Sunday, January 30, 2011


We spent the day in the kitchen and dining room today.   Mom primed the kitchen this morning.  I scraped the wall of the dining room that will get cabinets.  Dad moved an electric outlet.  It's original location was too low and would be blocked by the future cabinets.  It's now higher and will be usable.  At the same time, since there was already a hole in the wall, Dad installed an outlet in the garage (it's on the other side of the wall).  That will be nice since there was only one in there.

After a lunch break, I got to work texturing the wall of the dining room.  Good times.  The primer was still wet, so Mom and Dad couldn't paint the kitchen.  Dad hung the towel bars in the bathroom (those will be handy when I move in two weeks from now).  Mom dismantled the annoying front structure on the house.  Here's some before and after photos.

So much less annoying, especially for upcoming moving day.  It will eventually just have one large support at the right side, but this will do for now.  The ramp will also be gone, but that will wait until all the large, heavy furniture is where it needs to be.

Mom also go the garage rearranged so there will be more room for my stuff.  That's where most of it will be since I'm moving in long before many of the rooms will be ready.  We quit a bit on the early side today as the primer still wasn't totally dry (darn, cold weather).  We were hoping to get the paint done this weekend so we could go straight to cabinets next, but I guess we'll be a little later than we hoped.  Oh, well.  It'll get done anyway.

Carpet Removal and Other Exciting Adventures

I started the day by touching up the paint job in the study.  Dad patched holes in the kitchen.  Mom removed the carpet in the living room.  It was rather unfortunate that she did as it released a disgusting aroma of urine.  It lingered in the air for quite some time.

And, underneath the disgusting carpet, there was hideous tile.  It was interesting though because it's the same time that was throughout Mom's grandparents' house.  It got us talking about family history and I got to hear some stories that I hadn't before.  It was really nice.

Some of the tiles were loose and broken and need to be removed before we can lay down the laminate.  My plan was to check all the edge ones after the carpet was all up.  As Mom and I moved the couch to get to the last of the carpet, a whole row of the tiles slid along, too.  We busted up laughing - it was great.  Maybe you had to have been there, but it really was funny.

After lunch, Dad kept getting the kitchen ready for texturing.  Mom started doing prep work for that - taping off the ceiling and stuff so the texture wouldn't get on it and ruin her cleaning job (different method of texturing the kitchen than the other rooms, much messier).  I pulled up the carpet that was in the hall closet and removed the random trim from around the dining room window.  

Dad injected a bit of humor into the job of covering things up.  While Mom papered the ceiling, he took care of most of the outlets and switches.

At last it got to be the part of the day for texturing the kitchen. Yay!  Dad mixed up the compound very runny this time.  Then we poured it into the 'gun.'

The 'gun' then got attached to the air compressor.  Then the texture was shot onto the walls.  Tons o' fun!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lots of Paint

I got to the house a little late due to a dentist appointment.  Dad had started working on removing the base cabinets in the kitchen.  Mom was stirring paint to do the study.  It took a bit of doing, but we eventually loosened the cabinets from the wall.  We were about to work on taking it outside when we thought to do some measuring.  Turns out, the corner part was too wide to fit, so we wouldn't be able to swing it around like we thought.  While Dad and I separated the two pieces, Mom went to work painting the study.

Dad and I eventually got the cabinets out, so the kitchen is now totally empty.

At this point, Dad and I went to the store to get some plumbing and various other supplies.  Upon our return, Dad went to work replacing the turn off valves for the kitchen sink and I helped Mom paint the study.  As you can see, she was a bit whimsical with her brush.

About the time we were finishing the study, Dad needed to go to the store.  When he was attempting to replace the valves, the pipes, from being corroded, cracked.  He cut  into the wall and removed the pipes.  Time for him to go back to the store.  So, we all took a break before we began again.  The study looks good, and will likely look even better when the paint is totally dry, instead of spotchily dry.

After break, Dad got to work fixing the pipes (success this time).  Mom and I painted the living room.  Dad also did some patchwork in the kitchen.  Hopefully, we'll be able to spray the orange peel texture Saturday afternoon.  We'll see.  Living room looks good - lots of progress today!

