Sunday, November 28, 2010

Imaginary Porch

It was 25 degrees here this morning. My toes have been cold all day. Also, our siding is like 30% up. These things combined have me dreaming aboutwarm sunny days and being outside.

That's months away, so instead I made a pretend porch.

Our siding is this brick red color. It does not look like it's trying to be the brick the rest of the house is, but it does kind of meld nicely. I am thinking that doing a bunch of black & white stuff on the porch (brick, with a brick colored quarry tile kinda floor) will be fab.

So here is the porch when we bought the house (we have a ton more stuff on it) and also my pretend fantasy porch of black & white. The Jack Daniels sign is only on there because we have it, not because I want to advertise that we are big Jack drinkers. If I actually do decorate the porch, I will prolly not use the Jack sign.

I think it could be fun. It really only would involve painting some trim around the windows (and possibly the porch swing) black, as far as labor. We have a little black metal table like the one here. The lanterns would hang from these hooks I had been using for hanging baskets of random flowers that I inevitably kill. The lanterns would be a kindness to annuals available for sale in the Pittsburgh area.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wherein everything is broken and my cabinets are coming

My cabinets arrive Monday. MONDAY. I've no where to put them. We need the plumber and electrician to come first and do all the rough ins and whatnot, and then we need an inspection, and then we need a subfloor and a flour and grout and walls and THEN cabinets. I am probably missing some steps. It's been a while since I gutted and renovated a kitchen.

Needless to say, we are mildly freaking out, and husband is cleaning up the basement so we have somewhere to put the cabinets. Which is tough, since there are about 10 boxes of kitchen stuff down there waiting to be unpacked into the new kitchen. Aieee.

List of things that are currently or recently broken
  • Refrigerator died a horrible death. Fridge in the new kitchen will be 4" wider than frige in the tiny old kitchen, so we replaced it with the new fridge, which is in the dining room on a piece of plywood for stability. This is important because it takes space away from where we might store the aforementioned cabinets.
  • Dryer had a tiny part that keeps the door closed that broke off. Now it is taped shut with painters tape. Not even duct tape! In trying to track down the broken piece, Jeff found out that (a) we can buy it for $10 including shipping and (b) it is a model from 1978. Seriously? Ninteen seventy eight?!!? Awesome. I am loving my dryer even more.
  • Basement drain seems to have some internal guts rusted out. Husband could provide more details, but frankly, they sound kind of gross and I kind of tuned them out.
  • Siding color (vintage brick) was discontinued and my father-in-law-contractor replaced it with another color (russet). The claim is that they are identical. I have no way to verify this claim, because the samples were taken away. Oh father-in-law-contractor! Why must you torment me so! Fortunately, father-in-law-contractor does not have a computer or access to the internet, so I an probably safely whine a little here.
  • Scanner on my computer is totally jacked. Husband believes he can fix it. I have hope.
  • Big huge rocking recliner is on my porch. Yeah, it's not really broken, but it's kinda ghetto. It was moved to move the desk to make room for the cabinets coming on Monday.
  • Existing kitchen ceiling tiles are all discolored and jacked up, due to random water dripping down from the basement. I hate ceiling tiles.
I have a bunch of projects on the books that I believe will be happening, big and small, besides the kitchen.
  • Big new kitchen. Yeah, that.
  • Big new game room under neath the kitchen. Maybe next year
  • Deck that will be built behind the kitchen. It will be lovely. I promise.
  • New powder room on the first floor, where the current teeny kitchen is.
  • New mudroom in the other half of the existing tiny kitchen. The existing kitchen door opens into the driveway, so it seems like a great place for a mudroom.
  • Main bath needs to be completely gutted. See previous problem with dripping into the existing kitchen ceiling. Also, it's painted subway tile, probably original. Seriously, people? Painting over original tile? Must you wound me?
  • Mailbox will be getting spray painted with oil rubbed bronze spray paint to match the lights and door knob.
  • Wood floors under the hideous but brand new carpet will need to get refinished. I know a guy who knows a guy, so hopefully not too much money. The floor under the carpet looks ok, not great. But I am almost positive it's the original floor, and I think if we patch some spots and stain it a darker color, I think it will be fine.
  • Painted wood trim needs to get stripped. It's so so so bad. But if not stripped, replaced with oak the same sizes. It's really simple trim, so replacement should be an easy option that looks pretty close.
  • Fireplace and hideous fake brick will wall need to all get torn out and redone. Complete do-over. I am thinking of built ins, a new mantel, and a tiled front of the fireplace.
  • Closet re-do. I want to take the closet in our sons room and have it open into ours, building him a new closet over on the other side of his room. This gets us a double closet. Woot double closet!
  • Window replacement is on the dock since we had to brick up half the window in our bedroom for the roof to fit. Maybe I should have put this in 'broken' and not in 'projects' but I am focusing on the positive.

Those are big lists. We have a lot to do. This is what happens when you buy a house built in 1924. But hey, we will almost certainly be done prior to the houses centennial. Woo!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Windows Windows Windows

Unfortunately, our bedroom window (on the 2nd floor) is apparently too low for the joists to fit. This means we needed to brick up some of the existing window to put on the roof. You can see the crazy bricks outside the window now.

This was kind of a mixed bag. I am disappointed that we have to shell out money to replace a perfectly good window, which was not in the initial plan.

On the other hand, the windows are very low to the ground, and there is no position in the bedroom where the bed or some piece of furniture would not be partially blocking the window. So this could work to my advantage. It would be nicer if we had not purchased new bedroom furniture including a really tall bed last year, but I think we can make it work after the new window is in. Also, the other window on that side and level of the house is one of the 2 remaining original regular windows. It's in the bathroom, and frankly, having an effectively floor length window when you step out of the tub is no great shakes. So hopefully, we can replace them both with identical windows in a smaller size, which will help tie the back together.

In better news, my windows and doors for the kitchen are here and installed! I have the three clerestory-like windows on the side wall, and the door with a sidelight and panel of 3 windows (center fixed, two double hung flanking it). I went with the 3 over 1 pattern for grilles, which appears to be what the original windows were like. They look fantastic! I am so excited I can't even deal.

I'll have another update on the cabinet delivery and fridge later. For now, it's windows windows windows!


Saturday, November 6, 2010


Framing is up for the kitchen level of the addition! (The walk out basement underneath is going to be a gameroom/bar.)

You can start to see some of the things I picked for windows and doors.


The three long rectangles are clerestory windows (kinda), meaning they are mounted high so they bring in light but are private. The door will be a kind of regulation sized door (36"? something like that) with a full glass sidelight. The big huge rectangle is (you guessed it) a big huge window. It's really three windows all together, a big one in the middle that's clear glass,and two smaller ones on either side that open and are going to have a 3 over 1 split (so three panes up top and clear on the bottom).