Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Decor

After putting up with the big green monster (dumpster) in my front yard for a few months now, I decided it needed some decoration for the holiday. We went out & purchased a skeleton & a few dollar store goodies and some red paint. My husband found a piece of black rope & made a noose and now the dumpster is creepier than ever.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Still Floating the Drywall

I had no idea what a long process this would be to get the walls level. The old wood studs in our kitchen were quite uneven, so if you place a level across the drywall sheets, there are recesses in areas as big as ¼” that need to be filled in. I’ve been putting on joint compound almost every day for over a week & I’m still nowhere near done. Looking at it, the changes are so subtle it looks like I’m slacking, but my achy neck & shoulders tell me otherwise. Yesterday my contractor came out and showed me how to use the hawk & trowel for the large sections of walls we need to skim coat. He did about 80% of the one wall & I tried a few passes. After he left, about 10 minutes into my 1st attempt on my own, I got a cramp in the palm of my hand. My hand barely fits around the grip of the trowel. Anyway I worked through the pain and attempted two more spots before I went back to the mud pan & 10” trowel for filling in spots on the ceiling where we patched in drywall. I just didn’t have enough confidence working with the hawk & trowel over my head, probably would have ended up with more mud in my hair than on the ceiling.
Old plaster wall we skim coated

My first attempt with the hawk & trowel
Ceiling patch before
Detail of ceiling after filling gap when instaling the corner bead

Ceiling after anothe layer of fill

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Minute Recycled Gift Bag

Finally a crafty post instead of a reconstruction one.

We got a last minute invitation to a birthday party for our friend's son. I managed to squeeze in some shopping time for a present, but when I looked through my stash, I had no wrapping paper or bags fit for a 6 year old. Most of my craft supplies, glues sticks, glues, etc. are all packed away in storage while we're doing our home renovation, so I couldn't make my usual upcycled gift bag. But if you save enough junk like I do, you can always find something usable. Another of my friends (who's received a few of my recycled calendar gift bags) now hands me down her calendars at the end of the year & I found one stashed in the bookshelf. I also had a Williams Senoma shopping bag. I just cut out 2 cute pages from the calendar & taped them on the bag. Since the sides of the bag said down them, I cut a strip of some used wrapping paper that said 'Happy Birthday' and taped over that too. Quick, easy & pretty cute to boot!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Powering Through the Old Floor

Well besides finishing up some mud on the drywall today, I spent my time with the hammer & chisel breaking away the bit of old floor adjacent to the brick wall. There's another section at the front of the wall that I tried hand sawing away (the grain is the opposite direction) but the oak floor was too hard for me to power through. Now I need a masseuse.

The Walls Are Back Up

Well we've gotten the kitchen walls back up. Who knew it took so many screws to mount drywall (besides the contractors). I was totally useless with the screwdrivers, so the guys had to handle all that. But I did tape all the joints and help mud them, still have the inside corner beads to do and leveling out the walls & ceiling.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New

So glad to say good bye to all the old, unsafe fire hazards that were part of the original 1947 wiring in our house, including the ungrounded cloth insulated wire, original meter box that was in the laundry room & that fuse panel mounted behind the kitchen cabinet.

And look at our shiny new weather head outside and some new outlet boxes, switches etc. We even added some new pendant lights at the front entrance.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sub Floor Repair

A few photos from the repair work to strengthen our squeaky floor. 
First we sister-ed every other floor joist with steel joists (had to overlap 2 to make the full span) then we put back the dead men between the joists and finally glued & screwed on the plywood sub floor. There's still another layer of plywood to go down to raise it to the right level to match the rest of the house.


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