26 September 2009

Sorry I've been MIA...

but I've had a lot going on this week, and there's not much to report on the house anyway. Yesterday I started filling in the drywall screw holes with drywall mud, and today we hung a whopping one sheet of drywall in the bathroom (the one I wanted to do last Monday). That'll teach us to go to karaoke the night before a supposed work day. My penance is a week full of mudding all by myself.

21 September 2009

It's about time.

We finally got the ceiling drywall hung in the bathroom, so we can move on to the walls next. We would have started that last night, but it was getting too dark to work in there. However, if we get just one piece on the wall tonight, I can wire up one of the vanity lights, enabling us to work after dark on the rest of it.

Our productivity plans may be taking another hit next week. The bosses are going out of town on business and leaving Tom and me in charge of their house, animals, and child for almost a week. In theory, I'll have between 8 am and 2 pm to work at the house while the kid is at school, but it's a well-documented fact that I don't really wake up before 10 am. I'm not sure if trying to finish drywall while in a coma is a good idea. I guess we'll see.

18 September 2009


As I mentioned before, Tom and I painted last night at the gym where he plays table tennis. It was nice to get to start and finish a project all in the same day. That hasn't happened to us recently, if ever. It was pretty tough painting on the brick, and we were worried we wouldn't have enough paint, but we managed. It needs a second coat, but it looks alright if you stand back a bit. I take no responsibility for the Smurfy color. Here are Tom and Carl hard at work:

My job was to come back with a brush and touch up the bottom part where they couldn't get with a roller. I had to wait for them to finish this section and move the drop cloth, so I had a minute or two to get a few quick photos. And here's the wall after we were done:

The opposite wall before:

And after:

The paint color isn't really my taste, but it will serve its purpose - to give a greater contrast between the ping pong ball and the wall. And despite the color, the fresh coat of paint makes it look much better, and since we only painted 5' up the wall, it's not totally overwhelming. Maybe someday we'll get around to painting in our house...sigh.

15 September 2009

Not much to report.

So my optimistic September 15 move-in goal is clearly not happening. In fact, things don't really look a whole lot different than when I stated that goal to begin with. We'll be attempting to fix that this weekend. We've recruited help from work and hope to get the bathroom ceiling drywall/greenboard done. Tip for getting coworkers to help: ask early in the week before they've made weekend plans. Haha.

Unfortunately, the evenings this week will be dedicated to painting the gym where Tom plays table tennis. Tonight is the prep work: patching a couple of places where there's water seepage, scrubbing it down with a metal-bristle brush, and taping it off. Thursday is supposed to be painting day. Tom wants to host a tournament there in October, and the walls need to be a different color to contrast with the ping pong balls.

So, not much to report this week, even though I'll probably still try to sneak in some work at the house.

13 September 2009

Too tired for a full post you probably won't read anyway.

So a list of today's activities will have to do.

- Cut up branches and put in garbage can for pickup.
- Mowed lawn.
- Uprooted (most of) a plant in the middle of the yard. Root-rot accelerator should take care of the rest.
- Relocated bricks formerly surrounding said plant (our yard is actually mostly brick pavers - under all the weeds, of course) to another pile of bricks.
- Rescued the neighbor's escaped dog.
- Installed ceiling fixture in the closet - using Spanish instructions. Gracias, Senora Santini.
- Finished sanding one side of the bedroom door.
- Hung insulation in the wall between the closet and the bathroom.
- Hauled a bunch of drywall upstairs.
- Hung a sheet of greenboard on the sink wall in bathroom.
- (Mostly) installed the washer (including wiring the electrical, hooking up hoses, and leveling the machine).
- Got angry again about not standing up for my original closet/laundry room layout, as we now have about 3 feet on each side for usable closet space.
- (Mostly) installed the dryer.

Despite all this, I can't officially cross anything off the list. Drat.

09 September 2009

Heat gun = new BFF.

I give the heat gun two thumbs up. Less than 2 hours with it and the door is almost completely done. It started off with a very glossy sheen:

I went over the entire door with the heat gun. When the varnish started to crackle and dull, I moved on to a different section. After the door had been heated, I did a very cursory rubdown of the rails and stiles with medium-grit sandpaper. In this picture, you can see the matte finish of the heated area, as well as the natural finish of the wood. Believe it or not, the lighting conditions in the room are identical as the last picture, and neither photo was tak.

After I (very lightly, very briefly - it was getting late but I wanted to know how it would turn out) sanded those areas, I wiped them down with a Swiffer pad. It was one of the wet kinds made for wooden floors, so I figured it would probably be safe. Cleaning it really brought out the warm tones of the wood. I'm not sure what it will look like when it dries back out, but this is what it looked like freshly wiped down:

I really think I'll be able to finish this job by tomorrow night. I'll probably have to concentrate on the other side a bit more. Most of what is left on the formerly painted side is residue from the chemical paint stripper. The heat gun didn't seem to work too well on it, so I want to see if just sanding it will work. Any tips?

08 September 2009

Checked off the list.

Well, after a long day yesterday, we got the closet drywall complete. Having the walls and ceiling totally change the perception of the space. We no longer get natural light from the bathroom windows, and for the first time I can grasp just how tall the room is. Nine + foot ceilings don't seem that tall in our 16' wide bedroom, but they just soar in a 6X9 closet.

Lowe's called this morning and said they'd be delivering the dryer this afternoon, so I'll snap a couple of quick pictures when it gets installed. We decided to go ahead and install the washer and dryer without doing any of the finishing work on the drywall. We'll finish the drywall in the other rooms, then do the closet last.

Tom will be playing table tennis this evening, so I"ll be working solo tonight. I'll probably work on getting the door and door frame stripped and ready for installation. I bought a heat gun, and I'm hoping that it will make the task a little easier and less toxic than using chemical paint stripper.

06 September 2009

Chugging along.

I was hoping to have started the long process of mudding by tomorrow, Labor Day, but it looks like we'll still be hanging the blasted drywall. We got the closet about 1/3 done today. Tom and I were hanging the ceiling drywall, which is not an easy task with two people. And, being in the closet, space was pretty limited, making it even more difficult to maneuver giant sheets of heavy material.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, and hopefully we'll be able to cross something off the list.

05 September 2009

The price of laundry.

After 3 trips to 2 different Lowe's stores, we finally bought our washer and dryer. I was hoping to report a steal of the century, but it didn't quite work out exactly the way I had plotted planned. My scheme involved Lowe's "110% Price Match Guarantee" plus a 10% off coupon. The final price for the set would have been about $1100 (original price: about $1600) for a Samsung, front-loading washer and dryer set. I won't go into details since it didn't work.

We still got a fairly good deal, though, I think. The washer came to $574.56, and the dryer was $653.20, so about $1230. Right now, the delivery is free, so that saved us another $118 (we had to buy each at a different store, and standard delivery is $59). The 5-year all-inclusive extended warranty set us back $160. Any single repair would likely be several hundred dollars, so we were willing to get that extra insurance. Deliveries are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope they know to be extra careful, 'cuz any dings on these babies will cost 'em extra.