Monday, July 26, 2021

Remodeling Week 17

 This was an exciting week!  We got our countertops installed and our plumbing installed.

The counter tops are gorgeous.  They are beautiful even in their natural state of gray.  We went with a soapstone that is mined locally.  We wanted a natural stone. We did a lot of research and soapstone seemed to fit our style the best.  We will oil it because it naturally darkens on its own regardless, but it is so so pretty.

We also had a pot filler, our sink drain and faucet installed.  We went with a satin chrome look - something that wouldn't show fingerprints but also not be overly shiny.  We picked an old fashioned handle look for both.  

The guys brought in each piece one by one.  I took a picture of them bringing in the island.  It took so many of them to lift it into the house and into place.  They clapped for themselves when it was in place

This is the counter in the pantry
Our peninsula counter
The best piece - the island.  Our island is a little over 10 feet and we were able to get a solid piece.
Island and next to the stove
We also had a piece added to the windowsill in the pantry
Ta da!  Starting to look like a real kitchen now

This is our new sink faucet.  I was afraid it was going to look small against this sink, but it fits nicely
I went with a side spray to clean out the sink instead of a pull down nozzel.  We were told those tend to break down fairly often.  This faucet does swing from side to side, though, so that is nice

This is our pot filler.  It should reach 4 of our 6 burners.  I love it

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Remodeling Week 16

 The contractors returned mid week this week.  Left me a few days to do a few painting projects.  I did finish the trim - yay - and I painted the backside of our peninsula and the crown molding around the fireplace.  Then I did some touch up painting around the house and painted 3 of our 5 outside doors a new red color.  I got a ton done and taking advantage of the floors being covered.

The contractors this week did little jobs.  The put some handles on the cabinets.  Adjusted the doors a little more.  Removed two drawers out of two cabinets. in the pantry so that I can put in my taller appliances (mixer).  The fridge was slid in place, but not quite ready to be used until the plumbers come back to hook up the water line.  The installed the hood over where the range will be.  The put the wood siding back on the ouside where they put the hood outlet.  

The electricians returned and did more lights.  They finished the mudroom, hallways, and kitchen recessed lights.  Made the holes for the rest.  Hung the chandalier in the hallway (HUGE to do trying to get that staged).  Everything is coming together.  

This is the light we will have over our small breakfast area.  We wanted something with the style of the other lights, but that didn't hang too low.  It needs a few more bulbs.....they are on backorder like everything else!  Ah well.

These are our island pendants.  Simple and elegant with edison bulbs.  We hung them high enough so that they would not block the view of the television - all important while I am in the kitchen
We have tiny recessed lights all over the place.  Love a lot of light.  They are all LED.  I love them.  Brightens up the whole floor.  These are in the hallways and pantry and kitchen, dining, living room, everywhere.
Our living room ceiling fan.  We have an idential one in smaller form in the mud room.  Our designer was a huge help when it came to lighting and getting things to coordinate.
We are inching our way to completion.  When Mat came back this weekend, we took off shopping for a table and for the shelving we want to use in the pantry.  We found both.  I am so excited we are at this stage.  The contractors will be done around the 30th and the cleaners come August 3rd and then the house will be ours once again.  So close now.
We picked a matte black wrought iron handle for all of our cabinets and drawers.  No knobs.  6 inches for our 4 smalled drawers.  8 inches for our 24 and under drawers and cabinets, and 10 inches for our biggest drawers and cabeints.  They are gorgeous.  They were a little pricer than we wanted to originally spend ($25/piece) but solid and exactly what we wanted.  

We chose to do the painting, tiling, and mill work so that we could spend more money in other places.  We saved 50K by doing some of this work ourselves, and it will give us a chance to do other projects we want to do sooner.  Sweat equity is sometimes worth it.

The hood for the massive range.  We have a 48 inch hood.  Took 3 guys to install it.  They aren't done, but it is getting close.
The crazy set up for hanging the chandalier.  They left the ladder in place for us so that I could finish painting our wall and ceiling (they moved the light over 4 inches so they had a patch we had to paint).  The set up was CRAZY.  They actually stablized the ladder at the bottom

Wala - chandalier!  It is really pretty.  A nice replacement for the silly little light that has been ther efor a decade.  And I will be able to reach it from my second floor to change bulbs and clean.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

New Driver

 Arlington passed her driving test!  I am so glad.  She was extremely nervous, but the test was short and now she can drive herself.  She is free!