Monday, January 24, 2011

There's a Lot of Dust and Stuff in the Air

Dad started the morning off by sanding the texture in the study.  Dust everywhere in that enclosed room.  Good thing he was wearing his respirator - I don't think he could have taken a breath without it!  It seeped out into the rest of the house and gave the air a hazy quality.  Mom and I primed the living room (Mom wasn't cleaning ceilings - she loved it!).  I did the edges with the brush and she did the rest with the roller.  Dad started priming the study.  That pretty much took up the morning.

After lunch, Dad finished priming while Mom and I did some destruction.  I removed the rest of the tile from the kitchen counter.  This time, I was smart and wore ear plugs so my ears weren't ringing when I was finished.  Tile chunks were flying everywhere, so I was glad I had put on my protective glasses as well.  As a matter of fact, that night, as I was running my fingers through my hair, a quarter inch square piece of ceramic glaze came out.  Mom came behind me, sometimes warily, and removed the backer board for the tile.

After Dad finished priming, he was looking for things to do.  He attached the TP holder in the bathroom and caulked the vanity.

After the tile and backer board were done, Mom and Dad talked in the living room while I removed the kitchen sink.

Alas, Mom and Dad's conversation led to more work for next weekend.  It turns out that we didn't look at the living room window close enough.  It's nailing flange doesn't appear to be nailed into anything.  We need to cut out some wallboard, replace it with a 1x to nail to, and then recover, texture, and prime it.  Oh, joy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Magical Work

This morning started with me moving some more stuff into the garage.  Dad was putting joint compound to the needed parts of the study and Mom was cleaning ceilings.  I started to sand the living room texture so that painting could commence, however, I ended up making more work for us instead.  I discovered that the ceiling molding on one wall had been removed after we textured it.  The paint there had loosened up and needed scraping.  Silly me, I thought this would be a relatively quick job.  Oh, no.....the paint just would not stop coming off in this one place.  It ended up being about the size of a pillow when it finally stopped scraping off.  That's when I had to stop, as it was time to go to a birthday party for a 1-year-old.

Upon my return, something magical had happened.  The kitchen ceiling was just about totally cleaned (now it is) and the study had been almost completely textured.  My parents are the best!

I finally did sand the living room.  We'll be priming the living room and study tomorrow.  Whoohoo!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Something's Done!

I got to the house about 9:45 this morning with some boxes to put in the garage for the start of the moving process.  I found out that my parents had stopped by yesterday and got some more ceilings cleaned - the study got finished and the kitchen halfway.  I went to work in the study adding joint compound to the uneven spots.  After my third batch, it was just after 11 and I was wondering what happened to Mom and Dad as they hadn't arrived yet.  I called and that's when they were pulling up.  They had needed to stop at a few stores on the way in.

After some chit chat we got to work.  Mom, shockingly enough, cleaned ceilings.  Dad installed the molding in the bathroom.

I kept working on the walls in the study.  One corner had to be redone entirely.  The original corner tape was coming undone and needed to be removed.  There was quite a large gap that needed to be taped and compounded.  End result:

Dad and I moved the vanity back into the bathroom.  He then connected the plumbing.  And, it's a completed (mostly) bathroom.  Just need to put the cover plates on the switches and outlets and clean the ceiling.

I continued removing kitchen tile while Dad rescrewed some of the loose wallboard in the study.  Just in time, too, since I'll likely be texturing the walls tomorrow.

That back splash is now almost entirely gone, and my ears stopped ringing just a few hours ago.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Slow Day

Still sick, but not nearly so bad.  I went to the house and did stuff, but was on break more often and for longer periods of time than I was working.

Yesterday, while I was home sleeping, Dad put together my bathroom sink.  It's not in place yet, but soon.  And, surprise, surprise, Mom cleaned ceiling.

Today, I pulled the last of the baseboard from the study.  This was fortuitous as Dad planned to use it as the new baseboard in the bathroom.  The last piece I pulled, he cut to the size needed for there.  After he cut and washed them, I painted them.  They went from disgusting to quite nice.

Mom kept cleaning ceilings.  She has now finished the living and dining rooms.  Yay!  She then started on the study, since that's the room I'll be moving into in about a month.

Dad removed the two upper cabinets from the kitchen and started removing the tile.  The kitchen definitely looks much worse now, but will look great eventually.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Work Day Cut Short

Mom and Dad beat me to the house today, owing to the fact that I had to do laundry.

I started by doing some scraping of paint in the study.  Mom patched up the hole Dad created when he did the wiring for an overhead light.  Dad installed the toilet.  I applied a batch of joint compound in an attempt to even out the walls of the study.  Mom cleaned more ceiling.  Dad started taking off cabinets in the kitchen.

