Saturday, October 25, 2008


Since my last post, we have been so busy running to and fro, keeping contractors from stepping on one another, and working hard! Unfortunately, I was only able to work with the electrician on Wednesday morning and we spent most of the time ripping down the kitchen ceiling and cleaning up fallen insulation (add new insulation in attic to "to do" list and unexpected expenses...). I did have a brief moment of "hmmm, maybe we should raise the ceiling and add skylights" before snapping back to reality. While I didn't learn much about electrical renovation, we did make progress, and now the kitchen is wired!

On Wednesday and Thursday night, I re tiled the bathroom - it came out pretty well. There are a few spots that are messy and a few tiles I need to cut with a better saw that that dinky manual tile cutter, but overall I am pleased.

We hired someone to refinish our floors upstairs, and they started work yesterday. Apparently, there was no love lost between him and the electrician - almost had to break up a little territory fight - but they are doing beautiful work. Sanding the floors alone was a tremendous improvement. The second coat of sealer went on this morning, and they are really sparkling! The best part is they are using a water based low VOC sealer that really has no smell and is very safe to breathe, so Honey and I have been able to work while they seal and I have had no qualms about bringing Peanut around. They were hoping to be done today, but it is pouring and the sealer is taking a long time to dry, so the last coat wont go on until Monday. That will push some of the planned work for Monday, but there is much to do downstairs, so we will stay busy.

Honey and I finished the rec room floor and laid the office floor today. We went out and got all of the trim and base molding as well. We started at the Habitat Restore where trim is $2 a piece no matter what it is - that is really good! They have a lot of laminate and finished wood trim and we were looking for unfinished wood, so we only found two pieces - cost $4 but if we had bought them at Home Depot where we got our other trim they would have easily been $12-18. We saved those two pieces from a landfill and put a few dollars to a charity. I think they have a vanity sink top that might work for us too - we'll have to go back next week. They had a six burner gas stainless steel cook top and an exhaust hood that came from a display - all for under $2k. I almost cried - if only we didn't have our whole kitchen planned and in the works - I would work around those in an instant! It is a place to check out if you haven't been.

On the green front, I think we are doing pretty well. I would have liked to use recycled tiles in the bathroom, but they are really expensive. Had we done it ourselves from scratch, I think we would have gotten a lot of the tile and grout at the Restore. Since we had hired someone to do a fast no nonsense bath, we veered from course there, and obviously that did not work out for us! We have been doing a good job of reusing wood and other things from the house as we go, and have of course done all low/no VOC finishes.

Our next task will be to check out insulation options. Our outside kitchen wall is very thin and can't take extra insulation. Of course if we had figured that out before running the gas line, we could have added a true framed 2x4 wall and had no issues. But, our range installation guide is really specific and we didn't get everyone coordinated on this so we are going to just deal with the 1/2" insulation dilemma. We have also heard some about a spray on insulation for the attic that sounds really interesting.

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