Monday, September 12, 2011

Shower Progress

While I was at class on Friday, Dad put the quarter round trim around the edges of the tile of the shower.  Saturday, we grouted the tiles and installed the window.  We also got the fixtures in place.  Sunday, we installed the shower door.  It's really coming along.  Now, we just need to finish the wall above the tile.  We've smoothed it out with joint compound.  It still needs to be textured and painted.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Laborious Labor Day

Sunday morning Dad and I got the backerboard up.  We had to cut each piece to size (thankfully, only four).  I did that with the diamond blade (cement is tough stuff and wouldn't cut with a normal blade).  Dad screwed it into place.  He especially loves impact drivers.  When he did the Shingle Springs house when I was an infant, putting backerboard up took forever because all the holes had to be predrilled through the board.  A screw never would have gotten through.  Despite the relative quickness of the impact driver, it was still lunch time when we got the backerboard completely up.  Having to cut holes for plumbing slowed things down a bit.

After lunch, we applied the tile to one side of the shower.  Dad put up the thinset, I put up the tile, Dad cut the ones that needed cutting.  By this point in time, it was obvious we needed more thinset and tile spacers before we could finish the job.  So, we ended the day with a purchase.

Mom had spent her day painting the front porch and trim.  It's looking good!

Monday arrived, as did much tiling work to do.  The morning went slowly because the new spacers we purchased were awful.  They didn't stay in place, so we had to constantly battle them, which slowed us down.  After lunch, Mom bought us some better ones and we moved along much more quickly.  Here I am cleaning up the second wall.  After the thinset has dried a bit, we remove the spacers and scrape out the space between the tiles so there's plenty of room for the grout.  We also wipe all the thinset off the tiles.  It's almost impossible to remove if it dries all the way, so it's important to do it when we did.

We got the third wall done in the evening.  Cleaning up the bathroom took a bit of time - there was dust and thinset everywhere!

The missing tile is where the soap dish will go.

Shower's still not usable.  We need to do the trim and grout.  Then the plumbing.  Then it will be usuable, but will still need a window, the window above the tile textured and painted, and a shower door.  Two more weekends until the open house.  We can do it!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Start of the Shower

The long weekend is being used to redo my shower.  Friday, while I was at drawing class, Dad removed the old masonite 'tile' and the plumbing fixtures that were outside the wall.

That afternoon, we bought the new fixture and all the plumbing pieces we would need to make it work.

Saturday, Mom cut out the window hole in the sheetrock.  (A window had been in the bathroom at some point in the past and had been removed, but only sort of.  Sheetrock covered the hole on the inside and some outside cover had been created, but the basics of the hole were still there.)  I framed the new window since it is to be 24 x 12 instead of 24 x 24.  (I know it looks funny, but the 'garden' room is behind the bathroom, so the window 'sort of' goes outside.

I then patched the sheetrock and hung cardboard on the outside of the hole because the window that will go there has not arrived yet.  During this time, Dad was doing the new plumbing.  We also found out that my smoke detectors work quite well - soldering makes a bit of smoke.  Luckily, my bathroom fan also works well, so we didn't have the ringing the entire time we soldered.  We really should have turned it on at the beginning.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Once all the new connections had been made, Dad wanted to pressure test them.  Makes sense because I sure as heck wouldn't want to find out they leak after we've put the wall back and the tile up.  First one checking the copper soldered connections went fine, even the one Dad was worried about.  Then we added the CPVC pipe running up to the shower head and tested it.  All of a sudden, water was flying everywhere and I was yelling at Dad to turn it off.  He hadn't screwed one of the end caps on all the way!  We fixed that and then discovered that the new connection was, indeed, leaking.  A couple more turns of the pipe solved that problem.

Then we patched the giant hole with sheetrock.  Enough work for the day.  Backerboard and tile next time.

During this, Mom was outside doing physical labor.  I previously had cut down a lot of brush - more than would fit in one can of yard waste.  Mom cut a bunch and filled another bin for me.  After lunch, she then moved a bunch of dirt around - taking it from beside the house (where we don't want it) and filling various random holes in the backyard.  It will be nice to have a relatively level backyard.  I'm anticipating her feeling sore today and taking it relatively easy.  We'll see.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recent House Happenings

So, the work on the house has slowed down a bit; we're nearing completion!  In the last 2 weekends, we just worked three days.  We got the toekicks installed in the kitchen, as well as the ceiling trim around the cabinets.  Mom painted part of the super hot wall, but has now decided that it really can wait for cooler weather.  Dad removed the old posts from the front porch and replaced them with more substantial ones that look much nicer.

Next weekend, the last major project: redoing the shower.

Things still left to do: exterior paint (the super hot wall and the trim)
                                  closet doors
                                  bathroom ceiling trim

Monday, August 15, 2011

Things That Begin With G

Grout and Garage!

That's what Dad and I worked on while Mom was out of town.

Friday morning we grouted the kitchen tile.  First, we applied the grout with our trowels.  After it hardened for a bit, we wiped the excess off.  Over and over and over and over and over again.  Eventually, it was wonderfully shiny again.

