both have new sinks.  So, down to the basement we go.  

And, just because I could, here is Pluto in the newly renovated bathroom window.  Pretty kitty.

It feels like I didn't get much done today, but that's alright.  I will get some things accomplished tomorrow.  Then it's back to work on Monday and Swim Girl's birthday and errands to run and appointments to keep.  Maybe I will even be able to squeeze in a little art time.  It would be lovely to post something different for a change.

PS:  Domino's is having a 50% off online ordering special through tomorrow.  Now those are the kinds of deals we need right now.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dust Bunnies

Part of our new flooring.
Because I am on Spring Break, I am home while all of the messiest bits are happening during this reno.  I am talking about dust.  Lots and lots of dust.  There is dust everywhere. On our coats, in our dishes, on the floor of the working shower, in the basement; just everywhere.  Since I like to sleep in a little while I'm on vacation, I have been getting up only slightly before everything begins. Normally I am nearly out the door when the crew gets here. Because of my vacation laziness, I wind up taking a shower after they have all left.  I seriously feel like a dust bunny until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

Today, they were sanding the sub floor to prepare it for the new flooring.  It seems that we have some crowning in a couple of areas.  In order for the floor to be as level as possible, they need to use a big huge industrial sized sander, just like you see on those home renovation shows on HGTV.  Those suckers are really loud.  When they hit something that shouldn't be there (like a nail) I swear to goodness it sounds like the Earth is falling off of its axis.  This happened about 7 times during the process.  My ears are still ringing.
They wanted us to find any squeaks in the floor before they came
back.  We found a couple and marked them.

These sanders also create a lot of dust.  I kind of feel like we might be dust free by summer. Maybe.  If all goes well.

There was headway made in the upstairs hallway as a part of Phase 3.  The doors are gone and so is the trim.  They were kind enough to leave our bedroom door on for the time being, however.

Interestingly enough, some more vintage items were unearthed with the removal of the door frames. This includes 2 additional layers of wallpaper that I have never seen before and a growth chart that my son did.  I kind of hated to get rid of that.

Today, as I am writing this, it is quiet (relatively speaking).  Only the occasional hum of the thingy that cycles on and off while they use the nail gun.  I can't remember what it is called, but they have it outside to try and keep the noise down.  Bless them.

I forget what they call this, but it is basically the centering strip of flooring.  They will work off of this piece.  Pluto finds it fascinating. 

 The kitchen end of the strip.  The light places on the sub floor are where they sanded to get the floor

 Our bedroom door is the only one left intact. 

This is the entry from the stairs into the upstairs hallway.  There used to be a door here, but we
took it off when we moved in 20 something years ago.  They are going to finish this off properly for us.  The room on the right is the Bat Cave.

When I took the city map off of the back of Computer Boy's old room (now the Bat Cave), I found
this growth chart that he had made.  I never knew it was there.  Since we are replacing the
doors upstairs, it has to go.  I was a little sad.

You can't read this one very well, but it indicates he is about 5'2" at 12 years of age.

I will miss this.

I will not miss this.  Of course, we didn't know it was there.  This means that they painted over the top of the wallpaper.  We will be leaving it as we are not going to replace the drywall in the upstairs hallway.  No way.  I am about dusted out and we still have drywall to do in the kitchen.

 Underneath that wallpaper is another layer.

This is the final layer of the beautiful wallpaper.  Thankfully, it will all be under the new trim.

I am going to attempt to clean a few things today.  I need to get the new bathroom cleaned up for the shower door and mirror.  I need to paint a couple of things and I need to clean the hallway walls to prep for weekend painting.  I hope to post more pics over soon.  Then it's back to work on Monday. Thank goodness.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust (literally)

While we are well underway with Phase 2 of our amazing reno, we got a surprise start to Phase 3 today.  Yes, we didn't have enough on our plate with the upstairs bath and kitchen, so we decided to throw in all of the flooring and trim in the living room, hall, stairs and upstairs hallway.  The doors will be included upstairs also.  In fact the only thing that we aren't doing are the floors and woodwork in the 5 bedrooms.  Maybe in a couple of years.  After I recover from the shock of all of this.

We are gluttons for punishment.  Insaniacs.  I mean, in order to get to the food, we have to go out the front door, around the side of the house and into the rec room where the make do kitchen is.  This means that some food items may get left in the living room occasionally when I am too lazy to trudge back around to put it away.  Thank goodness the snow is gone.

The floor guys were finally able to scrape off all of the old flooring layers in the kitchen and decided to go ahead and tear out the carpet in the living room and hallway.  Yippee.  I would rather walk on the wood floor base than the nasty old carpet.  The bad thing is that I was unable to get a final picture of the carpeting, but I was embarrassed by it, so maybe that isn't such a bad thing.  At least the spot where Rach ate the chocolate pudding is now history.  ( Is That Mud? explains this catastrophe)

Enjoy the pictures.
The walls are now gone.  Of course, they
discovered that we had inadequate insulation
in the outside wall.  Ka-ching!

