Friday, December 28, 2007

Moved in I need to catch up on blogging

We are officially moved into our not-completely-finished house. It was a incredibly nice day on Wednesday, for being December 26th, so we felt blessed to get such a nice day to move. We had the help of several friends and family members, without them I don't think I would be able to move my tired old body today. My uncle Chris, who not only helped us move, but also lugged away all of the brush we have had in our front yard for like 3 months to his compost pile. The thought has even crossed our minds to finally rake up our leaves. That requires that is stops raining for a day or two and isn't sub-zero weather....we'll see when that gets done.

I described our current living situation as a nice camping trip. I wash my face and brush my teach at the water spouts for the laundry with a bucket to catch the water and our toilet should be going in as we speak. We luckily have had use of other facilities thus far, but I don't think I will ever be so glad to see a porcelain throne in working condition. Our bathroom is so close to being 95% done and once it is our time can finally be spent doing other things. I do have some pictures to update the blog with. I will try to get that done in the next few days but it isn't likely that we will have Internet available at home yet so it might be next week before that happens.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got some R&R and great food, I know we enjoyed those things, especially this Christmas, even if it was only for a few hours at at time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Its starting to look like a finished house....

It finally feel like we are getting stuff done. Here is a list of what has been completed so far in the last few weeks:

  1. Kitchen has drywall up with the exception of the area on the ceiling and around the patio door.
  2. Can lights have been installed in the kitchen.
  3. Kitchen and bath areas have new subfloor and underlayment of some type.
  4. Full bath has almost all the drywall up and now has a ceiling (woo hoo for not heating the attic!!), we just need to finish getting drywall/cement board up around the bathtub and then we will be ready to tape, mud and sand the drywall.
  5. The purple room is no longer purple and after 3 coats of primer is now white, we'll decide on a color later.
  6. And probably one of the most visual changes from this weekend is documented below:

    Here is our living room area before we started painting you will notice a portion is an nice light robins egg blue, while the other wall nicely coordinated with a deep avocado green

Below the ghostly looking room is in the process of being rid of those nasty colors. With the help of my parents and good friends Michelle and Steve we were able to get 2 coats of primer in this room and the dining room on Saturday.
And then finally on Sunday we were able to paint it the finish coat. It is Ralph Lauren paint in the color "Sisal." I would highly recommend this paint it is only a few dollars more than the Behr or Valspar paints and it went on so easily and covered great. They also have a great palette of colors.

So this room is fairly close to being done. We just need to change all of the outlets and covers and get the baseboards up. We are leaving the floor to the professionals, we are not going to try our hand at installing carpet.

Stay tuned for more updates they should start getting more fun in the changes that you see :)!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The bathroom stuff

I forgot to mention in my last post that I also purchased our full bath vanity top last week at Home Depot. I had looked at it before but went down the aisle and noticed it was $100 off so I went ahead and picked it up. It is one of the ready to go granite tops, I don't know how else to explain it but here is a picture.
And here is the vanity cabinet we plan on getting

Monday, December 3, 2007

Progress.....we have some kitchen walls

So we at least got some of the drywall up this weekend. On Saturday we had a bunch of people come and help. My Uncle Skyler helped Adam with some odds and ends and then was on the drywall crew once that started going up. Our friend Chad came and lended a hand to the drywall, also due to his above average height he helped me with some taping I was doing so I didn't have to use the step ladder :) My uncle Mark and cousin Daniel were back to help with the electrical. Also my friend Michelle came and helped me tape the other bedroom for painting and then wipe down walls in the living room. We got a lot accomplished and hopefully by the pictures below you notice progress. Poor Adam spent half of Saturday on his stomach doing and army crawl through the attic (our attic is not very tall), the poor guy has either been beneath or above this house for 80% of the time so far. Prior to everyone arriving on Saturday we also got some underlayment done in the dining and kitchen, as well as, can lights installed and ready for wiring.

I say it looks like we live in that thing that they put E.T. into because he was sick (oh come on 80's kids you know what I'm talking about). Anyway we had put in the insulation and then covered it with this 6 mil plastic sheathing as a vapor barrier, the drywall then goes on top of that.
Ta da we had 12 feet of wall at this point a vast improvement over zero!!
Below is the room were we are keeping all the stuff, and I tried to get a picture of one of our cabinets (you can see the side in the left part of the picture). Thanks to Adam's Dad we picked up all of the cabinets and counter tops, as well as our stove and microwave. Now it is all just waiting for installation.
And here is a quick picture of our counter tops.
This week we will be trying to complete as much drywall as possible. I am planning to start painting the ceilings and priming the walls in the rooms we aren't doing anything to from a wall perspective.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pictures -- Warning: They may be boring!

