Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cabinets, Mantle, and A Lighting Question

Progress on the house includes part of the kitchen cabinets.  W's dad is building all of these for us.  He delivered the ones that are finished so that he had room to build the remaining ones.  The cabinets will all have doors.  Those are just not painted yet.

We also got the fireplace mantle installed.  It is made from part of the big black walnut tree that used to be in our backyard.  A neighbor cut it to size, and we used some of W's dad's tools to sand it and cut the braces.  I love that we have a piece of the tree.  An added bonus is that the mantle was completely free (aside from the loaf of bread I baked for our neighbor).

Finally the lighting question.  We decided to put a couple of pendant lights above the kitchen sink.  We just need to choose a height.  The pictures below show the two options.

Which do you prefer?  The short on the left?  The long on the right?  Post a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Appliances and Toilets

We picked up the appliances and also bought the toilets last week.  I wanted two ovens since I love to bake.  In order to get the size ovens I wanted we went with electric.  I opted for a five burner gas cooktop though.  We chose a smaller refrigerator in the kitchen and will put our big two door one in the pantry.  The smaller refrigerator gave me a bit more counter space.

Even though stainless steel appliances are the "it" thing, I had no interest in them.  I kept hearing how hard they were to clean.  Plus the color would not have worked with out color scheme.  We both agreed on black.

For the toilets we went with the higher ones, and W wanted a longer seat.  Other than the sides being straight and enclosed rather than open, they are pretty standard.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


We knew we wanted tile throughout the entire house as we live in the country with pets.  That means we have dog and cat paws in and out plus our own mess of tracking in from the garden and yard.  W and I also both suffer from allergies so carpet was never on our radar.  We purchased the tile months ago during a sale.

W's dad came over one evening to give us a lesson in laying tile.  He helped us do one row so we had an idea of what to do and then left us to our own devices.

We started in the hallway since we had a clear center line.  The people that did our concrete slab measured out an expansion joint and that is what we started with.  W used a board and square to help keep our lines straight.

We purchased a tile saw rather than renting one since we would be doing a bunch of tile.

It ended up being easier for W to measure and lay the tile.  That left me to do the cutting and also be the general gopher.

Open areas went quickly.  I can easily see how having many angles and odd corners would add to the cost of having tile professionally laid.  We were told that for our area it would have cost $4000 to $6000 to have our house tiled.  Doing it ourselves is a huge savings!

An elderly neighbor advised us to make sure we loved whatever we chose since we would be looking at it for a long time.  I can definitely say I love this tile.  The colors are beautiful, and it is perfect for our lifestyle.

We were both a bit sad to have to cover up the leaf print that showed up in the slab.  I made sure to get a good picture to remember it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paint Colors

I have discovered that paint colors translate better in person than they do in pictures.  Nevertheless I have taken pictures of each of the rooms.  To give you a more accurate idea of the colors though, I am including links to the paint colors.

The closet and pantry are both painted Sand Dollar.  When we first started painting, W hated it and thought it looked like the color of a hospital bandage.  It dried to a lovely tan.

The hallway ceiling is Mindful Gray, and the walls are Dovetail.  We knew we wanted the main areas to be gray to play off the tile.  I love, love, love these colors.

The front bathroom is Grassland.  It has just a touch of green in it, but we found it showed more beige tones.

The craft room is Alpaca.  I wanted something neutral that would not compete with everything else that will be in the room.

Our bedroom is Mountain Stream and turned out a touch lighter than we expected.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.

The laundry room is Butter Up.  It is bright and cheery and usually a favorite among our visitors.  It is a creamy yellow rather than sunshine.

The back bathroom is a bit more shocking as it is Mythical.  W and I both agreed that we wanted it done in a purple tone.  I originally wanted something with a bit more grey, but we settled on that color.  The entire room is not painted that color since a large section will be the shower.  The same tile will also go around the tub.

The living room and kitchen areas are not painted yet.  We have a gray picked out but will need to see if it is too dark.  I will hold off on sharing that with you.

