Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Love My Prius

Even if I didn't work for the greatest car company ever I would be bragging to everyone about how awesome my Pruis is. You would not believe what I fit into it today: a huge (disassembled) mid century wall unit I bought from a sweet older lady in Silverado Canyon today for a steal. Oh, and I also was able to fit two huge 1950's ceramic lamp bases as well. Try that in any other typical passenger car and you will never get it to fit. Or get 42+ MPG. As far as the house goes, we were able to reinstall our pantry cabinets (along with a new under the window section) and I got some painting done. Nice crisp bright white walls in the living room and kitchen. Looks fantastic but took about 5 coats of premium paint to cover the ugly tan shade I painted a couple of years ago. I've been 100% done with painting the "new" part of the house for a few days now but the expansion gave me a great excuse to change my color scheme and freshen up the rest of the older space. And my new best friend is flat/matte paint. Love it! Why did it take me so long to get convinced. Everything looks so good in flat! Oh, one more thing: Ron the electrician came today and installed some of the can light's trim and all of the switches and outlets. It looks so much more finished!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Do they call it Tiler's Crack?

It has been so long since I have posted mostly because I took off a few days from work and have been working on the house from the minute the sun is up to after it goes down. The only thing I have had the energy for is drinking a glass of wine and taking a shower. Just a note: if you are a friend of mine, please don't ever ask me to help you tile. After this expansion I'm done thankyouverymuch. Before I was making a big deal about my huge shower. Not so much now since I started the mosaic tile. It's kind of like a 1.5 person job. I need an apprentice or something to get it done as quickly and cleanly as I would like it. And even though I wore gloves for most of the day I still have crusty "thinset hands". Good news is, I'm happy to report, that the whole dining room floor is done as well as the stone floor in the new master bath. Also, the existing bath is 100% done with the exception of the new door. I love my husband but can't wait to have some privacy again.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Painting All Weekend Long

Whoo. We are exhausted from painting all weekend. We were able to finish the new master bedroom (with the exception of one accent paint wall) and get started on the dining room and hallway. My mom helped all day on Sunday and worked her butt off. We all have sore necks from painting the ceiling so it's going to be a Motrin kind of day today. The tile guys are at our place today working on the mortarbed for the shower this morning (something I didn't trust myself to do). Once they are done I can get cracking on the mosaic tile later this week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh Boy is Our House Dirty!

So the taper finished today. It looks great but our house is a dusty dirty mess. Mike and I have spent the last 4 hours "magic erasering" the window frames, taping and caulking them, dusting off all the drywall dusty walls in the expansion, and vacuuming out the outlets and J-boxes so we can primer tomorrow. Now we are in the middle of a major clean up (with a glass of vino in hand). Since the stucco guys won't do the finish coat until next week we have the scaffolding in our back yard... and will use it to paint those high ceilings and walls. I think we have picked out our accent wall colors but are still trying to make up our minds. Got a call today from both the tile company and the hard wood flooring co. to let us know that our materials are ready for pick-up. I think I can get the wood flooring in my Prius (maybe two trips?) but the tile - no way! Good thing I can get a new Tundra from work next week (I'm taking Tues and Wed off to work on the house) to go pick up the tile from the warehouse in Anaheim. Off to dust and imbibe...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Looking good! The guys applied the browncoat today and will come back next week to do the final coat. Tapers are still going strong and we should be ready to start painting this weekend. Ron, the electrician did some work today too. Added two recessed can lights in the hallway and one in the existing shower now that we dont have direct window light anymore. We really needed it. Thanks Ron!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The mud and taping is going well! One of my favorite "construction smells" is fresh mud but Mike begs to differ. Hopefully they are all done by Friday and I can start to paint!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Heater OUTA HERE!

Boy was this weekend a crazy one. I had volunteered to do a Habitat for Humanity build day on Saturday and guess what… they had me hanging drywall. I could hardly believe my luck. I think I will be hanging drywall in Hell. Anyhow, it was a fun event and paved the way for the rest of the weekend. Sunday, in preparation for the taper to start today, I pulled a 4’ wide section of old plaster out of the hallway and installed a new sheet of drywall in its place. We pulled off the Hardibacker surround in the shower and installed the proper moisture barrier behind it (then re-hung the Hardi). We pulled out the old floor furnace that sandwiched the wall in the living room / hallway, and then filled in the floor and wall sections. We also pulled out the old under-floor access panel, framed it, then patched the subfloor. Whew! Funny how going to work on Monday can be an escape!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yay! Mud!

