Tuesday, November 30, 2010

new tool...

Thanksgiving day when Rich's sister and husband were here for dinner, he told us about a new tool...


This house has tons of wires poking out everywhere...  we have no way of knowing if they are live or dead... This little tool  saves you from being fried..   You put it next to the wire and it beeps if the wire is hot..

video

Thanks for the tip Don. It works!!

sweating with the oldies...

We did some plumbing this weekend...  We have had a great offer of "installing kitchen cabinets"  help between Christmas and New Years so everything needs to be done quick...as in before then... so luckily we started on the plumbing ...


This is how it looked BEFORE...  This is the drain and hot/cold water lines.  18" to the left of center of the kitchen window...which meant that the sink was 18" left of the window.  Overall not a good look that I want to keep...  so we moved them..



I learned to "glue" PVC pipes..  and then I learned to sweat the water lines...  No photos yet as we aren't finished..  We got the hot water almost done...and then the cold water line is this weekend..

This is what our kitchen looks like now..
New temporary kitchen in the living room...




But let me backtrack..  Thursday was Thanksgiving and after a nice noon dinner of Garlic Beef Roast, baked potatoes, fried corn, manicotti, rolls, lemon and cherry pie...we drove out to the house in the evening...  Rich's sister and hubby followed us and we got to show off some of our hard work.  Too bad it was dark and they couldn't really see the pond...but the kitties did come up to say "hi"...  After they left, I took off for our daughters house about 30 minutes away...to stay the night...and of course go BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING!!   I then stayed at the house Friday night to help cook Thanksgiving dinner for Saturday... Anyway...the reason I tell you all this is because Rich stayed behind and PRIMED!!  Yippee..  all 3 bedrooms, hallway and living room are now white...ceilings, walls, woodwork, trim...everything is white.  It looks wonderful!!..




I can't believe the difference it makes... It's wonderful...and so clean smelling.   Rich also removed all the horrible shag carpeting from the basement stairs.  No photo of them..they are wood and steps...They will eventually get primed and painted, but that is probably last on the list...  

I started looking at back splash for kitchen.  I thought I wanted subway tile in the retro shiny white, but now I'm not so sure..  My kitchen counter tops are dark, dark gray with a bit of lighter gray marble look... It's matte finish so I think the shiny subway tile might look wrong..  Yesterday I stopped by the local tile shop and looked...  I still like the subway tile look but they do have it in other finishes..
I like that top one...and it's a matte finish so might look better with the counter tops...   And  while in the tile shop, I saw this...


Wouldn't this be nice on the bathroom floors?  We have enough laminate to do them, but now we are getting conflicting information on whether laminate is a good idea in bathrooms.  Laminate people say it's ok... Tile people (that also sell laminate) say it isn't...  I guess we need to think about it...  But I do like that tile up there...  We will see..

And we are leaving tonight to go back to the house.  Rich has a CE class tomorrow so he will leave me early and I will get the kitchen sanded and the second coat of mudd on.  Then back home Wednesday night and back out there on Friday night.    Our 39th anniversary is Saturday so we might go out to dinner and then Sunday I get to come home early as he leaves for a business trip...

More next week...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another busy weekend...

Rich took a vacation day on Friday, so we got to the house on Thursday evening...My job this weekend was to get all 3 bedrooms, hallway and living room ready for priming...  Priming is a one person job and the Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time.  Rich has already reserved the sprayer at the local rental place.

bedroom 3

master bedroom

hallway

living room, sorry about the dust.. I had just finished wet sweeping.

Rich found a roll of brown paper that worked great to cover the windows and we covered the big sliding doors in the living room with plastic..which kept falling down and scaring the dog...

