Saturday, December 26, 2009

Update! Windows are done!

Here is before:

And now!

Our beautiful new front door and window from the outside.

Our beautiful new front door and window from the inside.

I am currently getting estimates on exterior and interior painting. I guess we have to wait til spring to get the exterior painted. The orangey-red's got to go, but then I'll have to change the name of this blog!

More photos for ya:

I had them put in awning windows above the side windows of the home - lets in so much more light, adds more character and looks beautiful (that's my computer monitor glowing with there):


The master bath is also finally complete - the custom glass installed (but I forgot to buy a squeegee while at bed bath beyond today - dangit!):

The window installed, tile complete - though we realized we're missing the shelves for the linen cabinet. Must call on that.

Next on the list besides painting is the downstairs bath. That's haulted because of the holidays but hopefully they can continue work soon.

The house is still in shambles.

Oh, and we're also still planning to shop other estimates for the portico. I'm hoping we can get that done in the spring too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our beautiful new front door is in! Now I have to find some new hardware for it. The custom window for above it goes in next week - finally!

I've got to take more photos of the finished bathrooms. Digging has started on the lower level bathroom too so now there's a big pile of dirt in our laundry room. If we leave the door open, the cat gets into it. As long as he doesn't think it's his new litter box!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I forgot to add: to top off all the fun, I fractured my radius bone (basically broke my wrist) while attempting to roller skate 2 weeks ago.

I got no business rollerskating at my age. :-(

so let's see...

where are we at?

- all windows and sliding doors are now installed. they cannot install the new front door until the *new* custom window is ready. apparently it's being made by hand? i hope it comes in soon otherwise they can't install it until after christmas.

- all the interior and exterior trim should be done next week.

- bathroom #1 was waiting on the window to be trimmed before the wall tile could be completed. it's now trimmed but the tile is still in the works, depending on how much progress the carpenter made today.

- BUT we were also waiting on the custom glass for the shower in bathroom #1, which was supposed to be installed today until they realized that one of the pieces was wrong. :-(

- bathroom #2 is not complete because the plumber had to order additional parts for both the tub and the shower piece. ::whines:: but at least we have 2 working toilets now.

- bathroom #3 gets started tomorrow! but i need to find that tree where money grows, anybody know where that is?

- im farming for bids now on house painters though it's not something i can do until all the window work is done. i just want to get an idea of how much that's going to burn my pocket too.

so it's coming along! but not fast enough. :-\

Friday, November 27, 2009

bathroom #2 almost completed

looking beautiful!

floor detail

shower/bath detail

quartz detail

matching vanity light

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Guess what arrived bright and early this cold morning!?!? Windows and doors! Yay! They start Monday - yay! I'm running out of money - not so yay! They only screwed up one window - the most expensive one. The custom arched window for over the front door. It didn't come with the bronze finish, instead it was white. It's going back to the factory.

Monday, November 16, 2009

wow. window update.

The windows are being delivered on Thursday. The actual work finally commences on Monday. What a relief. I watched too many episodes of Holmes on Homes this weekend and was getting a little worried I'd need to give the guy a call. ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

bathroom #1 almost done

The master bath renovations are near completion and i couldn't be happier with how it's coming out. It's gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Josh the plumber finished up installing all the new Kohler oil rubbed bronze hardware today as well as hookedup the toilet and sink. We can't finish up tiling the walls until the new window is installed. And it'll be a couple of weeks before the custom glass enclosure is also installed. In the meantime we can toss up a temporary rod and curtain though so we can use it while they get started on bath #2.

By the way, my garage looks like a Kohler warehouse.

The before pictures and inspiration are here:

The gorgeous new bath with travertine, river rock, and quartz countertops ...

I made another big purchase today: a new stainless steel Electrolux fridge. I got it from Percy's in Worcester from their 'dinged' aisle. most of the dings and scratches are on the sides where you wont even see them and you can hardly see the slight scratches on the front. So I got a $2800 fridge for $1300. Sweet!

Window replacement work starts in a week or 2. Let's get this sh!t done already! I figured we'd be all done with that by now but it kept getting delayed for some reason. Grrr!

I'll address the portico plans at another time. Let's just say that I've reconsidered it because the numbers I was given were WAY out of wack. Must come up with a new plan.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

so. um. woah. sticker shock. I need to come up with more money.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Windows are ordered. Phew!

I had to pick out my molding preference and after googling to death, I told the builder I like this the best:

Now we're working on finalizing portico plans. I've asked the builder to price it out with and without the 2nd decorative roof-line. I am all too quickly running out of money here.

