Friday, January 17, 2014

Coupla Things

First things first:  Though the built-ins in the third bedroom aren't built in yet, they are completely built.  Here's what they look like:

Let's rewind to a view of the same window in early August of this year:

We did have to do a bit of Ikea hacking to make our bookcases fit flush against the wall-- we had to notch out the back of one bookcase so it would accommodate the water pipe protruding from the wall.  A visual of the notch we cut:

And a birds' eye view of the notch as it fits over the pipe:

And now we just need to finish the job!  And once we finish the baseboards on the remaining three walls, we'll be done in here.  And so shall end the Neverending Renovation.

Just in time, too-- because we have another project we need to start immediately.  That'd be a place for this guy (or gal) to sleep:

Unlike all the other blurry photos on this blog, I did not take this one with my iPhone.  

But that's our kid, and s/he's going to need a nursery to sleep in.  And we have A LOT of other things to do before we can bring home our little bundle of joy in July-- bathrooms need fixin', windows need replacin', microwaves need buyin' and installin' (yes, we have been living here for 1.5 years without a microwave), etc.  And there's more.  Like, we're going to have to hire someone to finish all that rawdrywall in the laundry room-- I'm the drywaller in this family, and I don't think babies like lungfuls of drywall dust.  

So expect a few posts coming up in which things magically get done by professionals!  And maybe a few nursery and guest-room decor posts.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Time, No Blog

Hi all, please pardon the recent lack of posts.  This is due to a combination of factors: 1) DIY fatigue (which is also affecting my fellow DIY-er (and BFF) CWM, must be something in the water), 2) full-time jobs that aren't over when we leave work for the day, 3) money (we have none), and 4) a million other things.

But for the record, here a terrible photo of what we're up to in the third bedroom these days:

Please don't mind that I didn't bother to clean up for you.  Anyway, curtains have been hung and our IKEA "built-ins" have been purchased, assembled, and... promptly forgotten.  A few more shots below.

I call this one "IKEA Bestas With Ironing Board and Stray Soccer Goalie Glove;" it's one of my finest compositions, no?

In the next shot you can see a bit of how this is all going to come together in the end-- one of the gaps beetween the small bookcase (center) and the long bookcases (on either side) has been bridged with 1.5" trim.  We had some lying around, and I thought I'd experiment with it; I think the spacing is nice and we'll probably go with it:

See?  The experiment-trim-piece isn't tall enough, as you can see in the next shot:

Another angle:

Now we just have to figure out the best way to make them look built-in; I think it's going to involve cutting a notch from the back of the left-hand bookcase to accommodate the water pipe (you can see it in the corrner in the following photo):

... so that we can set the bookcases back against the wall.  There will be about 3" of trim on either side of the outside bookcases, which is good since they will have doors:

... across the bottoms and 3" trim will give the doors plenty of clearance to open.  Two of the doors will conceal pull-out frames for our hanging files and the rest will cover up out out-of-season clothes, etc.  There will be about 10" of open shelving for paperbacks and obj√©ts above the drawers.

I'm really proud of how far we've come, but we just have SO MUCH left to do that I'm having a tough time getting motivated to start.  I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I think I'm going to hire someone to mud the drywall in the laundry room.  I just can't face the idea of doing it myself. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Windows Trimmed

Too tired to think of a sexy post title.  Here are some photos of the windows post-trim and two coats of glossy white paint:

Funny how different the wall color looks in two photos taken of two different walls at the same time!

The door's all trimmed too.  No photos.  Bad blogger.  Sleeeeeep.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Feet on the Floor

So, we just did this:

Yes!  Flooring happened.  And it is so pretty, thanks for noticing.  Here are a few more shots:

Sorry all these photos are taken from weird angles, but we can't walk on our floor until tomorrow night (the glue needs 24 hours to cure before use).

And really, this took us four hours to do-- it couldn't have been easier.  If you're thinking about putting prefinished engineered hardwood anywhere in your house, you can absolutely do it yourself no matter how little experience you have.  Simple process: lay out a row, making sure the joints are attractively staggered and there's nice variation in your pieces; measure the last piece and cut it to fit with your handy circular saw; put a quick bead of glue around the bottom edge of each board's groove; tap each into place with tapping block; repeat to make next row.  Voila!

As I've mentioned before, this beauty is Bruce 3" Engineered Hickory in Wheat.  It cost $3.49/sq.ft. from Home Depot's website (which is the only place I could find it-- lots of places sell Bruce Oak in Wheat, but the color is really different-- super red-- and though it's much cheaper at $2.79/sq.ft., it's just not nearly as pretty).  I was thinking I'd also put it in the laundry room and they tell you to account for 10% waste, so I ordered 9 boxes; we used 4.5.  Since you can use the offcut from one row's end piece as the start to the next row, our total waste was nowhere near 10% (which would have been 14sq.ft); I'd say we were closer for 2 square feet of waste (all tiny offcuts).  I'm undecided about putting it in the laundry room; my biggest concern is that the washer might leak at some point and totally ruin my floors.  Does anyone have experience with one of those rubber pan-things that goes under a washing machine?
Anyway, we chose our pieces to match the color and length variation in the flooring in the rest of the house, so we tried to find and use as many pieces as possible with burns from the sawmill, knots, and other irregularities.  And I love it.  I absolutely can't wait to get in there and trim the big window.  Then we just need to buy, install, and build-in the IKEA Bestas to hide the wack-ness under the big window.  And deal with the baseboard situation.  And so the renovation continues.

Just because I can't resist:


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

All the Trimmings

A sunny day in Oregon means a few more progress photos!  Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, your before shot of this angle:

And this morning:

You're seeing a few things in this photo.  First, drywall!  Yay for drywall.  I hate drywall mud with a fiery passion, but damn if I don't love the results.  Also, you're admiring my beautiful new window.  It opens!  And it's a legal egress window!  And it's pretty.  Win-win-win.  

You're also seeing a test-run of our new flooring.  Isn't it stunning?  It wasn't the cheapest option (though at $3.49/sq.ft., it's quite a bit cheaper than lots of other engineered hardwood), but it really closely matches the flooring in the rest of the house.  Our end goal has always been to make this room feel like it belongs in our home, and I think this flooring (despite costing $1 more per square foot than I'd originally hoped to spend) really goes a long way.

You're probably also wondering what the hell is happening at the bottoms of the walls, though.  Good question.  Those are the cinder-block footings for our walls (oh, the joys of what you find when you rip out old paneling).  You can also see the water pipe (which we'll be disguising with some built-in storage) in the center of the photo.  Here's a closer look:

But hey, you're also seeing our now-covered outlets!  And how's this for ya:

That's right!  I trimmed out the small window, and I think it looks about a thousand times better than it did here:

Or even two days ago:

Next up: trimming the big window and laying the floor.   Fingers crossed we can get most of that done this weekend.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Friday, October 11, 2013

State Of The Bedroom Address

Well, it's been a solid two months since we started demo on the third bedroom project and nearly a month since my last post.  We've been very busy at work (I won't bore you with the details) and we're also experiencing the appallingly early beginning of the rainy season.  Our old sofa is now sitting squarely on the third bedroom's still-unfinished floor along with a chair I scored when my friend M moved cross-country (more on both of those later).  All of these things sort of combined to mean I have absolutely zero acceptable photos of the now-painted walls and ceiling in the bedroom.  Either we're too busy or it's too dark out or I'm too embarrassed by our lack of progress to photograph it.  But today I'm sucking it up, so get ready for the first (crappy) photos of the paint job.  And I have to say, I'm very proud of my drywall.  To badly paraphrase classic horror villain Jame Gumb, I'd hire me.  

First, let's go back to the beginning of this project just to remind ourselves of how it used to feel in this room.  I present this photo without comment:

Now, if you'll pardon the dark photos, a bit of before and after...

Northwest corner then:

Northwest corner now:

North wall then:

 North wall now:

 Ceiling then:

 Ceiling now:

 So in case you're wondering, yes, I totally painted it almost-white.  It's actually the same color as the living room (Behr's Irish Mist), and once we get some nice glossy white trim going on in there, it should look a bit more like the pale gray it actually is; here's an old shot of the wall color / trim color contrast in the entryway.  Hi y'all!

The only reason the ceiling color and wall color appear so identical in the above photos of the bedroom is that it's dark in there right now.  The Pacific Northwest is tough for interior photography, and/or I have no idea how to artificially light a space before photographing it. 