So I took some pictures of progress, they probably aren't very exciting to anyone but Adam and I, but progress nonetheless.

Purple room before anything, and after being cleaned up and taped, ready for painting.

Bathroom with new window installed and new subfloor; to replace the icky stuff that was in there.

Above is the before of the kitchen and below is what is currently looks like-- new windows again.

Now these are the most exciting ones below, not really. But it is the now organized and working utitlity room with our new water softner and the infamous (nearly-blew-up-our-house) water heater, that is now fixed. Also my favorite-- the new furnace!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heat....glorious Heat!!!!

We now have been blessed by the Citizens Gas gods and can run our furnace due to passing the inspection and being able to turn on the heat.

The inspector initially came out on Friday morning to run a test on our line to make sure there were no leaks. Well... there was a small leak that he thought might be coming from a fitting on an old union. There were only about 3 parts from the meter to the furnace/water heater that were not replaced so we figured it was one of those. Thus I make a mad dash to the black pipe aisle at Home Depot and in the meantime John, Adam's dad, arrives to help out. John brought with him a pipe wrench that was seriously the size of a 3 year old, it was the largest wrench I have ever seen in my life. Well the toddler size wrench must have done the job because when Citizens guy arrived the next day there were no leaks. I have never been so happy to hear a furnace running. It was ridiculous we were putting our hands in front of the vents like it was blowing out the answer to the fountain of youth or something.

Then the Citizens guy went to light the pilot on the water heater and about got his eyebrows singed. I guess the control box had some loose screws so when he went to light the pilot there was some built up gas and it basically backfired a bit and scared the bageebees out of Citizens guy and Adam. Adam made a very firm request to Sears to get someone out ASAP to take a look at it and/or replace it, since it was obviously a problem with the manufacturing and not anything we could have done. Sears guy came on Monday and replaced the box, also stating he had never seen anything like that before (lucky us!!).

So now we have both heat and hot water and are no longer living like the Amish. Now we can ask people to come help us and we don't have to preempt it by saying to make sure you wear 4 layers to stay warm :)

Other things we accomplished this weekend:

1. Adam and my dad finished setting all of the new windows and sprayed the "Great Stuff" for insulation and then caulked them all.

2. Mom and I have one of the bedrooms completely taped and are ready to go in with the paint sprayer and prime that room.

Our goal is to start hanging drywall this weekend, so if there are any of you out there that would like to get a workout this weekend and just a little bit dusty we would be more than happy to help you accomplish your goals.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sparkling floors, new pipes, and our first casualty.....

Well it has been a while since I blogged but a lot of work has been going on that I thought I should report. I have forgotten to take my camera these last few time to the house, but will try this weekend so I can have some pictures for the blog. Here is a rundown on what has been going on:

  • Adam and his Dad have finished nearly all the plumbing the only thing left is something to do with the outside spickets. We are now ready to test all the plumbing to make sure we don't have any leaks.
  • Our furnace was installed and is just waiting for the gas to be turned on. (Luckily with the weather this last week a furnace hasn't been necessary).
  • The house is finally rid of all wall paper. While "escavating" the wall near the front door I noticed that there were 2 layers of wallpaper, I then started seeing a portion of what looked like a picture of an old Roman statue. I took pictures with my phone so I will try to get those up b/c it has to be the most interesting wallpaper I saw during my time with this little project.
  • I have taken the old layer of wax off of the original hardwood floors in both of the bedrooms. The floor in the "purple room" has also had new wax reapplied and buffed back to a shine. I want to put another coat on but I am waiting for the heat to come on. The other room has a few damaged wood planks so we need to replace those before I can finish that floor.
  • Our deal of the week last week was our toilets( I know who braggs about a "deal" on a toliet). We had gone to Home Depot for something unrelated and we decided to see if they had anything in the toilet aisle on sale, low-and-behold they had a toilet that was originally $269 on clearence for $47.50 and it was an American Standard. There was only one left at the 38th St. HD so we asked my parents to pick up another one at the C,ville HD. We got 2 toilets for under $100!!
  • Our windows are kind of in.....I will elaborate on that a little further in a minute :(
  • Nearly all of the subfloor in the full bathroom has been replaced and we have dry fitted the tub.

And now for the casualty....