Bathroom #1 should hopefully be complete by the end of next week, depending on when we can get the countertops in and measured. It's painted, they're laying tile tomorrow (which I have a story for), and they said it'll be ready for the quartz people to measure anytime after Monday. Yay!

Lesson learned: Travertine doesn't come with a bullnose - you have to have a stone fabricator bullnose it for you. I've said 'bullnose' more times in the past few weeks than I ever thought I'd say in a lifetime, I'm sure. And running back and forth to the place in Natick that does it, not fun! I hate that section of Route 9.

So speaking of Travertine, my carpenter was all ready to start tiling on Monday when we realized we didn't have the 12x12's for the master bath. What???? They were nowhere to be found, which I couldn't believe because I was sure we picked up a complete order. I called Best Tile and they said their stock was correct so I must have them somewhere. Nope. So I sent my husband down yesterday with the receipt and he convinced them to give us another lot of tiles for free. I'm willing to bet that a stock person caught the discrepancy and waited for a customer to call. When a few weeks went by with no call, that employee took the overage home with him. That's my bet. They told my husband that if we come across the lost tile, to return it. Ha.

I cannot wait for all of this to be done. I'm already sick and tired of having to correspond with so many people so often. Especially if they call - with all the time I spend on the computer, I really hate talking to 'live' people anymore. LOL.

All this window trim googling has distracted me from work - I must get some more work done today...

Monday, October 12, 2009

New windows are being ordered tomorrow. All $20,000 worth. Doh. That's $5k more than what I assumed it might be. Add that to the fact that bathrooms are costing quite a bit more to renovate than I expected, and this project is going over budget. We'll see. Bathroom renovations should kick into higher gear now that most of the Kohler order is in.

I had to pick a different quartz for the master - the other was not available as a remnant. I picked Cambria's Sutton:

The windows are Integrity by Marvin with a prairie style grill in bronze.

Being replaced is every window in the home, as well as 2 sliding doors, additional awning windows added above side windows in the living room/dining room, and a new Therma-Tru front door with matching sidelights in the Saratoga design with black nickel:

They're having Marvin make a custom window for over the front door which will also have the prairie style grill.

Construction on the windows will likely not begin for 4 weeks. Hopefully the bathrooms will be done by them. I'm hoping to show my family all the renovations when they're in RI for thanksgiving.

Of course nothing goes smoothly - just before bathroom construction started, my beloved Siamese died suddenly. He was only 5 or 6. We think he got into something poisonous or toxic, but we really don't know. None of the other animals got sick (2 other cats and a pit bull). Losing my handsome Simon really broke my heart, but I also feared the workers going in and out of the house all day and losing him another way - he was quite the escape artist when he wanted to be and I was so afraid he'd get out with all the activity around here. I really want another Siamese but I think we'll wait until all this activity (and spending!) is complete.

The carpenters had to re-frame the shower because I told them the wrong width for the linen cabinet. Whoops. But luckily they weren't so far along that it was too much work. Although they have to resize the copper shower pan for like the 4th time.

I didn't expect that my niece-in-law's boyfriend would charge me as much as he is for plumbing work. Oy! And this is just for the first of 3 bathrooms, I was reminded today. That means more of my speculative calculations are off. I'm likely going to have to find another source for money - Dad? He he. Let's hope I don't have to go there, yet there's pretty much no turning back now...

Let's hope I have finished bathroom pics (at least of one of the three) to share sometime in the next 2 weeks.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ok folks - here's the plan!

I've scanned the plan... here we go!

We still have yet to determine if that's the final look for the windows or if we'll work in that architectual design work that you see below the picture window - also below the other 2 front windows and/or if we'll be adding transom windows above each (instead of the molding design). I have a bad feeling that transom windows won't fit. All in all though - the windows to the right will be more uniform with the big window on the left - this is the rough draft that the builder used to submit to town because the important part is the footprint.

Remember that this is what we're working with here...

Bath renos!

Ack! I just wrote out a whole entry and then lost it because I'm a spaz.

Today I've put in my order for vanities and quartz countertops for our 2 bathrooms. Yesterday I picked up tile samples from Best Tile in Shrewsbury and took them over to Kitchen Views in Berlin this morning - and everything I've picked out looks so perfect, I went ahead and put in that order. I'm really excited. It seems our bathrooms might get done sooner than our exterior plans!

Here is my inspiration for our master bath (which when you see the pics that follow, is *really* small) - the inspiration here is simply the pebble border with travertine - we have no room for a tub in that particular bathroom but will be doing a custom tile/glass enclosed shower.

I have no pic for the other bath inspiration, but following the ugly bath pics, I will post bad camera phone photos of what I've picked out.

Here are our bad, bad bathrooms currently...

As you can see they both have *HIDEOUS* linoleum flooring.

