Friday, August 4, 2017

Finish Line

We are guilty of setting goals for ourselves and are...unrealistic difficult to meet.  So then when we see we're getting close we push even hard to finish.  I wish I could say "this will never happen again" but I know us too well.

Our goal was to finish before vacation.  We got really close.  Really, really close.  Some of the reason we got close, but haven't finished is because the store ran out of supplies, specifically trim boards.  We cleaned out the rack and were waiting for them to get more.  They had a few left but they were all the curved and trim isn't supposed to be curved.  

Walt Kowalski did a great job on the trim.  He hates corners.  But luckily, the rough barn style trim worked well using straight cuts.  

Here's the bathroom.  We did finish the trim on the floor in this room.  We finished the upstairs trim in all the rooms, actually.  It was the first floor baseboard trim we didn't finish.  

I learn something every time I do a bathroom.  (Ok I learn a LOT every time we do a house, but specifically the bathroom.)

We hung the waterproof drywall in the bathroom, then added the cement board so the tile would stick, then added the tile.  This is great, but it sticks out about an inch.  I didn't think about that in the beginning, but the edges were all rough.  I could have used caulk just to cover the edge, but it wasn't very pretty.   

Instead, I found small tiles used for backsplashes.  I cut them apart and glued them to that small edge.  Perfect.  

Here is the vanity, light bar, and recessed lighting.  Oh and you can see the finished baseboard. There will be no problems seeing to put on your eyelashes in this bathroom.

The kitchen gave me gray hair.  The kitchen gave me MORE gray hair, that is.  We got a great deal on cabinets that were wrong for a much larger house.  We didn't have a plan, but we couldn't pass up a bargain.  To use the most cabinets, maximize counter space, and work around plumbing in the basement, we moved the cabinets at least 15 times.  Lots of great ideas for future projects.  The solution this kitchen was to get rid of the dishwasher and use the sink base an island.  

It worked out great.  Chainsaw Johnny measured, produced, delivered, and installed (installed!!) the countertops.  I will admit I am I'm jealous of all of that counter space.  Very jealous.  And jealous of all the cabinets and drawers.  Drawers!  *sigh* 

I love doing tile.  It is very methodical and mathematical.  Knowing the house would be occupied by dogs and cats and kids, instead of laminate, we did a ceramic tile floor that looked and felt like old wood.  Except for the laundry room (which also has tile floor) we used it on the entire first floor.  

Here you can see the finished steps, too!  Walt Kowalski has a great style. He picked a dark gray chalkboard paint to accent the enamel white of the kicks and railing.  Yes, it shows footprints if you wear your shoes upstairs, but they aren't slippy.  (Don't wear your shoes in the house!)

Grout.  A dark gray grout. Do you see a gray theme here?

I got a shoulder workout taking off that grout.  The tile floor felt like old wood with lots of grooves.  but those grooves also caught a lot of grout and required elbow grease to remove it.  (Like my yellow "curtain" aka old bedsheet?)

Upstairs there used to be a wall at the top of the steps.  We removed it and needed a railing in its place.  I've never built a railing before.  With the help of Walt Kowalski, I measured and planned and figured it out. Drilling the holes to hold the spindles into the bottom of the handrail was the scariest thing I have done.  It was a "don't screw this up" moment.  I measured so many times!  

We used the same trim around the baseboards around the ceiling for a "crown molding" type look.  It really finished off the upstairs nicely.  (It also showed the unevenness of the ceiling in some places.)

Here's the finished railing.  The chandelier light was in the dining room originally. It was gold and after a can of spray paint, it got a nice new home.

Looking downstairs to the entrance.  Front door needs trim.  Steps on the left need a quarter round to finish.  All small details for later. 

Looking into the living room and kitchen. You can't tell in this photo but it was 98% humidity this day.  You can see the finished countertop with a bar seating area. The stove was a garage sale find 2 years ago. Still need to finish the trim.

Looking into the kitchen from the living room.   We added the bulkhead between the kitchen and living room to give a little definition and add some recessed lighting over the bar.

Laundry room.  I'm not jealous of this.  well only jealous because mine is full of crap.  (Anybody want some crap?  Free to goo home!  Yeah, no takers. )  The washer and dryer will go on the right.

