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Home Improvement

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
Putting the plans together to knock out the walls around my dining room and open it up into the kitchen and living room. Sadly the kitchen can't be opened up more without engineering some kind of glue lam beam. The decision was made after I removed all the wallpaper from the kitchen and saw a few bad repair jobs in the drywall. It's either prep the wall for painting or just knock the whole thing out. Who needs walls anyway?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
Putting the plans together to knock out the walls around my dining room and open it up into the kitchen and living room. Sadly the kitchen can't be opened up more without engineering some kind of glue lam beam. The decision was made after I removed all the wallpaper from the kitchen and saw a few bad repair jobs in the drywall. It's either prep the wall for painting or just knock the whole thing out. Who needs walls anyway?

I removed the paper from my front hall. As much as I worked them over, I never got the walls to look as good as new. When it came to my kitchen and family room, there was no question about keeping the walls. The drywall under the T111 paneling had never been finished. The faux brick was glued to the kitchen walls. Best to just rip it out and put up new. I also did some rearranging, adding a short section of wall to open up the kitchen.

Any time you open up a wall, anticipate having some extra work to do. In my case it was repairing the exterior sheathing where the mice had chewed through, and using spray foam to close some gaps in the garage wall that allowed mice to get into the interior wall. This is also a good time to upgrade or add electrical.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
I'm just opening from a 6' opening to a 10' opening. No big deal. I have to move some of the light switches around, but I'm not opening the exterior wall except to mount the king and jack studs for the header. My wife wants me to add a pony wall with a counter top between the dining room and kitchen where I'm taking one wall out. Should be no problem except buying some counter top.
 

kjel

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44
The tile guy was by to grind down the overfilled patches in the floor and chiseling out the scraps of tiles that were removed by the waterproofing company. Goal is to get the basement bedroom habitable by end of August.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
Got the drywall down from the walls I'm taking out in the kitchen and dining room. My wife loves it already, so much more light in the kitchen now. Next I have to go buy the stuff to make headers so I can actually do this right.
Finally went and spent the $100 to get the rest of the kitchen cabinet hardware. At least that jobs done now.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
I let my wife pick the stuff. I'd say she has better taste, but we go round and round about color selection and different design stuff. She's got neutral colors all picked out and I keep wanting some kind of accent in the room, but apparently it should be a neutral colored accent. In the end, what do I care as long as she's happy.
 

kjel

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44
Got the backyard off to a good start yesterday. The landscapers came with the mulch and stones, we added the patio set, solar lights, and some planters. More to come, but at least it is habitable now!

Backyard.jpg
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
I like it, my yard is just a mess of grass and whatever is growing in the flower bed. It's on my list of someday I'll have time or money to deal with it.
 

kjel

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I like it, my yard is just a mess of grass and whatever is growing in the flower bed. It's on my list of someday I'll have time or money to deal with it.

I paid the landscaper $500 to chop down all the vegetation that was growing, mulch the space, and put the pavers and rock in. Mostly because we live in a row home and there is no access to the rear yard other than walking up the front steps, through the house, and down the back steps. It was worth it to me and my bum knee. If we had done it ourselves the material would have cost about $150.

$30 for the planters, plants, and potting mix.
$15 for the solar lights.
$159 for the table and 6 chairs from Ikea which RT and I put together.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
I paid the landscaper $500 to chop down all the vegetation that was growing, mulch the space, and put the pavers and rock in. Mostly because we live in a row home and there is no access to the rear yard other than walking up the front steps, through the house, and down the back steps. It was worth it to me and my bum knee. If we had done it ourselves the material would have cost about $150.

$30 for the planters, plants, and potting mix.
$15 for the solar lights.
$159 for the table and 6 chairs from Ikea which RT and I put together.

It's worth it to have a yard you can be proud of. Mine needs the Yard Crashers show to come fix it up. Maybe next year after I fix up the kitchen, but I think I said that last year.
 

kjel

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It's worth it to have a yard you can be proud of. Mine needs the Yard Crashers show to come fix it up. Maybe next year after I fix up the kitchen, but I think I said that last year.

As much as I like sitting on the front stoop, there are other times that I would rather sit in the backyard wearing pajamas. It's safer for the resident toddler as well.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
We are buying a new house, it has the size we want, neighborhood, location, but it is U.G.L.Y. (You ain't got no alibi).

It's a 60's split level with columns. I really kind of hate it. And the people that lived there the past ten years certainly didn't do it any favors.

