Friday, November 8, 2013

What is that hunk of junk?

So, for a little over forever I've been wanting a zero turn mower. An opportunity came up last week where I could get the ultimate in zero turns, a front deck commercial Grasshopper. Granted, it is used as it was owned by someone that had a lawn business on the side so it is not nearly new, but it is solid and functional, and with some care it will look as good as it runs.

When Kristina saw it in the garage her first comment was "we paid how much for that?!" I assured her that we got a great deal, so now I have to get it fixed up to show it.

I needed a project.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

The room is finished!

We were able to find a picture of how the living room looked before we made any changes. A little dated.

I think we brought it forward a few years.

The furniture fits better now, especially after extending the wall.

And the end tables and coffee table that we redid fit the room.

Our first attempt at granite. We made templates and had a local company cut the pieces for the countertops. Then we picked them up and installed them and the tile backsplash. For the record, even a piece of granite that is just barely over 4 feet long is still heavy. Like 170 pound heavy. Very thankful that I have a great helpmate.

After it's all finished we love it and can't think of anything we wish we had done differently. This is the first project that we have taken this much time on and worked on the details as much as we did this time. There's no telling what we could do with a room with actual plumb walls, a level ceiling, and 90 degree corners. I do know what we can do now - we can take a break. This six week transformation deserves a rest from renovations.
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Braces off / Braces on

Over the past three weeks, a couple of smiles have had transformations in our household.
Joshua got his braces off,

And Jacob got his on.

Jacob wasn't as excited about it as Joshua was for some reason.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Living room update

It's been two weeks since my first post about our living room project. Did I mention that it started out with us just planning on painting? Here's a pictorial update.

We decided while we were at it we would take out the outdated "can" lights in front of the fireplace and put new LED recessed lighting at all four corners of the recessed ceiling. And while we are at it why not knock out the corners and make the octagon a rectangle like every contractor since 1980 has done.

I've been told by a reliable Facebook friend that duct tape is up to code to be used in place of wire nuts. Regardless, I went the UL approved route.

A lot of drywall work causes a lot of dust.

We have 90 degree corners!

Oh yeah, we decided while we're at it we wanted this wall longer so we brought the opening in about a foot. Why not?

Look, our garage received a delivery of cabinets!

My finished masonry project. I had to measure in for the cabinets and cut bricks to build up the top two rows and then did a mortar smear application on all bricks except for the top layer on the hearth. It's now much lighter after drying.

Top cabinets mounted, bottoms just sat in place. Still have to frame in above the fireplace and drywall it.

All cabinets installed, templates for the countertops made, outlet and conduit for TV installed. Now I can try to find someone to cut some countertops for me. And start the fun process of installing baseboards and crown molding.
Someday we'll be finished.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Last year I had intentions of getting back into this blog and we see how that worked out.
Lets give it a other shot.
It works out well that we are also in another home improvement project (granted the way it looks and feels right now the "improvement" part is up for debate).
We are working on our front living room. If you look back to the beginning of the blog you will see it as it was right after we removed the paneling, but I have yet to find any pics with the paneling intact.
Here it is from two years ago showing the room pretty much as it was when we began two weeks ago.

We decided that we really needed to paint and touch up some rough spots in the wall.
This is what happened next.

Unfortunately it got a lot worse than this but thanks to my lovely wife's help picking up we kept it to a mild disaster at any given point.
We decided the fireplace needed updating, the cabinets needed replacing, the corners in the raised ceiling needed to be squared off, one wall needed to be expanded, four outlets moved, two more installed, and the two recessed lights needed to be replaced with four new LED ones.
Hard to picture now, but it will come out very roughly like this:

We will smear the remaining brick, and install a capstone on the hearth.
As it is tonight all drywall is in and the second coat of compound is on. (So is the dust). I have several rounds of sanding and feathering out more compound, and then the texture process.
Then, finally, the paint.
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Location:It's been a year, so it's time for a project and another shot at this blogging

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer Transformation




Over the past four years we have spent countless hours transforming the interior of this old house. We finally got around to doing something on the exterior. What a difference a few months can make. We learned several things on the journey this summer. First, hiring a painter, someone to install gutters, and a landscape architect are all great ideas. As much as we love do-it-yourself projects, time has become a luxury in recent months. As of December I will be done with school. I am looking forward to reclaiming my evenings and weekends and getting back to projects. For now, I will just enjoy the benefits of someone elses labor.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What happened here?

It's been eleven months since we last posted.  Yes, we are still alive.  No, I do not have false precepts that anyone still follows after this time, but I'm writing anyways.  I'll have to catch up with a montage of pictures of what has happened in the last year, but for now this is it.  More to come.