I totally love it!

That afternoon we bought some wood for trim in the kitchen.

Saturday was a half-day of work, but we accomplished a lot.  I had saved the cabinets from the kitchen when I took them out.  We spent the morning installing them in the garage.  There wasn't enough space for the full L of the lower cabinets, so we didn't install the smaller part, which was kind of broken from being removed anyway.  We were able to install both the upper cabinets, but not their doors.  They were stupidly designed so that the door doesn't go the full length of all the cabinets and cuts off about a foot of the top shelf.  We decided no doors would be more functional.  On top of the base cabinet, we used an old door from the removed garage conversion as a counter top.  It fit perfectly so we didn't have to cut it in anyway!

Sunday, we installed pegboard in the garage corner and I moved in a bunch of stuff.  The garage is now totally clean and I can park a car in there!

I also converted the nearest outlet from a 220 one to a 110 one so that will be quite useful.  Dad fixed a kitchen outlet that was sticking out from the tile too far.  He then caulked the connection of the kitchen tile to the counter.  Apparently that was a pain since the counter was wood.  The caulk doesn't wipe up nearly as well as on tubs and tiles.  I also got the kitchen trim pieces rubbed with Minwax so they'll be ready to go up next weekend.

We're so close to being done.  It's awesome.  I'll keep you posted about an open house coming in the future.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Other Accomplishments From the Weekend

Dad and I spent the weekend tiling, but Mom was busy, too.  She caulked around the frame of the new door and painted it.  She cut and painted shelves for the master bedroom closet.  That took a while because the wood had previously been painted blue and yellow - she needed many coats.  She was going to rehang the linen closet doors when she realized that they had gotten messed up when drying from their first paint job.  So, she scraped the bumps off and repainted - needing many coats.  They're now ready (again) to be rehung.  She also touched up the exterior paint around the electric panel.  The panel has been replaced since painting and was moved slightly, so original color was visible.  She also painted the wire that was run through so it wouldn't be so noticeable.  While none of the tasks Mom accomplished were exciting, they were all necessary.  Yay!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tile Work!

The day finally arrived for us to do the tile back splash in the kitchen.  I've been waiting for this for a long time.  I designed it months and months ago and finally get to see it come together.

First, everything had to be carefully planned to know how much to cut off the first tile so that the ending ones wouldn't look stupid.  Dad cut those first tiles with his tile saw.  We also got the counters covered with plastic to keep them nice.

When we were ready to begin, Dad mixed up the thinset (thin concrete-like stuff used to attach the tile to the wall) and I dipped the tiles (since they're ceramic, the suck a lot of moisture out of the thinset if they're not wet first).  Dad then applied the thinset to the wall (we chose to not use backer board for this project since strength wasn't a concern).

We then pressed the tiles into place using 1/8 inch spacers.

Along the top of the tile over the sink (no cabinet overhead) I applied some trim pieces.  First, the thinset had to be back-buttered onto the piece.

We kept applying tiles until we were at the corner.  Then, I cut the pieces to fit there.

We removed the spacers and wiped off the excess thinset.  Not enough time for grout this weekend, so we know what we'll be doing next time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Variety of Tasks Over the Weekend

We got several different project finished this weekend.

On the outside, Mom finished painting the cracks and spaces the roller couldn't reach on the front of the house.

We have one exterior wall left to fill the cracks on and paint.  Plus, all the trim work.

Dad moved dirt away from one side of the house to keep it protected from the elements.

We got a lot done inside.  We finished the texture around the door and got the texture around the window ready to paint.

We got the areas primed.

And painted.

We also got the blinds up.  Now, all the windows are properly covered.

We also finished the ceiling and floor moulding now that the last work on the walls was finished.

Another major task was Mom and I removing the front ramp thing.  This is what it looked like beforehand.  Quite ugly.

We put in a couple hours of destruction and black widow killing.

The end result.  Looking much better.  Still has some painting and column work to do, but it's definitely an improvement.  Although, Dad keeps forgetting it's no longer there and tripping as he comes out the door.

Dad also put in some GFI outlets.  Things are moving right along.  At this point, the inside is virtually finished with the spring/summer plan.  We still need to do the kitchen tile and trim and rehang the linen closet doors.  On the outside, we need to finish the exterior paint and trim and get the electric panel replaced (in process of getting scheduled).  When those things happen, we'll be finished with this phase of improvement!

Things on the longer term to do list:  redo bathroom shower, reroof, tear down random garden room.  So amazing!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What Mom & Dad Have Been Doing This Week, Part 2


Joint compound at the joints & in holes


Another exterior wall painted

Blinds hung in guest room

Blinds hung in my room and bed moved in

Exterior around new door primed

Around garage painted

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Mom & Dad Have Been Doing This Week, Part 1


Porch light installed

Insulation & drywall

First exterior wall painted


Drywall and seam foam

Cracks sealed & new stucco primed

Second exterior wall painted