The HOUSE Project: The longest month…

July 1, 2014

It’s only been about a month since we settled on our town house and it officially became our “old house” (Caelan calls it the “empty house” or the “dirty house”, not sure why). We’ve been settling into our apartment and things are going well. The kids are sharing a room and there is plenty of space for both of them. We did run into a pretty significant sleep regression with Leah and as much as we didn’t want to have to do this in the apartment, we had to do a sleep training refresher. Thankfully, she’s back on track…sort of…some days. Sorry neighbors :/

In the past month, we’ve been unusually busy with moving and unpacking, birthday parties, new babies, and family time. Usually when you’re really busy, time flies by and we’d sure love that since all we’re doing right now is waiting for our house to be built. But somehow, the past few weeks have draaaaaaaaaaaaaagggged on forever! It’s only been a month?! Really?! And we still have 2-3 more months to go 😦

They ARE making significant progress on our house though. Here is what it looked like at the end of May…


Day #17

The framing happened fast. It took about 3 weeks. I took the picture below after they had already moved on to the mechanical work inside.

Day #46

Day #46

And speaking of inside…It’s hard to take a meaningful picture because unless you’re familiar with the floor plan, it really just looks like a lot of 2×4’s everywhere. But this picture actually includes quite a few of the rooms in the house.

A view of the inside

At this point, they are working on “boring” but important things like installing duct work, plumbing and electrical. We’ve already made super important decisions like which light switches control which outlets and where the recessed lights in the kitchen will go (“Here-ish,” I said, drawing an imaginary line in the kitchen with my finger. The builder did not hesitate to tease me about my precision 🙂 )

We were more precise with our decisions on the kitchen cabinets which have also been finalized and ordered!



In the next month, they should be finishing up the mechanical work, putting up drywall, and installing the kitchen. We will really be getting close by then. Here’s hoping July moves along at a reasonable pace!

The Kitchen Snowball: Complete.

November 14, 2012

The Kitchen Snowball, aka our living room/dining room/office project, took a bit longer than I had hoped. I think my expectations were a tad unrealistic. All we did was paint the walls and ceiling and put up a chair rail, but that required many steps. We painted the ceiling first, then the bottom part of the wall, then put up the chair rail, painted the top part of the wall, then painted the chair rail and base boards. Then we had to go back and do touch ups and paint the bulkhead/beam thingy that we were not able to reach with all our furniture pushed into the middle of the room.

AFTER Phase 2 – The Dining Room

That took about 1.5 weeks. But then, with no deadline hanging over our heads, things stalled out. It took awhile to put the room back together. But the good news is that it’s done now and we LOVE it!! It’s so refreshing to see new colors on the wall, especially a bold color like the one we chose for the bottom of the wall. Unlike our basement project, we didn’t have any help with the painting for this one (not that we didn’t get offers) so it was just Bill and I. And we managed to not kill each other and not end up on Renovation Realities (I know it was just a minor project, but still). I even used a nail gun without injuring anyone, so I call it a win.

The colors we chose were Brown Teepee for the top part of the wall and Spice for the bottom part, both by Behr.

AFTER Phase 2 – The Living Room

A major plus to this whole project (kitchen included) is that we ended up packing up a TON of stuff to give away. Lots of kitchen stuff, books, decorative items, and clothes (clothes have nothing to do with this project, but I figured it was a good time to purge). We removed 2 out of the 3 bookshelves we had in the office and dining room which required some shuffling, but it looks a lot less cluttered in there now. And we finally got a chance to hang our diplomas up on the wall! We worked hard for them, they really deserve to be on display!

AFTER Phase 2 – The Office

October was a rough month with our house turned upside down. We are grateful to our parents who were on babysitting duty pretty much every weekend. I know they (and Caelan!) had a lot of fun. But I am happy to not have to pack him up and ship him off every weekend anymore. (If only he’d start napping again!!) Overall, this whole project (the kitchen included) took about 6 weeks, including putting-back-together time, and we made it by my Thanksgiving deadline 🙂 Now I am happy to enjoy our new space and get ready for the holidays!

AFTER Phase 2 – The Whole Room

The Kitchen Project….Is Done!

October 17, 2012

When we got the contract for the kitchen, it said that the project would take 3 weeks. So I figured that meant 4 weeks. Not because I didn’t have faith in our contractors, but because I wanted to be realistic. Something always comes up with home improvement projects and those things can cause delays. A few minor things did come up, but as of Monday the kitchen was officially finished.

Total project time = 2 weeks, 1 day. And thank God for that because we were OVER not having a kitchen! We knew what we were getting into, but it still sucked. I missed the kitchen sink the most.

The project went smoothly from start to finish and we are VERY pleased with the result!! As I mentioned in a previous post, the contractors we hired are our neighbors and that turned out to be great for all involved. It was convenient because they are so close and it was never a problem to get in touch with them or get questions answered. I got daily updates via text or email, and even pictures of the progress. Working with them was very pleasant and they did a great job.