Remodeling Week 15

 The contractors were off the job this week.  It gave us a chance to do some more painting (I need to do all the trim and we have a ridiculous amount of windows and doors on our first floor) and start the mud room floor.

It was amazing to watch the trailer pull away after 14 weeks.  What they have left to do doesn't require their big tool truck any more.

We started by using thin set to put down the backerboard in place.  We learned a lot about thin set and how it needed to be in order to put it down.  Once we got into a rhythm, it went down quickly.  Since we had pre-cut all the pieces, it took just a full day to put it down.  IT was a messy business, but we did it.  As we went along each piece of FULL backerboard needed 48 screws.  That is not a made up number.  Every 6-8 inches you have to put a screw into the backerboard and into the ground with a specific screw.  Mat was aching by the time we finished the room because that was just a hard step.

Cainan got pulled to help when I had to take Arlington to work
Wala- backerboard is complete

The next day we sealed the edges of the backerboard with thin set and patch tape (I know it has a real name, but I don't remember it).  You put down thin set, then the tape between the boards, and then more thin set.  This keeps the boards stable.  With all of these steps this isn't going anywhere.  Ever.

This all had to dry for at least 24 hours, so we walked away from it for a few days and let it set.  Then it was time to start the tile.  We had originally picked a small brick that we patterned.  I spent 9 hours laying it out in a grid we had in our living room (we drew out the mudroom in a bigger space so that my type A personality could make sure the tiles were mix and matched well.  Thank goodness for audiobooks for entertainment.  This was a huge job.  

This is our living room.  The mudroom doesn't look this big until we laid it out.

I took all the tiles out of all the boxes and separated them by color families.
Putting the tiles into the space

We laid it out and started in the room and came to a problem.  The one wall to the pantry isn't straight.  And the way we were laying out the tiles it was going to make it REALLY hard.  Especially for us first timers.  So after all that work, we chucked our small tile idea, headed back to the store, and bought long boards so we could run them parallel with the wall.  This way there would be no way to see the tilt.  

We had the kids pick up all the small tiles and then we laid out all the big tiles - another day of work.  But by the end of the week we were ready to go.  The first two rows of tile work took the longest.  IT was a steep learning curve.  Mat is very good at taking his time.  We leveled every single tile and every single row (We started in the middle of the room - no choice) so it took us awhile to get a rhythm.  By the end of the weekend, we had done more than half the room.

The new tile ready to go

Laying out the first two rows before we put them down so we can even them out.

This is as far as we got after day one.  It just took awhile for us to get comfortable with laying each tile.
I had laid out the entire design - again - in our living room.  We knew that we wanted mostly light with a mix of blue, so we had to lay it out.
Day two we got a bit further.
We decided to buy a wet saw - it was cheaper than renting the thing and we knew we would need it for a lot longer than a week.  Plus we are also going to be doing our entrance way and our backsplash, so we will use it quite a bit just with this one project.
This was as far as we got before Mat left.  We stopped right before the low spot and will have to fix that before we can continue.  We are proud of ourselves.

This is the entrance to the pantry.  It will make a nice transition.

Then we hit one more snag.  We have a low spot.  We thought we could solve it easily, but we couldn't.  So we came to a stop and went back to the store for advice.  Then Mat had to leave for his business trip for San Fran, so we couldn't do any more work.  It is all good.  We stopped at a good spot for when the contractors and electrician return next week and then we will finish it after Mat returns.  We are proud of our work so far.  It is look really pretty.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Finley's 15th birthday

 Today Finley turned 15!  I cannot believe our youngest is 15 years old.  Time just goes by too quickly.

She isn't big on having her picture taken, so we didn't get many today.  We are so proud of this girl.  She has a lot of hurdles to overcome with her vision issues, and she does it with grace.  She is smart, funny, strong, and caring.  She is an incredible artist.  She is a fantastic student.  We are lucky she is ours.

Happy 15th sweet girl

We are still in the basement for all of our activities related to eating, so not much of a party center this year