Monday, March 28, 2011

Trim Work

Today was focused on trim.  Mom laid the pieces all over the house where they matched up by size.  Dad and I went around with the nail gun and attached them.

The ones in dining room, living room, and hallway are painted to match the wall.  The ones in the study match the ceiling.  After they were up, Mom went around and filled cracks with joint compound.  Then she touched up the paint.

I also removed nails from the door trim that still needs to be painted.  It's best to pull the nail all the way through the board - that way the ugly tear out is at the back, not front.  You've got to use a pair of vice grips to hold the nail (nothing to grip on the bottom of it), then pry it up with a utility bar.

I also spent time everyday of the weekend working on the piece that will fill this ugly hole, left from the original kitchen fan in the ceiling.

I bought a vent/fan grill on Friday and some paint.  Put several coats of paint on it (it started out white) and was finally able to put it up yesterday.

I spent the late afternoon taking care of the backyard with the weed whacker - so nice that the rain finally stopped.  Dad put up some trim in the kitchen.  Mom wiped a bunch of dust off the heater cover before putting it back on.  Mom and Dad moved my furniture in my living room more to what I want to to be and brought the TV out.  My house is starting to come along. Yay!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Floor in the Hall

Mom cleaned up a few more ceiling trim boards this morning.

When she finished with that, she went around and matched up the boards with their locations so we can nail them up tomorrow.

Dad and I installed the floor in the hallway.  The doorways were kind of a pain, but we got it done.  Lots of cutting and hammer-tapping.  Good time and a great result!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spending Money

The first half of the day was spent at the store.  I had a 10% off coupon that needed to be used soon.  I got all of this: one more kitchen cabinet, 4 windows, a patio door, 20 light bulbs 8 table legs and hardware, finish nails, screws, a vent register, and brown paint.

After lunch, Mom continued cleaning up ceiling trim so that she can install it tomorrow.

Dad and I started working on the hall floor.  First, we had o cut off the door jambs so the laminate would slide underneath.  That was a bear of a job that wore us both out - thankfully we only had to do three, two had been done previously.

I got the foam/moisture barrier put down the length of the hall.  Dad put the spacers against the wall.  We're ready to lay the floor tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cool Air

In the morning, I got my ridiculously cheap hall light installed.  It looks good in the freshly painted hall. Yay!

Dad and I spent the day installing the whole house fan.  First, we taped the template up to the ceiling.  Then I drilled starter holes in opposite corners.  Those holes let us see exactly where the fan is going once we got up to the attic.  We got all our tools and geared up to head into the attic.

Dad made the first cuts by plunging the circular saw down into the ceiling.  

Boards went crashing down to the hallway below as Dad made the cut parallel to this one.  Mom wanted a photo of us from inside the house:

I then finished the cuts with the saber saw and sent the last two boards plummeting to the ground.

At this point, I headed down to the hallway.  Dad stayed in place.  I handed him the fan and then the parts for the box to hold it up.  He put those boards in place, and we held up the shutter to make sure it would work and the louvers wouldn't get caught on anything.  Then, I drilled the boards in place from the bottom.

While Dad stapled carpet padding to the shelf, I put caulk in the gaps between boards.  Then Dad put the fan itself in place.  I continued caulking.

Finally, Dad came down and we put up the shutter.  Now, I've got a great fan for keeping the house cool come summertime.

During all this, Mom was in the garage, stripping paint off ceiling trim for the study.  Better than doing the ceiling since the pieces got to be on a table and not overhead.  Thanks, Mom!

Just before dinner, we took off random interior window frames from the bedroom windows so we could see just what was going on with those.  We figured what size of windows to get and have an idea of what repair work in the walls we're going to need to do.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rainy Day Slow Day

Mom started the day finishing up the prime.  I wired the switch for the back exterior light.  Dad connected the electricity for the bathroom fan.  I also went up to the attic to connect some wires while Dad measured for more wiring.  Somehow that took up most of the morning.  Well, that and Dad and I figuring out how to install the whole house fan.  It comes with instructions, but they don't pertain to my ceiling.  Most houses have joists for the ceiling.  Mine doesn't since it was originally tongue-and-groove boards making up the ceiling/flat roof.  A pitched roof was added later, hence, no joists.

