Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Sky is Falling

Okay, so not quite but we Ryan did take part of the ceiling in the kitchen so that we could sister the second floor joists. You see, when we took out the half bathroom on the first floor we noticed a whole mess of issues with the joists for the upstairs bathroom. Shotty, work.. surprise, surprise. So we knew, that before we could cover back up the ceiling/ run electrical, we would need to reinforce the joists (later when we renovate the upstairs bathroom we'll have to take everything out down to the subfloor but for now, we just need to make the upstairs bathroom stable). So, led to our plans for last night.

Looking up at the joists in the second floor bathroom.
It might not be as apparent in the above picture but the joists were all cut through and only reinforced partly. We wanted to reinforce the entire joist to re-distribute the weight and strengthen the entire joist. (Currently, I'm afraid I'm going to fall through the floor just about every time I shower... it's quite an adventure.) 

So, first thing was first, taking down the ceiling.

Ripping down the ceiling

And some more

Easy, peasy. The second part was a lot trickier since in some parts of the joists we would need to put a bolt through three pieces of wood (the original joist, their patch job and our sister joist) and of course, because nothing is easy, our drill can only make it through two pieces of wood.

Ryan drilling the hole in the first two pieces of wood that we will then drill through the sister joist. 
And we almost finished but we forgot to drill a hole through the last part of the two pieces of wood and since we had already bolted in the 8 other bolts, that joist wasn't going anywhere. Sigh. 

Almost done.
So, Ryan's off to buy yet another drill (we have atleast two now) that is longer so that we can drill through the three pieces together. Oh well, atleast this week is a productive one. 

Clearly, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product but once we get our new drill and finish the other joist, you'll get to see the exciting, finished product. Oh, no? Joists aren't that exciting to you? Yeah, me either but atleast I don't have to fear for my life every time I shower.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Behind the Scenes

A lot of nights, we start working on the house and it ends up like this (case and point, last night):

What to do about this window....

And this bathroom that is held up by beams that aren't connected to anything!? (Definitely makes you not want to take a bath....)
Which, in turn, leads to a lot of this:


I actually find it quite funny the amount of pieces of wood and scraps that have our plans written out on them and are scattered throughout the "kitchen". Last night we were actually planning on paper for the first time in awhile :) Plans are kind of a funny thing. When we dug right in to the bedroom (on closing day), we knew that we should have done more planning before we started it and even with all the planning with the kitchen, it feels like the same thing. I guess no matter how much you plan, you'll always have surprises, especially when your mere amateurs taking on a professionals job.... 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Sorry I've been a real slacker with blog posts but it's been a slow week at the house. Ryan's been plotting our next move and we've been just really busy with life. Saturday, we (read: Ryan) started framing out the walls. It was a little bit of trial and error but definitely good practice for the rest of the walls.

Nice mustache, babe ;)

Starting the frame (aren't those floors pretty? Or atleast stable ;))

Caley "helping"

Of course, once the frame was done and we were trying to put it up, we realized it was too tall so Ryan had to take it apart, shorten it and put it back up.

Looking Good

Screwing the frame in to the ceiling
So one small part of the wall done, a lot more to go but atleast we're making progress.

We're officially 4 months in and I just can't wait to not be washing dishes in my (blue, 70's style) bath tub anymore.... need a visual? Enjoy.

Monday, June 20, 2011


That I too, actually work on the house :)

It was not a productive weekend for the house so I'll leave you with a picture from last week.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011


So, the other night I narrowed down our paint choices for the family room/ kitchen. It's a huge open space so I wanted it to be light and airy but also go with the beige that I'm putting in the kitchen. Here's my two options painted on our walls:
Under the stairs.

Coat closet.

Back wall.
I kept it consistent so the left side is the same color in all three pictures. The left side is Silver Sateen and the right side is Traditional Grey.

Ryan thinks the color on the right is too similar to our current color (I won't get in to how our current color is beige and the new color is grey) so, we're leaning towards the color on the left. We clearly still have some time to decide but I wanted to live with it before making a commitment. After all, it is basically our whole first floor of the house...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Power Tool Tuesday

I always feel like I'm drilling in to the floor on Tuesdays hence my new name for the day. And yes, I do know how to use a drill (I can also change a drill battery and a drill bit, be impressed.)

Monday, Ryan finished up the basic door frame. We'll still have to add molding and what not but it's looking pretty good.

Putting in the frame.

Checking out the progress.

Tuesday, we finally finished the second subfloor. It was like a puzzle putting all the pieces together so that none of the seams lined up but in the end, it looks good and it sure was fun drilling in to the floor. 

Ryan's final cut
Putting in the last piece of the puzzle
Done did!
Isn't it pretty? I know the picture isn't the best but trust me, it's the best looking subfloor you've ever seen (oh wait, you've never seen a subfloor before? Silly me.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tumble Me Timbers

I really have nothing to reference regarding the title of this post except for the fact that it's hard to be clever when you've been posting about the same kitchen renovation that you've been working on for FOUR months. :) I also feel like a broken record with saying how much progress we made over the weekend but seriously, we did make a lot of progress.

We have our second set of overnight visitors (Ryan's parents!) coming on Saturday so we're pretty much full throttle through this week with our fingers crossed that we'll be able to hang out in the family room come Saturday night. I'll try and keep up my posts with the progress since the end goal is to have some tiles layed by the end of the week (this may or may not be ridiculously ambitious and I'm leaning towards may).

We finished up the the first subfloor and ALMOST finished the second subfloor. We would have finished the second sub floor but Ryan had this great idea of making a step in to the back room so those logistics took some time to figure out (totally worth the extra time). Previously, the owners had used this realllly old piece of wood as a "stepping" block but we think that an actual step will have a cleaner look.