Great news - we passed our inspections today (drywall, shower hot-mop, and exterior lath). That means that Mike and I did an acceptable drywall job in the dining room - and actually, we were complimented by the crew that helped us hang the final drywall in the master bed and bath yesterday. They were impressed that a couple of gringo kids did such a good job. Anyhow, we are cleared to mud and tape now and the stucco crew can begin the scratch coat tomorrow. Before we can get the taper on board we have a little work to do this Friday. We have to take off the Hardibacker in the shower and install a waterproof membrane on the studs, then reinstall the Hardi. Also, we need to finish chiseling out the old hardwood floor from the closet (now hallway) and old bathroom entry before we can hang the doors to the existing bathroom and new bedroom. I can hardly wait. A sheet of sheer plastic is not very good for bathroom privacy! Speaking of bathrooms, the new skylight in the old bathroom is fantastic. It's shaft is about 8' long so the light is filtered and indirect by the time it hits the area below. Because of this, its not the best replacement of natural light for the old shower window so I think I'm going to have to install a recessed can above the tub. The awesome part about the operable skylight is that the steam goes straight up and out rather than hang around and fog up all the mirrors. I took a scalder last night and no fog!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oh, My Aching Back!

So I haven't posted in a while. But believe me, its not because I was being lazy! Mike and I just spent three very very long days hanging drywall and it has not been fun. To start, we had to modify the opening "pass through" between the kitchen (over the sink) and dining room to open it up widen and extend the top to match the soffit height. Taking out the old kitchen window header and associated plaster, metal lath, etc. was not the easiest task. And it made one hell of a plaster dust mess everywhere throughout the house. The rest of the time we were not enjoying ourselves by trying to hang full sheets of drywall on the sloped 14'high ceiling with just the two of us. That totally sucked and I'm really happy to be past that (and so is Mike). Needless to say, we thought we would easily have both rooms complete by Monday evening so we could get an inspection on the shower hot mop, exterior stucco lath, and drywall screws on Tuesday. Hardly. So.... today we have some pro drywall hangers in to help us finish the job in the bathroom and master bedroom (and hopefully the skylight in the existing bathroom). We have the inspection rescheduled for tomorrow and I think we are going to make it. I just hope our amateur job in the dining room passes muster.

Friday, June 4, 2010


The insulation got installed all in one day (Thursday) so today we are getting that inspection so we can start installing drywall this weekend! It's going to be a ton of work but the place will really look great after getting all that hung. The hot mopper is coming to do the shower today too.... and the stucco guy is here doing the paper and lath today. Btw, Mike had to go into work early today so it was up to me to move a HUGE pile of debris out of the way for the stucco guy to work. And the water has been shut off so Dennis can finish up his cold water line (so I can't shower). At least I can take care of that when I head to the gym today and go pick up the Tundra I'm getting for the weekend (for hauling more drywall, etc. from the store).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tearing down the walls

Boy, the house sure feels different today now that the walls have been pulled out that separated the old house from the expansion. I'm so glad everything flows so well together. And in a month or two I wont believe we ever lived in such a small house before! We passed the inspection yesterday so today Sal's guys are going to get the last window installed (in our old pantry area off the kitchen) and insulation installed so we can get the drywall going this weekend. We also have the stucco guy lined up to start on Friday so the house can get wrapped and wire lath installed. I'm thinking the next inspection will be next mon or tues for drywall and lath. Then it's the home run to finish up and get the final inspection.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Closing in

I have been really bad about posting over the last 2 weeks since things have slowed down visually, however, rough electrical and plumbing are done and we have an inspection scheduled for tomorrow (we had planned to do it last week but the electrical still needed some work). Ron (elecrician) was at our place all day Sunday finishing his work while I refinished some cool 1950's nightstands I picked up last week. Mike and his pal Dan replaced the old crappy side entrance door to the garage with a nice new steel one. Perfect timing too since the stucco team is going to start wrapping and installing the wire lath on the house this Friday. Fingers are crossed that we pass tomorrow and can keep moving full steam ahead. Oh, just another note... my floor tile (actually rough cut stones) for the bathroom arrived today and we bought our new hardwood floor for the bedroom on Monday (Memorial Day sale at Lumber Liquidators). The walls that separate the old house from the new come down tomorrow. We will really get a feel for the new space then!