Sunday, October 25, 2009

Slideshow Addendum


Lindsay reminded me that I had forgotten our favorite before & after. I didn't notice until I had put it on the slideshow -- it's kinda like one of those weight loss commercials where the before image, usually black & white, shows the guy hunched over and smoking a cigarette or coughing, while the after image, in beautiful color, shows the guy frolicking in a field of green. Well, maybe not quite so dramatic, but notice the tools and dust vs. strawberries and platters. At least I thought it was funny.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Before & After "Slideshow"

We had our housewarming party on Sunday. I made a before and after slideshow for the party, but I'm a little late posting it. I decided to abbreviate it somewhat -- it was much longer!

Anyway, here's a before and after of the front of our house. Lindsay did all the landscaping and design -- I was just around for hauling bags. Also, she built almost all of the two-tier retaining wall -- it was going to be three-tiers, but Walmart stopped stocking our bricks, as they are a seasonal item. It's hard to see the far end of the wall, but it is five bricks high over there. (There's a whole story about the drainage over there -- basically, there was none, so I installed a new elbow and french drain before we got started. I'll spare you the details, but feel free to ask if you're interested.) There are some hidden bulbs planted too -- it should be really pretty in the spring!

My major project before the party was to finish the kitchen floors and cabinets. The whole process was: 1) Pull up the two layers of linoleum 2) Remove all the nails and staples from the floor 3) Use adhesive remover to get rid of the adhesive 4) Sand the floors with 40, 80, 120, and 220 grit paper 5) Apply wood stain (2 coats) 6) Apply polyurethane (3 coats). It was a lot of work, but I think it turned out pretty nice, plus it was cheap. Same deal with the cabinets -- we pulled them down, cleaned them with mineral spirits, lightly sanded, primed, and painted (Behr Premium Plus "Frost", if you're wondering). We also got new hardware, which I think looks really nice. We have a few more project ideas for the kitchen -- we are going to add more cabinets, a pantry, and an island. We're also planning to change the countertops -- something stone and dark. Anyway, here are some before and afters:

Finally, the story with Nibs. After she was back to health and being hyper in our house, we decided to drop her off at a wildlife rehab center. When she was there, she learned how to be a squirrel -- make a nest, forage for food, etc. When she passed rehab, she got to come home! She's living in a tree in our backyard now. Lindsay showers our backyard with corn regularly, so we get to see Nibs every once in a while. I won't tell you how long Lindsay staked out Nibs' tree to get the after shot :P

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This weekend

So the lull is over -- we've been doing more work on the house for the last few days. In particular, we've been working on the kitchen floor and the front yard. Without further ado...

There were a lot of old floors in the kitchen. #1 and #2 were the linoleum floors (most recent). (The black stuff on the floor is the adhesive -- I used Adhesive Remover (duh) to get it off the floor.) #3 is, in fact, a carpet threshold strip. Yes, there was carpet throughout the house, including the kitchen (eww) at some point. No carpet when we moved in, though. #4 is the new threshold for linoleum that was just screwed in over the carpet threshold -- pretty awesome. #5 is the screws, nails, and staples that I took out of the floor. Better pic coming up:

This is about 1 hours worth of removal. I ended up doing about 3 hours worth of removal all together. As such, I needed to get some wood filler to fill all those holes:

This picture was taken after I had sanded once with a 40 grit paper, and filled in some of the holes. I hope to be finished sanding and filling in a couple days. After that, I'll stain it a nice dark color, and slap on some polyurethane.

Next up -- the front yard. Lindsay has been chomping at the bit to put some landscaping in our front yard. The first goal was to remove the grass for about 5 feet in front of the house, and to remove some ugly bush/weeds we had growing. The sucker in the next picture was so heavy that the yard service wouldn't pick it up! (For the record, I couldn't either. I stole a trick from TV to get it out of the ground. I dug out all around it, sat down next to it, put my feet on the side of the house, and leg pressed it right out of the hole!) By the way, check out the spigot we uncovered!

Here's a teaser. We decided to build up a retaining wall (or three) and make a tiered front yard. It has turned out very nice -- some of the plantings are already in. Here's what it looked like after grass removal, before wall building. More when it is done!

Finally, in case you are following along, I didn't forget about the toilet. I ended up having to replace the hose from the wall to the toilet -- it was some old plastic part that had sprung a leak. I replaced it with a nice steel braided hose -- I feel like I need a Tim Taylor laugh here.