Friday afternoon we decided to walk around the pond and see the lagoon.. At closing, the seller had to put money into an escrow account to have the septic system brought up to code.   When the septic installer finished  putting in the new piping and had the lagoon dug, we asked him when he would be back to put up the fence.  Part of code is having a fence around the lagoon.  He informed us at that time that he didn't do fences and that a fence wasn't part of his bid.  We hadn't seen the bid (being the seller's responsibility) so we were surprised.  I immediately got hold of our realtor and asked her what to do.  She called the sellers realtor who contacted the seller, who said she didn't want to pay for it.  HUH?  She agreed to bring the septic up to code and the fence is part of the code.  Ergo...she needs to pay for the fence.... Finally she agreed to pay for the supplies if WE would install the fence.  Uh....no! But I did say that we would find our own installer if she didn't have anyone to do it and they could be paid out of the escrow account.  Apparently she didn't want to pay anyone and her realtor took it upon himself to install the fence.  I don't think she realizes how lucky she is to have such a nice realtor...although I am sure he did it just to get the paperwork finished and off his desk and done with her...

new lagoon with fence
 And then we decided to walk all the way around the pond and pick up some trash..  The seller was "nice enough" to leave a couple of broken chairs and the septic installer left us some used pipe..

back of the house

Saturday was also the day that the mess finally got to us...  We had designated the future dining room as the shop.  This is what it looked like..

Rich is so meticulous with his work space, I know this was driving him crazy.  We couldn't find any of the tools we needed so we finally decided to clean it up...

almost finished

A trip to Walmart for a 6ft table..

see?  I told you.  Without even realizing it he has set up a  mini-shop with everything laid out just so.

Wonder where it all went?  We now have our very own Mini-Lowes ..located in what will eventually be my sewing room...







nice huh?

We also tackled the lighting in the kitchen.  I had picked out 3 hanging pendant lights to use over the open counter top and a matching one for over the kitchen sink.  Luckily I hadn't purchased them.  Because when we got into the ceiling over the open counter top we realized that using those pendant lights would require 3 separate electrical boxes.  Yuk!   So off to Menards we went and found these...




The 3 light pendant hangs from a bar and only requires one electric box.  And they had a matching single light for over the sink. 


So Rich bought a hole saw adaptor for the drill and off we went...





About that ceiling fixture opening...  The kitchen had ugly white plastic track lighting.  You can see it here..



When you hang track lighting, you have one electrical box and the lights snap onto the bar.  Simple, right?
Well, we are finding out that nothing in this house is simple.  When he took down the lights this is what we found...


No electrical box.  Do you think the builder didn't know? Or didn't care? Or just didn't have one handy?  Who knows...  But there is one there now..

YIKES!!  LOL  I took the photo before he put the box in!!  How funny... I didn't even realize that until I looked..  Rest assured there IS a blue electrical box in that hole in the ceiling. I promise..

We also replaced some of the drywall in the kitchen... Shall I explain the studs?  Those are dead men.  Not real dead men, but pieces of 2x4 you cut and use to hold something while it drys.  Some of the drywall patches in the ceiling weren't able to be screwed in.  There wasn't anything to screw them into.  So we used some construction adhesive and dead men and left it there for 24 hours while they dried.

This weekend, we also removed the stove and surrounding cabinets and counter tops.  One more thing the builder did was just run the 220v electric wire from the stove through the subfloor and into the basement where it was wired directly into the current.  Instead of adding a socket to plug the stove into, the plug had been cut off the stove and wired directly into a box.  Really?  Of course the stove didn't work but the wires were still live

I left Sunday morning to go watch the youngest granddaughter.  Mom and Dad had Major League Football tickets and stayed to do a bit of Christmas shopping...  

More next week...

Nancy

Monday, November 15, 2010

choices...

This weekend was a bit slower...  We did smaller projects that had to be done, but don't really show a lot of change...

Oh except for this...

Insulation added to a kitchen wall.. Drywall was finished also, but I don't seem to have taken a photo of it done...oh, well by now...everyone knows what drywall looks like..
Header removed from doorway in kitchen (to laundry room) The header was too low to add a door.

a new header and door installed
and a door installed to the basement...
and a new thermometer added to the wall outside the kitchen window.
We had some choices to make this weekend...  Before I got there on Saturday afternoon, Rich had gone to Lowes and purchased both the doors...  When you buy doors you have to pick "right hand opening" or "left hand opening"... and I had never noticed that doors have a front and a back.   If you get up and go look at a bedroom (or other) door you will notice that the door opens into the room. Which means the hinges are not seen as they are hidden behind the door after it is opened.  The frame is also not centered.  The door actually sets into the room you are entering... And the doors are installed from the back.