And that's all I know about.  Sickness forced me home after lunch.  I'll find out later what Mom and Dad accomplished without me.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Dad brought the grinder so that we could grind down the rough concrete around the toilet.  That's what prevented us from laying the floor last weekend.    Dust was flying everywhere, even with the little ShopVac sucking it up right behind the grinder.

We had to open up all the doors and windows to air out the house.  Luckily, it was a rather warm January day, so we didn't actually mind.

We got the concrete smoothed out and started laying the floor.  It was soooo much easier than last time.  Smooth concrete makes a big difference.  After a lot of clicking together, hammering, and using the pull tool, we got it all put together.  I LOVE it!!

I painted around the cut out for the toilet.  That way, any moisture will be at least partly blocked from entering that way.  I also got the medicine cabinet hung.

Tomorrow, the room will be finished!

Mom spent the day cleaning more of the ceiling.  Not the most exciting to write about, but it's making an amazing difference.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's A Small World

I got to the house Saturday morning before my parents.  I started scraping the walls of the study to get them prepped for texturing.  When Mom and Dad showed up, we decided to go to the ReStore in Roseville.  More good finds!

Upon walking in, I went to the tile section.  I was immediately blown away by what I found.  A few weeks ago I ordered decorative tiles for the kitchen.  I got to pick brand, color, and size for the design to be printed on.  I chose some that would be easy for me to match locally.  As luck would have it, the exact tiles I need were in great supply here, so I got 230 of them.  Whohoo!!

At the same time, Mom found another overhead fan/light in really good shape with no parts missing.  Dad also found a good shovel and attic vent.  We also found a great well-kept GE gas range.  And this really cool sofa:

Like usual, I'll post the grand total for all this gloriousness at the end.  You should be getting better at guessing prices now. =)

Upon returning from the shopping excursion, we talked with Neighbor.  Dad had a thought he knew her, and he does!  They used to work together and she's quite excited that I'll be her new neighbor.  She said she can give me quite the run down on the history of my house as she's lived next door for 35 years.  Pretty cool, and crazy.

After lunch, I mixed up some joint compound and filled in low spots in the study walls.  When all the low spots get filled in, we'll be able to texture it.  Mom cleaned more ceiling.  It's quite a disgusting job as she's cleaning off years and years of nicotine stains.  Her water turns nasty brown really quickly, but it's making a beautiful difference.

Dad hung my light in the living room.  This was something that took some doing over more than one day.  The house was not originally wired for overhead lights.  The switches are connected to nearby outlets.  A while ago, Dad changed the wiring for the living room, so now the switch is connected overhead and the outlets have nothing to do with the switch.  Final result:  Happy Silk and a nice light.

I left as Dad was hanging the light to go hang out with The Girls.  After our night of fun, it was back to work Sunday.

Dad worked on rewiring the study for an overhead fan/light.  Mom kept cleaning the ceiling.  I applied more joint compound.  By the end of the day, Dad was the only one with anything picture worthy.  Mom had more clean ceiling and I had more compound on the walls.  Dad had another light hung, this time in the study.

While applying joint compound this afternoon, I attempted to sit down to work near the floor.  When I did, I felt something enter my thigh.  I sat on a nail!  It was on a piece of trim that had been taken down.  Luckily, it didn't go far and I had gotten a tetanus booster in October.  Mom put antibacterial and a bandage on it.  I'll keep an eye on it for the next few days, but it should be alright.

Grand total for the shopping trip: $370.22.  How close did you come?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Highs and Lows

The day started off with loading up a bunch of random appliances that had been left behind from Previous Owner.  (So, it appears that Previous Owner was a hoarder.  Based on conversations with Neighbor and paperwork from violations, the place was an absolute dump with tons of junk in the yard.  Turns out the bank paid to have the back cleaned up and installed the fence.  It looks to us like the clean-up company didn't take the appliances, but left them in the shed.  There was a fridge, freezer, water heater, and TV.)

We took the appliances to a local recycling place that accepts appliances.  They take them free of charge - much better than the dump!  It was super easy.  We just drove up, unstrapped the load, and they tipped it all off the back of the truck.

We made it home in time for lunch and just about noon - which was the goal because Building Inspector was scheduled to arrive sometime in the afternoon.  Dad and I started working on the bathroom floor.  First, laying down visqueen.