The main bathroom (with full tub - we'll be putting in a 5' whirlpool tub - yay!)

The itty-bitty master bath:

(just realized how filthy that toilet looks - yuck!!!)

We'll be moving the toilet to the right of the vanity (which you can hardly see on the left there). Then we'll have a narrow floor to ceiling linen cabinet in the right corner, with a custom glass enclosed tile shower with bench to the left of that (ripping out that halfway in the middle).

How do you get all-inclusive photos of such a little bath?

Obviously I have zero interest in keeping such ugly baths relatively neat. And with little cabinet space, where do you put everything? That will most definitely change with new baths!

Future half bath (currently dog-food central)! We'll be adding a toilet and sink to the downstairs laundry room. My husband insisted on a colored toilet (as this room is off his 'mantown') - so I'm ordering him a Black 'throne' to go with his red LG washer and dryer (he insisted on red!)

Wow - I can't believe how nasty those pics make my house look. It's a work in progress, so hopefully you'll let it slide.

We are scoring discounted Kohler products (hello: $1100 whirlpool tub for $655!) through my husband's neice's boyfriend (her baby daddy?) who is an excellent plumber. A friend of his will be doing the carpentry as well. We've seen their work in other homes and they do a first-class job.

Here are the cabinet/tile/countertops that I've picked out...

Main bath:

That's a Merillat vanity in maple - granite glazed finish with Caesarstone Quartz countertop in Oyster. The travertine is Rustic Mocha with 'precious gems' accents.

Master bath:

Merillat vanity in maple - kona finish - with Zodiaq quartz countertop in Astral Pearl. Durango travertine accented by 'mixed salad' polished pebbles. (I was torn between 2 quartz options - the one in the top right is the rejected option)

Yay! I'm so excited for 'new' bathrooms! I promise to take after photos.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hi new readers!

How fun - I'm getting some 'publicity'. LOL.

It's all part of my grand scheme... mua ha ha ha.

But anyways, it reminded me to make an updated post about our updated plans.

I met with Dennis (the builder) again this week and we're officially on the schedule. We are like 90% there on a final design plan too. We just need the window guys to come out and measure - then we decide if we go back to design A or if my ideas for a revised design B will work (and if I can afford them - they involve larger/more windows). I know, I'm not very descriptive. I'll wait until I have pics of the plans to speak for themselves. Don't expect anything over the top - after the cost of new windows and sliders, and installation of said windows and sliders, how much is really left before you go overboard on a house like this? And contrary to popular belief, I am not made of money. (shucks).

The plot plan is completed. Dennis will add his part of the plan to it. He'll apply for permits, which could go smoothly - or not - and we're scheduled to start the project at the end of October. Oh yeah, somewhere in there we have to do the most important part: order windows.

I'm so excited!

Or I've just eaten too many Canada Mints.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hey look! A raised ranch makeover, including before and after pics:

They've apparently got more money than I do though.

Here's another - but I hope they post new pics soon of the exterior:

I'm leaving a comment over here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I met with my builder today - though on the way to his home office I wondered if maybe our appointment was really next week and not this. I was lucky he was home, because our appointment was in fact *next* week, but since my ideas have evolved, we had lots to talk about, and will have lots more to talk about!

I'm looking beyond just raised ranch plans and taking cues from prairie and craftsman style plans of much different homes. You don't realize the decisions you need to make about the smallest details! I'm going to learn so much from this remodel - hopefully enough to help spawn my next career move.

So let's take a look at some pics of homes with details that I am drawing inspiration from...

Accent lighting, stone and corner details...

prairie style - color and stone:
more pretty prairie, color, stone and window inspiration...

I think this prairie design is very cool...

creative window accents

more color, light and stone inspiration (*this color combination might be our winner):

Interior window framing...

Just 'wow!'

I hope I don't drive my builder crazy with all my varying ideas!

Monday, August 3, 2009

painted kitchen

A friend is looking for some painted cabinet ideas so I wanted to throw these up here that I have saved to my 'home ideas' folder on my desktop. In the interest of saving money and spicing up our kitchen, I was googling ideas. But I learned you can buy some pretty cheap quality cabinets in stock at some local stores - like Grossman's. It's last on our long list, so we'll figure it out when we get there - and see what's left in our 'house fund'.

Here is our kitchen after we had granite installed (and it's never been this clean since):

It's not in horrible shape but it's pretty boring and I hate the tile floor.

Close up of the granite - it's a thin cut and we got it from some local Brazilians in the area that had just started a business out of garage at the time - so it was very inexpensive.

Even if we don't replace the cabinets, I'd like to have tile backsplash installed and get new appliances. Oh, and new cabinet hardware.