Tuesday, July 14, 2009


So, we had a housewarming party.


First we would like to thank everyone that was able to make it to the housewarming; our friends from college, high school, friends from work, both old and current. It was great to see everyone, to get more potted plants and the wonderful gifts that were bestowed upon us.

Secondly, this means that, for real, most of the work is finished in the living room and kitchen. All the transitions, and even a new lighting fixture installed an hour before the party, are completed and looking good, allowing us for the first time to take an entire week off of working on the house. Not to say that won't stop me from seriously thinking about installing the new fans, but...

For the housewarming we had a selection of Kirkland Beers (pretty good actually) and 1984 Kenwood Cab donated by my Dad, George. This was the same kind of wine that Christina had on her 21st birthday and the cork was in better condition, meaning it tasted better to boot. Did I mention that it was a 6L bottle? Well, you'll see in the photos at the end of the post. We also had homemade potato salad, the Bacon Explosion, 3.5Lbs of bacon and sausage rolled up into a delicious log of cholesterol, and fish tacos courtesy of Christina's Dad Nick, who caught plenty of tuna and yellow tail on his week long fishing trip.

What else is there to say? Everyone got along well, the weather agreed, staying warm throughout the night, and the tiki torches gave off the appropriate glow needed for this type of backyard party, and as dinner wound down and people filtered out, well when the cat's away...

The mice play beer pong. Christina and I had a blast hosting this and hope that everyone who could make it enjoyed their time here too. Maybe since I have all this free time I can start getting to the How To's I've been meaning to do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Little Things

We are finishing a few things here and there before our housewarming party this weekend. If we haven't told you about it, ask us and we'll let you know the details! The littlest things take forever to finish, because there are so many of them. For example, I never thought about floor transitions from room to room. Apparently they are supposed to match and provide a flat surface between one floor to the next. You mean we can't have people tripping from the tile kitchen to the laminate in the living room?

We finished all the baseboard moulding in the living room and painted the door frames the same color, white. Again, these are supposed to match. I know right? We also put the framing up above the cabinet doors in the kitchen. It still needs to be touched up with some paint. Another little project to add to the list!

Here are some photos. See you this weekend if you can make it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lifehacker: Consumer Reports: Refresh your kitchen and bathroom

So I was perusing Lifehacker and I came across this post, originally from Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports suggests a few ways handy and not-so-handy types can make some big changes in two of the house's most prominent rooms without drawing up major plans or hiring a contractor for more than minor jobs. Consider a few of their kitchen suggestions:
A couple of their suggesstions are exactly what we have done (in the kitchen, a new lamintate countertop and the refresh/repaint of cabinet doors), and what we are considering doing (new vanities in the bathroom). I think it's a testament to the cost effectiveness of their approach that we've been able to do it in a pretty short period of time with relatively minor experience.

The only other thing I could throw in? Paint your ugly tile instead of replacing it.

Flooring Q&A from my Aunt Vicky

So last night before we posted out our latest blog report I got an email from my Aunt Vicky (out in Nashville) asking about flooring. As I went through her questions I realized the answers I were giving would, well, make a great blog post. So here we go:

Q: How are things going with the house? How are you and Christina?

A: We're doing really well, and really excited about having the house coming along as well as it has. (Sweet, that was a softball question)

Q: How much trouble was it to install?

A: Relatively easy, but you really need at least 2 people. Takes probably 20 man hours for the 360 square feet we had. (Thanks again Jeff)

Q: How easy does it cut?

A: Very easily with a miter saw. I picked one up for $140 and I love it. A table saw would be nice for ripping long pieces of laminate (for edges and corners of rooms), but a circular saw will get the job done. (I bought a Hitachi 10” miter saw. It really is great)

Q: How hard are the last pieces to install?

A: Surprisingly easy, but we got lucky. Our room was just wide enough to fit almost an exactly even number of planks.

Q: If you install it over linoleum, do you think you still have to put the barrier liner down? What type of tape did you use to hold that together?

A: I would say yes to the barrier/underlayment. It helps the feel. Costs ~ $0.25/square foot, and goes down in long strips running side-by-side. Ours included an adhesive strip along one edge that sticks each row to the others; for end-by-end joints we used Duct Tape (yellow to be exact).

Q: How long did it take you to do the whole floor?

A: Most of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday eve. At least an hour per 15 feet.

Q: If you have half the floor done, can you move furniture on it at that point or does the whole floor need to be down before putting furniture back on it?

A: I would say depends on the furniture. Lighter chairs and table? I would say yes. Piano, I'm thinking no, at least until you have a good 10 or 15 feet wide done. You still want the floor to have some movement while you piece it together. We had a couch on our partial floor as we finished and had no problems.

Well, that's a good start on my questions :)

Yes it was.

So, now that you've all had a chance to read that, how about it? Send in your own
questions and Christina and I would love to answer them (and questions make it so easy to distill all this info in our heads into little discrete bits of knowledge).

Also, you may notice the baseboard in that photo up top; that's right, just tonight we have finished the baseboards in the living room. That included 1 day for cutting and painting, a day for nailing and caulking, and the final day for patching and final paint (it's nice to break it up).