Finishing up the first subfloor and working on the step.
Before we could finish the second subfloor (you can see part of it in the above photo), we Ryan had to frame out the door so that the door frame could go directly in to the floor.

Cleaning up the door frame.
He also FINALLY got rid of the "arch of death" (which I was pretty sure was going to give one of us a concussion). 

Before- Those bricks were being held together by pretty much nothing.

Action shot of the bricks coming down.

After- no more death trap.

We'll have to build the arch back up like Ryan did on the kitchen side but I feel much better knowing that bricks won't come falling on my head when I go grab a drink from the fridge. Ah, it's the little things.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tile Me Pretty

So, our tiles arrived today. And you'd think 1k pounds of tile would look more impressive but nope, just these 40 boxes... sitting on our front patio that I'll have to bring inside.... (and did, all by myself.)

I have to admit, it is rather exciting finally seeing, touching, having these beauties after weeks months of debate over them and they sure are pretttttty. Now to decide on a pattern. Originally I wanted to buy them in the Versailles pattern but since they didn't have the exact tiles I wanted in the pattern, we decided we would make our own. Here's some ideas that I'm pondering:

This would only involve 2 different sized tiles (your welcome, Ryan).

I'm not sure cutting ALL the tiles makes much sense but I do like the pattern.
Again, a lot of cutting...

I think this would be really pretty and simple.
Another pretty pattern and since we'll probably end up using the extra for the bathroom, these cuts would make sense.

We borrowed our friend's tile cutter so we should be good to go to start on these bad boys some time early next week. Life is very exciting these days (even if I, once again, live on the second floor).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What does an entire kitchen of cabinets look like?


Clearly they are unassembled so that should be a fun day week(s) of work. Ah, it was a good run of having a family room (for all of about eight days) but alas, it had to end some time...

And you know what goes perfect with 1k pounds of cabinets? 1k pounds of tiles... being delivered Friday.... talk about motivation.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Saturday we took a break from the house and enjoyed a beautiful day at the Virginia Wine Festival with some of our friends which, in turn, meant that Sunday we had to be up and at Home Depot by 8:30am to get our supplies for the day. After a rough thirty minutes working with the slowest/ oldest Home Depot truck rental guy, we managed to bring home our second truck load of sub-floor and get the day started.

We were also lucky enough to have my Dad help us out for the day.

My Dad working at framing up the ceiling for the bathroom.

Ryan measuring out the last few boards for the first sub-floor.
It was quite an exciting day because we now have a door to our "bathroom"! Of course, this came after a second Home Depot trip and quite a few brainstorming sessions but nonetheless, you can actually close a door. I call that progress.

My Dad and Ryan framing out the door. Ignore the ugly door we'll be replacing .

Finished Product! Woohoo!

We decided to get a door that would match the doors in the family room so in the end we'll stain this bad boy a dark mahogany and paint the trim white to match the closet and basement doors. We also plan on replacing the door to out back to have a more uniform look, especially since you can see this door from the family room/kitchen. I'm thinking a white door with glass panels.

Ryan also almost finished the first sub-floor. Unfortunately, since I chose travertine tiles (all 1k lbs. of them), we have to put down a second sub-floor once we're done with this one but hey, atleast you can walk on it.

Ryan working on the last couple of sections of the first subfloor.
While we were at Home Depot, I picked out about fifty samples of colors for the walls. When I brought them home, it was obvious that a really light grey was going to be the winner. I still want to buy a small can so I can put it on the wall and make sure I like it (especially since it will end up covering almost our whole downstairs) but so far, I'm pretty in love with it. It also looks good with our current wall color which means we don't need to paint the upstairs hallway, quite yet...

Subway tiles with our kitchen floor tiles and the paint sample.
I like how it's warm enough to go with the beiges but light enough to make the room feel airy. Tonight our goal is to finish up the first sub-floor and start on the second. After all, we are going to need room for the millions of cabinets that we're getting delivered tomorrow (clearly a bit early, sigh).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday, Friday, Fridayyyyy

Tiles order- check!
Kitchen cabinets delivery changed to Tuesday- check!

And it's before noon on a Friday. I'd call this a productive day, no? (Note, when I wrote that it was before noon, it is now after 1:30pm and I still haven't posted this.)

On another note, one negative about keeping all of your possessions hidden by plastic is the tape that goes along with said plastic. Not only is it the tape, per say, it's what the tape does to your walls... and what does it do to your walls? You may ask. It takes the paint off which, in turn, means we need to re-paint the family room, sigh. And because nothing is easy with me, I've decided I want to change the color...and the ceiling color, who ever thought to paint a ceiling beige when your kitchen ceiling is white is just delusional. Decisions, decisions. The hard part is the room is already large and once the kitchen is done, it's basically going to be one huge room. So I'm now toying with a few ideas.

The first is painting it a light beige with a more yellow undertone.

I'll take the couches too, thanks ;)

The second is painting it a light grey that would still go well with the beiges in the kitchen.

I like this color grey which is still warm and goes with the beiges.

The third is painting it a light blue that would go well with the beige in the kitchen and the grey that would most definitely pop up somewhere :)

Here's a light blue that still looks almost grey...
I also decided to not go with green subway tile in the kitchen. I don't want to tie myself down with a color so I'm leaning towards champagne subway tiles or possibly even the grey-blue ones that I originally thought would be better suited for a bathroom. The thing is I want the room to be open, light and airy without huge injections of white (it's just not realistic in our household). I'm also planning on getting a new couch and a new rug so there's nothing really tying us down. So, what do you think? Beige, grey or blue? Anyone??