Sometime in the midst of this is when Building Inspector came.  He came into the garage saying, "I'm supposed to be signing off that there is no more garage conversion and that's painfully obvious."  He then checked the water heater.

After he left, we got back to work on the bathroom floor.  It's linoleum (real, not vinyl tile) with a cork backing.  It's the snap together kind.  Dad had already roughly laid out how the tiles would go.  Of course, we need to cut some lengths and around the plumbing for the toilet.  Here's what the first one looks like - I love the color of it!

We made some good cuts, tapped them together, and attempted to install the second row.

This is where things got hairy.  The two rows wouldn't snap together.  There is some rough concrete around the plumbing opening.  We knew about it, but hoped everything would be fine.  Alas, no such luck.  We need to grind down the concrete bumps.  Dad will bring his grinder next weekend and we'll work on other projects for the rest of this one.  And, make do without a toilet....

Mom was a cleaner today.  She cleaned the bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet so they'll look good when we can finally put them in.  She also did some removal work in the study - the weird closet door that was there.  She pulled up a corner of carpet in the closet area and found the tile original to the house.

So, all in all, a good day.  So glad that all the inspection stuff is over and done with!  Large load off my shoulders.

City Code Enforcement Inspection

So, inspection was scheduled yesterday at 8:30 am.  On my way there, Mom calls and says the inspector is there already!  She was actually there when Mom and Dad got there.  They got the inspection all done before I arrived - I got a recap.  Inspector says it looks good to her, but I need to get a Special Inspection by the Building Department before it can be officially signed off.  However, the Unsafe to Occupy signs can be removed. Yay!!

I head over to City Hall and the Building Department before I have to leave for work.  There, they tell me it will be better to get a building permit than a Special Inspection.  The special is good for just one inspection, so if anything else was found, I would need another and have to pay again.  So, I applied for a building permit to remove the unpermitted structure.  I know it sounds weird, but, hey, it's bureaucracy.  So, I called and the inspector for that will be coming out this afternoon.  Hopefully, it all goes well and I can be done with that annoying stuff.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Light day today.  Started the day with no work - watched the final Raider game of the season.  Mom and Dad left this morning.  I got to the house about 4 or so.

Best Friend's Daughter (henceforth, referred to as BFD) wanted to help, so she came along.  We needed to put on a second coat of paint in the bathroom.  The paint that went directly over old paint was nice and shiny like semi-gloss should be.  The paint that went over our texture spots made of joint compound was not.  It had absorbed way more paint so the shininess was missing.  So, second coat of paint was our task.

BFD didn't have painting clothes, so she borrowed some of mine.  She's considerably smaller than I am, so everything was quite baggy.  Made her look like a little kid.  She had never painted before but was excited about it. I had to show and explain it all, but she did well.  Tried doing the brushwork around the edges of things.  As she saw me using the roller, she thought that would be more fun so we switched.  She did a good job!

It was much faster with two of us, but also a bit more complicated.  We had to pay close attention to what parts had been done and which hadn't.  Also harder because as a second coat starts to dry, it matches what's already there!  We got it though and it should look good when it's all done drying.  The room is so much brighter now that it used to be.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pearls & Lace

I spent the day in the bathroom.  First, I primed the walls.  While that was drying, I put some joint compound in the living room along, shockingly enough, a joint.  After lunch, paint!  Rollering the paint (Pearls & Lace is the color) on is so much fun!  I love the way the room looks now.  It's so much lighter than before.  Next weekend, we'll install the beautiful floor and put the fixtures back in.

Dad did a variety of things today.  First, he put all the random boards and appliances away so the yard area looks neat for when the inspection gets scheduled.  He also took down the ceiling trim from the whole house. After I was done painting, we both did some texturing of the living room.

Our texturing method (for those of you who may be interested):  Mix up compound, a little runnier than usual. Glop it onto the texture trowel.  Fewer, smaller globs for daintier texture.  Then smoosh it up to the wall, totally flat.  Smoosh 2-3 times.  Repeat.  Once there is a fairly large area of globs on the wall, use the trowel to flatten the globs and smooth everything out.  At this point, each glob will be just slightly above the rest of the wall.  Then, let it dry, sand it the next day, and it's ready for painting.  It's great for hiding any imperfections that there may be in the wall - which there are plenty of in this old, abused house.

Mom spent the day washing more of the ceiling.  It's slow going but looking good.