Slow Progress

We are proceeding with this giant remodel project very, very slowly. That means we end up doing things like this: The new landscaping and gravel next to our deck.P1050642

Or this larger area below our deck that’s also landscaped and rocked up.P1050643

It’s pitch black in these pictures, because it’s 9:30 on a workday and we’re still working on our way-behind remodel. Blegh.P1050644

The bright side is that I’ve found and started using Tomsplanner.com; a pretty helpful free project schedule creator. I have a background in project scheduling, so it may be more technical than a typical DIYer would prefer.

schedule

It allows you to color code tasks (so I can tell what I’m responsible for vs. Michael) and you can just drag the bars to change them. The bad news is, we can really tell how slow we’re progressing.

We aren’t making much progress on the basement, but we have gotten some outdoor tasks done.

The first project was digging a giant hole for the egress window.3 feet

Emma helped by continuously dropping her toys into the giant pit.     narrow

The excavation went well, all things considered. We abused some 5 gallon buckets, and eventually started using this pulley system.pully systemIt ended up 4 feet by 101″ wide (8.5 feet) and about 7 feet deep.final sizeWe used a 72″ gray Rockwell elite egress window from Summit Contractor Supply. It was $952. That’s about $400 less than most retailers, but it was still not cheap. The good news is it will last as long as the house. Plus it looked adorably like a covered wagon before install.

wagonMounting the well was very easy,  just 12 concrete wedge anchors into the block wall.bolting

We leveled and repaired the erosion on the back of the house with the leftover dirt piles. It ended up about a foot deep for a good 50 square foot area. Michael is a champion mover of dirt.

built-up

After creating the giant hole, we marked the window rough opening, custom ordered the casement window, and now we’re waiting for the window to arrive.

Well, by waiting I mean pouring concrete slabs and working on the deck :)

P1050597

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Progressing right along :)

Drawing Board

We introduced our plans for the basement bathroom here. After actually tearing the walls out, we found out that Plan A will not work :/ We were planning on having a doorless shower.Like the image below,you would walk past the glass panel to enter the shower from the left.

Shower Layout

After demo, we found that the entire width of the bathroom will be 7 ft, not wide enough for the glass and an entrance.

One to plan Beta.

We considered a two person shower the full width of the room. The door would have this layout.

Custom_Two_Panel_and_Frameless_Glass_Shower_Door_2009_051but the glass estimates (had to be custom at that width) were $1800 to $2100… our entire budget.

We also considered make the bathroom narrower. 5 by 8  is a very standard bathroom size, and that makes the bedroom 12 feet wide. Our new layout for the basement would be this:

Basement layout

But that would make the den cramped,and it’s the most-used room down there.

We decided to frame-in a standard 5 ft shower and leave the 20 inches to the right (next to the toilet) as a small storage area.

Basement bathroom layout

I’d like the storage to look as much like this as possible.

Bathroom Storage

After demo and modifying our plan, it’s time for procurement.

We got the floor tile, shower drain, and grout from the Tile Shop (40% off black Friday sale, yay)  The tile is porcelain 12 x 24  ‘Burma Negro’ at $3.89 a square foot. It was over budget,but it is super awesome. We spent $945 on the tile materials for both the bathroom and mudroom. 1/3 of that will be used in the bathroom. This picture is from the tile installed in a  mudroom at Fat Hydrangea blog with London Fog grout.Burma Negro Tile

We grabbed this sink (complete with faucet) off Craigslist for $100.

Kohler Sink

The mirrors (KOLJA,$20), lighting (BASISK, $20), and glass shelves (BAREN, $30) were picked up at IKEA.basisk-ceiling-track--spotlights__0138856_PE298668_S4

A rain shower head came from a local Homegoods-style store ($30):

showerhead

And the ceiling light/vent  (Hunter/Ventura Exhaust Bathroom Fan) was $54 from Homeclick.com.

Ventura+Exhaust+Fan

The shower door was our big-ticket item. We wanted a frameless pivot-door shower. The Dreamline SHDR-20597210S was $776.

Shower Door

Option B (Dreamline SHDR-21587610) was $542 after a handy 10% discount.

vitreo-2

We chose the second, which was $542 beans at Faucetdirect.com . We went about 10% over budget for the shower door, but we’re still doing great overall.

