Friday, December 23, 2011

There may be a mouse in my house.

In the pantry to be precise. Oy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Fridge!

It wasn't an upgrade planned for this year, but when your fridge starts freezing the items in the fridge rather regularly, your roommate can get kind of sad about her fresh (now frozen) spinach.  And have you ever tried to fry a frozen egg?  It's weird, I can tell you.

The story of the fridge replacement is convoluted, however.  So, I ordered a new fridge through a friend with a great deal.  Three weeks after ordering, we discovered it was backordered.  Two weeks after that, I gave up and went with a different model.  Four days later, the delivery guy showed up - and we discovered it wouldn't fit through the door.  But wait - it would fit through the door, just not in the box (I mean, I did measure before ordering!).  I headed off to remove the door, and the guy stopped me and said he couldn't deliver it because I have four steps up to the front door, and he was only one guy.  (Mind, this is all through Spanglish.)  The office will call, he says.  Eventually I speak to the office, straighten out the confusion with the nice woman, discuss my steps, and reschedule delivery.  The following week an older guy calls me to tell me I'm his next stop, and ask if I have guys ready to move the fridge in because it's raining.  But don't you bring it inside, I ask?  No, he answers, we never bring things up stairs.  I am slightly confused here.  From the interactions with the original delivery guy, and the woman, would you not think that if they weren't going to bring it into the house they'd have MENTIONED it at this point?  Not pleased.  Mildly panicked, in fact.  Luckily a rapid Craigslist seach gets me guys that can come in an hour and a half.  I throw a tarp over the delivered fridge, and wait by the door with bated breath (what if someone steals my fridge???) until the guys show.  Two Russians appear, pull it out of the box, get it through the door (which I of course removed the day before), and into the house, where we discover another issue - it won't fit through the dining room doorway into the kitchen.  So.  They start removing fridge doors, while I remove doorway molding.  20 minutes later I have this:

And the old fridge in the dining room, and a great deal of cleanup to do.  Looks great, yes?  It feels so BIG!  The old fridge was rescued from the front yard by someone (thanks Max and Jaimee for removing it), the cardboard was finally picked up by the recycling guys, and my house looks much less trashy now ;)  Also, the spinach has been unfrozen all week!

It's very exciting.  However, I can no longer reach the microwave (which lives on top of the fridge), so it's turned to the side so that I can reach it by standing on the step.  This makes it look not lovely, however, since you're looking at the back of the microwave half the time...  Suggestions to remedy this would be gratefully accepted.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Well, the ceiling and walls are painted, the mirror is hung (isn't it awesome?  It totally looks like the Magic Mirror from Snow White), the real door is hung, and the permanent towel bar is up.  Note - diamond tip drill bits are totally worth it.  That carbide bit was useless.  Next steps - buying and hanging a toilet paper holder, hanging the over the mirror light, and starting the door trim.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ok, not quite ready.

Well, finally ready to prime and paint turned into not quite. I started priming-and when the primer dried I noticed there were several spots where the drywall screws were noticeable.  As in visible bumps. Sad face. So I'll try to fix those spots then finish the priming and paint!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finally ready to prime and paint!

I'm thinking a grey from the blue family-any thoughts?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Progress continues - slowly.

So, there hasn't really been a lot to share, but that doesn't mean that work isn't progressing.  It just means that it's unexciting work.  I finished up some drywall gaps, got the cabinets hung in the wall, and am now trying to finish up the drywall taping so that there can be priming and painting.

A few lessons learned - know where your electrical lines are before you take a sawzall to the drywall.  When putting the finished side of the cabinet on the floor to cut, put something under it so it doesn't scratch.  Tape that seam anyway, because you'll probably see it even if you think you won't.

Progress continues.  Pics to come when it's obvious progress!

Friday, September 9, 2011

I took a my new bathroom!