After lunch, Mom spent some time touching up baseboards while the primer dried.  Dad went up to the attic to make the final connections for the over-the-range microwave.  That's now done. Yay!

I did some wiring for the house fan.  I spent most of the afternoon building a box frame for the fan.  Since there are no joists, there's nothing to keep the fan from falling through the hole in the ceiling.  Here's my creation:

The four sides aren't connected yet - it needs to be carried up to the attic and will be easier in parts.  It has a shelf to hold the fan over the hole, without letting it fall.  Dad cut up some old carpet pad to help dampen the sound.

Mom painted the hallway.  It looks good!

Tomorrow, we install a fan.  That will likely take a good part of the day.

Friday, March 18, 2011


We spent the morning buying more work.  I got a bathroom fan, whole house fan, and the duct work to go with them.  I also got a new hall light as the one that I had was absolutely disgusting.  Found one on the shelf that was discounted from $29 to $7.50.  Looked good, so I put it in the basket.  At ring up time, I checked to make sure that it rang up at the proper price.  Got a pleasant surprise.  Check the receipt below (you may need to enlarge it):

Just 1 cent!!!!!!!  The cashier even double-checked to make sure the bar codes matched.  They did, he said that's how it was in the program, so he let it go.  We totally should have gone back and gotten the rest on the shelf to resell for a profit.

After lunch, Mom got to work on the hallway.  She sanded down the rough texture before priming it.  Fine dust everywhere:

She did the primed the edges first (slow going with a brush) and that's as far as she got before quitting time tonight.

Dad and I worked on the bathroom fan and the venting for the over-the-range microwave.  He cut the larger hold for the bathroom fan (there was an old crummy one in there before).  I cut the hole in the cabinet for the microwave venting.  Dad cut the hole in the ceiling, down from the attic.  We got most of the venting connected and figured out for it.  We'll finish it tomorrow.  The bathroom fan was installed, but hasn't been wired yet.  Still need to start on the house fan and installing the attic vents to ensure enough exhaust ventilation.

It feels like we didn't accomplish much today, but, like we told Dad, we didn't actually start doing any work until about 2:00.  More fun tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Finishing Up the Weekend

Saturday:  Dad crawled around the attic laying electrical wire.  The circuit works and is ready to be used.  I helped with that and did some other random things that needed doing (I think the lost of hour of time took away my memory of what I actually did.)  I patched a hole in the hallway that I created on Friday. (That actually took most of the time because cutting wallboard with a razor nice is slow work and then I had to repeatedly slice it down to fit the actual hole.  The I taped it and put up the first layer of joint compound.) Mom did some touching up of some baseboards and evening some drywall compound.  It was an early quit day as I had things to do with my girls.

When I arrived back home from soccer this morning, I found Mom emptying my fridge so that it could be moved.  Yay! A fridge in my kitchen!  This evening, out of habit, I walked into the garage to get what I needed from the fridge.  =)

Dad and I then spent the afternoon installing my over-the-range microwave.  This took quite a bit of time - mostly spent attaching the mounting board and prepping the overhead cabinet with strategically placed holes.  It looks great!  And I now have a fully functional kitchen!

Things still to do in the kitchen: toekick, trim around the top of the cabinets, venting the microwave, and the backsplash.

Mom spent the afternoon texturing the hallway.  I gave her a brief lesson and she went to town.  It was quite amusing to hear her pressing the trowel against the wall while we were working in the kitchen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

More Electrical Fun

We found and fixed my circuit relatively quickly.  It was the first outlet on the circuit - a wire in it was wobbly so it would connect and disconnect with every touch.  We just tightened it and problem solved!

