July 15, 2012
Home Improvement Time – Stage 2

Still no headway on the last piece of trim for the door in the upstairs hallway. Oh well… I’ll just keep trying at Menards until the trim comes in. Also, I haven’t done the painting in the entry way. So it goes… In the mean time…

Saturday morning I dragged the washer, dryer, toilet and vanity out to the garage. Next, I took out the old shelves in the laundry room. Then I cleaned up the floor as best as I could with an ice chipper to scrape the crud off the cement and then used a chisel to even out some of the worst stuff. Then it was time for the real work. I laid out all the tiles, cutting the ones that needed and fitted them all in with spacers. Then I mixed up the mortar (mortar with polymer) and smoothed it out according to the directions and laid the tile. It all went rather well. I even got done in time to go to the Riverside Casino and catch the Joe Walsh concert!

Today, I put up the new shelves, grouted the tile and then trimmed the area where the washer and dryer will go. Tomorrow will be installing the washer, dryer and vanity. I won’t be able to do anything more until the weekend due to other stuff (ain’t it amazing how life gets in the way of home improvement projects?). But at least we’ll be able to do laundry!

Here’s the photos:

The new shelves already up and loaded.

The floor in the laundry room.

Bathroom floor – no trim

The laundry room floor from the bathroom

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June 24, 2012
Home Improvement Time

So I’ve taken this week off of work as vacation, or stay-cation as you may call it. I have three upgrades to work on and hope the installer can schedule this week. Here’s the details:

  1. Three weeks ago, we had the hose between the washer and the shut-off valve burst and had water all over the basement. I just put down a laminate wood floor a short time ago, so it was kind of a bummer. We had a crew come in and take up the floor – it was ruined by the water. It took them a half hour to take out the floor while it took me several days to install the floor. Since insurance is covering this, the installer should be here to replace the laminate floor. It shouldn’t take a professional installer more than a day to put in the floor (unlike me!).
  2. I’m working on replacing our stairs from the family room on the lower level to the upper level. Oak treads and off-white risers on the stairs, with the off-white matching the wall color. I currently have all the wood cut out and am putting coats of paint on the risers and coats of urethane on the treads. I should be able to get the new stairs in on Tuesday. I’ll have photos later of before/after. Along with the stairs, I’m replacing the handrails and the railing at the edge of the stairs in our upstairs living room. I should be able to work on this Tuesday and finish it up Wednesday. Again, I’ll have before/after photos.
  3. I’m also going to take up the carpet in the hallway upstairs and replace it with matching laminate flooring. With any luck, I can get most of this done on Monday. I may have to work around a few things to get this done. But it should be done some time this week.
  4. The final project is to replace the flooring in the laundry room and the adjacent bathroom. This was to be the main project for the week, but other things have happened and the “honey-do” list has moved other items up on the list. I have the floor tiles and the thinset to do the floor, I just need to get the washer, dryer, lavatory and stool out of the bathroom in order to put the floor down. I’m also putting up a wall in the bathroom to make it a bit less of a “utility” bathroom. My original plan was to tile the shower, but that may change with me getting a shower surround kit and installing that. Should be less work than tiling.

So much for a fun stay-cation.

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September 6, 2010
Bathroom Remodel – Day 6

Got a lot done today. The bathroom is now completely usable. There are little things to do but for all intents and purposes, the bathroom is done. I’ve got a small piece of chair rail to put up, some base molding to install and clean up some excess silicone. Also, I have the linen cabinet doors to finish and put up (just a coat of paint). Because of this, I probably won’t post any more updates to the bathroom remodel. Here’s the final pics:

Stool with a nicely finished corner  Granite vanity top with silicone to be cleaned up  Towel rack, complete with towels!

Curtains and shower curtain - REAL busy!  Chair rail and cabinet doors not done yet  New shower neck spout

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September 5, 2010
Bathroom Remodel – Day 5

Full day today. Got a lot done. Installed the entire vanity/medicine cabinet set. Wired in the new lights over the medicine cabinet. Installed the vanity top. It’s granite. One thing that really slowed me down today was the vanity top I ordered was cracked. It was delivered cracked. So I had to return it. Fortunately, Menards let me exchange the cracked granite top with their display model (that was not cracked!) for nothing more than some paperwork changes. Once again, Menards comes through! So I installed the granite vanity top, complete with all the plumbing. Installed all the plumbing, and it doesn’t even leak! Here’s the photos:

HVAC baffle and outlet plate  Glass shelves on the left side of the medicine cabinet  Switch for the fan, the vanity light and outlet

Granite vanity top with recessed sink  Closed end of the medicine cabinet  Far end of the vanity

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September 2, 2010
Bathroom Remodel – Day 3

Yeah, Day 3. I skipped over Day 2 as it was pretty much sand down and paint with white mildew resistant primer. Not much to see there. So after making everything white, I removed the old light/fan kit that had been there since we moved in (some 25 years ago!) and replaced it with a newer model from Menards. The new model can move 80 cubic feet of air per minute; I think the old one was worn out and only moving 20 or so. Big change in the amount of air moving out when showering! There was some fitting and such as the old air and fan unit was round and this one is square, but nothing really major. Tonight was painting the walls yellow… well, the official color is called Shortbread; it’s Dutch Boy paint with satin finish. We may paint another coat around where there may be splashes from the vanity sink. Here’s the photos:

Corner above the stool, near the window  Corner above the end of the shower  Corner above where the vanity will be  New light-fan fixture, without the glass

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August 29, 2010
Bathroom Remodel

It was inevitable. You see, I had remodeled our upstairs bathroom 10-15 years ago (don’t remember the exact date) and we got a LOT of the stuff that we wanted. However: times change, tastes change, trends change, yada, yada, yada. So, here I am again remodeling. Here’s a description of what we had: the walls were textured and painted white with an oak-look wainscoting, trim and chair-rail. The rest of it you can see in one of the photos. What I’ve done so far is remove the medicine cabinet (it will be replaced with a newer one), sand down the walls so the texture is now smooth (KC wants smooth walls now), replace some drywall that I broke during trim removal (I’m not perfect…..) and then spread drywall mud over the corners, seams and in some places over texture that I couldn’t sand down smooth. Here’s the progress so far:

Behind the entryway door  Above the tub, where I broke the old drywall  The old vanity top (plus some tools)  Above the end of the vanity top  The corner above the vanity

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