Friday, April 19, 2013

Attic work

So I mentioned the first step of our kitchen overhaul was moving the insulation out of the soffits in the attic.

We spent 5.5 hours doing just that this past weekend.  It was really annoying work, but it had to be done before it got too hot.  We had to first remove some of the flat boards that were covering up the soffit so we could get to them.  Then we basically worked in stages and piled the insulation into the middle.  Then we'd cover whatever we just uncovered with plastic, staple it down and put some of the insulation back so we'd have some room to work with.

 We were all about being safe and wore a respirator mask, knee pads, and taped our gloves shut.  Stephen taped his pants closed too because he was doing most of the work.  hehe.  And in case you're wondering how we moved that all around, we used a dust pan.  It worked great.

Somehow, the fiberglass still got through my gloves, because my left hand felt all tingly and numb for about 2 hours after we were done.  Its a really weird feeling.

Next step is to demo the soffit from inside the kitchen.  Which is still going to create such a mess.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The kitchen overhaul - Prep work

Our next project is going to be our kitchen.  The whole area right now, lighting, cabinets and floor, sort of give off a yellowish tinge and I can't stand it anymore. We would absolutely love to just rip it all out and start over, but that is just not feasible.  So, we are just going to work with what we have for now and make some changes that will still make an impact all for the DIY price.

Here is what we'd like to do.
- Retexture the dining walls
- paint the dining walls
- perhaps install some board and batten to bring some nice detail to the dining area
- Rip out all the soffits so we have one ceiling height across the whole area.
- Get rid of the fan and install a nice light that is centered in the dining area
- install recessed lighting in the kitchen.
- take out the blinds and make a nicer roman shade or something like that
- replace the stove top with an oven, thereby turning the oven into a pantry
- paint all the cabinets a creamy white

At first all I wanted to do was start small. Paint the dining room.  At that was all, just a small little upgrade. But no, nothing could be that simple.

The first step in all of this is sanding down the walls to get rid of the texture that is currently on them.  I'd hardly call it a texture's just a lot of bumps that you can easily get scraped on.  I've started some already.  The left side has been sanded and the right side hasn't.  We now own a power sander just for this job.  After it's all sanded we can apply a smooth texture first, and then texture it again to give it some depth, then we can paint.

A couple of weeks ago we went ahead and scraped off the popcorn ceiling and the wallpaper.  It made a world of difference, but it also now just looks REALLY bare.  For anyone that may be coming over in the next few months...please excuse our mess!


The next step, and the one we are currently working on, is removing the soffit.  At first we thought we could just start to demo it from the inside, put up some drywall and be done with it.  Well, Stephen had the forethought to cut a hole inside one of the cabinets to see if it was just empty space or if there was was insulation.  To my dismay, there was insulation. As in, the entire soffit was full of it.   That basically means, if we had just demoed it, all the insulation from the attic (where the soffit was) would just fall into our kitchen.  Picture me throwing a major fit.  It wasn't pretty and I'm not proud of it.

So now, this seemingly easy project turned into a 5 step ordeal.  We have to go into the attic and move all the insulation out of the way (and it's a lot by the way), then we have to cover the area with some plastic and put the insulation back (temporarily).  Then we can demo the soffits out, put up some drywall to close it off to the attic and then move all the insulation back in place.

Oh but wait...there a wires everywhere, and we will be needing come recessed lights.  So, we will have a really bare, really open to our attic, mess of a kitchen until after the electrician does his thing and takes all our money.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The functional master bathroom

We finally finished the bathroom so that it is useable!!!!!!  I actually started this post in November and we still had some finishing touches to do.  Well, we've finished it all so I can really finally show you our completed bathroom.

Okay, technically we haven't finished the vanity because that'll be expensive and we can't decide if we just want to replace the top, or raise the existing vanity up 4 inches and replace the top, or replace the whole vanity all together.   Stephen and I seriously just can't seem to compromise on the it's just staying like it is until who knows when.

But who cares about all that...we can finally use our shower!  It's really beautiful with just the right amount of custom touches.  Like a shaving step. And the cubbies.

This project was definitely a love/hate one. Even though all we did was rip the shower out to the studs and retiled it, we ran into more snafus that I care to reminisce about.  In the end, we really do like it.  It is so much better than the before.