The basement door was a bit tricky as one of us (not me!) had to stand on the steps as it was set in, leveled and nailed in.  Then the front piece was added and voila it is finished with a basic brushed nickel lock set..  With the wall and the door the house is completely closed off from the basement now.  It's wonderful...and it even feels better as we aren't attempting to heat the basement..


The basement door opens to the right and into the stairs...makes it a bit tricky to close, but since we won't be going into the basement everyday it's not a big deal.

However...the other door was a bit of a compromise...  This door leads from the kitchen into the laundry room and the long hall to eventually the sewing room...  One the other side of this door the washer and dryer will sit to the left (as you are looking into the room).  On the right is a narrow hallway that leads to the sewing room...

Rich bought a door that opens up to the left.  When he told me that, I wasn't too sure... Here are my concerns...

1. to use the washer I will have to open the door, walk in and shut the door.

well, ok...only one concern, but it's a big one.

BUT let's explore what happens when I use a right hand door.  I open the door and then have to close the door to walk down the hall and to the sewing room.  hm...Also I have two large storage closets down that hallway that I am planning to use as overflow for all the kitchen stuff...

I hope I am doing more sewing than laundry...so even though I wasn't sure about that left hand door...I decided that he really had made the right decision..

Now that it is getting colder the kitties have started coming to the back door more often and asking to come in.   They can get pretty persuasive...

in the kitchen window...

please let us in....

and then because they still didn't get in... one of the cats decided to "work it"... 

"squeamish alert"




that's Oliver growling...
See ya next week..
Nancy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SCORE......

Last week we ran into Home Depot looking at appliances.  It's not getting even close to the time we need them, but we wanted to start doing some price shopping.  We do have a budget after all.  So last week when we were looking the saleslady was nice enough to tell us that there was a huge sale starting Veterans Day..Today!...and it would be worth our while to check the website first thing this morning.  We did...and were shocked... The price on this collection was unbelievable..




Stainless steel, 4 pieces and a great price that you can see on their website...(left side about halfway down). I don't think I will miss the ice/water on the door..  I never use it anyway and this one has an ice maker that's easy to get to...  The dishwasher is just a dishwasher...nothing fancy although it is a "tall tub" whatever that means... And a microwave.  It's more fancy than we need, but it's the package microwave.. I only use mine to heat water for tea or hot chocolate and then my frozen veggies... We did upgrade to a different stove.  Ours will have a convection oven, steam clean and dual heat burners.  Just like this one... (yes, I did take photos at Home Depot.)






and then we went down the road a bit and picked up our flooring...  We ordered from Lumber Liquidators.. There was a bit of a snafu ... We ordered our flooring a week ago Monday.  It had to be shipped from Memphis to our local store and we were told they would call us when it was in.  tap, tap, tap...no phone call.
Rich finally called and oops, it wasn't ordered and now Memphis is out of the flooring.  Luckily they found some in Toledo...we were worried because the floor we purchased is being discontinued .  They are keeping the color, but they are changing the finish and we liked the old finish. 



This is 50 of the 72 boxes we ordered...  A whole lot of weight in that truck.  It will head out to the house this weekend to sit in the sewing room and "acclimate" to the house...  It will have plenty of time as the floors are the last thing that will be done...

This weekend is the start of deer season in Missouri...not sure how much work will get done..

See ya Monday...

Nancy

Monday, November 8, 2010

lots accomplished this weekend...

 This post will be very photo heavy.  Rich took off Thursday afternoon for the house and worked straight through until Sunday night.(he still has some vacation days left)..  I had a dr's appt that I couldn't change so I didn't get to the house until Friday afternoon...  When I walked in this is what I saw...

 All of the upper cabinets in the kitchen were gone except for the overhead on the stove and that's only because he needed me to stand there and tell him when the electric was off... it's nice to be needed...if only for the fact that I can see and yell loud enough he can hear...  