I know, showers are not usually noteworthy.  But this was the first one in the downstairs bathroom since late June!  How was is possible?  Well, yesterday was a banner day in the bathroom world:
  • Not only did the plumber fix the issues that stopped me on Tues (for free), he also discovered that they had installed check valves (I think that's the right word).  These are little valves in the shower body used to stop water just to the shower - I didn't know they were there and would definitely have had to call them to figure out why I had no water pressure!
  • I took a trip to the tile store at lunch, where the tile guy let me return the edge pieces I wasn't going to use even though it's way past their return period, told me I didn't need to seal the grout, and also told me that if I had gotten most of my walls flat I was actually doing a really good job.  Apparently tiles this big warp slightly, and many professionals have a really rough time trying to make them look flat.  Take that, bump in wall!
  • I. Finished. The. Tiling.
And...then this morning I discovered that in making the shower head tall enough for tall people (you're welcome, Max ;) ), I had in effect made it too tall for me to reach without standing on the tub edge.  Know what happens when you are careless on a tub edge with wet feet?  You fall in the tub and whack the bejesus out of your elbow.  

I would like to chalk that up to a renovation injury, since it was done in getting the hang of the new stuff, but I am informed it's really an old lady injury, and I should be grateful I don't need Life Alert.  Jeesh.

Shower was really nice, though.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Almost house

I know, you've been wondering if I've been working at all.  I have, actually.  Tiling takes rather a lot of time.  I think the above title describes my house.  Things are always almost done.  Rarely ACTUALLY completed.  

Case in point:
Looks nice, right?  Tiled wall, grout, fixtures...  But look very closely, and you will see there's a pipe sticking out, not a tub spout.  How come?  Because the plumbers installed a pipe that's much too long.  Know what?  No tub spout, no shower, because there's no diverter.  You also can't see that there's a screw sticking out of the faucet - since the shower body was installed slightly crooked and I can't get the last screw in.  I. Was. Going. To. Shower. There. This. Morning.  Fell at the last fence.  Plumbers are coming to fix it tomorrow.

You might think if I was going to shower that I had finished the tile.  My, you are funny funny people.

Nope.  See the screws in the upper right?  That means the board isn't covered in tile.  How come?  Because I was 2. Tiles. Short.  And when I went to the tile store on Sat to get another box, they had closed early for the holiday weekend.  Dammit home improvement store!  Labor Day is when I LABOR!  (So how was I going to use that shower?  I was going to tape plastic over that wall.  Enough is enough.  I know Dad, not the best idea, but I would have made it work.)

But not everything in the house is frustrating.  Have I mentioned my amazing pantry in the nook?

Or that I hung shelves for the plants?

So.  Onward and upward.  Perhaps Friday morning I'll be able to shower in the downstairs bathroom...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Actually, there has been progress.

It's been much slower than I would prefer (there's so much to DO this summer!), but I am making progress!  Absolute key point - the toilet works.  Hooray!  We also hung a temporary door, not pictured here.  It doesn't touch the ground, but at least you no longer have to yell, "I'm peeing, don't look!" when using the downstairs bathroom...

And yes.  Those are 3 tiles you can see on the shower wall!  Showering - hopefully coming soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Floor beginnings

Well, it's not perfect, and it's not done, but for my first tiling job this is a damn good start!  So much closer to having the toilet back...  I really miss having 2 bathrooms.

Oh.  You may wonder why it looks nothing like the tile in the "does this go" post.  That's because I laid all the floor tile out and then decided I hated marble and couldn't do it.  Mild tile meltdown.  I was rescued by a quick trip to Lowe's where they had some that matched the wall tile I had purchased.  Whew ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 5.5

Sorry, I got a bit distracted.  There was a wedding to attend and such...  Anyway, we really got quite far.  It's hard to see, but we got all the drywall up (except for the closet) and all the hardieboard (that's the cement-like board for behind the tiles.  It's heavy!).  Last night I got the first round of drywall taping and mudding done on the walls that touch the floor to be tiled.  Hopefully the stars will align and I'll manage to finish that before the toilet gets installed, as it'll be much easier that way, but I'm not really willing to pause on the toilet just to finish the mudding.

No tiling done yet, which means that there are no working fixtures yet.  Dad was pretty sad we didn't get to it as that's his favorite part.  But the plumber was a tad slower than anticipated; we thought he'd only need one day, and he needed 1 and a half.  Also, there was a hole in my floor that didn't go there.  But anyway, I should be able to get the floor at least done very soon.  The tub will take longer not only because it's bigger, but because I don't like the tile I bought and now have to go return it.  Or sell it on Craigslist and buy new.  Either way.  The bathroom turned out to be a bit smaller than the original measurements predicted, but I'll still have a closet (even if it's only 6" wide!), and I'm already really really excited about the way it will look.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Um-does this go?