My poor dear husband has been having a heck of a time with the windows. A 54 year old house that had the old aluminum windows is not always the easiest when it comes to the replacement process. First of all not all of the rough opening were level so he had to rework those a bit to get the window to sit in the framing plumb (and yes I now know all these "technical" words and actually what they mean). Then he had to take a layer of brick off and mortar back in the limestone sill so the window could sit properly on the sill. A small casualty was that one of the sills fell during this process and broke into about 3 pieces, but he was able to get it back up and it doesn't look too bad, nothing a flower box can't hide :) Then for the big one......... last night he was trying to get the windows pushed out to where they needed to sit on the sill. The one in the laundry room was "stuck" but I'm guessing when Adam turned to get a tool it got "unstuck" because on my way back up to the house from taking the garbage out, I heard bang, the crash of many pieces of glass breaking, and a number of words I should not type on such a famiy friendly blog. The window had gone to meet its maker so soon after arriving out our house, and so goes our first casualty. Of course the part of the window that broke was the permanent panel and not the moving panel that could probably be ordered seperately as a replacement piece. The worst part is that the windows have to be special ordered and can take 2 to 3 weeks to get back. At least it is just the laundry room and not a big deal if we have a few finishing things once we move in. Right now we put the window back up and then just covered the broken side with plastic.

So as you can see we have been busy and so far the process has had a range of emotions from exciting and fun to exhausted and frustrated, but we are getting there and hopefully soon the pictures I post will be something resembling an almost finished house.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doors, Wallpaper, and Windows.......Oh My......

I have really slacked in blogging lately, but most of the changes have not been something where you can "really" see a change. We have the electrical almost completed and the plumbing should be getting there soon. The new water heater is installed, so now it is just getting everything hooked back up. Our new furnace should be delivered any day, so hopefully that will be installed in the next week. As soon as we get the furnace, then we can have running water in the house, don't want the pipes to freeze and burst right in the middle of the remodel.

Two weekends ago my parents came up to help. My mom helped take a ton of carpet staples out of the hardwood floors in the master bedroom, she decided that she would prefer to never do it again. My dad did a lot of clean up on the outside of the house. I wish the sun stayed out a little longer in the evenings so I could have gotten a picture last night to post, but it does look a lot better and no longer like a jungle.

This last weekend we had a full on work crew my Uncle Mark was back to help with some electrical stuff, my cousin Daniel and his wife Hyra also came to help, as well as Adam's brother Chris and his Dad. Everyone had different jobs so we got a lot of loose ends wrapped up. The pictures below note some of the progress we have made since the demolition, again not a ton yet, but once that drywall goes up there should be world of difference.

This is the before of the back door, although it doesn't look terrible from the inside the exterior of the door was pretty weathered, do we decided to replace it.
Here is the after of the back door, which ended up being a pain to get installed. I guess a door should be roughed in so that there is some wiggle room to work with when installing a new door. Adam's comment after 2+ hours of working on this, with the 3 Phillips men, was that they must of hung the door and then framed the house, that is how tight the door frame was. It ended up being an episode of MacGyver trying to figure out how to get the door to fit. As you can see they triumphed the nasty framing, and I think they would have all gone for a cold one after that mess.
Here is the before of the Kitchen where we were replacing the window with a patio door because it logically made more sense for the flow of the house.
Here is the after with the patio door installed. We had the contractors do this one as we figured it might be a bit more complicated. Adam was jealous and said they got the easy one, after the fiasco with the other door. I am really glad we made this decision, and it is so nice to have all of the natural light in the kitchen and dining area.
Here is the bedroom where there was a patio door and it is being replaced by a window. The windows are all special order and have not come in yet, so right now it is just a piece of plywood.

Now it is on to the wallpaper, oh the glorious wall paper. I think I have spent that majority of my working hours on this house steaming and scraping wall paper off of the walls. I will never, and I repeat never, put wallpaper anywhere in my house. The thought of ever having to take it down makes me shudder.

This is the before of the master bedroom, and after getting the steamer, this room proved pretty easy on stripping the wallpaper.

And here is where hours of my labor have been spent, the after, no more wallpaper!!
This hallway has been my nemesis over the last several days. A previous owner had the bright idea to just paint over the 40+ year old wallpaper. I have scored, steamed, stripped paint, and scraped this hallway and am still only about 1/2 done with this mess. My goal is to be gone with all the wallpaper in the house by the end of this week.
This picture (below ) is where the contractor came in and took down the wall between the kitchen and the dining area. It was load bearing so they had to put in a beam for support. It really opens up the space and makes the dining room much more usable.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Making decision and spending a lot of $$$..

Last night we went to make the final design decision and order our cabinets and counter tops. We also made a pit stop to Lowe's afterwards and picked up a bunch of stuff since we had a 10% off coupon, which included tile we are going to use in the bathrooms. Below are some pictures of the stuff we have picked thus far:
These (pictured above) are the style of the cabinets we decided on, and the medium finish (pictured below) will be the finish of our cabinets.