I know, pictures!! Okay here they are…

And a side by side…

I couldn’t get a good picture of the powder room. It has the same tile floor and a slightly darker gray wall color, but other than that, not much has changed in there. Oh except that the sink and toilet are new and they actually work so we can use that bathroom again!! It’s been out of commission for over 2 years so we are glad to have it back.

I LOVE how it all came out. I almost don’t want to put all our old kitchen stuff back in the nice shiny new kitchen! But that’s exactly what we are doing this week. It’s a little challenging because we reconfigured the cabinets so I need to find a new home for quite a few things.

Now that the kitchen is done, we need to get all of our kitchen stuff out of the living room and storage pod so that we can start packing up/moving the living room stuff.

Starting at the end of the week/this weekend…The Kitchen Snowball.

The Kitchen Project: Progress, Week 1

October 8, 2012

Week 1 of our kitchen renovation has come and gone and we are actually right on schedule! There were a couple minor blips – nothing that really could have been avoided, and thankfully, nothing that really set us back at all.

Here’s where we are at the end of Week 1:

  • Demo = Done
  • Initial Plumbing and Electrical = Done
  • Drywall work = Done
  • Backer board installed on the floors = Done
  • Cabinets (and hardware) installed = Done
  • Painting (except for trim and a few touch ups) = Done

Here’s what it was looking like last night. The cabinets are slightly darker in real life. The paint is a really light gray/beige. We wanted to keep the walls and floor light to balance out the dark cabinets and counter tops.

The major project for this week is getting the floor tiled. Should be interesting! One week down, 1-1.5 weeks left to go…

The Kitchen Project: Oh the irony…

October 5, 2012

Remember the whole drama with the cabinet pulls? Well we decided to use the set of pulls my parents gave us, plus the 1 impostor pull. I counted the cabinets a dozen times to make sure I was right on the number and after they were installed, I counted them again – still 21.

What I didn’t realize is that we added a corner cabinet with a lazy Susan and the way that cabinet works, it doesn’t need a pull. I didn’t know how the doors opened until I saw it installed, so I originally counted it as needing a pull. But it doesn’t. So now the total number of pulls we need is…20.

And what do you know, we have 20 that match perfectly! So don’t come into my kitchen looking for an oddball because there isn’t one!!

The Kitchen Project: Gaaaaa!!

October 2, 2012

That’s how Caelan says “Go!”…Anyway…

Construction on the kitchen has started!! Bill and I spent the weekend packing up everything in our kitchen, creating a makeshift kitchen in our dining room and a makeshift pantry in boxes on our living room floor. It’s a hot mess, to say the least.

I took some BEFORE photos, but the light fixture in the kitchen had already come down and it was 11:30pm so it was kind of hard to see!

BEFORE – View from the Dining Room

BEFORE – View from the left side of the window

BEFORE – View from the right side of the window

BEFORE – View from the doorway

BEFORE – The Powder Room

I took some pictures of the demo yesterday but it’s really hard to tell what’s what now that everything is just GONE. Basically all the pictures I took look like this:

DEMO, Day 1

So that’s where we are right now. We are moving forward one day at a time and at the moment Bill and I are planning to step in and do our part (painting) this weekend.

Caelan’s routine is not too interrupted other than eating out the past 2 nights and playing in the basement instead of the living room. The cats may be having the worst time with the change. They are now in the basement 24/7 with their food and water and litter down there. They’re fine when we’re down there too, but I think they get lonely when we’re not there. Hopefully we’ll be able to let them back up soon!

Which one of these does not belong?

September 27, 2012

To make a long, stupid story short…

Me: Mom, I love the cabinet hardware in your kitchen.

Mom: If you like it, we have a whole extra set! They accidentally gave us double when we did our kitchen.

Me: Great, I’ll take them! I need 21.

Mom: (counts) …18…19… and 20.

Me: Crap.

I have searched high and low for cabinet hardware (seriously – if there’s a satin nickel cabinet pull out there for under $5, I’ve seen it) but I really liked the ones my parents have. Of course even though theirs were still in their original packaging, there was no brand or style number to be found. However, I tracked one down online that I was pretty certain would be a match. Afterall, I only needed ONE more.

Do you see it??

Maybe here??

Ugh, they are SO similar, but still not exactly the same. I suspect that they actually are the same brand/style but the ones from my parents are 11 years old and maybe they changed the style slightly in that time?

So here’s the question. Do we go ahead and use the (free!) 20 matching pulls plus the 1 almost matching pull (probably on a single cabinet where it is less likely to be noticeable)? Or do we go ahead and buy 20 more of the new ones so we have a full set of 21 that match perfectly?

My need to have perfect, complete sets of things is conflicting with my desire to A) not be crazy, B) save some money, and C) use a perfectly good set of cabinet pulls that have been sitting around for a decade. I highly doubt that ANYONE would notice the impostor pull if they walked into our kitchen. But I would know it’s there…

Bill’s on board with whatever option keeps me the most sane, no matter the cost, ha 🙂 I’ll put it to a vote.