I have to admit that we have caused quite a scandal by painting our ceilings a color other than white. I thought it was normal to have color on the ceilings.  We went with lighter shades of the wall or an accent type color.  That seems to really surprise people though.

A final word on paint....Please do not skimp.  Cheap paints are cheap for a reason.  We spent a good bit of money on paint since we bought everything from Sherwin Williams.  It was definitely worth it though.  The primer was fantastic and completely sealed the drywall so that we only needed one coat of the paint color.  Sherwin Williams does have good sales.  The staff at our local store was great about letting us know the sale dates to help us save some money.  All of our paint colors are kept on file for 10 years.  They have a computer record as well as a paper record.

We purchased all of the paint ourselves.  This post was not sponsored by Sherwin Williams.  I am just a happy customer!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tongue and Groove Ceiling

We decided to do a tongue and groove ceiling in the living room and kitchen.  The ceiling is vaulted and would have been hard for us to finish properly if we had used dry wall.  Plus we really wanted something different and a bit more special.

We purchased 1x6 spruce boards from a local building supply company.  Because we ordered in bulk, we were able to get a discount of $1 off each board.  W picked out a set of tongue and groove router bits and used a router to cut each board.   He did 150 boards.

Once all of the boards were cut, it was time to stain each one.  We used Sherwin Williams stain in Beechwood.  We gave it a light coating so that the grain of the wood shows through.

W and my dad got to work putting up the boards.  It took a couple of days to get the ceiling completely done.

The ceiling looks great to use and is certainly different.  We never wanted a house that looks completely new.  After living in a 120 year old home, Something new and normal would not have been right for us.

July Progress Update

W took several weeks off work so that we could focus full-time on the new house.  We made a good bit of progress.

With power now hooked to the house, W got to work finishing up the wiring.  We had purchased a wiring book to ensure he was doing everything correct.  He was uncertain of the proper way to wire a two-way switch, but Wiring a House had clear instructions and diagrams.

The main accomplishment is that we finished nearly all of the dry wall  We have a tiny section around the fireplace left to do.  Overall it is a drop in the bucket.  We also primed and painted most of the rooms.  All that is left is We purchased paint from Sherwin Williams.  (I will share colors and pictures of each room next week.)  The paint is a bit more expensive than paint from a big box store.  It is completely worth it tough.  The primer is great, and we only needed one coat of paint.  It was so nice to see color on the walls instead of mudded dry wall.

While I was at Vacation Bible School, W finished the shower floor in our bathroom.  We purchased a Goof Proof Quick Pitch Kit and  Goof Proof Wheel Chair Shower Curb as guides for  the concrete.  Since I was gone, I do not have step-by-step photos of this process.  W said that it was very easy to do it himself with these kits.

We also got out septic tank installed.  The work went quickly.  A man from the health department was on hand throughout the process to make sure it was done properly.  We were left with a huge mess in the backyard.

W put up the decorative light in the foyer.  We purchased it and the other decorative fixtures on clearance.  The half price helped us stretch our money a bit further.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Through the End of June

At this point the weeks are all running together,  I am working on some catch up posts this week.  Dry wall seems to have taken forever.  I know it would have been faster to hire it out, but money spent on that would have meant less for something else.  Even though it was hard, we pressed on.

During that time we had a few other events.  The gray water tank was delivered.  We opted to go with a 550 gallon tank.  We had to order it since no stores near us carried anything like this.  Gray water tanks are not common here at all.  We plan to use it to water the grass and future fruit trees in our front yard.

Since we passed our electrical inspection, we were able to have power hooked up to the new house.  Up until this point we had been running extension cords from the old house to power any tools needed.  An employee from the power company came out to see exactly what needed to be done and gave us a short list of items we needed to supply.  We paid the necessary fees and a crew came out about a week later.

Our power is being run underground from the pole to the house.  That meant that our oak tree was safe from being trimmed any more.  You can see chief supervisor Leo at the bottom overseeing the work.

We also opted to have a yard light installed.  The yard light at the old house was cut off.  We do pay extra each month for this.  With the new installation we were given an LED light which is super bright.  It really lights up the entire front yard.