Friday, June 29, 2012

Remodel day 67: Homecoming

I went to southern California with my mom to celebrate my grandma's 86th birthday, leaving Brandon and my dad to work on the house with some help from Joe. I wasn't allowed to see any pictures until I got back.

Before we could even get to the house we checked Craigslist and found leads so we rushed out to look at and purchase appliances! We got beautiful GE appliances that happen to match our dishwasher and microwave. Wrestling with the fridge was scary... The man we bought it from had to take off the front door of his house and we barely fit it through our garage doorway! Thank goodness we hadn't installed that door yet! Huge thanks to my dad, John V, and Brandon for finessing it into the house so well. It is quite big, but totally worth it since its top of the line.

The best surprise was walking into the house and seeing our master bedroom put together. It was so romantic and special. Tonight Brandon and I are spending our first night in our new home. It's a bit like camping since the only running water is in a toilet and a hose and there's still work to be done (in fact, we're waking up at 5am to tile...). But we're home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Remodel day 65: Floor to Ceiling

Mom and dad are back from Paris and they returned ready to work! :) Brandon and my dad have been working on installing the laminate flooring. So far it looks great! Meanwhile, I put my mom and myself to work on a huge undertaking... whitewashing all of our kitchen cabinets.

It is not just painting with a watered down white paint. Here's the process in a nutshell:
1. Sand
2. Pre-stain
3. Sand again
4. Apply whitewash/pickling stain and wipe off excess
5. Apply top coat
6. Sand again
7. Apply top coat a second and final time (source:

What did I sign us up for? So far, I'm happy with the results. Looking forward to seeing them installed! I'm thankful for my mom's help and patience with me on this particular project.

Somehow we have to finish flooring, get sinks in, find a fridge, tile a shower, pack up our house, and move in one week. Aaaaaahhh!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Remodel day 62: Puzzle Pieces

Today was a great, but very long (13 hours) work day. We had a Home Depot list and a to-do list for bathroom projects as we started the day. But.... our Home Depot trip had an extra surprise when we found out there's a great sale on cabinets that would save us over $500 on cabinets (based on the cheapest cabinets Ikea has to offer). We decided to move up the purchase a few days. We're mapping them out and they already look great!

Four hours later, we started our projects. Brandon installed a toilet in the master bath while I painstakingly installed our gorgeous tile in the guest bath. What a difference!

Remodel day 61: Reno. Soundtrack

The soundtrack of a renovation: "yeah!" "uh-oh" "aha!" "ooof!" "yuck!" "Woohoo!" "ARGHHH!" {heavy sigh} "ah, finally."

Feeling the burn after a nasty session of tearing out the second bathroom. We prepped the floor for tiling by painstakingly scraping linoleum and glue off the slab. At least the vanity light looks great! More "oof!" and "aha!" tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Remodel day 60: Details, Details

Today, we continued work on the lighting with a big success in our master bedroom and a partial success on the dining room light--for now it makes a beautiful art installation. :) Vents went back up with partial success as well. Loving our paint colors though! Weathered sandstone, lavender haze, and sparkling spring.

We're at the 60 day mark. We've come such a long way! But definitely feeling the fatigue at this point. We are two weeks from our target move-in date and two weeks, two days from the move-out date for our rental house. The pressure is on now! Our goal is (and has always been) to get it liveable by July 4th; which means one fully completed bathroom, a kitchen with a working sink, and a bedroom. A few things won't be done until we are moved in... Moulding, trim, new switchplates, closets, and other details.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Remodel day 54: BIG changes

Today, we had a huge 11-hour workday with a crew of 11 people. Huge thank you to Dad (Gerry), Mom (Linda), Erick, Evan, Joe, Daniel, Matt, Jacob, and Diane!!!! Wow! Everyone worked so hard! A fun highlight was sharing lunch and a BBQ dinner together on site.

 The guys completed 90% of the siding on the entire house! The ladies painted the kitchen, living area, and hallway (yesterday bathrooms were painted)--over half of the interior walls. Here's some visuals of what can happen in 54 days:

Quite the transformation!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remodel day 52: Tile Shopping

I drove out to Bedrosians in Auburn and immediately regretted not having Brandon and the truck with me. In their clearance section I found more granite tiles (like the ones I found at the ReStore) for $1.99/square foot as well as some gorgeous 10"x20" textured porcelain tiles for bathroom tiling. I picked up the other half of the tile in my bug and headed down the hill (total cost for granite counter tiles is less than $70!!). Brandon and I made the second trip in the afternoon. We decided to do the sleek-looking metallic iron tile in our shower with a recessed box and a beautiful white tile for the floor of the guest bath. The tiles cost $1.79/square foot on clearance (regularly $4.30). Such great options and service!

