31 March 2010

Dishwasher deal

The government decided to offer rebates on Energy Star-rated appliances, to be administered by each individual state. The Ohio program started this week, and I plan on taking advantage of it. Here's the dishwasher we're getting:

Frigidaire FGHD2433 in white.

The MSRP is $549. That's not too bad for a nice dishwasher, but of course I won't be paying that. Lowe's has it for $404.10. Unfortunately, they're the cheapest place to get it. I say unfortunately because they have a 110% price match guarantee. If Sears beat them by only a penny, I'd be able to knock off another $40 of the price. Ah well. I'll get that 10% discount anyway, though, via a mover's coupon given to us by a friend. So we're down to $363.69.

But wait, there's more. Oh yeah, the government is giving us $100 back. $263.69. And even better, there's a manufacturer's rebate on the same product. $233.69 ($259 with tax) for a $549 appliance.

Ohio does require proof of recycling of an old appliance before they'll sign off on the rebate. Fortunately we have a friend with an old dishwasher just sitting in his garage that he wants to get rid of. And even more fortunately, Lowe's has free delivery and does the haul away and recycling confirmation for you. Now I just need to find a junker refrigerator so I can take advantage of the refrigerator rebate, too...

22 March 2010

And it was all yellow

Just like that Coldplay song. Those are pretty much the only words in that song I know, because 1) he says them a lot; 2) Chris Martin doesn't always enunciate clearly; and 3) I'm pretty sure the words in that song don't make a whole lot of sense anyway. Anyway, "yellow" is the only way to describe the color we ended up with in the closet. I'm banking on the white from the washing machine and dryer and all of our closet shelving and clothes to help tone down the color a little bit. If not, oh well. It's only a closet. Here she is:

I painted on Saturday and installed the washer and dryer yesterday. The closet checklist is complete! That's not to say that the closet is complete - just the things that need to get done before move-in. We obviously still need baseboards, crown moulding, shelving systems for the laundry and closet, and a door.

In other news, I cut, routed, and primed the window stools (interior window sills) for the three bedroom windows.

They look a little goofy with the long tabs sticking out on the sides, but the old-fashioned window trim we have planned will fill it out and make it look better. Anyway, lots on the agenda for today, so it's off to work for me.

15 March 2010

Taking the plunge

I finally did it. I took the plunge, picked a paint color, and went at it (ignoring Donny's advice of waiting for the crown moulding to be installed. I still think that's a stupid idea). Here it is, Dutch Boy's Storm Clouds:

Without flash.

With flash.

Getting an accurate idea of the color is almost impossible with my camera. It's kind of a chameleon color even in person - it changes quite a bit according to the light in the room. It was a gray-green while we were painting, but it shifted to blue-gray yesterday in different light. Months of second-guessing and worrying were all for naught (it was one of the first paint chips I picked out); Tom and I both like it a lot. In fact, we'll probably end up using the same paint in the bathroom, as well. There were a few spots in the bedroom we had to touch up with primer, so we still have a couple of walls to paint (our room has 15 wall surfaces...oy). And for those who are extra observant, you'll notice we have a new ceiling fixture:

Waterton II fan from Hampton Bay.

So far, so good! It was easy to install (with the exception of finding the right screws for the electrical box - my fault, not the fan's) and it runs quietly. Tom's only requirement was that it didn't have exposed bulbs glaring down when you look up. My only requirement was that it wasn't entirely hideous. I guess it qualifies. What do you think?

11 March 2010

Thanks for the memories, Mom and Dad

I finished up the priming in the bedroom and closet areas. The smell of Kilz primer (don't worry, it's low VOC) brings back childhood memories of painting at Aunt Addie's house. [I guess I was the only 8 year old who spent summers and weekends helping my parents fix up an old house? Anyone? Looks like my baby's childhood will be much of the same. Oh, the irony.] It took a lot of coats to get to the point where you couldn't see the mud lines (almost 2 full 5-gallon buckets worth), but I think we're finally there. Now that that's done, today I'll be painting the ceiling with flat white paint. Hopefully I'll get that done in time to install the ceiling fan in the bedroom and attach the closet light a little better. I know ceiling fans aren't considered fashionable in the design community, but you know what? I don't care. We keep ours going year-round. It's cheaper to run than the air conditioning in the summer, and it circulates the warm air trapped at the ceiling in the winter. It's all about energy efficiency, folks.

