Monday, November 5, 2018

Kitchen Updates: Floor and Countertop

Kitchen floors phase 1 is HERE - When we moved in, I spent $50 on black & white tiles to cover the existing floor. It was a temporary fix until we could rehab the kitchen.

Kitchen floors phase 2 is HERE - Where we removed 7 layers of tile, plus 2 layers of plywood subfloors, to find the original hardwood floors. * spoiler alert * They were not in good shape.

Kitchen floors phase 3 is HERE - When we put in a new level plywood subfloor.

Kitchen - future plans and inspiration, I wrote about HERE
As our budget shrunk, the plans changed.

Last month I came up with a low cost design plan, and had all of the materials and supplies shipped directly to our house (for free) via Home Depot

Over one weekend in October, I emptied out the room, finished painting the ceiling, put in new floors, built a new butcher block countertop, and put everything back together. 
It was kind of like the tv show, "Trading Spaces", except it wasn't. It was only me.

Here it is right before I removed the sink and counter.


Everything in the kitchen got moved to the dining room or back porch,
turning the first floor into an obstacle course.

Back porch

Dining room


This is our water source in the kitchen.


My plan was to go with a dark slate-like tile, but the plan changed. The tiles, grout, and all of the supplies were making us go over budget. Plus I was too scared to DIY it and mess it all up.

So I found the perfect replacement, "The Easiest Floor Ever!" resilient plank flooring.
This is the one we went with:
 Allure Ultra 7.5 in. x 47.6 in. Aspen Oak Black Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring from Home Depot.



The pieces slide and snap into place right over the existing floor.
There is no adhesive, glue, or grout needed, so it will be really easy to remove if we decide to change the flooring in the future.

I also built a 12 foot countertop using 2 large butcher blocks. Just needed to cut a hole for the sink and mount it into place. Still need to install a backsplash.

Check out the new floor.
 I need to install a transition strip between the dining room and kitchen.

We got a new dishwasher! I haven't had a dishwasher since I lived with my parents in the 1980s.
It still needs to be installed, it's just sitting there for now until we get the lower cabinets.
I put up a little curtain to hide all of the junk under the sink.


12 foot countertop

That silver thing sticking out of the wall is for the range hood that needs to be purchased and installed.

Coffee bar and pantry



This is our "new" refrigerator. It was new but had some dings, so it was sent to the Sears outlet store.
We originally purchased a beautiful black french door refrigerator, but the movers couldn't get it though our door. It was upsetting. So we settled on this one and bought a freezer for extra storage.
floor trim and transition piece needs to be installed

This is a sample of the floor trim. It needs to be painted and installed.
That's it for now. Still needs work but happy to have such a great work space in the kitchen.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

New windows

When our Project Manager from Home Depot came out to measure for our gutter project, he mentioned that they also do windows. Since Mr Six has been dying to have our windows replaced, he told the guy to go ahead and measure for new windows as well. 

So now we have new windows throughout the house (excluding the basement and back porch) and they are awesome! 
Our old windows didn't have screens, they weren't insulated around the frame, some had cracks, the master bathroom window wouldn't open or close. 
In the winter I had to put up plastic every year. Ugh, no more! 

The new windows open and close, have screens, are well insulated, soundproof, and were really expensive. Thankfully we were able to get a Home Depot Project Loan immediately. The interest is about 7%, which is better than most credit cards. A home equity loan would have been a lower interest rate, but the approval was going to take approximately 60 days, so we decided to just do it and get it over with. 

I won't bore you with the before and after pictures because they basically look the same.


Original stained glass window

Summer 2018 

Summer 2009 - when we got the keys to our house

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Gutters

Last summer, or the summer before, I had a gutter cleaning company come out to clean the gutters. They ended up not charging us because our gutters were in too bad of shape for cleaning to make a difference.

After researching different companies and getting estimates, we decided to have Home Depot replace them. They are really solid and have been keeping the rain water away from the house.

Here are pictures of the old gutters:
old gutters

old gutters

old gutters

This side of the house was missing two downspouts - circled on the left side of picture. 
In the middle of the long gutter was just a nylon connector, so water would just pour out of it down the side of the house. 
The two downspouts in back went into the sewer instead of being directed away from the house. 

Here are the old downspouts going into the sewer.
We had the sewer capped off when the new sidewalk was poured.

This downspout went into the gutter of the back porch. Since the back porch didn't have a downspout, the gutters would overflow when it rained, causing water to run down the side of the house.


It is hard to see in the photos, but the gutters were inches away from the roof, causing rain to pour down the sides of the house.

Here are photos of the new gutters and downspouts:
New gutters

New gutters and downspouts

New gutters and downspouts.
This new spout by the water barrel flows into the garden. 

New gutters
New downspout. This one previously went into the back porch gutter.

The house gutters on the side of the house, that went into the sewer, were rerouted into the backyard.


Gangway Sidewalk

This summer we got a new gangway sidewalk, instead of taking a summer vacation.
We never use this sidewalk, or even have a need for it, but it was sinking and causing water to seep into our basement. I wrote about it here and here.

In our city, it was hard for me to find a concrete company that would do such a small project. When we finally found a local company willing to do the job, we had to wait a couple of months to have our project scheduled as they were very busy. 
They did a great job of hauling away the old concrete and pouring the new sidewalk. Our basement is dry now and it's been tested by some massive rainfalls. We do need some tuckpointing, but other than that we can start working on the basement and laundry room. 
Not right away though as this "little project" put a dent in our savings account. Plus, we still have that kitchen to finish.

Here are some before and after pics...

Before

Before

Before

After

After

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Black bathroom

 I first posted about this bathroom here.
Then I posted some updates here.
Since then I installed a sink, toilet, and cobbled together some shelves.
The shower is still under construction, and we need a mirror above the sink.

This is a photo of the bathroom when we bought the house.
Before

Here it is today.







Thursday, August 2, 2018

Patio - Summer 2018

The patio is finished - check it out below.

We went with the 16" x 16" Wetcast Ashlar Patio Block in quarry gray from Menard's.


Menard's delivered the pavers. 
Unfortunately, there were a few broken tiles so they offered to deliver replacements or issue a store credit. I ended up using the store credit for more river rock. 






This is a photo before I built the firepit.

Since this photo was taken, we had the iron posts cut down to be level with the concrete.
They were from the previous backyard chain link fence

River rock was placed around the edge of the patio. 

Photo with patio, firepit, and river rock.





Later we plan to add plants to the river rock and patch up the concrete retaining wall.
I tried to show by using my 3D paint app. Try to picture green plants where my green scribble marks are located.