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.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Big 3.....0......

So today is the last day of my twenties, actually based on what I have heard from my Mom I think I get until about 6:30 tomorrow evening. Honestly I really haven't thought about it too much; that might have something to do with selling a condo and moving everything into storage, going to Italy for 2 weeks, closing on a new house, moving into a temporary apartment, and starting the remodeling process on the new house.

My wonderful husband and some of my closest friends thru me a surprise birthday party last weekend and it was great to get to be with a lot of old friends all at the same time. Kim, Laurie, and Michelle a huge thank you to you for organzing the party and how much your friendships mean to me. They actually put together a little slide show and managed to get pictures from about the last 15 years of my life (Courtney I know you helped them). Some of these pictures I had never seen before which was really interesting!!

This evening Adam is taking me to Eddie Merlots and then has a surprise for me of which I really, this time, have no clue about. I am notorious for figuring surprises out, but I really haven't had time to be a detective on this one :) Tomorrow we are going to dinner with my parents and brother at McCormick & Schmicks to celebrate my and my dad's birthday (My Dad's b-day is today, Happy Birthday DAD!!). During the day tomorrow we are going to be working on the house again and try to get the demolition completed so we can get the dumpster out of our driveway. I am sure my muscles will let me know what being 30 feels like on Sunday.

I will try to get the before pictures and the after demo pictures up of the house early next week.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Totally not house related ...... OUR ITALY TRIP (Part I: Rome ~ Day 1)

Last month we had a wonderful vacation to central and northern Italy. We spent 15 days and 14 nights discovering the beautiful scenery, delicious food, and at least once a day gelato! We started in Rome, traveled up into Tuscany, over to Florence, and ended our trip at our most northern point in Venice.

Here are some pictures and commentary on our trip:

The picture to the left is one of the first images we saw as we began walking around Rome. We stayed on the West side of the Tiber river just over the Ponte (Bridge) from the central area of Rome. This area is called Travestere, and is said to be the "Romans Rome." We loved the area because it was a great mix of being tourist friendly but also getting to live more like a local. The nightlife in the area is also very fun as it is lively and has become somewhat of a trendy area for the twenty and thirty somethings. We were also pretty close to almost everything and if we needed to we could always grab a bus or metro to get somewhere that was a little farther then our lazy American legs could handle. The picture is of some ruins on a little island that is in the Tiber as you cross the pedestrian bridge, it is part of the Jewish Ghetto of Rome.

We walked over to the building that houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and went to the top of it where you had a panoramic view of all of Rome. In the picture above the Roman Forum ruins are to the right and the Colosseum is obviously in the upper left hand corner.

Next we went over to the Trevi Fountain and then the Spanish Steps. The Trevi Fountain was cool to see just in it magnitude and detail of architecture. We were a little disappointed with the Spanish Steps we just felt like it was a lot of people setting on some steps. Maybe we completely missed the amazingness of it or something. Although at the Spanish Steps we encountered our first of many times in seeing people fill up their water bottles from the fountains. Of course most American fountains are disgusting and we would never even consider drinking the water, but everyone else was doing it so we even tried it a couple of times. I must say the water did taste good, wasn't discolored, and never made us sick.

Then it was on to the last major site for our first day which was the Pantheon. This was definitely our favorite of the day. It is unbelievable how well this building has been preserved and by a long shot is the best preserved building of all of "Ancient Rome". The doorway into the building was huge and I believe I read that the large doors were the originals for the building. The domed ceiling has some pretty cool architecture and a large circle in the top that lets the natural sunlight illuminate the interior. The inside is basically just a circular room with several statues and paintings, it is used as a Basilica which can be see through the cross just outside of the main building.

We did pretty well with our jet lag and managed to only take a couple of breaks in the room during that afternoon. We went to a small Trattoria that evening for dinner and had our first infusion of real Italian pasta, it was very good. During our dinner we met a very nice but opinionated couple from New York and a couple on their honeymoon from Norway. The Norwegian couple was very sweet and close to our age. The husband spoke excellent English and they asked if we would like to walk around with them and grab some drinks or something. We spent the evening with them exploring the lively piazzas and Adam and Ror discussed episodes of the "Simpsons" and "Family Guy". I never knew these 2 shows were a universal discussion topic and the bond we all have internationally:)

What is the blog all about?

Since we are starting to renovate our newly purchased home I wanted to have a place to share our progress with friends and family. There might periodically be other items we share but mostly house stuff.

We recently purchased a 1950's home in the near northside of Indianapolis. The poor little house just hasn't had a lot of TLC over the past few years, but since this area was a very affluent area in the 60's and 70's the house has great bones. The following is the list of things we will be redoing to our home over the next 2 months (hopefully most of this gets done:):

Completely redoing the kitchen (cabinets, countertops, appliances)
Knocking out a wall between the dinning room and kitchen to open up the space
Putting a patio door in where a window now exists in the kitchen
Completely gutting (to the studs) and remodeling both bathrooms
Refinishing existing hardwoods in the 3 bedrooms
New carpet in the great room
New hardwoods in the dinning and kitchen
New tile in the bathrooms and laundry area
Replace all interior and exterior doors
Extend the closet in the master bedroom
Build a closet in a large second bedroom
Electrical work (replace breaker box, rewire to major appliances, basically make sure we are modern and up to code)
Plumbing work (replace all corroded plumbing, replace water heater, etc)
Replace our like sixty some percent efficiency furnace

Down the road stuff to do:
Replace windows
Paint exterior part of home
A whole heck of a lot of weed pulling and getting the landscaping under control

Already checked off of our list:
Installed new garage door opener
Cut back overgrown trees so that you can know see our house from the road instead of a jungle:)

So just a few things to do over the next couple of months, stay tuned to see how we do in reaching our goals of putting our house back together again (thus the name of our blog the Humpty Dumpty House).

P.S. I do have before pictures that I will post as soon as I have them downloaded.