One of the guys insists that it's easier to install the crown moulding before you paint the walls, but this seems really backward to me. It seems to me that if you paint the walls first, you don't have to worry much about cutting in around the ceiling since it will be covered by the trim. But if you install the trim first, you have to make sure that the wall color doesn't touch the trim, and that the trim color doesn't get on the wall. Also, if you paint the moulding before it goes on the wall, you only have to do minor touch-ups around the nail holes once its on the wall. Am I missing something, or does this guy just want the extra work of (and $ for) installing crown?

And also, how do I tell him that I do NOT want him smoking inside my house without sounding like a hormonal B?

07 March 2010

A color query.

The guys finished wiring the recessed lights upstairs, including two 3-way switches (one each at the top and bottom of the eventual spiral staircase) and finished the insulation to boot.

I probably shouldn't be taking pictures while standing on a ladder.

I think that the mudding in the bathroom is done, as well, based on the fact that they seem to have mopped all the dust off the floor. I guess now I need to buckle down and pick paint colors so we can get this show on the road.

Speaking of paint colors, I'm having a hard time deciding on what to do with the trim. Our windows are an almond color. It works well with the outside of the house, but because the windows are vinyl (and can't be painted) it's making our interior trim decision difficult. Would it look goofy to keep the trim a standard white? Here's an existing example:

With flash.

Without flash.

I could (1) match the window color for the entire casement. It seems like it might be dark for trim in the white family (I have seen dark-painted mouldings - blue and black in particular - and like them a lot), so it might make the whole casement seem a little dingy and dirty. Plus this might cause a conflict with the wainscot I plan to install in the bathroom. I wouldn't want this almond shade all around the bathroom walls, especially next to our beige-y tile. (2) Use white anyway. It might make the window itself look dingy and dirty, but the casement will appear clean. (3) Pick a medium tone between white and almond. (4) Paint the jamb a matching almond color and paint the casement another shade - white or the aforementioned medium shade. Please help!

03 March 2010

And now for something completely different...

My beautiful niece is finally going home today after 11 months in the hospital! We're all so thankful for her continued recovery. I know my sister is happy yet overwhelmed at the prospect of having a high-needs baby 24/7 (without a hospital staff to help), so continued prayers are still greatly appreciated!

01 March 2010

While you were out

Have you ever seen that TV show While You Were Out? A family leaves home for a few days, and friends and relatives ambush the house to redecorate a room for them before they get back. I left the guys this afternoon to eat some lunch, and when I came back, this greeted me:

Well, priming was in progress when I came back from lunch. The picture was taken after they left.

I'm not normally a big fan of all-white rooms, but these made me incredibly happy. Right now it's a study in modern minimalism (the chair and miscellaneous junk are clearly a statement about post-modern life), but I'm sure it'll be crammed full of our junk in no time at all.


I guess I never explained why we decided to have the guys work on the attic area instead of another more "important" space. We did this mainly so we'd have a good portion of the attic insulated. We had to keep the heat on upstairs at about 65 degrees when they were doing drywall mudding, and it ain't cheap to heat a nearly entirely-uninsulated house. Our electric bill for that month just came in the mail the other day, and I nearly wet myself. $378.78 is WAY too much to be dishing out every month. And that's not even including the gas bill, which hasn't come yet. Moving the thermostat to the bedroom and insulating upstairs has made a huge difference already, though. Now I'm comfortable when it's set to 55, and I'm always cold. If I wear something longsleeved, I can set it to 50 and be alright. So, hopefully next month's bill will be a little less extreme and will continue to decline as we get the old house tightened up.