Archive for the ‘Home Repair’ Category

Installing New Countertops Part 2

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

It took the installers a day to build the countertop at their shop and they came back the day after to install it.  First order of business, chisel and sand away all the liquid nail globs.

Evelyn munched on books and supervised from the living room.

Next, they hauled in the countertop in one solid piece.  Lucky for them it was a straight shot from our back deck, through the living room, and into the kitchen.  If they had to come through the front door, they would have been screwed! 

Evelyn is making sure they don’t ding the walls with that huge top.

Here it is!  We chose a brown granite looking laminate called Butterum Granite #7732-58.  I actually like it a lot!  The hubby thought it would be darker.  It matches the rest of our house and is a nice neutral color.  Not to mention all the stains it will hide.  :-) 

We had them narrow the bartop down from 36 inches to 30 inches.  I cannot believe how big of a difference 6 inches makes in our dining room.  Before, we had such a large overhang that you couldn’t even center the table underneath the light.  Now, people can actually move around the table while people are eating without squeezing by.  The dining room feels Huge!

Evelyn charmed all the contractors, even the grizzly one.  It’s so funny watching a crochety old man turn around and say in a high pitch voice, “Welllll, helloooo sweetheart.  You’re just a cutie pie aren’t you?”  She gave the counter top her seal of approval and I like it too.

Next up, installing the sink and new faucet.  This weekend we tile the backsplash, or attempt to if we can find the time!

Installing New Countertops Part 1

Monday, July 18th, 2011

We initially had no plans to replace the countertops before listing the house, but rather chose to throw in $1000 as an incentive for the buyer to have the countertops replaced.  Our realtor quickly nixed that idea and said that offering incentives automatically raise a red flag with the buyer that this is a fixer upper.  Due to the poor condition of the counters, he said we really needed to have them replaced before we listed.

This was almost 6 weeks ago…

We went to Lowes and Home Depot to price countertop installations.  Lowes came back with $1,800 and Home Depot $1,200.  Our countertops were custom built, which means we couldn’t use off the shelf laminate tops.  That raised the price at either store, but by $600 at Lowes for the exact same laminate?  Not only that, but Lowes charged us $35 to come out and do the quote.  Home Depot – zero. 

After about 6 weeks, the laminate finally arrived at the installers and they were coming out to tear out our old counters.  We had some fun with Sharpies and I drew the story of my life in this little house from 2000 – 2011.  I wanted to spill some achohol and light it on fire to see if it would burn the counters.   The hubby didn’t want to risk damaging the new puck lights that my dad installed.  Boo to sensible hubby.  (Yes dad, I’m still a little pyromaniac. Sorry for setting my bedroom on fire when I was little…)

We had to remove all the drawers and empty all the cabinets.  It seems that just when we make headway clearing and cleaning stuff up we just trash the house all over again.  It’s a bit demoralizing at times, but yadda yadda yadda its all for the greater good right?

Evelyn was an excellent foreman.  She kept those guys on track and moving fast.

The entire time they were here, all I could hear was grumbling about the crazy people who had installed it initially and what a crappy job they did.  Our counter had been liquid nailed to the cabinet AND screwed in.  It had also been relaminated and the glue that held the two sheets together failed causing all the bubbling on the counter.  It was one thing after another.  I’m very glad that we decided against tearing out the counters ourselves to save money!  Sometimes, it just isn’t worth it…

Buh- bye old counter! 

The tear out took about 2 hours and then they brought in particle board to make a template for the new countertops.  They are going to make the countertop at their shop and bring the entire thing back another day to install it.  The countertops will be scribed to fit the walls exactly and will match the pitch of the base cabinets.  In otherwords, they are not going to shim anything to level things out. hmmmm…

We are without a sink and have very little room left to move around.  I built a corral in the living room out of boxes so the kids have a safe area to play.  For the rest of us, it’s bruised shins, stubbed toes, and lots of careful maneuvering.  (Someone please tell me again why we are doing this???)

We are getting closer to listing the house.  The counters were a big hold up.  We plan to tile this weekend and clean/finish painting next week.  Nearing the home stretch people!

Installing Vinyl Siding – Day One

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

A sight for sore eyes!  This morning, Lowe’s dropped off the vinyl siding in advance of the contractors.  Could this really be happening???

Yep!  A two man crew took off the shutters and any wood molding that would interfere with the siding laying flat.  They made a huge racket! 

Nailing in the foam sheathing was much louder than I expected.  Poor Evelyn hardly slept at all today for all the noise.  Ripping off the trim was also very loud.

After 6 hours or so, they made decent progress.

Almost looks like a different house,doesn’t it?  They are going to try to finish it by the weekend, but more than likely it will carry on longer than that.

Painting the House: Picking a Color

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Our house is falling apart, literally.  We have ants and birds duking it out in the chimney, bees and wasps gang fighting for our deck, and mold silently creeping over every board.  Now that the baby making is out of the way, we are ready to take care of our poor house.

First off, the old colors need to go.  Ugh – yellow-white siding with green trim?  I’ve lived here for 11 years and I’ve never liked that color combo. 

Next, we need to decide which is more cost effective:  Replacing the rotted siding/rebuilding the chimney and painting or putting up vinyl siding. 

The first contractor we called said it would be far cheaper to paint than to side.  He said we have a lot of odd surface area for a house our size and that there would be alot of waste if we sided.  He is going to give us a quote for both this week.

The second contractor we called gave us a quote for vinyl siding only and he came in at $7,200.

The third contractor is coming tomorrow to do a quote for both painting and vinyl. 

Being that painting might be cheaper than siding, we went to Lowe’s to pick out our colors.

We’ve narrowed down the selection to the following:

Main body color:
A) Polished Silver
B) Woodlawn Colonial Gray

Porch, deck, shutters: 
C) Iron Frost
D) Almost Charcoal
E) Sienna


What do you guys think???  What are your color preferences? 

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