Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When trying to organize the closets this past weekend, I realized I have 3 (yup, 3!) light fixtures in huge boxes waiting to be hung. One for the dining room, one for the living room, and one for the bathroom. It's time for those to go up! I called the electrician that has the best reputation in my neighborhood and spoke to them about the situation (changing the recessed lights to the pendant lights) and they walked me through the estimate and all it entailed with great detail. They then gave me a high end estimate and I made an appointment for them to come out and take a look.
Wouldn't you know that the high end estimate was just as I had budgeted! Ahh... the joy. I had first cringed a little after hearing the number, then frantically rushed to the budget spreadsheet to see if I had even included this in there or if this was one of my "extras". I love when I am ahead of myself. It's the best feeling.
Soon, there will be an actual light in the dining room/section! Oh, and more importantly, more space in my closets!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Since we will most likely have to vacate the house during the first floor renovation for a few days, does it make sense to do it over the Christmas holiday? Do contractors work then? Is this a good idea, or a terrible idea? I can't decide. It would make sense since we would be staying at my folks house for a few days anyway, might as well have people working on the house. Or... not. This would also mean I wouldn't be able to see their progress. Scary.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Since we have to water the grass morning and night (that stops today though!), I went out Monday night to move the sprinkler and *thought* I closed the backdoor as I rushed back in to watch Heroes. About 15 minutes later I glanced over to see the door ajar. No kittens to be found (Dylan and Nina are indoor cats). Dan rushed upstairs to find Nina as I hurried outback with the flashlight. Thankfully the sprinkler was on and prevented Dylan from heading into the yard and slipping under the gate (this is how Phantom squeezes in). However, he was under our neighbors deck on top of their basement roof. A small crawl space. Twenty minutes (and one tuna can of bait) later, I wrestled him out and scurried back in the house. He was pissed. Since he is also over 20 pounds, this is not an easy feat. He is strong too - and was not too happy about cutting his outside freedom short. Oh, until he ate some of the tuna, then it was all cool.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
* photo from backyardcraftsmen.com
Check out this photo slide on HGTV!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
In other news, looks like we are going to try and get the first level done by year's end or soon after. Though there is question on how we are going to do it. Since we are going to be refinishing all the flooring on the first floor, how are we going to live there? We could do what we did last time and go to a hotel - but that was mainly for the showering (since we don't have a full bath on the first floor). This time, we can technically live upstairs and just use plastic sheeting to cut off the downstairs (dust, I will never forget, the dust). The trouble is, how do we get up there? There really is one way. A ladder from the deck to the second floor. I can see it now. Climbing up the ladder with a backpack filled with pop-tarts and Bud Light after a hard day of work. Maybe this is not the best of ideas. . ..
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In many ways, renovating a home is a luxury. In most cases those who do it are not buying an inhabitable building or renovating for safety or functionality - it is mainly aesthetic reasons. In our case, the house is perfectly sound. Yes, there are phone and cable problems that need to be worked out - but the house is functional and secure, just not the prettiest of all spaces.
It will certainly be interesting to see where is all leads. With programs like "flip this house" and other home improvement shows on the rise, the amount of jobs and businesses within home renovation have certainly expanded. I realize this is just one of the areas that is going to be compromised by our economic standings, though it is one I think about on a daily basis when running to the hardware store or writing checks to contractors. While the trend fall from travertine and back to ceramic? Will flat screens fall... flat? I guess we will all just have to wait and see.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Overall, the weekend was not a bust. I painted both front and back doors of our rental unit, replaced the doorbell, put up new sconces in the front "hall", painted the front hall, hung some coat racks, and painted the front door trim. Since the front is not finished, I'll save its reveal until the job is done.
Meet our old sconce. It's not pretty people. It was painted on, holding "debris" and just plain ugly:
While changing the sconce I decided to install a new organization center for coats and bags and mail. Here is the before:
And, the after:
Not the best picture, but you get the idea. Hopefully this will stop our coats and bag piling up on the dining room table. But, I'm not going to count on it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Which brings me to my next point. There are so many things I want to incorporate into this house I keep telling myself I can do the ones I don't choose in the "next house". So, I think I should start a "next house" section. All the ideas I can't use now, but will want to save for the future. Hence "Future Plans Friday". Every Friday I will give out some ideas too big or too much for our little rowhouse. This weeks is fire pits:
You can get your standard fire pit:
This one is under $50 from Wal-Mart.
Or, you can really kick it up a level with a built in fire pit like some of the ones Colorado Hearth & Home have. Check them out here.
Either way, it seems pretty fun!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
No word on who our mystery yard worker is. I hope we will find out soon.
Hurricane Hannah (or Tropical Storm Hannah) watered all our plants and filled our front fountain to the top (it was completely dry beforehand). If measuring by an planter in the back of the house we received about 10-12 inches of rain during the storm. Yikes! The tiny black kitten who used our yard as their litter box was apparently drinking from the planter filled with water last night. Dan saw him/her out on the deck but it ran away when we came to the door. Maybe the kitten did the raking?
Friday, September 5, 2008
This morning as I was having my coffee I noticed a small black thing in the yard. It was a baby kitten who has decided that the nicely raked yard is now his/her litter box. Awesome.
Seriously, I can't wait for the grass. . .
Thursday, September 4, 2008
He makes a perfect steak, kicks my ass in tennis, is an amazing journalist, and would give you the shirt of his back. That's why I am lucky to have him as my buddy through this renovation adventure.
Happy 3 year anniversary hun!
Love, your wife, Ben
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I am a little tentative to actually write down plans with dates. I like the "steps" method. This way, I can really procrastinate and no one is the wiser. Well, not this time (I hope). I ordered the lights and the new doorbell cover. Now I will have to get some mailboxes and I will be ready. Here are the lights I picked out:
And, the new doorbell (which is "suppose" to be oil-rubbed bronze to match the lights):
Picking out those lights took MONTHS. I know, it's like "really", "really it took you months" (btw - I like to put words in your mouth, hope you like it). I saw some I liked at our local large box store and then, poof I started to see that same design everywhere. I was at a loss. I also had to find a light for below the front steps into our tenants place. For real, how DO I do it all! It was quite a pickle finding a set that I liked. Hopefully I still like these by the time September 13th rolls around. . .
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
**In this photo (from left): Katie, Jeremy, and Dan. They put up with my home improvement cravings when we were on vacation - thanks guys!