Helping the Economy!

8 09 2012

As we continue to put money into the house, I thought … hey we’re doing our part to help the economy.  (Now if I could only find a job that isn’t temporary and pays what I used to make.)  Okay, back to reality.  Just like every vote matters, so does every dollar spent at this point. So what did we spend our hard earned cash on this month?

A gas burning fireplace and new garage door were the major purchases. Here’s what it looks like in our fireplace along with a photo looking up inside the chimney flue after it was relined.  The gas log set is relatively inexpensive, however, we had to spend $2k to repair and reline our 60+ year old chimney and a few hundred more to have a gas line installed with a floor key valve shutoff.

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Finally Construction Resumes

2 08 2012

Yes, the moisture issues finally got worked out and work has resumed on the addition.  This was a monumental ordeal, but we worked through it without going crazy (well maybe just a little).  We are just thankful that our contractor did his best to remedy all the issues to our satisfaction and continued working to complete this project, well for the most part.

In hind sight another good decision we made before starting this project last year was to reduce the scope to just the Master Bedroom/Bath addition rather than also remodeling the kitchen and bumping out the front of the house at the same time.  Doing all of that work at the same time would have meant moving out and renting a house or apartment and  added significant cost to the project due to this lengthy construction delay.

A word of advice, is to do your remodel work in phases. Don’t think you have to do everything all at the same time.  Plus now we’re better educated on the process, which should help us make better decisions when the time comes to embark on our next home improvement project.

Here are images of work completed over the course of one month (April 2012).  It’s so good to finally see some progress again!

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Weeks 11 – 12 Mud & Mortar

12 01 2012

I called this Mud & Mortar week, because there was a lot of both being slapped up.  On the interior, drywall mud went up throughout the addition and in parts of our existing house.   Meanwhile the first layer of stucco, called a “scratch” coat, was applied on the exterior.

DRYWALL MUD – There’s a ton of it everywhere.  In the left photo the area above the window is all mud to level out those cut-out areas with the earthquake straps.  In the right photo is looking down the hallway.  Didn’t realize they use so much of the stuff.  And it all has to be sanded smooth. They wet sanded, but there’s still a lot of residue and dust.  Respirators and masks are a must around this stuff.  Best just to avoid the area altogether if you can.

 

  < THE BATHROOM VANITY goes on this wall.

Below the tub got a good dose of mud in and around it that I wiped off before it hardened.  And next to it the doors in the laundry room are covered in plastic.

 

  < SHOWER STALL IS WATERPROOFED

STUCCO – The first “scratch” coat is applied.  It’s cement on your house, the norm in California.

 

At the last minute we decided to cover up the old brick chimney.

 

We also decided to restucco the whole house, so that will add a few extra days to the project timeline. Oh well, at least the new and old will be seamless, which you’ll see in a few weeks.   After this we took a week off to be with family over the holidays.  There was no snow, for which some of us were very thankful, while others were very disappointed.  One final task of 2011 was to buy and install locking door knobs, which really made us realize it won’t be long before we get to live in this new part of our house on greenwood.  Thanks for following along!