Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday work

Yesterday, I finished a big project and took the afternoon off to go paint some cabinets. Chris continued grouting, and sealed the stuff he'd already laid. So, he'll be able to put the range in in about 2 days, and he put the fridge in place today! Here's a pic he e-mailed me.

For all his fancy schmancy DroidX phone with  camera flash, this is still a blurry cell phone pic. Ha. (I'm not bitter). You can even see his reflection if you look closely.
Right so anyway, the fridge looks awesome in its new home! The cabinet above it will stay open (without doors), probably for display, and the pantry next to it will of course have doors. So that's all pretty exciting. I just need to get my butt in gear now and paint the cabinet doors and figure out the hardware knobs/drawer pull situation, and then tile the backsplash, and of course install the corner countertop, and paint a little more trim, and Chris needs to tile the floor in the breakfast area...
but other than that, we're almost done!
Oh and put the crown molding on top of the cabinets, and install the toekicks, and buy and install a new dishwasher...
Once all that's done, THEN we'll have a finished kitchen.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kitchen Update

I apologize for disappearing like that. I don't think I have posted in months. I have tons of pictures and still not a lot of time, so here goes:

I'll start with the cool work bench that I made with reclaimed plywood and laminate counter tops from the kitchen and treated lumber from the deck. I also made a matching rolling table for my mitre saw but I forgot to get a picture so I will have to include that one at a later point. Other than the screws, this bench was basically free.

I think Annie posted several updated pictures of the kitchen, so I will try to pick up with where she left off. First, I've thrown in a few pictures of hanging the cabinets since we blew through this section while I was without the internet.

In a nutshell, you mark off the bottom edge of the upper cabinets with a level and a straight edge. You can either use a prop, or if you are solo'ing everything, you can temporarily screw some straight sections of 2x4 into the wall to set the base of the uppers on. You then shim the uppers properly and screw them at the top and the base. You follow up with some finish washer/screw combinations inside. The bottoms are similar, but I leveled them by shimming at the four corners. I found the highest point on the floor and started with that cabinet. I think the only cabinet I didn't have installed from Annie's posts was the cabinet shown in the last of the previous photos that goes above the fridge.

You can see the cabinet installed with oak batons on either side and an oak strip below to trim out the cabinet and better fit the large fridge. There is also more completed tiling and the edge paneling for the cabinets have gone up, which Annie appears to be painting.

Now for something exciting... the counter tops had finally arrived! I mounted the 36" short counter and the sink counter in a few evenings. They were actually fairly easy and were along straight sections of wall. I did have to cut some of the trim around the bottom of the opening to the living room because the counter tops did not recess onto the cabinets as the old counter tops did on their respective cabinets. Not a deal breaker though. With a box blade and 40 minutes, I was ready to drop in one of the long sections.

I also went ahead and purchased a 50/50 Kohler double basin (8.5" deep) sink so that I would finally have a half-functioning kitchen. I must warn anyone that tries this on their own. Cutting out the hole for the sink in the laminate is a b&*^%. I felt lucky that I nicked the counter top only a few times. Epoxy took care of the nicks that weren't visible and just needed to be sealed. I haven't come up with a solution for the one small chip that is visible. The next shot is of the basin with everything on except the disposal.

Another warning; putting all of the clips on and clamping down the kitchen sink in small working space is also aggravating. I did get everything hooked up after a mere 4-5 hours, including two Home Depot trips for various PVC adapters. Here is the finished product from below and above.

So now, I at least have running water in my kitchen. Hopefully, by next weekend I will have a fridge and possibly a stove in there as well. I can see the end, even if it is a sad glimmer of false hope. I'll try to do a better job of keeping up with posting now that I have the internet back.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kitchen pictures

Here are some pictures I took on my cell phone last weekend of the kitchen progress:

Putting the white veneer panels on the ends of the cabinets, plus much more tiling done.

Tiling under the stove looking amazing!


New cabinet in over the fridge. It'll have one more trim piece on the bottom that's not shown. All of the walls are painted, and Chris painted the crown molding up there so we can put in the fridge as soon as he's grouted and sealed the tile back there. Most of the cabinets have had their first of two coats of white semi-gloss paint, too. The countertops are going in too, but Chris will have to post pics of those because I haven't been to the house since Sunday.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Garden progress

Hello hello! Before I start doing actual work today, I thought I would share the pics I took of the planter box two weeks ago.

Check it out! A green bean! These have been coming in sporadically, but we collected enough over a week to have them for dinner on Saturday. Nom. 


Squiggly bean.


The tomatoes are lookin' good. They're actually even bigger now, although the one in the middle (the far back of this pic) is shaded by the zucchini and therefore a little smaller than the other two plants. Does anyone know the proper way to stake these? We kinda just stuck the cage in and called it a day. 


Check it out! Zucchini flower buds! This weekend some had already bloomed, but to my knowledge none of them have started making little zucchini yet.