The counter-top (below) is the same as ours WilonArtHD Deepstar Bronze, ours will have a finished edge that looks more like a solid surface edge.
We didn't purchase these yet but this (below) is the style of pulls that we both like for the cabinet hardware.

We will be putting in the Bellawood Brazilian Cherry Hardwood from Lumber Liquidators (below) in our Kitchen and Dinning Rooms.
This is the tile (below) we have chosen for the full bathroom. We will use 6X6 tiles on the shower wall and the same tile but in the 12X12 size on the floor.

And finally this was our last decor purchase last night (below), this tile will be in the laundry area and the half bath.

We also got a bunch of electrical stuff since my Uncle Mark is coming back this weekend to help finish up the electrical to-do list. Another semi-decor item we purchased were can lights for the kitchen. This weekend we plan to keeping working on stripping wallpaper and get walls in shape for primer and then also work on electrical. Hopefully in the not too far distant future drywall will be going up and things can start coming into the house instead of heading out to the trash :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The changes are a comin.....

I don't have any pictures but I will definetly get some this weekend if not before. A lot of what has been going on lately you can't really see but they are needed changes.

This last weekend Adam worked on a lot of electrical and plumbing, meaning he was acting like a mole and lived most of the weekend under the house in the crawl space. Thanks Chris for leaving the coveralls, they have definetly come in handy this last week.

I spent most of my weekend taking off wallpaper in the master bedroom. I intially started using the Dif product that you spray on and then scrape, I think my dear husband felt sorry for me when after nearly an entire afternoon I had no more than a 2ft by 2 ft area where you coudn't see any remanents of the wallpaper. Everywhere else had these little spots of the paper stuck here and there, it was going to be a long process. At the idea of taking nearly all my time on this one project his keen judgement said lets go buy a steamer to take that stuff off. Thank God for wallpaper steamers, it was amazing! During approximetly the same time it took me to get the 2X2 area cleared I had almost the entire rest of the room completed. If you are ever removing wallpaper and need a steamer please ask to borrow ours, don't even try to use any other method.

Yesterday was a busy day around the house and some visable changes were made. The contractors came to take out the wall between the kitchen and dining room and installed the patio door in the kitchen area. I went by last night after work to check out the progress and it looks awesome. It made me so excited to start seeing transfomations in the house. Adam is going to think I am a nut, but I could start to think of hearing pitter patters in and out of that door to the backyard to play, one day down the road. I will definetly post pictures. Yesterday Adam's cousin Jason also came to look at the 1979 furnace we currently have and give us an estimate on updating. I think we have decided to go with a 93% variable speed furnace and hopefully can get that installed soon, before these tempatures decide to drop!

Also thanks to Steve for coming by to keep Adam company and pulling probably hundreds of nails out of the overlayment so we can get that removed and put the new stuff down.

Tonight we are going to meet with the cabinet guy and try to nail down our order for cabinets and countertops in the kitchen so we can get that completed. We are also going to investigate what they can do for us in regard to bathroom vanities as this has been an area where I have had a hard time really finding something I like.

Other things we hope to accomplish this week:

  • Order the hardwood floor
  • Order bathroom vanities
  • Get new overlayment installed in kitchen, dining and bathrooms and any subfloor that needs replaced
  • Find tile for bathrooms and laundry area
  • Determine where to place can lights in the kitchen
  • Finish the electrical work
  • Get any plumbing done that we can get to

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Our Progress ~ Weekend of Demolition

We did a ton of demolition this last weekend. Thank God for friends and family that are so willing to help with this project of ours.

Earlier last week my father-in-law, John, was passing through the area and offered to go by Menards with us in his truck to pick-up some supplies. We were able to get some overlayment for the floors and drywall.

So during demolition weekend we completely gutted both bathrooms down to studs and floor boards, took out all flooring except the hardwoods, 1/2 of the kitchen walls are down to the studs, removed the framing for the bulkhead in the kitchen, and started on stripping wallpaper in the mudroom and master. We had shifts of people coming by virtually all day to help. I think Chris, Adam's brother, might win "Destroyer of the Day." If you put a crow bar in his hands watch out, I found out he likes to rip things apart. Of course he does have a process to it, which makes sense in that he is an engineer.

Here are a few pictures from our day of demolition:

No it wasn't raining in our house, although by looking at Adam's outfit you might think that was the case. He and Chris were actually about ready to head into the crawl space. Since he couldn't find his coveralls he opted for this nice yellow full body rain gear that he found amongst the tools he had in the garage. You can also see in the background my sister-in-law, Kacey, working on cleaning the drywall she knocked down in the kitchen , while Adam is posing. (That wasn't nice of me; Adam has worked a lot more and much harder on the house than I have so far, so just kidding hun!!)

