Tuesday, December 2, 2008

64 Coffees, 12 Trips to Lowe's, 4 Visits to Home Depot, 3 Gallons of Paint and 400 Man Hours

That's pretty much what went into the family room project. The extended Team T-J (us and my parents) worked our tails off, hyped up on Dunkin coffee and adhesive fumes to finish in time to host Thanksgiving, but barely. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up, but the room looks amazing and we are thrilled with the results. Check out the project from start to finish here:

As a side benefit of this massive undertaking, Matt became quite the carpenter. Check out his collection of templates:

What can I say? I'm a lucky lady!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bruce is in the house!

Our Bruce flooring that is. It came in earlier than expected and just as we finished the beadboard. We just might be back on track after all. Or will we?

Progress after Day One of floor installation:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rock Out With Your Caulk Out

Sorry, but the pun. It was irresistible.

We began the first weekend AD (after discovery of the floor issue) by purchasing, cutting and painting the beadboard, painting the room and starting on the beadboard.That day only two panels were hung. Color me frustrated.

Even Doug was annoyed with how slow the progress was

Over the next few weeks Matt and Glen slaved away weekend after weekend, scribing cuts on to beadboard, hanging said beadboard, discussing molding options and finally getting to use our caulking gun. Sue and I headed up trim painting. You'd be amazed how much trim was in that room.

Finally all of the beadboard was hung by the chimney with care, with hopes that hardwoods soon we be there.

Great job guys! The room looks amazing and as Glen pointed out, a professional couldn't have done a better job.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family Room, Weekend One - the DRAMA

Before - A Pink and Green Paradise

As with most 401 Cape projects, the family room renovation began with an organized and well-padded timeline in place. We peeled back a corner of the carpet to reveal that there were subfloors in the room (score) and confirmed that hardwoods and beadboard would be installed. The room color was still under discussion. The team had also volunteered to host Thanksgiving, so we went around and around about starting this monster project before or after the holidays. While hotly contested, before the holidays won out.

Last winter proved a severe lack of heat in the family room, thus the installation of radiant heating was discussed. Research was conducted and an informational DVD was ordered to learn how to install it. Upon viewing the first five minutes of the DVD, it was determined that we were in over our heads. Plan B (a.k.a. having the existing electric baseboard repaired) was implemented. That went smoothly and we even had the electrician install a wire to add another baseboard later if we needed it. Look at us thinking ahead...

A scouting mission revealed that Home Depot had the best deal on the floors we needed, so we ordered them on Saturday afternoon and headed home. Then, in a Trading Spaces-like frenzy, we cleared the room and ripped out the carpet. That's when we hit the first roadblock of the project - only half of the room had subfloor and the other half was cement.

We called in the Glen Squad.

For those of you who don't know my Dad, Glen, he's always the first to swoop in to help with a home improvement catastrophe. Since he signed up to help us hang the beadboard and install the floors, the cement issue was a problem for him, too. Some drilling revealed that we weren't dealing with cement board that could be pulled up and replaced with subfloor, we were dealing with a cement slab. HOT!

We went back and forth about what to do:
  • Install another carpet: Nope.
  • Split the room and put tile down on the cement side and hardwoods on the other: That would make the room look small and stupid.
  • Tile the whole room: Too cold.
  • Put in new subfloors: Nope - Expensive and would require raising the doors and heater.
We went with the one that was unspeakable for the first 12 hours after our discovery - engineered hardwood (Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF and a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued on the top surface of the core. The product thus has the natural characteristics of the selected wood species as opposed to a photographic layer. The "engineered" product has been designed to provide greater stability, particularly where moisture or heat pose problems for solid hardwood floors. )

This decision required returning the flooring that we had bought (but luckily not picked up yet) and finding engineered flooring the same width and color as the floors in the rest of the house. The only one we could find was ordered at Lowe's. That's when we found out it was on back order. Until November 10. As a reminder, Thanksgiving falls on November 27 this year. Looks like the timeline is shot to shit yet again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Getting Our Mojo Back - Kitchen and Hallway

We took some time off to focus on being puppy parents and had trouble getting our mojo back. How to solve the problem? Decide to host your grandmother's 88th birthday party! We got a ton done in a few weeks including painting the kitchen, hallway, five doors and taking on a landscaping project. It all worked out in the end, but was far from fun while it was happening.