He also had pulled all the linoleum up off of the kitchen floor. 

 He also got all the drywall put up on the wall that now separates the basement steps from the kitchen.  MUCH...BETTER...

 Here is the other side.  Rich believes in ghosts and he thinks all those floating orbs are spirits left in the house from the previous owners...  I think it's dust... anyway...if it is spirits? They need to start helping out.  I plan on leaving a list next weekend..   We probably won't drywall the other side of this wall for two reasons.. we don't feel like hanging drywall over steps and we don't care...cause it's only to the basement and I won't be going down there...at...all...ever...for any reason...and there will be a nice 6 panel white door at the top of the steps and a nice solid outside door at the bottom.

Then Rich got started on the electric in the kitchen.  He started to the right of the sink...  Sorry..no before photo.   He rewired a plug and a light switch.



 Then he started to the left of the sink.  There was some discussion about what I wanted.  I don't know a lot about electric, so I asked "what can I have?"...his pat answer is always "whatever you want, honey".  LOL
Really?  cause i want this to be done...

Anyway...I decided I wanted a double light switch.  1 switch will operate the outside light over the deck and the other will turn on the lights over the long counter.  Then I asked for a double electric plug.  I need one for the coffee pot (or Bev will never visit!) and a few more for other appliances..

Inside this wall we found a plumbing stack .. It's one of those black lines down there.  The other black lines are tape on some old...old...old...very stinky...insulation.  It was really bad.  It stunk like old mouse urine.  Which is what it was.  It's all gone now...thankyouverymuch..
 




for some reason all the outlets were filled with spray insulation which makes it very difficult to get them out...

most of the insulation is gone now

we can make quite the mess...

This is where the upper cabinets were...Rich is adding electric for hanging lights over the long counter that has a seating area for stools..  We didn't have the dimensions for the countertop and I couldn't get them on a Sunday so we just picked a spot for the electric and will make a final decision when I do have them.


KIDS - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

 Occasionally we get out and go here...




We buy a lot here... We even have a Friends and Family card that is supposed to give us a rebate back on our purchases... 

And when we go there...we pass some of our neighbors..

Cows out in the pasture...

Prisoners inside the walls... you never see them outside...I guess they were really bad..and some of them are certifiably crazy... really...they were certified by the court system..

Let's look at what else we did this weekend...

This is the view inside the fridge area.   The fridge that they left is apartment size..  And there was this BIG HOLE and the opening went all the way up to the ceiling..  I needed that fixed.. so we got to making a false ceiling..

Here we are using the stove as our worktable.  It's ok..it's safe...it doesn't work..


And there it is...


ah...much better



See...this is the kind of stuff we find.  Instead of removing the electric plate..they just painted it.  And it's not even the same color blue as the wall.  So that means they purposely painted it..a different color.  And not a very good paint job either...  That's ok..it will soon be all covered in primer..with new outlet covers.



And Rich climbed up onto the roof and covered the flue.  Rich HATES to climb on anything.. He does not like heights..  This took some doing on his part.  Luckily the roofs pitch is small so it wasn't too bad.  I was supposed to hold the ladder...instead I took photos...
neighbors to the left... you can just see them.. it's that white dot in the middle of the photo..

neighbor to the right.  can't see them at all.

trash pile from the last two weekends... we have a great guy who comes out every time we call him and hauls it all away and we pay him cash.  It's a win-win situation..    

woops..  better hold the ladder.


And here is the kitchen as we left on Sunday evening...  but before you see that.. I must tell you one thing.

This weekend was daylight savings time.  Spring forward and Fall back.  So we were going to gain an hour. Somewhere along the line.  Rich gave me a choice.. I could chose to sleep later on Sunday morning or leave earlier on Sunday night.  I could ONLY GET MY HOUR ONCE...  I couldn't sleep late AND leave early.  I opted to leave early on Sunday night.  We got to leave at 5pm instead of 6pm...LOVELY...  : - )

And here's the promised photo of the kitchen...
see ya next weekend
Nancy