So what's left to do?  A lot.  

First, flooring.  We're hoping to tackle that soon, but we need to get the old sofa out of there.  I've found a buyer who wants to come get it next weekend.  

[So, yeah, side note: after a couple of days of sitting on the new couch, we noticed that the giant gap in the cushions magically closed up-- the manufacturer assured me it would happen, and it did-- and the down has relaxed quite a bit, which makes the thing really comfortable.  Photos next time I clean the living room, I promise.] 

Anyway, the flooring I found was both budget-friendly-ish and a really close match to the hardwood in the rest of the house; like, it's close enough that I'd put it in the kitchen right next to the original flooring.  We've got the underlayment and we're ready to get started as soon as possible, but when you live in a 1350 square-foot house, there just aren't a ton of places for your old sofa to hang out.

After flooring, trim.  And that's going to be quite the project.  To make a long story short (too late), there are some big molding challenges in here, and we're going to have to get creative.  One of the many things we need to address is the pipe that feeds our outside spigot-- it sticks up through the floor and exits the house under the big window.  I'm currently leaning towards using this IKEA Besta unit to cover up the problem; I'd need two of those and one of the matching half-width ones to span the wall under the window.  They're available with pretty Shaker-style drawers; so they'd make GREAT storage if we chose to go that route; we could also go drawer-less and use the shelf space since, as two academics sharing 1350 square feet, we are under constant threat of being buried beneath a pile of books.  We'll add trim to make them look built in (there'd be a three-inch space on either side we'd have to cover with trim, no big deal) and I think they'll look nice and intentional rather than DIYed-because-of-the-spigot.

That's all for now-- tonight we're off to hear an author talk about his memoir, "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City."  Living four blocks from a major university definitely has its perks.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Win Some, Lose Some: Completely Random Edition

Today's big win was round two of leveling the floor in the third bedroom.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Exhibit A:

Yes, that is a 4' level sitting on my floor.  Perfection.  After dinner last night I caulked up all the seams that were ruining the job, and then we popped over to Home Depot for yet another bag of concrete.  We mixed and poured the last two bags before bed.  Success!

And now for the first bad news of the day: my sofa arrived this morning.  At 8:30am.  Not between 3pm-7pm yesterday as promised.  And it's a nice sofa, except for one big fat freaking problem.  Wanna see?

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHH!  It's hilarious, right?  Or I've become slightly unhinged, I'm not sure which.  But either way, look what happens when someone sits on one of those freakishly tiny cushions:

Yeah, so.  Also, it is SO uncomfortable right now.  I feel like I'm sitting in a church pew, which is not a place I enjoy being.  I know the down-wrapped cushions will deflate over time, but as it stands, the seat is way too narrow and this thing is unspeakably, horribly fluffy.  Really, it looks kind of nice with the throw pillows on it-- the scale is great since it's a whole foot longer and about 4" taller than my previous sofa-- but I obviously cannot keep this thing.    

Tomorrow we initiate the return-- this company claims you'll get a full refund (less a 10% "restocking" fee) including free return shipping, so we'll see.  Good thing I haven't sold my old sofa on Craigslist yet-- I mean, I posted it yesterday and I've already had multiple offers because have you SEEN the other sofas available on Craigslist?  Damn, they're ugly. 

Lesson learned: just because buying furniture over the internet worked really well for your mom does not mean it will work well for you, and you're going to be crushed when you spend $1200 and wait three months to receive your sofa only to discover that it is just not going to work.

Anyway, this was probably some kind of sign or some shit, because we really don't have the money to buy a sofa right now.  When I die, just pry my old bones off the old brown sofa to which they will surely have fused.

Returning the sofa means I won't have to feel so bad about spending nearly $900 on flooring for the third bedroom and laundry room, at least.  AND our only car is officially dead at a shop across town right now AND we'll have to pay to get it fixed in order to trade it in so we can buy a new car, AND we spent about $250 leveling the floor AND we have tons of huge bills to pay following all of this summer's medical emergencies.  

So I guess what I'm getting at is that if you're reading this and you are a fabulously wealthy philanthropist and you just don't know what to do with all that money you have just lying around, please consider a small donation (about, say, $10K) to two poor professors who are just trying to get by.  Sigh.