Friday, September 14, 2018

11 Week Update


 The last two weeks have been a bit slow. What with Labor Day and then going to visit our sister, there wasn't a whole lot of time to get a lot of things done. Plus, I am still savoring the fact we have the bathroom just about done! :)

 With the insurance guy coming, we tidied up everything so it didn't look like too much of a construction zone. It has been awhile since it was this clean! I have enjoyed the space. I thought this was a good angle too. I don't think I have showed the radiator that is in the kitchen.

And since I mentioned the insurance guy, a quick update on that. We are good to go! They had nothing to say, no "recommendations" for fixing or anything. Whew! I was a little worried they were going to think it was too much under construction and think I needed special construction insurance. So that is taken care of!


And this kind of gives you a bit of perspective on how cozy the kitchen is. I am standing in the door to the deck. I am giving the black fridge to my brother, but he doesn't have a place for it yet, so it is still in the house.

Plastering  is a pretty easy thing to do in small pieces of time. So that is the one thing that has gotten done! Both holes upstairs in the stairwell and downstairs in the hall are done! I just have to sand a finally time and they should be good. While the trowels were out, I made sure to also get any cracks and nail holes in the rest of the house. So the walls are ready for paint! 
In the picture above, the first or "rough" coat of plaster is on. I have since topped it with two smooth coats of plaster.

And this is now the view from the back deck! 
In the middle of plumbing the bathroom, Mandy I decided we needed a break and decided a bit of bush cutting was just the ticket! If you recall, there was a scrubby walnut tree blocking the view. The deck seems so much larger now too! 

What is next? Painting! And we also have to figure out how to fix the stairs. I am sure that will require a post all it's own!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

We have a Bathroom!


I am kind of tired today, but oh so content and happy. After weeks of slogging away at the plumbing and bathroom, it is (mostly) done! The floors are patched and back in place, the walls covered with a coat of plaster and the toilet and sink are installed. 


We have been keeping up a good pace the last month as the insurance guy was coming for a walk through (did I mention that before?) and I was quite sure he didn't want to come look at holes in the floor and walls.

It was a bit anti-climatic when he arrived this morning, he was in the house for exactly 6 minutes and then went outside to measure. He didn't even step into the bathroom that we had stayed up late working on! One picture snapped from the doorway, checked off the list and on to the next thing. 


Oh well, I don't really mind. I am just happy it is done and content to sit back and enjoy the progress! How cute is the sink?!? I love how it has made the bathroom more spacious! 


Of course, there is still quite a bit to do, the walls aren't painted and the floor finished or trim yet.... But getting a sink and a toilet in is a milestone! And for this week, I am going to enjoy it!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

6 Signs Your DIY Project has taken over your life

No. 1. Your car looks like a work truck. The seats are full of sawdust and a fine layer of plaster. The trunk has an odd assortment of tools, an extension cord, scrap wood, random light fixtures and a 50 lb. bag of plaster.

No. 2. The lady at the Lowe's returns counter recognizes you.

No. 3 You wear long sleeves to work for a week so people don't see the scratches and bruises covering your arms from pulling pipes through the walls.

No. 4 Your hairstylist gives you "trauma treatment" conditioner for your hair because it has been washed so many times it is striped of natural oils.

No. 5 You have an array of work clothes that are in constant rotation and you don't even bother to put them in your dresser.

No. 6 Instead of asking if you are busy tonight, your family asks if you are not working on the house tonight.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Eight Week Progress Report: Pipes and Water

The Plumbing is finished! Whew! That was a job. We might have bitten off more than we could chew, but we got it done. The brother did offer to come and help us fix the joints that leaked. We were so grateful! We weren't going to say no to that! After working on the plumbing for three weeks, Mandy and I were ready to be finished!
(Since plumbing isn't the prettiest to look at, I thought I would add a shot of the newel post. I have never seen one like it. Don't you think it has a story?)

Mandy and I were excited to try our hand at using pex. It does have it's own special advantages, but it is hard to wrangle around corners and through holes!

 The waters lines that feed that bathroom, come up on the same wall as the bath tub and toilet. But the sink is across the room. The pex tubing had to be threaded through holes in the floor joints all the way across. Good thing it is a small bathroom!

One of the problems with pex, is it takes a lot of muscle. These are the crimpers that clamp the rings on the fittings. It took both Mandy and I to get them closed! Also, not too good for tight places, like behind the bath tub....