I bought the wall tile without having the floor tile with me (dumb, dumb, dumb) and I don’t really think it works... I put the white down to see if that one works with it, but I think not. What do you think?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 4

Well, if you just glance at it, it may not look like a ton of progress. However, there's actually a ton here! Ceiling's up and drywalled, all the rough plumbing and electric are done, and the floor is started. All materials are purchased- hopefully- so we're in a good spot...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Have I mentioned how much I love Brooklyn?

Old sink: taken
Old toilet: taken
Old cast iron over 300 lb bathtub: taken in less than 10min.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 2

Um. There's a hole in my floor.  It doesn't go there. Hopefully this is our one house trick of the reno...

Bathroom day 1

Lots of demo accomplished!

Injury count:
Blows to the head: 1 (crowbar on me)
Blood: 1 (crowbar to dad's hand)
Winner: crowbar.

Big plus-the wall we moved was not load bearing. Yay for slightly less work!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well, turns out I changed my mind.

On the lights, at least.  I decided that my previous overhead options were...icky.  So I found and bought a different one (yes, it's a light plus fan).

Went with this:

I did go with option 1 on the wall lighting, which most of you seemed to favor (including the people that responded by email).  Thanks guys!

And now we must decide on...tile.  Oy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The rapid bathroom decisions continue

Well, the fixtures are ordered, thanks to everyone who voted.  I went with sink 2.  But now I have to pick lighting.  Clearly I need an overhead light and fan.  I'm looking at combo units; since the bathroom is already pretty small I don't think we need more things in the ceiling...

Option 1:

Option 2:

Ok, so overhead isn't too bad.  Everything I've read though says there should also be task lighting.  Apparently sconces on each side of the mirror are the best - but they are supposed to be mounted 36" apart, and I don't have that kind of space.  Therefore over the mirror is the next best choice.  But - what goes with the ceiling lights???

There's this:

Or this:

Or this...

Or perhaps none of them work?  Thoughts?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rapid bathroom decisions

I've mentioned that I'm redoing the downstairs bathroom, right?  In the great kitchen reno, Dad and I built what will be the new bathroom wall to make it a little bigger.  And now in typical me planning, we're doing the bathroom RIGHT NOW.

I have to order the fixtures asap.  I'm looking at these -

Sink option 1:
Sink option 2:
Faucet for sink (either option): 

Shower fixtures:

The tub is 3" wider than the current one, and 7" longer.  The toilet is almost 4" narrower than the current, and the sink is 5" narrower, so my bathroom may stop being quite so claustrophobic. 

Thoughts?  Anyone?  Help...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tangent project

Have I mentioned that I hated my "entertainment system"?  It was actually a shelf from Crate and Barrel.  A lovely shelf, but slightly too low, and completely open.  I don't like looking at components when I'm not using them.  Especially when they get really dusty.

I spent a long time trying to find something else I would like.  The problem was that the space I wanted to keep everything in was only 31" wide max.  It's REALLY hard to find a cabinet that narrow.  Or chest of drawers.  Or basically anything that could be repurposed.  So - I decided to make one, based on some shelving that's floating around on the Interweb.

I actually started this project in Feb, I think, or March.  I kept however making mis-steps - buying pipe, cutting the pipe, and then realizing it had to be threaded.  Buying a threader, but failing miserably.  Trying to get a plumbing supply store to do it (pipe turned out to be "too soft".  Seriously.).  Trying to get Lowe's to do it, since I bought it there originally.  And finally doing what I should have done all along, and buying precut and threaded lengths.

Anyway, here it is:

With components added:

I'll eventually make a door that slides up to hide the components.  I also made a section to wrap around, but decided it was to much in that small space (after cutting it to size, of course).  But it made a perfect end table for the couch - and one less thing to shop for!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Small kitchen break

There has been some slacking. Or some living.  And some getting distracted by Barbie Foosball tables...  But this weekend, with some much needed help, there was a grape pergola built! It needs some finishing touches, but then I just have to move the grapes...

Also, still working out how to post from my magic phone - bear with me.