Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog-ality Homemakeover 4

Tons to share this week. Can not believe how much has changed since last Monday. After talking to other Remodel Survivors, there's always these periods of crazy activity and then total slow downs.

Well, last week was full speed ahead. It started Monday morning with the floors finally going in. The boxes were opened and acclimated to our house since last Thursday. There was a bit of a scuffle when the installers didn't want to do a moisture check on the cement slab or lay a moisture barrier before laying the wood. REALLY??? We insisted and watched them pour this glue with a moisture component included called Mapie 995. Then the boards started flying. I was absolutely surprised how quickly they were able to get things going.

Within a half hour they had almost completed half the first room. Way cool! We left them to it while we went over to pick up our induction cooktop and pop up vent. We were gone for about three hours. Came home and couldn't open the front door. They had gotten the floors done so quickly that they went ahead and started on demo-ing the living/ dining room floors out. Something they weren't supposed to start until Wednesday. We had to scramble to pull our entire surround system apart and get the TV out of the way.

Now it's time for the cabinets to roll in. Tuesday morning started with not one pickup truck but two crammed full with our cabinets.

It was thrilling to watch them bring everything in and arrange it in the space. The kitchen is starting to look normal again, albeit different than what was there before.

Wednesday was granite template day. We drove out to the Rock Yard and had them place the framing pieces they put together Tuesday night up against the granite we chose. It is called Geriba Gold and works in a lot of the colors we have in the kitchen. It is so beautiful and has tons of movement. Playing with the framing was like putting a huge puzzle together. It was kinda fun!

By Friday it was ready to go in. I felt like dancing. I don't know how only two people were able to finagle all of those weighty rocks into the house, but they did it.

Definitely not without drama of course. As they are putting the pieces out, there's a problem with the cabinets. One side was 1/8th of an inch lower than the other side. It was a couple of tense minutes watching them while they tried to figure it all out. At the end they loosened the cabinet and slid it in. Then they couldn't slide the huge single sink piece into place. Can you imagine me cringing as they start shoving and gouging the dry wall until it goes in? Yeah, it was awful, but it's there.

Now it's time to fret over the island piece. The hole they cut just barely fit the cooktop and the pop up vent. They had to cut out these little side divets to make it fit. Only to discover that the pop up doesn't fit down into the cabinet correctly. There's this huge panel on the back that juts out like a little mountain. They have to carve out pieces of the cabinet backing to make it fit and then resupport it along the back. That's okay, though. The pop up is defective anyway and has to go back. It's bent and won't rise to its proper height. Never a dull moment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog-ality Home Makeover 3

It's been a slow week. And I mean S  L  O  W. The workers came Monday morning to clean and patch up drywall and then they left at about 11 (leaving all the doors wide open mind you). And then nothing for the rest of the week.

They were supposed to start installing the brand new hardwood floors on Monday as well, but a certain kerfluffle involving warped boards sent our original order back to the warehouse. And sent us scrambling to locate a back up plan. NO one had what we were looking for. Lumber Liquidators has absolutely no stock on anything we tried. There latest TV commercials about the BIG SALE with tons of inventory? Lies. Bold outright lies. Well, if you want laminate flooring you are set for life. You want something real? Fah-ged-about-it!

We finally located a company in Tampa that had an engineered version of what we needed. We asked them to send us a sample so we could see what the top layer of flooring would look like. There was a brief moment when we almost ordered 65 boxes of a type that had a top layer so small I could break pieces off with my fingernail. We waited and waited for this sample to arrive. Even had a tracking number. When we saw that it was delivered to the wrong place...let's not go there.

Once we saw the sample and felt the layer was thick enough to not wear down pretty easily, we asked when they could ship it. This was last Thursday. They said it wouldn't go out until Monday. Which meant delivery on Friday of the following week. Umm, no. That would push our remodel completion date too far back. There was talk of flying me down to Tampa to rent a UHaul and drive this stuff back home BAH MAH self! The company suddenly decides it doesn't release product to the public, they only ship. So we wait, again.

It finally arrived on Thursday around noon.

And it's gorgeous! So  much variation in color between the boards that it will have a nice movement throughout the house. YAY! Oh wait, now it has to sit for five days and 'acclimatize' to our house.

The only other thing that happened to move this process further was the mantle for the fireplace showing up around 2 on Friday afternoon. We saw this neat design on line and the cabinet guy offered to make it for us. That was nice.

In the mean time. We paint. And paint. And paint. 2 hours each weekday. 4.5 on Saturday and a whopping 7 hours yesterday. Have I mentioned I don't like to paint?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog-Ality Home Makeover 2

Whew! First week of the renovation process is complete. That first day was a big change with everything being demoed. After that it sort of slowed down with little projects each day being started or finished.

Then began the agonizingly slow process of getting the tile grout up from the cement. They tried chipping it, they tried sanding it, then they decided to grind it down. Each taking a day at least. It's all off now. But everything is covered in a fine layer of dust despite the plastic seal they are using.

The next project was what will be forever known as the "Firewall." We have 17 foot cathedral ceilings with oversized windows on either side of the fireplace. Decided that would be a cool accent wall and bought some stacked stone:

They needed scaffolding to reach the top most peak. Little did I know how much I would come to hate that scaffolding. But the wall turned out amazing. It absolutely defines the space {HGTV speak for WOW Factor}.

We asked them to leave the {dreaded} scaffolding to save us the cost of renting our own so that we could paint the sloping ceiling and the support beam ourselves. Boy, oh boy. That not a day of fun.

Five hours with a 12 foot extender pole and a roller. I was completely covered in 'parmesan' paint. Then another four hours to paint the beam to mimic an exposed beam.

What a week!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Blog-ality Home Makeover

How do you like my made up word for the day? Blog-ality is fusing a little bit of that reality TV show craze I've been binging on for the last week and some blogging to share it all with you!

I think it would be so cool to appear on one of those Home Fix It shows that I love: Flip or Flop, Love it or List it, Elbow Room, Yard Crashers. But sadly, no matter how many times I've been in Home Depot no one has approached me with a surprise backyard. Pooh.

That's not going to stop me though! G and I have lived in our current home for the past 14 years. When we bought it the countertops and cabinets were already there. We decided to overlook that and choose flooring and lighting. Since we were transplanted from California and had two dogs we choose some terra cotta tiles and berber carpeting. After the dogs passed we realized just how dirty the carpeting had become. Ugh. It was time to upgrade {or move}. Since the housing market hasn't woken up completely, it was stay here.

We contacted a few designers for a quote. After visiting with them for a few weekends we opted for RCD Designs. They really responded to our needs and were extremely prompt in returning all questions and requests. Many weekends of gazing at granite and touching floor samples ensued.

Now, five months later, the fated day had arrived. It was time to start. I won't go on about how long it took me to pack everything up and move it to other side of the house. I'm just happy the waiting has stopped. Three men came in and immediately started ripping old plywood cabinets off the walls. YAY!

I've been snapping away as they moved through the house. As they do their thing we've been redoing some other projects as well. Including ripping off wallpaper that had been applied directly to the dry wall. SPOILER ALERT: This is not fun! It took four days to complete and repaint a nice medium brown.

Here are some shots of the demo so far. They completely gutted the cabinets, appliances {going to Habitat for Humanity}, and a small island. The mantle came off the fireplace and will be replaced with stacked stone all the way to the ceiling.

Now they are pulling all of the 1300 sq. ft. of tile off the floor. It's a bit noise.