Monday, April 28, 2014

Tentative Renovation Timeline

Finish up plumbing Monday. I can hear them cleaning and packing up now!
Tuesday- finish electrical, install exhaust fans, move window.
Wednesday- Plumbing/electrical inspection. If inspection passes, dry waller out Wednesday afternoon or Thursday for day 1 of 2. Put in floor of bathroom.
Thursday- Day 1 or day 2 of dry wall and mud. Stucco repair on window?
Friday- Finish dry wall and mud or install cabinets.
Monday- Install cabinets.
Tuesday- Paint kitchen/bath/laundry closet.
Wednesday/Thursday- Don does tile and flooring.
Thursday- Finish flooring and install appliances.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday- DINNER PARTIES!!

Let's see how close we  can get to this. My money is on the inspections throwing wrenches all over the place. Fingers crossed...

Day 6 and a lighting splurge

The weekend was all about moving gas lines and re-plumbing the laundry rooms/new half-bath, so I don't have very exciting pictures to share of that. What IS exciting however, are the new lighting fixtures I bought!! 

I love these both very much, but they weren't on sale, and aren't exactly cheap so I may end up returning them if they're not perfect. I felt spendy this weekend though, probably a mix of boredom, loneliness (Jeff and Elsa come back today!! Finally!), and relief that demo didn't uncover any expensive issues that needed to be repaired (yet). So I did a bit of online retail therapy. It was West Elm's free shipping promotion that did me in. I can always return these to the West Elm store we have down here, at no loss since I didn't have to pay for the $43 shipping. 

This mobile chandelier is to replace the fugly ceiling fan in the office/sewing room/playroom. The fan shakes when it's spinning and gives off crappy light and I've wanted to replace it from Day 1. I tried looking for attractive ceiling fans but the only ones I really liked were crazy expensive. This room does get hot, but we have big windows plus the sliding door in here for nice cross breezes, and we have regular table fans we can use. I love this fixture more than I could ever love a ceiling fan and it'll give better light over my sewing table. And if you're feeling crazy, you can tilt the arms and change up the shape:

I think I'm going to have it flush mounted to the ceiling too, instead of hanging like a chandelier, because the ceilings aren't very tall in that room and I think it'll look cool that way. I'll probably drive Robbie crazy having him hold it at all different heights in increments of half an inch before I decide though.

And these beauties!

I got a set of two 11" milk glass globes for the two pendants in the kitchen as Plan B in case the Plan A IKEA fixtures look too cheap or fussy.  These are like the Alto pendants I love but half-off.

Mmm... shopping...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 5

We got hook-ups!

The plumbers were here all day but still need to come back tomorrow and finish things off. No rest for the weary plumbers. 

Above is the before picture, and below the semi-after. They removed the huge cast-iron vent pipe on the left and replaced it with a smaller plastic one, which gains us an extra two inches of width for this room.

They moved the gas line for the new range location too.

The trash pile is growing, I think Bagster might need to return soon. That huge pipe is a monster!

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's all in the details...

The guys are doing more electrical today and it got me thinking about switches and cover plates. We have the brushed nickel cover plates in the bathroom to coordinate with the fixtures in there and they really class it up, so I want to do that in the new kitchen too. I'm kind of torn between brushed brass cover plates to match the cabinet hardware, and these white enameled ones I found at West Elm. They're a little chippy though which I can't tell if I like yet or not. I guess I could just buy them, try them out and return them if I'm not into them.

This picture from Schoolhouse Electric though is definitely swaying me towards the brass plates and black outlets/switches. Classy! And I hate cleaning finger smudges off light switches so these come with the added bonus of never having to do that. Is it weird to have these be different in the kitchen and new bath than everywhere else in the house though? What's your vote on the cover plates? White enamel with black outlets/switches, or brass with the black?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 3

Laundry room! Looks kind of like a phone booth in here now. I'm kind of torn on repainting this entire room. That was my first plan, to go white to match the hallway and kitchen but is that just unnecessary work? The gray paint is still in great shape in the rest of the room, and we'd just need to paint up this closet to make it match. I think we even have some leftover... hm. Decisions.

The guys were here all day again finishing up the framing for this closet and the bumped out wall, and a lot of electrical planning. Poor Robbie had to go under the house and in the attic a bunch of times to locate junction boxes or something like that. Chris drew in where the cabinets are going and thank the sweet baby Jesus, everything fits and my measurements were right.

They cut out the damaged areas of the plaster and I think drywall is only going in those holes down here, and no other wall sections need to come out.

And here's the bumped out wall, with the old wall now gone and the ceiling joists scissored (or something like that. I spend my day working from my laptop in the living room while straining to overhear them talking about the juicy details).

Plumbing tomorrow! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 2

Another good work day! The guys were here early again and made a good chunk of progress. The wall between the new half-bath and kitchen is almost all gone and the framing for the new bumped out wall went up. 

The ceiling joists need to be scissored, or something like that, before they can take that wall fully down, giving us an extra 8 inches of length in the new bathroom. 

Hey ground under our house, how you doing? Creepy! The cats would SO get lost under here, so they didn't get to explore this time when the workers were done.