Dad and I then moved on to other electrical activities.  We realized that the wiring we needed done was holding up finishing the hallway.  We need to run a new circuit for a whole house fan, bathroom fan, over-the-range microwave, outdoor outlet, and outdoor light by garage.  This morning, we cut holes in the hallway and the wall that is the back of the electric panel, so we would have access.  We then drilled holes up into the attic and stuck wires up there so we can find the holes when we go up and crawl around tomorrow.

Mom did some cleaning of outlets and switches in the kitchen and living room.  Then we ate lunch and went to the store to buy wire.

In the afternoon, I drilled the hole for the microwave.  Dad got the exterior light prepared.  Mom did some drywall patching.  Generally thrilling day.  Ready to crawl around the attic tomorrow and get a circuit wired.

Electrical Problems

Sunday night, I flipped a switch and he bulb burnt out.  No big deal.  Except it was.  Turned out that it had blow the circuit.  None of the light switches on that side of the house worked any more.  As I was going to bed, I figured I would change the circuit breaker in the morning before work.

Monday morning I head out to the electric panel, turn off all the power and attempt to remove the blown circuit. It really doesn't want to budge and I have to get to work.  I leave it until Tuesday.

Tuesday, I try again.  This time I successfully manage to pry it out with a screw driver.  I replace the breaker and test the lights.  Nothing.  I then reroute the wire to an unused breaker already on the panel. Nothing.  Great.  This is going to be more of a pain than it should be.  When I talk with Dad on the phone, he says that a wire has come undone somewhere along the circuit.  That will be today's priority.  I hope it's not too time consuming.  There are more fun and interesting projects that need to be accomplished.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Time Consuming Jobs

Saturday:  Mom spent the morning getting the bathroom protected from ceiling cleaning.  She spent the afternoon cleaning.  It was the most disgusting room in the house.  Near the fan, there was about 1/16" layer of tar from years of cigarette smoking.  Quite disgusting.

Dad spent the day pulling nails from floor moulding and painting it.

I did a little of this and a little of that. Major project was getting the buffet ready.  I put the doors on the cabinets that are acting as a buffet in the dining room.  I attached the countertop.  I measured and cut the backsplash.

I also planted some camellias in the front.  This involved carrying several buckets of dirt from the backyard to the front.  Before putting in the actual plants, I filled in some random holes in the front yard that were right next to the entry.  Then I got the three plants in the ground.  They're hard to notice in the picture now, but they'll get plenty big in just a year or three.

Sunday:  Mom finished the bathroom ceiling - with a really long break for lunch.  (She went out with friends and lost track of the time.)  She's actually finishing it as I type this.  It will be good for the plastic wrapping to be gone because it would be difficult to take a shower before work tomorrow.

Dad and I spent most of the day measuring, cutting, and installing floor moulding (kitchen, dining room, living room) and door trim.  It's a surprisingly slow process.  This evening, while I got dinner prepared, Dad put caulk along the edges and holes. Next weekend, we'll do some touch-up painting.

That's pretty much it.  We were plenty busy this weekend, but not a lot to show for it.  Oh, well, it's all got to get done eventually.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Slowish Day

While waiting for Mom and Dad to arrive, I painted the shelves Dad made a few weeks ago.  They're for under the bathroom sink to give me some more space.  When they arrived, Mom started preparing dinner and Dad measured for floor moulding.    We then went to the store and bought it.

After our return and lunch, we worked on getting the stove installed.  I got the sides cleaned while Dad started connecting the gas pipe.  We then attached some Magic Sliders to the feet so it would move easily and not scratch my floor.  It just barely fit in the space we left between cabinets.  We're good!

We then did some planning so we could install the countertop for the cabinet to the right of the stove.  We cut and installed that.  Kitchen now just needs microwave, floor moulding, fridge, and tile backsplash.  It's coming along nicely.

I then unpacked a few boxes into the hall cabinets.  Mom did some drywall patches.  Dad repaired my roof leak.  Mom and Dad pulled up some floor moulding so we can clean and paint it tomorrow.  That's about it.  Like I said, slowish day.