Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Days 2 and 3

New underground plumbing installed for the master bath and powder bath.  That end closest to the bottom of the picture is floor drain for the water heater.  It will be in the mechanical room now instead of stuck out in the middle of the floor.

This is the drain pipe for the kitchen and upstairs bathroom.  It had been several inches out from the wall.  Now it will be hidden in the wall like it should be.

Here's the trash dumpster, a load of 2x4s for the framing that will start Friday, and a pallet of concrete.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 1

It looks so much better already, just getting that nasty carpet out of there.

We have to move a bunch of plumbing, which requires big holes in the floor.  John is starting to cut the concrete.  They let me run the saw too, great fun!  I tried the sledgehammer too but after 3 swings I decided to stick to power tools, lol.

Starting to break out the chunks.  I helped a little with this too because it was more fun than the work I was actually supposed to be doing.

Here is the biggest hole.  There are 3 smaller ones around the room too.  I was tired just from the little bit I did, and these guys did it for hours on end.  Either they are Men of Steel or I'm a big baby.   I'm gonna go with mostly big baby, lol.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Before pics of the basement

I'm standing just inside the doorway, looking at what has been our lovely office since we moved in.

I had already cleaned up most of the mess before I remembered to take pictures.  Kids sure can scatter their stuff everywhere.

That door to the left leads to the root cellar.  Not sure why they never put in a step, I know they used it all the time.

That pellet stove on the back wall is just about the only thing staying.

This corner was intended to be a mother-in-law kitchen area.  There is 220 power for a stove, and plumbing.  I have no idea what the deal is with the window.  The room on the other side is a storage room, and there is no window from that side.
I might miss the door a little bit.  The last owner was a maintenance man at the hospital, and salvaged a lot of stuff.  I'm pretty sure the door came from the psych ward.

The stairs will be getting new carpet and new tile on the landing.

We built this little box room as we unpacked.  You'll see why in the next photo.  The kids had a fabulous time demolishing it today.

Why yes, yes that IS a functional toilet out there in the middle of the room.  With nary a window covering in sight.  What's that?  You'd like a closer look because you just can't believe that would be true?

And yes, it IS up on a box.  There is nothing weird about the plumbing.  The guy was just a tall guy and it was more comfortable this way.  The curling linoleum is a nice touch I think.

I'm still astounded that these people lived here for over 20 years and never finished the basement.  20 years of looking at insulation and that butt ugly carpet.  And a toilet with no privacy.  Wow. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Next Monday!

Next Monday they will begin demo of the basement.  You wouldn't think there would be much demo since it was never finished, but there is a bit.  We are moving some plumbing so part of the concrete has to come up.  All of this nasty old carpet has to come out.  The Psych Ward door is coming out.  The 28 year old furnace is coming out.

Good news is that they won't start on the kitchen until the 8th, so we'll still have that for a little while longer.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Oh my, FINALLY getting started with this!  We moved to this house in late April, but started interviewing contractors a month before.  The kitchen is *desperately* in need of updating, and the basement has never been finished (in 20+ years!).  After talking to probably 8 different contractors, I lost count long ago, and getting ridiculous prices, or a complete runaround, or people flaking out on us, we finally found a contractor who seemed extremely professional and reasonable - ABD.  Even after we picked a contractor, it was still a very painful process, because what we want done really costs so much more than we wanted to spend, lol.  Anyway, the contract has been signed and we are now moving ahead.  Work should start sometime after Labor Day.

I'll start with the kitchen.  Here are some 'before' pictures, before we moved in actually.  It hasn't been this clean since then.  So all the stuff you see isn't ours.

Yes, that is PINK 20+ year old laminate countertops.  And a cabinet door that won't close.

That empty spot was supposed to be for a dishwasher that was never installed, nor was plumbing run for it.

I can't decide which part is most hideous, the pink counter, that awful white tile wall, the light on that wall, or the amazingly grotesque light on the ceiling.  The upper cabinets and that soffit are all coming down.

The stove has no ventilation.  There used to be a fan mounted in the wall above it, but that was drywalled over at some point.

There is a lot of counter space though.

But wow, those cabinets are ugly, and very poor construction.  That's a lazy susan there in the left corner that doesn't really close all the way.

Okay, here is a drawing of how it is now.

Here is what it will be.  We are swapping the stove and sink, adding a pantry (there isn't one at all now), adding a window over where the sink will be, and switching to a gas stove rather than electric.  Now is the time to do that since all of the piping is exposed in the basement.  We are adding a microwave cubby in the pantry area to get it off the regular counter.

This isn't exactly accurate anymore, since the new tile will also go behind the open, floating shelves on the stove wall.  The cabinet elevations are also filler, since that isn't quite what it will look like.

The old tile is awful, that's our new laminate that looks like tile on the left.

This is pretty hard to see, but the little tiles on the top left are accent pieces with a wavy shape to them, the tan tile is a smaller piece of what will be the backsplash, the wood piece is the cabinet color.  The bigger reddish piece of laminate will be an accent color on the raised bar, the dark brown piece will be the main countertops, and the black piece is what will be the sink.  I can't remember what its called but its supposed to be maintenance/scratch/damage free.  I've never had a dark sink but know that I hate porcelain and Corian, and stainless scratches so easily too, so we'll give this a try.