Monday, July 12, 2010

Pictures of the kitchen!

These were taken over the 4th of July weekend (Mr. Wyatt's last day here) and this Saturday.

This pic is pretty cute. Chris and his dad working on the kitchen sink's plumbing. Thankfully, I see no plumber's cracks. 

The walls have been primed, and the supports for the fridge cabinet are in (those 2x4s on the left). The crown molding is in.


The other wall has been taped off and primed, and you can see more crown molding. 


Chris and Mr. Wyatt put in the end panel for the dishwasher.


Here we see the dishwasher box and the sink plumbing, all ready to go! This was 7/3/10.


Here's how we left the house this Saturday (7/10/10). Chris has begun to tile, he painted one coat on the walls, and the cabinets are all primed and ready to be painted. I was working in the garage, prepping the cabinet doors for painting.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quick update

Since those older photos, we've:

- Finished fitting the cabinets except for the one over the fridge
- Primed and begun painting the walls
- Installed crown molding around the room (still have to do the cabinet tops)
- Built out a panel to cover the end of the dishwasher
- Begun tiling the floor
- Ordered the tile backsplash (should get here tomorrow)
- Ordered the countertops (should get here within a week)
- Prepped all of the cabinet doors for painting with the sprayer (I need to make sure to get a photo of my kick-butt setup, courtesy of This Old House)
- Prepped the toe-kicks and veneer end panels as well

In the planter box,

- The beans have been producing, and we had some fresh green beans. Chris liked them! (shocker, since they're so different from canned beans)
- The zucchini have begun to flower, so some of them should start making veggies soon
- The two tomato plants on the end have grown a lot; the one next to the zucchini is shaded and so not doing as well
- My sunflowers are still alive, and I've staked them a little for more support. Hope they grow to be 10 feet tall!

On craigslist, I found someone who was willing to sell the glass top to their dining table for only $20! (perspective: the same piece of glass would cost $80-$100 new, plus another $75ish for shipping)
We now have a complete, huge, awesome coffee table for $9 (table) + $15 (paint) + $20 (glass) = $44. That's cheaper than my fake-wood Ikea one that is totally falling apart after 2 years. This one will be so much better. Also at a yard sale around the corner I got a wicker chest for $10. It will also be spray-painted probably, and maybe put in the bathroom or something.

I do have pictures, but they're still on my camera and it's bedtime for me so I'll get them later. I hope that when I go up to the house later this week, the tiling is further along and I can take more pictures of that. It looks really good so far, though. Also, I think Chris said he was getting internet Wednesday, so he can start pulling his weight again with this blog. =P

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kitchen progress! Lots of progress!

Whew, this past weekend was intense! Chris' dad is back in town, which means non-stop getting-stuff-done. We already had most of the cabinets in, but not the sink one. That was important because he was going to help do the plumbing in the kitchen. They needed to cut through the subfloor and the bottom of the cabinet to put in the pipes, so the cabinet had to be in place.

So, we measured it out, and Chris and his dad went into the crawl space and installed a new PVC drain pipe, and Monday the copper water lines were going in. Meanwhile, I primed the ceiling. It's literally a pain in the neck, and I'm glad that Chris did the actual painting this week.

The vent is all finished, and has a drywall box over it now that we'll paint to match the wall so it sort of blends in. It's still an eyesore, but it can't be helped. Chris has told me that the rest of the cabinets are now in place, and he's taken measurements for the countertop and ordered that. We ended up going for the shiny one that looks like polished granite, even though there was a slightly cheaper version available. It just had a matte finish, and would have been obviously laminate, whereas the one we stuck with will have a nicer look for only about $80 more. Also, in the overall scheme of countertops, it's still pretty cheap laminate. Those should be in in about 2 weeks.

By that time, we should have the floor tiled (Mr. Wyatt is helping us do that tomorrow/Saturday), and the cabinets sanded and painted. I hope. I'm kind of in charge of that, so I need to get on it.

In gardening news, the beans have started making beans, and the tomatoes and zucchini are growing strong. Yay! My sunflowers have sprouted, and I hope they survive longer this time.

Finally, here are pics of the progress.

Chris screwing together base cabinets, Mr. Wyatt drywalling up near the microwave vent. I'm not sure that the little skinny cabinet to Chris' left has been installed yet. It's supposed to go over the fridge. Guess I'll find out when I go up there this weekend. 



Here's a close-up of Chris filling a gap in the cabinets with some 1x material. The floor slopes slightly, so the bottom is mitered to make a smooth transition. It's not perfect, but we're crossing our fingers that nobody notices.



Ugh, the vent box. At least people will be able to see that there is venting to the outside. I think it'll be a worthwhile feature. I hate microwave/vent combos that just blow air back at you. Also, above it you can see the reason why we needed to paint the ceiling. The old cabinets went all the way to the top, and were glued there or something. I hope the new paint covered it up!