Friday, May 30, 2008

Installed water barrel

water barrel
Originally uploaded by screwtop
Some might think this is a little strange, but for Mother's Day a few years ago, I received a rain barrel. I'm sure not all new moms get excited about this kind of thing, but I'm not really a flowers and candy type of mom. This lovely rain barrel then spent over 2 years gathering rain on its own while it sat near the downspout. Every time it rained I would grumble about the "free" water we were missing out on. Jeff finally hooked it up for me this past weekend once I dug the "diverter" out of the basement.

Its supposed to rain tonight, so I have big plans of watering my flower beds (pictures to come after the weeds are pulled) this weekend with water captured from the roof.

If nothing else, this removes a tenured item from the to-do list!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A place to set your drink

The countertops are in! After watching 4 men struggle to get the large piece of granite for the counters and the slab for the island, I am very glad I do not have to install stone countertops for a living.

We went with a simple pencil edge on the top and a scant 1/4"radius on the corners to keep with the sharp square feeling of the cabinets. For anyone concerned with the IQ points sure to be lost by our preschooler when she inevitably smacks her head into the corner, we're confident she'll only do it once!

Friday, May 23, 2008


My samples arrived yesterday from Anchor Bay Tile. I choose 2 different blues of from Clayline Ceramic Subway Tiles:

And although I love the "Jeans" color, its a little too blue for the kitchen, and I think we're going to order the "New England" in a 3x6 Subway tile. Yes, plain-old-3x6 Subway Tiles, which my brother informs me is "So 2001". Its just not in the budget to get a custom size, but the color is a nice compromise.

Now that I have a tile I like, we can move forward with paint!

Thanks again to Steve at Anchor Bay Tile for informing me of his company.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Don't touch it. That's evil! *

When the main character in a horror movie decides to "just see" about that noise, you know they shouldn't do it. You practically scream it in the darkened theater. "Don't open that door!" you yell. You know nothing good is on the other side. Yet you are helpless to stop them.

Thats how I felt when I was in the yard Sunday afternoon. Happily minding my own business. Just pulling some weeds and thinking garden thoughts. When out of the corner of my eye I see Jeff staring at the corner of the roof. He gets the big ladder from the garage. He mumbles that he "just wants to see" about that part of the roof that looks rotted. In the infinite wisdom of my preschooler, we see with our eyes - not our Fubars! As Jeff climbed the ladder with his implement of destruction, I wanted to shout out "Don't touch it! Its after 3 on Sunday! You'll never be able to fix it in time!" But he didn't hear me. He poked, prodded, and ultimately took apart half the support that holds the giant gutter that keeps our entire basement dry.

Fast forward to an hour later when the sky has filled with ominous clouds and small drops of rain are sprinkling down. Jeff is frantically looking for a staple gun with which to nail a plastic tarp in place muttering "how am I going to do this?".

DIY-enthusiasts and Horror Movie Casualties, they just never listen.

This photo shows the plastic and duct tape covering the gaping bottom of the support of the roof valley between the main house and the addition. The jumbo-sized gutter was recently added as a measure to control the flow of water over the gutter, which was causing the rot in the first place. The 3/4 inch plywood sides have rotted down to less than 1/4", so Jeff isn't exactly sure how to attach a new "bottom".

*From "Time Bandits", one of my favorite movies

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lessons Learned, Week 8

The countertop people came to measure and do the countertop/island templates last week, so (fingers crossed) the countertops should be in this week, and then the Plumber and Electrician can complete the hook-ups to the appliances. Once that's done, we'll have a working kitchen, possibly by the Memorial Day weekend!

I am not going to update the project plan again, since the remainder of the work after this week will be tile and paint, and since we've stretched the budget to the max, we will likely take the DIY approach to these tasks.

I did get a comment from Steve who led me to Anchor Bay Tile, where I ordered some samples. From what I saw on their website, I think I will be able to find the tile I want within budget! Which goes to show, never rush a decision. Mom, to clarify, that statement does not mean take 25+ years to select tile, just take a few weeks.

I have had to place additional orders for cabinet hardware, which I'm sure means I've spent more than planned on shipping costs, but the lesson here is to carefully count the number of knobs/latches/pulls and have someone else confirm it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gross Negligence

As we turned our eyes to the kitchen we neglected a very important member of our family, The Deck.

Alas, we were saved by the arrival of my parents, who's primary intention was to visit with the eldest grandchild. However, my father is an expert power washer operator and unable to resist the call.

My father removed several layers of "grossness" under the watchful eye of my mother, who made sure he didn't get to close with the sprayer and "raise the grain". If he had she would have "raised the hell". 2 hours later, everything that was within reach of the hose had been power washed. It looks AMAZING!

However, they were not done. A few text messages, initiated by my Father, while I was in a meeting and my father was off to Lowes to get some mildew killer/remover/preventer stuff.

So I'd like to give a huge "THANK YOU" to my folks who have saved us countless hours of washing and explaining to the 3.5 year old why she can't be on the deck. We've also been able to spread out "Temp Kitchen" out onto the clean deck.

Next Steps, protect it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Project Plan, Week 7

This plan not only shows the slippage in our kitchen project, but also the areas where I hate to make a decision quickly.

We still haven't picked out a tile, but are getting much closer. I want a subway tile, but in a less-standard size, like 2x6 or 1x4. I want them in a blue-gray color. Unfortunately this means a handmade size, which translates into "Over Budget" in layman's terms. I'm holding out hope that I can get them for only "double-over-budget", since Jeff has warned me that "quadruple-over-budget" is not an option. But, in the scheme of things, the kitchen can be working without the tiled backsplash, so I'm not in a rush to order the tiles.

Similar to the tile problem, I can't decide on a paint color, and will likley need to talk to the local Color Consultant at Benjamin Moore to get a some good suggestions and to make me feel better about my choice. I do like Bone White from Benjamin Moore and I think a neutral off-white color will keep the kitchen feeling crisp and airy, and this color will help it feel a little warmer too.
Bone White:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Under my feet

Kitchen Floor Installed
Originally uploaded by screwtop
The shiny new maple flooring went in yesterday! The installers had just enough to put the planks under the appliances with a little bit left over.

Don't be surprised if you have to remove your shoes and are subject to a foot-inspection before being allowed to walk through our kitchen!

This photo shows the above-cabinet lights turned on so you can bask in the glory of the reflection on the floor.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kitchen Cabinets installed

Kitchen Cabinets installed
Originally uploaded by screwtop
Yesterday the cabinets were installed, and the lights in the top glass cabinets were hooked up. Its finally coming together. There were some small measurement issues mostly due to our walls being slightly uneven, but the installer was able to shave a 1/4 of an inch to move the refridgerator to the left to hide the out-of-whackness of the walls.
The island still needs to go in, but that will be installed after the wood flooring goes in, hopefully by Friday!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A note to my brother

Dear Forrest,

Thank you for your less-than-constructive criticism of our posting habits. The staff here at SOABT have taken your comments into consideration and we have added a "Google Widget" to the side bar. Please immediately add this to your Google homepage so you never miss a post.

In the future, your concerns will be processed in a more timely manner when they are not accompanied by high-pitched whining and colorless insults.

Have a nice day, and thank you for your support of our blog.

Shade of a Beech Tree


The plasterers finished putting in the walls and ceilings! Everything is starting to come together and we might actually pull this off!
This post is a little delayed due to my vacation to LA last weekend, but rest assured, the Zipwall was still in place when this work was going on.
Other improvements seen in the panormamic photo: recessed lighting, leveled floor, and a new sliding door to the side patio. Click on the photo for a larger view.


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