Now Chris gets to show off his fashionable coverall outfit, I do have to say it did look more respectable than Adam's. Our tried and true Rubbermaid trashcan got some major use as we took that thing back and forth from the dumpster all weekend long. You can do anything to those things and they don't get destroyed. Ok, perhaps running over it with a vehicle or dropping it from a ridiculous height might do the trick, but our abuse did nothing to it. This picture reveals a lot of the progress we made in the kitchen.

This was what was left of our half bath, not much as you can see.

And this is what is left of the full bath. I think that guys that were removing the tub determined that cast iron tubs may weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 to 300 pounds. Probably not something they want to do ever again.

On Monday, Adam used a vacation day to continue the work and we were able to then get rid of the dumpster. I think we are like 95% done with the demolition. Then on Tuesday an electrician came to install a new breaker box, you don't even want see what was in there before. That evening my Uncle Mark came down to Indy and helped Adam map out the wiring and other stuff that is way over my head.

We are so grateful for all these people that are willing to help us and that we have been blessed with great family and friends.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Humpty Dumpty ~ The Before Pictures

So here are some pictures of our "beautiful home," these are the before picture that I took.

This is part of the master bedroom. One nice thing is that we found hardwoods still in pretty good shape under the carpet. The closet you see is actually the length of the wall and shared with the bedroom through another door this size on the other side of the wall. We are going to make this a wall to wall closet for the master, and install sets of bifold doors so that it will be more like a his-and-hers closet. Oh and the lovely wallpaper is a pain to get off, I might be working on that until the day we move in :0

This is the bedroom that is on the other side of the wall and this is the closet entry that we plan to drywall closed. We will then build another closet on the opposite side of this room as it would still be a spacious second bedroom. The harwoods in this room were the only exposed hardwoods and in great shape.

This is the lovely 3rd bedroom which will initially be an office for us, and maybe down the road a room for a little Phillips. For the exact reason that child might someday be in this room we are taking out the sliding glass door and just having a regular window in here.

Hello 1950's bathroom tile!! We are completely gutting this bathroom and installing everything new. The floors and shower walls will be tile the rest will just be painted. This bathroom had a fairly decent cast iron tub, but it was seriously the most shallow tub I have ever seen. We decided to replace it with a new one.

Doesn't this pictue of the tub make you feel supa clean?

This is a portion of the half bath which is also being gutted down to the studs. It had some interesting 70's type of decor on the walls and this stunning goldish bronze stripped wallpaper.

This is the Laundry/Mudroom area which is larger than this picture is able to show. I know you are all jealous of the wallpaper and carpet, try not to covet too much. We are replacing this exterior door due to the weathering the door has sustained.

Who ever came up with the trend and thought that it was a good idea to wallpaper doors???? This was done to more than one door in the house. We are replacing all of the interior and exterior doors.

This was what the kitchen looked like, it actually wasn't that bad based on the age of the house, but since kitchens are one of the areas that really add value to a home, we decided to gut it and start over again. The wall you see to your right with the cabinets attached to it is getting knocked out so that the kitchen and the currently small dining room are an open concept. We are planning to replace all the cabinets and countertops, replace appliances with stainless steel, and put an island where the current butcher block thingy is located.

This window (above) is being taken out and replaced by a patio door. I seriously think the previous owners were trying to match the paint to the cabinets or something, it almost matched perfectly:) Our new dishwasher snuck into this picture.

This is our currently very small dining room and the wall to the left will be coming down which is what I was saying earlier about the kitchen being opened up.

Here is the front door which is getting replaced by something probably in the cream family unless I decide to venture out and accent with some color for the outside portion.

This is the fireplace that you are looking at if you turn to your right upon coming in the front of the house. I'm not a big fan of the current fireplace's look, but it is definetly not something we are worrying with right now. One funny thing to note is that there are two working outlets on the top of the mantle, kind of weird?

This is looking out of the big picture window in the great room.

This is the beautiful exterior of the home that still partly resembles the Amazon. There are so many overgrown plants and tree items around the house that I think we might be prunning and pulling weeds for a few years before its all looking tidy. As you can see in this picture, we had already trimed some of the front yard trees so that you can actually see the house now. Also take note of the nice dumpster located in our driveway. That should be making itself disappear very soon.

This is our incredibly overgrown backyard. But we love the tree line, it gives us some privacy but also we just like having all the trees around.

So that concludes this blogging session, and I will be putting up some more picture of our progress. I can't wait until I can make a side by side comparison of the before and after.