The bathrooms and kitchen are going to take a lot of sweat equity and ingenuity to save money, but the payoff will be incredible. Hoping to find a stainless steel fridge and oven for less than $700, combined. We'll be looking at sears, sears outlet, and Craigslist to accomplish that! If you have any tips, let us know. :)

Currently, Brandon, Joe, and Matt are priming the walls and ceiling for paint. After texturing, the walls look incredible and the smell is completely gone.

Some big changes are coming! Can't wait to share!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remodel day 51: All the Trimmings

I started the day bargain hunting. I went straight to the ReStore in Roseville where I was so excited to find a stainless steel microwave with an above range vent for $185 and 14 square feet of granite tiles for $1.50 each! Home Depot carries the same variety so we can order the other tiles for our kitchen counter there.

Later on, we started work at the house. I worked on cleaning inside while Brandon, Joe, jacob, and Matt trimmed the doors, windows, and eaves to prep for the big day of siding on Friday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Remodel day 49: Drywall Repair and Texturing

After replacing walls and making holes here and there, it's time to repair, mud, and texture. We were planning to do the work ourselves, but after realizing the extent of the work including all the ceilings that were left unfinished following the popcorn removal we decided to get a bid. The guys came with a competitive offer including a modern texturing finish called "imperfectly smooth" (aka old world style). The wall work is almost done and looks fantastic! I can't wait to paint later this week!

Another plus is that the "mural room" is no more. The disturbing images and notes are gone!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remodel day 45: Kitchen Demo!

Today was a big day for wiring and demolition!

We took some video of the action. Enjoy:

It was a disgusting process, especially uncovering all sorts of items that wanted to stay hidden... I know we'll replace it with a kitchen that is nicer, newer, and sanitary, but it's a bit sad to have the heart of the home ripped out. The kitchen was our landing pad, where we settled our stuff, discussed plans for the day, and prayed for the project. Looking forward to replacing it.

Tomorrow the final preparations will be made for drywall repair, filling, and texturing! We're glad to have the experts on that project. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Remodel day 43: Shock and Ahh

{From yesterday's work day}

We've been working so hard over the past couple weeks, that Jenny has actually gotten sick. :( So, in a rare 101uses moment, this is Brandon writing.

In our post on Sunday night we shared that we discovered some moisture issues in the walls of the guest bathroom. Joe and I took a second look and decided the shower and the wall around it would have to go. While Joe, Matt, & Neil sheeted the sides of the house and installed the new front door, I set to work on demo'ing the bathroom. The exterior wall was then rebuilt and we installed the 5 windows we had already planned to put in that day. Lots of thanks to Matt for helping me knock those out. When all was said and done, the front of the house was refreshed and ready for siding! Time to move inside and get ready for paint.

We also got to meet two more neighbors as Jenny and I cleaned up. The couple has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years and they gave us the download on our house, our neighborhood and what they've seen over the years.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remodel day 42: Facelift begins

Today, we did a few projects. My "little" side project of putting in a new locking mailbox took a lot more time and effort than I anticipated. Our neighbor helped Brandon drive in the new post. It looks much better in front of the house rather than hanging off the fence.

We ripped off the last of the old siding to prep for the week! It's exciting to see the changes, but uncovering old walls can be a bit scary... Outside of the guest bath (the room where we had been planning to do the least amount of work), we found quite a bit of water damage to the exterior wall. We may need to adjust our plans for purchases and work if the existing tile wall needs to go. It's all part of the process...

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remodel day 40: Peaks and Wiring

Things are continuing to move at the house. Brandon has been working on one of his favorite projects, wiring to move the house into the 21st century. Out with phone lines, in with Ethernet cable and speaker wires. One morning his objective of wiring the house got him up at 5am. Crazy!

Yesterday, Brandon and Super Joe ordered the siding. Joe has connections so we saved over half of what we estimated! Getting ready for the siding work party on June 15th that will be comprised of the Priors and the C's... and I did say PriorS. We are looking forward to seeing Brandon's family visit for work and fun in a few weeks.

Today, the neighbors were getting excited to see the changes as the preliminary plywood base for the siding went up around the garage. The peaks are covered as well; which was a very tedious undertaking!