We still need the wall tile, shower pan materials, and miscellaneous hooks, plumbing, electrical outlets, etc. The shower pan materials will be at least a hundred dollars over budget, but that’s what that $345 buffer is for :)

Item budget spent
shower door 475 542
floor tile 320 285
sink 100 100
plumbing 100 35
ceiling vent 55 55
glass shelves 50 30
Mirrors 45 20
vanity light 30 20
Total 1175 1087
shower surround tile 500
tile materials 155
wall hooks,etc. 50
outlets, light switches, etc. 25
buffer 345
Total 2250

DIY Headboard

We dumped our furniture into the Master bedroom over two years ago, and it hasn’t moved since. We also never hung our pictures :)Original Layout

The only thing that bothered me with the layout was the reading chair. There was no where to put my drink, a blanket, Emma’s chew toy when she won’t stop giving it to me, nothing. Plus it’s right next to the bathroom.

P1050164

And so: Kapow, new layout.

P1050499

Now I can put my drink on the dresser while reading, and there’s even a table to use  for charging phones (no more windowsill, yay).

P1050501

I like it.P1050504

We still had the giant blank wall above the bed, though. P1050503We decided to flagrantly steal this blogger’s idea and create a headboard out of 1 by 6s.

We trimmed, sanded, and stained 4 poplar 1x6s with Miniwax Early American stain. Instead of the original blogger’s Command strips, we decided to use a router and a keyhole bit to save about $15. P1050519

Since we didn’t use the Command strips, we had to place all 8 keyholes perfectly,hit studs perfectly, and mount the screws perfectly. As you can guess, it was finicky. I would go with the Command strips next time :) $48 of poplar later, we had this:

P1050543P1050529

My favorite change is moving the bed, we actually notice the view much more now.P1050542

Our basement is officially gutted.

We’re finishing this floor before we start on the kitchen and the bedrooms upstairs. This way, we can escape the remodel disaster zones and maintain slightly more sanity.

Here is the current layout:

basement layout current

And the intended layout:

New Basement Layout

We’re making some large changes, but we have our reasons :)

Reasons 1 & 2: Bedroom-caves

The two rooms down here are pretty useless. They need an egress window to be a legal bedroom.

Bedroom of Cave-ness

The plan is to combine the two rooms into one legal bedroom with a gigantic storage closet. Since we’re turning an upstairs bedroom into the master bath, this will keep our bedroom count at 4.

Reason 3: Terrible bathroom

As we talked about in this post, the bathroom has a terrible layout. Actually, the only thing I like about it is the adorably ugly sink.

Mini Sink

We’ll be removing the space-eating linen closet, and redoing the resulting 7.5 by 8 foot bathroom.

Reason 4: Utility looking room

We’ve introduced this project, also.

Utility Room

We’ll be covering the pipes and wires when possible, and upgrading the floor.

Reason 5: Wandering layout

The basement is currently split with this short hallway.Maze of Doors We’ll be opening the wall up to make the basement feel less cramped and reduce the likelihood of someone getting lost in the maze.

Reason 6: It isn’t pretty

Spider Room

Brick linoleum and paneling is not my idea of a good time.

We started demo in the laundry room. Then we scratched our heads a bit about whether we were starting on the laundry room, the bathroom, or the entire basement. The only thing we used on this floor was our 35 year old dryer and it’s slightly younger pal. We decided to gut the whole floor, and hook the new washer and dryer up in their sad little concrete room full of pipes. At this point, that laundry room is frightful looking.Somehow, it looks worse

After making a mess with the laundry room, we realized that step 1 should have been removing all of our stuff. Whoops :) A ton of it is being sold or donated, and we moved everything else upstairs into a spare bedroom. Just emptying out our junk took most of one day. Note to self: have less stuff .

Then we removed bits of the building :)  We listed the paneling, carpet, media cabinet and interior doors on Craigslist for free, and it was gone in a weekend. Someone actually paid us $50 for the carpet… even though it was free.

Less basement

Electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures were donated, and we knocked down the hallway wall and  linen closet. The only trash was the carpet pad, some linoleum, broken trim, and the shower.

Voila! Empty(ish) floor.

Empty Basement

After Demo came Discover. The best thing was this linoleum hiding coyly under the bathroom floor.Beatiful vintage find

I think I may keep it.

We also found 29 mice skeletons in one wall. That’s not an exaggeration; we counted. They had a lizard buddy hanging out too.

The less fun discoveries include water :{ Water seeps between the floor & concrete block in the laundry room.  That seam is easily fixed, but both corners of the basement  have seepage through the wall. Shucks

The adhesive on the floor looks like a puddle in that pic, but only the concrete bricks are damp. Coincidentally, that’s exactly where the gutters drain to. Our plan is to improve the gutter drainage, which should fix it. We’ll waterproof the interior corners as a back-up.

New Roof

We now have less brown on the exterior of our house: Score. Previously we had mediocre-condition orange-brown 3 tab shingles . They didn’t match the tin very well :)

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According to the previous owner, the roof was only 10 years old, but the shingles are peeling and have significant granule loss. We were planning on DIYing some replacement dimensional shingles… but we are very, very slow. Instead, we referred to Angie’s list and grabbed 5 well-ranked roofers in our area for quotes.

Then the quoting flurry happened. All 5 companies prices were between 5200 and 5800.  The expensive bid, poor quality shingles bid, and incompetent guy bids were out pretty quickly . The battle of the last two bids was decided by the quote. The company we went with had a very detailed quote. They mentioned up front that we would do a site-walk with them to point out shrubs/gardens that needed protection and that any changes would be in writing and signed by us. We chose Certainteed’s Moire Black shingles, and they were ready to start in less than a week.

The weather, however, did not want to start until 10 days later.

It was refreshing driving to work with this roof.

Rear FacadeFacade

Then returning after 9 hours to this snazzy number.

New Roof Front

It’s a subtle difference, but at least it matches the shutters :)

New Roof and Deck

It most definitely matches the gray tin roof better.

Hiring meant it’s done in a day, and done correctly. At $5200, hiring the roofers cost about $2000 more than material price, but to do this ourselves, it would have taken two full weekends of good weather.

New Toys!

Evidently January was our appliance month. We were on the hunt for a new washer and dryer. Our 35 year old dryer has a place in our hearts…

Washer Dryer Wall

But no longer in the laundry room. We started at Best Buy hoping to take advantage of a relative’s discount. We glanced over the laundry appliances… but they were twice as much as like-new Craigslist sets after the discount.  A new washer and dryer wasn’t worth that much to us, but I kept being drawn to one of  these pretty things next to the entrance.

French Door Pretty

You’ll notice it does not do laundry. It was, however, a perfect condition floor model at half price. The plan was to find this exact type of fridge used on Craigslist and buy it for about $1000… Eventually.  This fridge was 1.) Not on Craigslist and 2.) $1300… making it  more than my budget :{

But we splurged and bought it anyway. Eventually we’ll move it to the ‘breakfast nook’ wall, surround it with cabinets, and get rid of the peninsula. But we can’t put it there since there isn’t a water connection for it yet :(

We sold the old fridge on Craigslist for $200,

Ye Old Fridge

removed the upper cabinet, displaying the lovely vintage wallpaper,

Snazy Wallpaper

and then the behemoth slid into her temporary purple cubby hole.

Our Fridge

So far I’m still disproportionally excited that I can adjust the temperature of our ice cream from -2 F to -3 F. Plus, the freezer  drawers on the bottom are more functional for us. The most random feature I like is that there isn’t a tray in the bottom of the ice dispenser. No tray means nothing to turn yellow and gross like this:

tray

After our washing machine shopping resulted in a refrigerator, I resumed stalking Craigslist. We found our new set. They were the Samsung 328 series, white, and about 5 years old. They were being sold by a grumpy guy an hour away, who wouldn’t drop the $750 price lower than 675. We planned to wait a week, call him, and try $600 again.

Grumpy Guy's washer

During our wait, a gray 2 year old LG set was listed for $25 more than the Grumpy Guy’s set. This set was closer, prettier, and I  prefer the LG brand to Samsung. Hence: more new appliances. Well, these new would have cost $2150… new to us for $700 is more our style :)Our new Washer & Dryer

Our old washer and dryer sold for $200 in Craigslist for-sale land.

So there are our 3 appliances for the month . Maybe next January we’ll find our oven and dishwasher and be done :)

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