Monday, February 23, 2015

Wrapping Things Up…A Little Of This and That

Mike and I are coming to the end for this year's work on the house here.  We have a few odd jobs and then I will do the before and afters for this year.

For now just a quick update on some oddball things.

Now that we are just about finished with our inside jobs for this year we can clean up the garage.  First we have to take everything out and it's a lot of stuff.  We decided to use the trailer to make our lives easier.

And more stuff.

The garage is cleared out and Mike starts to pressure wash:

And I take over…what a wet mess this was:

We have to wait until it all dries out before we can bring all the things back in and organize.

Once it is dry Mike stars putting the shelf units back together:

After moving all of this stuff back and forth Mike and I have been talking about how simple our lives were when we lived and traveled in our motorhome.  It was really freeing when we lived that life.

Mike finally working on the trim for around the front doors:

Oh yay…I get to paint.  I don't mind painting rooms and walls but  hate painting trim.  BTW, Nicole just rave reviews on the green Frog tape for painting.  Next time I will have to try it.  I am so sick and tired of the blue painter's tape tearing and leaking through when I paint.

Time to do something about the "original" garage door coverings.  There are two sliding glass doors in that room which we call the den.  At this time we think we are just going to clean up the room and put the pool table in there.  But first we have to take out the ugly blinds:

One section is down and Mike hangs the brackets for some vertical blinds:

One door is complete.  we thought about different options but verticals really do work best on sliding doors:

And from the inside.  They are much better than what was there:

As you can see Niki has been sunning while we work, lol.

That's all for this week's update.  We are coming down to the end.  Next week I will post about our new water filtration system for the house and then after that I will post the before and afters.

Once March rolls around Mike and I will be taking a break.  The kids are coming down to visit:):) and then we will be getting ready to head north.

Have a great week and I will post again next Monday.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Granite Surround and Finishing The Fireplace

Sorry for the delay.  Mike and I finally, after 4 months, made it to our favorite Florida Flea market:):)  Now for last week's accomplishments.

We ordered granite for the kitchen counters and also the fireplace at the same time.  Sadly the fireplace granite took 6 weeks to install.  I have no idea why but Mike and I are very happy that it is now finished:)

Bringing the granite into the living room:

Time to cover the last of the brick:)

They use big suction cups to hold the granite and silicone in place.

Mike helps them hold it:

After they got here, Mike says to the owner "you know you should have cut it out like a sink instead of using 5 pieces", lol.  Now he says something.

There is no more red brick showing in this house.  Time to bring it into the 2000's:)

Mike nails in the trim that I painted to cover in the small gaps:

The day that was installed I ordered a fireplace door for us.  Apparently the pictures don't show the true colors…so are crossing our fingers.  The choices were black which did not match anything, silver which was not really a silver, and an antique brass which is supposed to be like a brown.   We though brown would go best and we did not want another square thing in that spot.

Yay…it looks pretty good.  The color is a very dark brown but it is better than black:

Mike adds the insulation behind the doors:

Of course the brackets that came with it were not strong enough so Mike designed his own way to install it.  With my help we got the door in place and bolted in.

Mike works on the screen:

Another finishing touch to this house:

That was just a quick update.  It seems my pictures from last week have us all over the place doing different things.  I will organize what we did and post next Monday.

Have a great week:)


Monday, February 9, 2015

Building a Front Stoop and Laying Sod

Late start here.  We have been waiting all day today for a contractor…grr!!  So let me take you to last week when we decided to work on the front door area.  Ah…once again too many choices and nothing seems perfect.  First we thought about doing pavers on the whole front door area, then we thought that would be too much.  Then we thought maybe we can do a paver step up and our usual rock gardens on the side.  That didn't work out because the gardens would have been too big.  Then we thought about having concrete poured on the whole front area…then thought that would be "too" much concrete.  It seems almost every decision in this house is very confusing, lol.  We decided to build a wood front stoop and fill the rest in with sod.  It is the fastest fix for now and we just need to clean it up.

I set Niki's bed up outside so she can enjoy being outside with us.  She likes to watch and do little woofs at the boaters:

We got the pressure treated wood to make the stoop.  Out comes all the tools….saws, compressor, air house, tape measure, etc.  Sometimes we spend more time on the set up and clean up.

Since we built the floor up on the inside of the house we also have to make an outside step.  We are building and installing a 3x8 front stoop.  Mike starts getting the boards in place:

Next we took up the weed cloth that was down and raked it out.  Now we can see how it will look.

Seeing where we can nail it into the house:

Sadly after nailing the boards to the house there just wasn't enough wood on the house to nail to and it was too weak.  We had to adjust and use concrete screws and screw it into the house itself.

We are a bit low on the front so Mike is using one of our big concrete blocks and cutting them into small squares to use to lift the front.  That will give the stoop a solid and even base:

Putting a block under the front corner:

And laying the boards across the top:

Mike nails the top boards in place:

The front stoop is finished.  Now we have to wait for the wood to dry out and we will either stain it or paint it.  Add a couple of pots with flowers on each side, the door trim, and sod and it should look good:

The next decision.  We went back and forth about the front door glass.  We talked about curtains but we wanted to have light, privacy and also be able to see outside at the same time.  Mini blinds are the only thing that will work for everything we want.  So I ordered samples of different colors for cordless mini blinds.  We took our measurements and our four windows and I called the company.  They wanted an outrageous amount of money.  I think it was about $300.00 for 4 small windows.  Mike and I decided to just stick with Lowe's and get the white ones they have in stock.  We had them cut, brought them home and the woman cut them wrong.  Ugg!!  So back we went had new ones cut and now Mike is doing his favorite job, ha ha, installing them.  Once he got them all installed he has to take out all of the extra slats from the bottoms.  That job is no fun at all.  There are extra slats all over:

After the slats are taken out, Mike stuffs the cord back in and puts on the nub that holds the cord inside:

In the meantime we ordered a pallet of sod.  The day we were supposed to pick it up it rained and the farm did not cut any.  The next day they cut and we went to pick up our pallet of sod.  It was a little heavier than expected because the sod was saturated from the rain.  We had to get extra air in our trailer tires on the way home just to make it home.  Mike was so happy to save the money on the delivery and I said but it took a week off my life with worrying about not blowing a tire on the way home, lol.  Either way we made it:)

Our load of sod:

Mike rakes out our area:

While I start unloading:

Laying the sod:

Mike cuts in the smaller pieces:

The new front of the house is done and along the side.  Mike waters the fresh sod:

Now for the next side.  Mike brings the Jeep and trailer over to the back of the house and I start laying the full pieces while Mike cuts the pieces that need to be cut:.  

Oh no…we ran out of sod.  We still have to do around the entire side of the house behind the kitchen and dining room, all along the den side, and in front of the garage.  That pallet went much faster than we thought it would:

The back and side is done.  We rushed to finish before the rain came and it's a good thing we did.  It rained that night and the next day:

Things are starting to get cleaned up.  We do plan on adding a curb along the side that is seen from the driveway.  We will add some kind of tropical plants there.  We also need to get more sod…ugg!!  Well it's not really that bad of a job.  It took Mike and I are few hard hours of work and we were done.

That's all for now.  Still here waiting for a contractor.  I doubt they will show.  If they do I will have an interesting story to tell next week.

Have a great week and I will write again on Monday.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Outside Work, Building A Boat Ramp and Getting The Boat In The Water

Hello everyone.  I just wanted to let you know I am enjoying my kitchen very much:)

Now for some more work.  Finally we can do some outside work.  Mike wants to build a boat ramp so we don't have to drive around the lake to put the boat in the water.  We are going to break up the "too high" brick gardens and use that plus the dirt/mulch to make the ramp.

Breaking up some concrete that we found on the property and throwing it onto the edge of the water:

Using dirt and mulch to make a slope:

We need to keep working on that and drive over to to pack it down.  For now we need to clean up the mess of gardens.

Breaking out the brick that is too high and too shallow for a garden.  Mike takes the high dirt to the ramp area:

Adding more broken brick:

Cleaning up the piles of mulch.  We hate mulch.  It is a big mess:

Mike breaks the brick while I wheel the mulch into a big pile out back:

Taking more dirt out that we need to use at the other side of the house:

Getting it cleaned up:

Very cool…we saw some white pelicans.  We have never seen those before:

This is where we need the extra dirt as the existing garden is very un level:

Niki supervising:

Some of the debris we get after it gets windy here.  It looks like we will constantly be cleaning up the yard:

More brick for the ramp:

Raking down one section as we get ready for the sod:

Poor Niki stayed outside with us today.  She is exhausted, lol:

Mike wants to test out the "unfinished" ramp to see if we can get the boat in.  He drives the trailer in the see what will happen.  Yes this was intentional, lol.

Time to see what happens:

At this point I grab the rope to hold onto the boat as Mike pulls backwards.  Once it is in deep enough we hop it will float off the trailer:

Woo hoo…we are in:)

The new home for our boat.  It is on the straps and out of the water:

We want to finish up one more job on the inside of the house and I will post pictures of that.  For now we will be outside.  The sod is supposed to be here tomorrow so it's time to clean things up.

I hope you enjoyed this update and I will post again on Monday.