No more soffit.  There is a vent that went through that,
so the plumber will be back on Friday to figure out a
solution to that little problem.  Ka-ching!

This is the wall extension from the living room side.  In order to fit in the fridge and a few other
goodies, it was necessary to extend into the existing 7 ft. opening.

Same thing from the kitchen side.

This is called rock lathe and plaster.  It came after wood lathe and before drywall.  Very dusty stuff
when you go to demo it.

This is what you do with the furniture when they are tearing up your floor.

Oh, lordy.  You can't really tell in this picture, but that is yellow-gold linoleum with glitter in it.  
I swear to God.  This was in the entryway under the carpet.  No telling what is under the carpet on the stairs.

This is what we found under the carpet going into the hallway from the living room.  Luckily,
they only laid this wonderful stuff in the hall and not over the entire living room floor.


Here's a better picture of the amount of dust that I am talking about.  Ignore the tea bottle.  It proves
how lazy I am.

Can you see the glitter in the flooring?

PS:  As I post this the dulcet tones of a heavy belt sander are heard trying to get some of the 'crown' out of the kitchen and living room floors.  More on that later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What a Difference a Day Makes

Note the gray tubs that have been holding a lot of our food
for the past few weeks.  They have since multiplied.
I ran away briefly, but before I left, I took some before pictures of Phase 2.  You may call the people in the white coats, because we are crazy.  We are taking on the kitchen. I hope that I live through it.

Day 1 of the kitchen remodel happened while I was still away.  I returned home to the complete destruction that you will see below.  Oh, and there is dust.  Lots of dust.  This part makes the bathroom debris look like a rank amateur job. The dust is so thick that you can literally see it floating around, in spite of the plastic walls.

Of course, that may be because the walls in the kitchen are rock lathe and plaster.  And there was tile, then underlayment and then 3 more layers of flooring under that.  They are still taking the flooring off in the kitchen and we are well into Day 2. They might get done today with that.  Ka-ching!

We have debris in the rec room (now our kitchen), the living room and (surprise) the basement.  The plumbers were in yesterday, too. Today it's the construction crew, the flooring guys, the cable guy (completely unrelated) and the electrician will be here soon.  They came at 7:15 a.m..  I am on vacation this week.

I am hiding upstairs and the cats are in the basement where it is relatively safe, but certainly not quiet. In fact, it is so noisy down there that I did my walk outside rather than on the treadmill even though it is not very warm at all.

We made the decision to suck it up and do all this work during the school year so that I wouldn't be committed to staying home all summer.  That was a good decision as I don't see this getting done much before May.  I may turn into a raving bitch by then (at least more raving than usual).

No matter how much you know that there will be dust and debris, you are never quite prepared for the extent of it all.  I mean, my clothes in my closet are getting dusty.  I may even need to give the cats a bath for crying out loud.

So, there are a lot of pics.  Scroll through them and enjoy the before and after images.

And just so you know, when the head guy calls you into the kitchen that always means more money out of your pocket.  Just saying.


Same view.  A couple of days later.

The kitties find all of this quite disturbing.
A little history here:  we had this section built when we moved in so that we could have a place to set things.
This is the drawer from hell.  Every single time you opened it, the entire
drawer would fall down.  We finally had to stop using it.
This was the only place for our pots and pans.
I will not miss the fancy little pieces here.

Yup.  The soffiting will disappear and the new cabinets will run to the ceiling for more storage.
These cabinets were built on site which means they were a frame and doors.  No backs, no tops.
The wall was the back and the ceiling was the top.
We replaced the flooring in 2002.  However, we took off the
old linoleum and removed all of the staples.
Yeah, we will be getting a new one of these and it will be more centered.
This is going to my sister as it is fairly new.
The fridge was here when we moved in and our fridge wouldn't fit.  So we had the microwave space and lower cabinet built.
The new pantry will have a motion light.  Yes!
We will have a single, 10" deep sink.  That should help with the canning.

Gotta love the back splash.  It was even uglier before I painted it.

We weren't going to replace the stove but...

So this is where the stove was.

There was this wall paper under all of that.

And this wallpaper, too.  I say vintage.

The original plumb lines for the cabinet placement.

Bye-bye soffit.

One of the 3 additional layers of flooring they found under the underlayment.
Yup, someone thought that these self stick tiles were attractive.

Another layer of flooring.

The newest look in curtains.

Poor kitty.

This is the view from our living room.

So, one of the things that the construction guys unearthed was this note from the original builder.
It has his name, the year the house was built and for whom it was built written on a piece of the board under the cabinet.  Now that's cool.