 The access to the bath tub plumbing is about 6" wide. Just wide enough for one arm! We spent days trying to figure out how to connect the pex. There was no room to get the crimpers opened wide enough and maneuvered at the right angle to crimp. We finally found a fitting that looked like the top of a garden hose so we could crimp it outside the wall then screw it on without twisting the pex line.


 A lot of plumbing goes into a bathroom!

With pex you run more water lines, so it looks a bit like spaghetti. This is where the lines come down to the basement and branch off from the water heater.

So excited to have the lath back on the holes! It just needs a little plaster and it will be as good as new. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Slowly but Surely.....


It doesn't look like much, but we have light fixtures in! All they need is the glass globe to be attached, which I haven't done yet to advert any accidents.
It feels like it has been a little slow here, but it really hasn't.
This week we started the plumbing (we did the waste pipes previously, now it is time for the water pipes!), I hung lights, tore up more of the bathroom subfloor for plumbing, drilled holes for plumbing, did some general tiding up and cleaning, a bit of patching a plastering, cleaned the refrigerator (it has been unplugged for months!), finished re-framing the bathroom medicine cabinet.
So other then getting the light fixtures in, there is not a whole lot of progress visually. But we are still moving forward!
We are pressure now, as the insurance inspector is coming the end of next week! They don't usually like holes in the walls or floor torn up. So we need to finish the plumbing, get the floors and walls patched and install the sink and toilet..... all before the end of next week!
Then I really will have some progress to show you!

I love all the sun streaming into the middle bedroom since the awning was taken off. It might be my favorite bedroom now!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Bye Bye Orange

 My paint brush has been itching ever since I first walked through the Brick House. The orange just had to go! Last Saturday Mandy and I did a little cabinet rearranging and Monday morning first thing, I was rolling on primer! So much better! Now I can think!

 On Monday the aluminum awnings also came off the outside of the house. So the kitchen is light and bright once again! The cabinets above the sink just looked strange, they were just sort of hanging there. I think a couple of open shelves will be much better.

 This wall is the walkway to the back door, so it means the cupboards are only 12" deep with counter tops that are not really usable. I decided to use some of the cabinets that we took down to fill in the wall space. I am hoping this will give it an old fashioned built in look. (Sorry for all the clutter. In a construction zone you just pick up what you need and put it down when you are done.)

 A couple of un-used cabinets in the foreground. Look at all that sunlight streaming in the window!

A "before" picture, just to remind you what a bright shade it was!



An outside view of no awnings! It is getting there slowly but surely. 
This weekend Mandy and I are diving in to plumbing with pex. I first time for us, so we will see how that goes!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Four Week Progress Report

 Gosh! How time has flown!
The last two weeks have mostly been working in the basement (on plumbing and electrical) and working on the basement. Mandy and I scraped up all the tiles on the basement floor and were left with black adhesive. In hindsight, it might have been better to leave the tiles in place, but it is too late now! We have discovered that washing soda softens up the glue quite a bit and with a stiff deck brush it is coming off little by little. I have decided it is really not worth spending a lot of time washing and scraping and after a few washes I will paint it. Nothing a good coat of paint can't cure!

I bit of progress made! If we washed it enough we would probably be able to get it all up, but when this stuff covers the whole entire basement it is a daunting task! And it is not like we have that much spare time!

I am so excited a new waste pipe was put in! Not only is it nice a clean, but the basement already smells a lot better. The old cast iron pipe was cracked in several places and not only leaking waste water, but gases as well.

Plumbing unfortunately always means holes in the walls. Thankfully all of it is in one wall, but for the waste pipe we needed access on each floor. This is wall in the back stairs. 

And this one is in the stairs to the second floor. Since we have everything open, next week is replacing water lines!

The bathroom was full of surprises. Pipes left in the wall, vent pipes disconnected...….
So it got a little messy! But it is nice to know it is all new and up to code. And I shouldn't be receiving any midnight calls concerning leaking pipes!

These are all the old cast iron pipes taken out. It takes a lot of pipes to make a house work!
The last two weeks hasn't just been about plumbing. We have also done a lot of washing of walls, floors, cabinets and windows. The electrical also got tidied up as there was extra switches and outlets hanging from ripping out the walls in the basement.

And to leave you with a pretty picture, one of the lilies that is blooming in the yard. Love those colors!