It's hard to tell but there are two walls of framing in the back wall of the new bathroom, and all the plumbing and electrical in between them. There is some big old cast iron pipe that doesn't do anything anymore so when the plumber is here on Friday, they're going to see about taking it out, so the extra wall of framing can also come out to buy us another 3 inches or so of bathroom width. In a bathroom this tiny, every inch counts!

They also prepped the window more for moving, but they're going to place the cabinets around sometime tomorrow to check layout and confirm the height we want the window at, before actually moving it.

They also pulled up the flooring which happened to be plywood subfloor, then this vinyl:

Over that vinyl was a thin layer of concrete and then the blue and white vinyl we lived with. Good riddance to it all. I'm not sure what the plan is now with the floors, not sure if they just need to scrape and clean the existing subfloor or put new plywood down over it, but the end goal is cork throughout that is level with the existing hardwood in the dining room and Elsa's room, so no transitions anywhere.

And then the Bagster guys came to haul it all away! Those dumpster bags are amazing. There is an entire kitchen of plaster, solid wood cabinets, concrete and flooring in there and the bag was gone in 10 minutes. Even Tyr was impressed.

Tomorrow is electrical and gas, and then plumbing on Friday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Demo Day 1 Done!

The demo is *almost* all done, not bad for the first day! They are going to pull up the floors later, and focus on moving the wall between the bathroom and kitchen and the rest of the new framing tomorrow. I think they'll also be moving the window up maybe tomorrow or Thursday? 

It's really amazing what two guys can get done in under 8 hours.

They cut out the space for the laundry closet so the framing can go up tomorrow too.

The kitty boys were so curious about the whole thing. I thought they'd be cowering in our bedroom during all of this but they were out and up against that plastic sheeting wanting to know what was going on in their kitchen. After the construction guys were gone, I let them explore a bit but sealed it back up for the night because there's a big hole in the new bathroom that goes I think into the wall cavity or underneath the house that they were sniffing around. Don't worry Jan, I sealed it up tightly and blocked off access with a bunch of heavy boxes so they definitely can't get in.

I was worried that they would find mold, or asbestos, or leaking pipes, or faulty electrical, but once everything was opened up, the guy said everything looked fine and commented on how houses just aren't built as well or as solid as they were back in the day.

Here's Tyr sniffing around that escape route hole. I hissed and he jumped back. Then I blocked it off not only to prevent the pageant cats from going in it, but also for the very un-pageant rats that might come up through it. I'll be very happy when drywall day is here...

Back on for tomorrow at 7:30am! Maybe floors will come out and walls will go up?


The crew showed up 20 minutes early this morning for their first day on the project and got right to work tearing everything up. Our contractor Chris was here and went through the whole job with the crew and me and he had everything straight so that was good. The city took issue with our doorway openings, insisting they have to be at least 30" wide, which they will be, but just barely. Which in turn impacts our new laundry closet they'll be framing out in the office room. In our plans, we had the stackables facing the back large window, giving a wider and less deep closet. With the space needed for the venting and lines though, it would push the appliances right up against the door, and because we can't narrow any doorways, the framing will just be too tight. So we're rotating it a bit, and the stackables and door to the closet will now face the Friendly Yeti. I'm fine with that revision. It won't leave us room for shelves in the laundry closet, but we are keeping the large cleaning supply cabinets across from the old laundry area (soon to be new half-bath) so we'll just keep all the laundry supplies in there too. It'll work out.

I know you all want to see the mess they've made so far... This is the old laundry room, soon to be half-bath:

Ripping out the old tile was SO LOUD! I'm working in the living room so I can eavesdrop on the workers to hear what they're saying about the state of things, and I overheard them say the tile was the worst part. Once that was out it'd be a cakewalk. We have different definitions of cakewalks not surprisingly.

Demolishing the window tile ledge to prepare for moving the window up half a foot and making it flush with the wall:

There was a lot of grunting going on when they were removing the old cast iron and enamel sink. That sucker was concreted in.

Whole lot of plaster repair that will be going down in here...

The boys are holding up pretty well. Elsa's bedroom door to the office is closed and they've taped up a plastic barrier to the kitchen so I'm letting the pageant cats stroll around on their own accord, checking things out. It's not dusty or anything yet in the house, but they have all their goodies set up in our back bedroom if they want to get away from it all. I found them in the blanket storage drawer under our bed in the middle of the tile demo:

Smart kitties. The crew is carbing up with lunch right now, and will then tackle cabinet demo and pulling up the flooring! More progress pics later...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We should let the agents come to us, right?

Elsa is a professional model!! She just did her first (and probably last, I was kidding about wanting her to be a model. SCIENTIST!) photo shoot for Bell Helmets. Our friend Niki works for them and she so kindly gifted Elsa a sassy Paul Frank helmet a few months back, which Elsa happily wore, we took a picture, sent it to Niki, who then gave it to the Bell executives (this is conjecture at this point by the way), who then freaked out because they found the PERFECT toddler model for their new catalog!

Fast forward to last Wednesday, they were doing the photo shoot in Huntington Beach and we were all supposed to come so they could photograph us as a family. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A MODEL TOO!! But then stupid science got in the way, and instead of becoming famous and frolicking in front of a camera while wearing a helmet, I had to deal with a clinical trial audit instead. Awesommmmmme.

So the two Karens stepped in and brought Jude and Henry to model along with Elsa instead. Which I guess was cool. I still get a free helmet out of it though so that's my consolation prize.

They surprisingly had a helmet in Jeff's size so he got to model too.

 Modeling is hard work! Poor tired famous baby...

Friday, April 18, 2014

All packed up and just about ready to start this thing.

We are SOOOO close to getting our remodel started!! The house is feeling like we're about to move out of it, which is a little horrifying to think of, but then exciting again when I remember we're not moving but rather drastically improving our current living conditions and property value. Demo is *supposed* to start next Monday but may get pushed to Tuesday, thanks to the contractor's other project running a tad long. Cue annoyed-Liv-face. 

This weekend is all about kitchen cabinet box building though and final clear out of the two+ rooms so the guys can come in and tear it all up. Jeff did the lion's share of the packing and hauling these past two weeks while I was at work, it was so nice coming home every day to progress that I didn't have to do! We'll be even though after this week. Actually, we're already even. I've done a ton of work on this whole thing already. Hmph!

It makes me a little sad to think about not seeing our vintage tile and scallop trim on the cabinets anymore, but at least we get to keep our original milk delivery door!

It was a totally cute vintage kitchen and I loved it from the very beginning, but it's time for an update, and a more useable kitchen with WAY better flooring. 

I just noticed in this picture that I need to take down Jeff's pull-up bar. I really don't want that thing back in my new kitchen so maybe I'll hide it. Then again, strong man arms have proven to be quite useful lately, so maybe it can stay. I'll just spray paint it gold to match.

We used Rent-A-Green-Box again to help box everything up (we used them when we moved into this house- they are awesome and it is SUCH a great idea. I will never move crap ever again in cardboard boxes. These rule.) and they called us up a week early and asked if we would mind getting the boxes that day, for an extra week at no charge. Uh, YEAH! They also gave us a dolly to use and free labels that you can peel off and plant when you're done with them because they have snapdragon seeds in them. WHAT!? Amazing. I love them. That extra free week though was really great so we could do a little at a time. Elsa helped:

Just kidding. No she did not. She would take stuff out as I put stuff in. Baby doesn't understand rules of packing. At least she looked cool in her Robin Thicke pants and galoshes.

Oh beautiful dining room! How we have abused you. The table got pushed to the window wall and is covered in our glasses and dishes (easier than wrapping and boxing them, but fingers crossed for no earthquake or exploring Siamese!) and the boxes of flooring and other new items for the spaces are stacked in here.

I'm working at the kitchen island for now, but Mandy and Seth will be picking that sucker up tomorrow for their kitchen so I'll bring my circle table in here to work from next week. Not at all a distracting office. Sigh.

The back room is all prepped for tomorrow's cabinet building sleepover party that I tricked Jodi and Lynne into coming to. This is where you see my true Senior Coordinator qualities coming out. Taped on the wall is the cabinet overview detailing the pieces involved with each of the 12 cabinets. I went through the overview matching the Ikea product numbers from the sheet to the giant stack of boxes they delivered and labeled each box with the cabinet number it belongs to. Doors and cabinet fittings come after the cabinet boxes are installed so those are labeled and stacked in their respective piles out in Jeff's studio. I'll be assembling those next week as the construction progresses. Tomorrow we'll just be doing the cabinet boxes so hopefully it will be a snap. We have three sets of two matching cabinets, so I stacked those together so we can assemble them at the same time. Boom Boom!

Aaaaaaaaaanal! I know. But work like this is SO much more pleasant to do when you have all the proper tools you may need within reach. While being organized on a grid mat. I just got that handy cordless Black&Decker drill and love it. I also got a bunch of attachments for it that will replace the stupid little Ikea hex tools that give you massive hand cramps after like 3 screws. POWER! *grunt grunt*

You can see I already got one cabinet started. It's the bathroom sink cabinet! It's the Lillangen sink and cabinet combo from Ikea and the scale was just right for our mini half-bath that we're adding. It looks like this finished:

If Plan A works out, the leftover toe kick from the kitchen will be used to wrap these legs on this cabinet to make it look more built in. Plan A will not work though if the black/brown from the Ramsjo cabinets do not match the black/brown from the Lillangen cabinet. I have a feeling they won't, because the Ramsjo cabinets are really black, and this one is looking warmer. We'll see how funny it looks, and if the idea gets scrapped, Plan B comes into effect. Gold legs! So sexy.

I also sprayed the cabinet door pull gold to match, naturally. I love how they look so I won't be upset with Plan B at all, but Plan A would make cleaning the bathroom floor easier for Jeff.

More pics later of our cabinet building shenanigans! Unless Jodi was serious about bringing over wine, in which case we may just build one cabinet and I'll make Jan do the rest when he comes over on Sunday.