We learned a LOT.  I can't stress LOT enough.  Many tears, many beers, many, many drops of blood and sweat. Vacation was just enough time to regroup and talk about what we want to do different next time.  Yes, there is a next time.  And we've already started the next time. Crazy?  Yes, yes we are crazy.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On with the program

You've miss a LOT.  Ok, you haven't missed it; I have neglected to show you the LOT.  We've had lots of drama and turmoil and blood, sweat, and tears.  Some about the house.  Some not about the house. I won’t go into them here and now.  For now, let’s just show you where we are today.
Remind me to tell you how it took 2 weeks to get the water shut off at the curb. 

To save time and money, we don’t start at one room and work our way around the house, mostly due to cost of and storage of supplies.  Also, because sometimes there is time involved.  Drying time for plaster. Hanging time for drywall. Itchy time for insulation.  More drying time for plaster and tile. Time for grass mowing and tree felling.

So here is what has been going on…

Walls.  We've hung a LOT of them. This is from the living room through the laundry room wall.

Same view from the front entrance to the living room and into the kitchen and the laundry.

Plastering in the master bedroom. I don't have many photos of painting.  That is hard to see and really not that exciting to look at.

 From the kitchen into the living room.

Laundry room floor. More drywall hung.

Insulation time. 

Now jump back and hang some purple drywall in the laundry room. One of the reasons we jump so much is that we have project we work on together and projects we work on individually.  I'm working on plaster, Walt Kowalski is working on cement board on the floor.  We both work on drywall together.

Steps down to the basement.

Walt Kowalski fitting a piece of drywall.  "Quit taking pictures and come hold this."

Insulation done and ceiling drywall in progress.  

Kitchen and nook drywall.

Now jump to the basement to prepare for the electrician.  Walt Kowalski removed some old wood and found nothing.  No insulation no nothing.  So insulation is a must.

But first, plumbing. 

Walt Kowalski loves his copper.  He's so good at it, too.

Then we jumped up to the second floor to work on the floor.  I was finished painting and we were tired of stepping over the boxes of flooring.  (Ok I did buy it 6 months prior because it was such a good deal! So stepping over it for 6 months was a pain.)

Still need baseboards and trim.  Oh and doors.

Then ChainSaw Johnny said he could get us a deal on cabinets.  So we got kitchen cabinets.  We weren't ready for them, but couldn't pass up the offer.

Finished drywall and seams and screws plastered.

Then I arrived one evening to find Walt Kowalski took the carpet off the stairs.  We left it on to protect the stair treads.  Little did we know there was a rubber/plastic stair tread glued to each stair under the padding, under the carpet.  1000 staples later...

More mud in the laundry room.

While Walt chipped away at the glue (and got high from the fumes of remover) I jumped back up to the bathroom to work on tile.

Sand, scrape, sand, scrape.  We just want them smooth so we can patch the holes and paint them clean. 

And that's where we are today.  We're getting close.  We're pooped.  But we're so close to our self-imposed deadline of July. 

We can do it!

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Year Catch-up

Previously on the Cat Ranch...

We haven't given up on our project house.  We've just been busy with other things (stones, trees, more stones, more trees, holiday, holiday, another holiday, more trees).  We've squeezed work in when we're able. 

But it is a new year. The motto for this year is:

 "Get Shit Done!"

No project, big or small, is going to get done by sitting at home on the couch talking about it.  Time to prioritize.  If that means a few late nights or the Cat Ranch doesn't get swept for a few days, that's what it means.  (Ok, we might be overtaken by fur.)

Here was the last post about the project house:  Click Here Yes I know this was back in June.  Yikes!

Now time for everything you missed.  

To insulate and hang drywall above the stairs, we had to create a platform. It was great, but the "floor" board had to be removed every time we needed upstairs or downstairs.  We ended up bringing all of our supplies upstairs for the day before installing the "floor"

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen...

As I was working on seams and screws over the stairs, Walt Kowalski was hanging boards in the bedrooms and bathrooms.  

You haven't missed much.  Lots of drywall.  Drywall, drywall, and more drywall. Ohhh, pretty purple drywall in the bathroom. 

I skipped the photos of installing the tub.  Nothing to see there.  No swearing or cursing or mashed toes.

After Walt Kowalski gave me more board to finish in the bedrooms, he moved downstairs to work in the living room. (View from the kitchen into the living.)

View from the front entrance up the stairs and into the laundry room, which will not be seen from the front entrance.  You can see the crown we put up along the ceilings.

The electrician was busy running wires and grounding switches.

Walt Kowalski added the cement board to the laundry room.

 Then he moved to the kitchen to do some insulating and drywall hanging.

All the while, I was upstairs sanding and pasting and sanding and mudding and sanding and priming and sanding and painting. 

So that brings you up to date on our progress.  See you in another six months. 😀