Behold the thankless project known as the hallway:

We were so excited to get the kitchen done. We'd been chipping away at the project since we moved in by replacing the cabinet hardware, switch plates, dishwasher, stove and covering up the fruity tiles with tile tattoos, but waiting to take down the country wallpaper and brass light fixture was torture. The birthday party was just the motivation we needed to get the job done. We chose "shady cove green" to coordinate with the stained glass blue lobster my grandmother had given us for a wedding gift. The room is so comfortable and so us now.

Monday, May 5, 2008

We got a puppy!

Meet Doug. He's a ball of puppy goodness and we adore him. Most of the time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Living on a prayer...

We tackled the living room at the same time we worked on the dining room and hit all of the same issues. We also wore the same outfits. Finishing this room was a great accomplishment for the team - we started to taste the victory that carried us through the next few projects.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dining Room: 1; Team T-J: 2

Pretty much everything that could go wrong in this room did - it took forever to take the wallpaper down, the walls were holey and uneven and rejected our skim coating attempts, then the primer puddled on the wall, blah blah blah... With all of the roadblocks we hit, this room took us about three months from start to finish. Good times.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Everything's Happy Underground

As we were in the midst of the living room/dining room madness, our hot water heater went, flooding the basement. While this room was not even close to the top of our to do list, it rapidly rose to the top when we discovered that the carpet was ruined. There as no sense in crying over the rusty water everywhere, so we ripped out the carpet and had a new one put in. It looks pretty much like the old one, but the update inspired a tri-state road trip that brought a bar, a booth and a ping pong table into our lives. Awesome! Thanks Liz and Bob for your donations to the Underground and to Richard for taking a day to drive all over New England gathering the makings of our basement bar!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Master This, Bedroom

After conquering the office, we decided to renovate the master bedroom. The main issue here was the abundance of mint green paint (on the walls, the trim, the doors, the heater...). It took a few weekends to banish the color, but we eventually won.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Seriously - You People Are Killing Me

Dear Previous Owners,

Happy New Year! We just wanted to thank you for painting every surface in the house a different coordinating color. We especially wanted to give a big shout out for the master bedroom. Ah, mint green. It is funny how what appears to be a harmless color can take over your life (and weekend) when covering every surface. Walls. Trim. Closet doors. Shutters to the storage under the eaves. The heating register. All of it. What possessed you to do this? A seven-hour priming marathon barely made a difference and our sanity is at stake. We know it will only get worse when we attack the blue and pink rooms and that scares the bejezzus out of us. So thanks. Thanks for killing our dream and our schedule of renovations.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Office

As all three of my readers know, Matt works from home, so setting up his office was one of the first things we did upon moving in. As far as rooms in our house went, this one wasn't too bad. There wasn't any wallpaper (one of two rooms out of 10 to achieve this status) and the trim was actually white (score) so he figured he could live with the stenciled sunflower border for awhile. Which he did.

Finally in January when the New Year's Eve hangover wore off and the memories of the horror that was the bathroom renovation had faded, we decided to take on the office.

It actually wasn't too bad in retrospect. The main goals were removing the sunflowers from sight, painting the walls a slightly different yellow and removing the previous owner's paint spatters from the hardwood floors.

To remove the traces of former paint jobs gone wrong, we purchased Goof Off. I gotta tell you, this stuff is GOOD. It is also strangely addictive. Over the past five months I've spent no fewer than two days using this stuff on every inch of or floors. It works and it is cheap and you might even get a bit of a contact high from it. I'm just sayin...

Here is the room during said painting/removing weekend:

And here are the after photos...

We were going for a modern, hippy vibe that I think we accomplished.

For more pictures, check out the slideshow: