February 18, 2012

0 Project Cost Roundup - 1/2 Bath

So for all the work, sweat, smoldering studs (you can find that here), head banging (more about that another time) and jubilation over creating our 1/2 Bath, lets see where we ended up with our project costs.  Remember we really never set a budget on any project we just try to do it on the cheap while making it look good.

Without further ado I present to you the costs from beginning to end:

... well, it looks like receipts are pretty hard to read when the stores abbreviate everything!  I'll have to jot down what the hyrogliphics really mean next time, especially if I want to do another "Project Cost Roundup".  So without further ado I present to you the estimated costs:

  • Demolition
    • Free
  • Sub-flooring & finish flooring/baseboard items
    • $150
  • Supply & Waste items
    • $75
  • Paint items
    • $20
  • Toilet
    • $100
  • Sink & faucet
    • $170
  • Hardware Accessories (Mirror, TP Holder, Towel Ring)
    • $75
  • Light Fixture
    • $30
  • Decorating Accessories & Misc.
    • $30
Estimated total: $650 

Seems a little high - didn't realize we spent that much on one small room!  Maybe we will have to set budgets for our next big projects.  But hey, nothing beats free labor!  Where could we have saved?  Perhaps we could have used the old toilet and old hardware accessories, but isn't it hard to resist buying new when you're remodeling a room?

February 9, 2012

2 Creating Our 1/2 Bath - Moving Plumbing Again!

Before the baseboard, flooring, and painting we ended up diving into some more plumbing work.  Like the other week when I wrote about moving the toilet (you can find that here), we also moved the plumbing for the pedestal sink for it to be centered under the new ceiling light.  I didn't want to move the light fixture since it would require a new hole and patching the ceiling.  This was the easiest way - or was it?

It wasn't a drastic change, but the water lines as well as the drain line needed to be moved about 6".  It was relatively easy since the back of the bathroom was the dark paneled cave of a Family Room.  Simply removing a panel or two gave us access to the plumbing.  Take a look at the finished picture below.

We first needed to know our exact plumbing dimensions so we headed over to Loews and found a pedestal sink that was only available in the store.  We also picked up the matching brand of toilet.

At Home Depot I picked up some miscellanious plumbing parts: copper pipe, 90 deg. copper angles, a can of propane, solder, escuthion plates, silver plated supply lines, p-trap and pvc drain parts, yada yada yada (you know - all the things you may need for plumbing lines and drains).

After measuring for the new drain and supply areas I cut the existing drain pipe and drilled a new 2 1/2" hole through the wall stud to extend the drain line.  The water supply had to be cut and then all the new pieces needed to be soldered together.  That part was pretty fun other than burning the wood stud slightly!  Good thing Melissa wasn't in the room at that point otherwise she may have tried to stop me from doing any more).

I purchased shut off valves that needed to be soldered onto the supply lines, but had a very hard time getting getting the solder to adhear and seal the two together.  After completely failing at this twice, I purchased a 'push on' type of shut off valve made by BrassCraft.  I should have picked these up the first time!  All you need is a little push and it locks in place.

Image courtesy of BrassCraft Mfg.

I won't get into all the little details as I'm sure plumbing can't be too exicing for most people.  After moving the sink into place all we had to do was connect the drain and supply lines to the sink and install the faucet.

Here are a few details of where the major items are from that finished up our 1/2 Bath:
  • Faucet, Baseboard; Home Depot
  • Towel Ring, Toilet Paper Holder, Mirror; Target.
  • Toilet, Sink; Lowe's
  • Flooring; Bargain Outlet

We may at some point in time add bead board paneling to the lower half of the walls, but we're very happy with the current outcome.

January 28, 2012

7 Floor It!

Updating the linoleum flooring is something we knew we needed to do throughout the first floor.  I think you can understand why.

We are putting it off for a while until we decide on a cabinet layout and re-use for the Kitchen and Dinette area.  Melissa is thinking of a kid's craft area in the Dinette since we don't use it for anything other than mail, diaper bags and backpacks all which seem to pile up on the table.  Ever notice how she doesn't show the Dinette in any of her pictures?  Well maybe this is the reason!

This didn't stop us from updating the floor in our 1/2 bath though.  Actually we never had a choice not replace it since when we tore out the vanity cabinet there was no flooring under it.  We stopped at Grossman's Bargain Outlet, looking for a bargain of course, and looked at some travertine tile among other things, but weren't about to splurge and spend a couple hundred dollars on tile alone.  Even though it is a small room where expensive materials would be more economical we were, and still are, on a tight budget (I just turned off the Kitchen light to save a penny or two).

We rounded the corner of what seemed to be a never ending selection of flooring material and right under our eyes was the perfect thing.  EC Lock!  The name sounded a little cheapy and lacked a description of what was in the package and the packaging itself wasn't great, but why not try it?  If you didn't know, EC Lock is a resilient vinyl plank with adhesive edges or 'grip strips' as they call it to put planks together.

The installation was really easy, I just had to be sure not to repeat a pattern very often in the grain of the plank. The room didn't allow me to install the planks in 3 staggered rows, so I had to use only 2 staggered rows.  I think you'll know what I mean after looking at the picture.  It was well worth the price of $87 and we still have 1/2 a box left!


Now that the flooring was chosen, what were we to use for baseboard?  When the vinyl baseboard was removed we were left with a bunch of glue on the drywall.  Try removing the glue and you're left with ripped drywall paper.  Not good, especially since typical baseboard wouldn't cover the whole thing.  

I didn't expect to patch all the rough spots and have it look good so I bought 5-1/2" tall baseboard.  It covered the entire mess of glue and ripped paper and adds quite a bit of character to the bath with its larger profile.  Wood instead of MDF is best for an area that can get wet - the wood won't swell up when it gets wet.

We are very happy with the results and hope the EC Lock holds up over time and the abuse we'll give it. Comments have come our way of how much the floor looks and even feels like real wood!

January 23, 2012

0 A Quick Fix

So this weekend I got to work on something we've all been putting up with way too long:  A tight work area at the computer.  See how tight?  There's practically no room to move the keyboard - it touches the tower and the laser printer.  What to do...  How about put the printer in the pantry closet?  Like the title says its a quick fix, not a permanent one.  I know you're probably wondering why we even have a desktop - me too!

I shut down the computer and printer and moved them off the desk area.  Hey look at all the loot we found: a barrette for the girls; a puzzle piece (which one does this belong to?); a gift card worth .84 cents; a picture of Abby; and a Christmas present Abby made for her aunts and uncles - if someone wants to let us know who didn't receive one of the crayon ornaments we'd appreciate it and are sorry!

 All I needed to get the work done was my trusty drywall saw.

I started the saw through the pantry side and kept making the hole bigger in order for the plug to fit through it.

 There it is on the other side.

 Fished the Ethernet cable, power cord and USB cable through the wall and connected to the printer.

A little cleanup and re-assembly and viola!  No more dysfunction junction going on at the computer space. Actually as I type this my arms are spread widely across the open area!

 We also got an organized pantry out of the deal as well!

What are some of the quick fixes you have done?  Let us know.

January 14, 2012

1 1 Thing You Must Do For Yourself & Your Illegal Toilet

Toilet; water closet; commode; porcelain throne; whatever you want to call it if your's is illegal it may have adverse health effects.  You may be thinking, what exactly is an illegal toilet.  Well, I'm not talking about a stolen toilet or even a high 'gallons per flush' count which is regulated by the EPA.  I'm talking about illegal by building code standards.

You may be surprised who sets the "illegal toilet" standard, well in this reference of illegal it isn't the State, but the Federal Government and the International Code Council.  The code calls for the center of a toilet to be a minimum of 15" from a finished wall.  The health effects?  Aches and pains from rubbing against the wall!

The toilet in our downstairs 1/2 bath was considered illegal; 12-1/2" to center.  I could have dealt with the fact I was breaking the law, but there was something more on my mind; brushing up against the wall every time someone wanted to use the bathroom.  This wasn't going to fly.  So why not move it?  No reason not to, so that's what we did!

After removing the existing toilet and plugging the hole with some wet rags (make sure you don't stuff them completely down the drain or you may lose them and have other problems), out came the floor. After installing new underlayment (only needed because we were renovating the entire room), I located the floor joists and realized why the toilet was illegal in the first place - a floor joist was running right underneath where the toilet should have been installed.  The original builder had to offset the toilet to the side of the joist in order to get the drain in.

So what is a guy supposed to do?  Here I have the original problem with no solution.  I can't remove the joist, or can I?  Well sort of.  In comes Metwood Building Solutions' "Joist Reinforcers"; the perfect code-approved product for my solution!  According to their website these "allow for the installation and/or repair of large diameter holes in floor joists for the passage of utilities."

Image courtesy of Metwood Building Solutions

I first went to Home Depot and found an offset toilet flange.  It's just what I needed to move the toilet over the joist, but still have the drain pipe in its original location (to the side of the joist).  I marked the outline of the Metwood Joist Reinforcer to know how much of the joist to cut out and went at it with a sawzall.  You can see how the offset flange veers toward the right (where it enters the hole) in the picture below.

After connecting the new with the old and making sure I kept some pitch on the horizontal drain, I screwed the flange to the floor and was ready to install the finished flooring.  You'll be able to see the flooring install in another post soon!

Then came the toilet installation and presto, my illegal toilet is now a modern elongated highline toilet and legal at 15-1/2".  No more brushing up against the wall!

Have you had to move anything during renovation?  What was it like?  Let us know!

January 11, 2012

1 B is for Barre and Ballerina

This is one of those projects that seems sooo easy you just put it off and off and off... you know what I'm talking about?  I finally got around to putting up the barre up after hmm.... how many times of being asked?  I think my excuse was that because it was so simple I over complicated things and tried to add improvements to it like making it adjustable so I didn't have a bunch of holes in the wall to deal with later when Abby grows taller!  My thinking just got in the way!

The ballet barre is supposed to be around 9" from the wall, but I wasn't about to buy special brackets at $40 a pop.  Instead I searched my rummage pile in the basement for something and came up with a perfect solution, well almost perfect...  We had two of these curtain brackets left over from our Family Room decorating.  Although not 9" long they provide enough room for a little hand to grab onto the barre and perhaps a little foot to rest there.

I sanded them down a little but not to bare wood, we wanted them to have a shabby chic look when they were painted.  I hopped over to Home Depot to pick up a dowel, which was my only expense for the project!

Still a pretty simple project huh?  Well I had a split second thought of "how am I going to paint this (the dowel) without smearing the paint from holding it?"  The solution was to put a small nail in each flat end.  I put one end into a box and rested the other end onto the lip of a plastic bucket.  I could now rotate as needed, worry free.  For the brackets I simply put a screw through the holes and pushed them into the box as well.

Now just for making a bunch of holes in the wall and screwing it all into place!  I left the brackets far enough from the mirror just in case we want to add trim around it in the future.  I like the fact the brackets included a hole to put a screw through to hold the dowel in place.  Not bad - especially for only $8 $4.21 - oh and the mirror, that was also free but check out Melissa's blog to see where we got it from.  I guess I'll have to not over complicate things in the future and just 'get r done'.

Don't forget to check out Melissa's blog with other details!

January 9, 2012

1 The Doors...

Well I can't say with any certainty, but I'm not sure I have ever heard one of The Doors' songs or can even put their name to their music.  Luckily though I'm not writing about them but writing about our similarly 'famous' new doors.

I had the opportunity to get these from a person I work with who bought the former home of an NFL player.  Fortunately for us he was planning on replacing the doors and was eager to give them up (perhaps for all my hard work???).  

Take a look at what an improvement they are over our 1977; dark stained; hollow core doors when we moved in. 

We've always wanted to replace the doors, even in our old house and now that the opportunity came about - why not?

The installation was pretty simple and I was quite surprised.  I had dreams about all the work involved in routing new hinges in the door frames, trimming the doors on the table saw because of some out of square frames, and on and on...

Even though there were three hinges on the replacement doors I decided not to worry about the middle one.  The top and bottom hinges were enough to support the doors.  The hinges on the new doors did not match up exactly with their door frame counterpart so Abby supervised me in chiseling a slightly larger recess into the doors.

I didn't have a rounded corner chisel so you can see I need to do a little repairing before I paint.  I'll also have to patch where the center hinge was.

We re-used the hinges to save a little money even though they aren't the exact finish as our new door handles - they are close though.

We still have to replace the pantry, bathroom, linen and bedroom closet doors as there 
weren't enough free doors to do them all.  But beggars can't be choosers so we'll take what we have and buy other six panel doors later.  I'll also put a rounded chisel on the shopping list!

Don't forget to check out Melissa's
blog with other details! 

January 8, 2012

0 The Start of Something...

So I'm pretty excited to start my own blog - it's not like me to update my status or post anything about myself with any social media outlet, but I look forward to doing so in regard to our new house and the 'Behind The Scenes' of how everything came to be.

With Melissa running the main 'Result' blog here, I'll concentrate on the details of what went into the result and all my struggles from beginning to end!

I hope you all enjoy and maybe even learn a thing or two - not that I have all the answers, but more like learn from my mistakes!

Thanks to Melissa who finally became excited to have a dual blog - can we now be called bloggin' buddies?