But, excited to get in and start working. I know we can make it awesome :)

It's worth it to have a yard you can be proud of. Mine needs the Yard Crashers show to come fix it up. Maybe next year after I fix up the kitchen, but I think I said that last year.

I would love for Yard Crashers to come to the new house, but only if it's Ahmed.
 

kjel

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44
I hung some blinds last night. Got tired of waiting for the other occupants in the house to help. Then they decided they wanted to help after I set everything out. They weren't very helpful. RT posted to Facebook, "How many people does it take to hang blinds?" My response was "Two oddballs and a Mom. A Mom with a drill."
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
A Mom with a drill."

That usually gets people motivated.

We need SW MI Planner to post a picture of this new house so we can all ridicule his choice in housing architecture. Not that mine is much better, '70's split level with some weird brick veneer front and arches.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
That usually gets people motivated.

We need SW MI Planner to post a picture of this new house so we can all ridicule his choice in housing architecture. Not that mine is much better, '70's split level with some weird brick veneer front and arches.

Yah, well he's a girl, so...... (in my best State Farm commercial voice) ;)

I think I can post a picture from my phone. You certainly can ridicule me for my choice, but have to offer suggestions on how to improve it :) Once sec, let me see if I can do this...
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
4y8uzebe.jpg


So here it is.....

I'm trying to decide if I want to rip out column and overhang or just embrace the mid-century style that it is. Actually, we are highly considering turning the garage into a family room and adding a new garage off to the side/back. Probably should figure that out first.
 
Last edited:

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,877
Points
57
Pouring concrete countertops this weekend. It is amazing the confusion of information out there. I contacted quikrete, and asked if there is differences in how much water to add to their countertop mix if I do a pour-in-place countertop vs a pre-cast countertop. Their response was to use the quikrete 5000 mix, which is 1/3 the cost of the countertop mix, for the pour-in-place. All these different sites talk about fibers and water reducers, and all these other additives, yet the company suggests going with the basic product.

Talk about confusing.... but if that is what they say to use, I guess that is what I will use.
 

kjel

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44
Hung many more blinds this weekend. My helpers still weren't very helpful. Only one left to hang :)
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,282
Points
30
Hmmm

4y8uzebe.jpg


So here it is.....

I'm trying to decide if I want to rip out column and overhang or just embrace the mid-century style that it is. Actually, we are highly considering turning the garage into a family room and adding a new garage off to the side/back. Probably should figure that out first.

I hope that house isn't in a flood zone......:-c
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
Yah, well he's a girl, so...... (in my best State Farm commercial voice) ;)
Sorry, personal pronouns seem to confuse me online and I won't ask what you're wearing, because that's just a little creepy.

4y8uzebe.jpg


So here it is.....

I'm trying to decide if I want to rip out column and overhang or just embrace the mid-century style that it is. Actually, we are highly considering turning the garage into a family room and adding a new garage off to the side/back. Probably should figure that out first.

Looks a lot like my house.
I think the picture is a hyperlink thing so here's the link.
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/312-Scott-Ave-Salina-KS-67401/77300693_zpid/
If you want to do some serious remodeling, move the overhang down to the 1st floor and make a deck for yourself that looks almost normal.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
12,006
Points
46
4y8uzebe.jpg


So here it is.....

I'm trying to decide if I want to rip out column and overhang or just embrace the mid-century style that it is. Actually, we are highly considering turning the garage into a family room and adding a new garage off to the side/back. Probably should figure that out first.

The only problem I see is getting out the driveway in snow/ice. Never liked driveways up north with inclines.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
The only problem I see is getting out the driveway in snow/ice. Never liked driveways up north with inclines.

Especially, toward the house.

When people build newer houses in our downtown area now they often have driveways like that with an incline from the garage up to the street, but they are shorter because the lots are so tiny and there is not much of a setback and some of them even have a 90º turn in them to get into the driveway. They seem like they would be a disaster in particularly icy/snowy winters. SWMP's driveway is tame by comparison.

SWMP - You should submit a photo of the house to This Old House Magazine and get them to give you a free rendering of what sort of renovations could be done. Or I know we have more than a few Cyburbian architects, they should start kicking out some free renderings for ideas!
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
I like what they did with this one:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5059448/list/updating-raised-ranch

It is not too different than the bones of this home.

As far as water, I am sure that would be taken care of with drains and that SWMI knows what to look for inside the lower level.

Actually DP, that house is my inspiration picture! DH hated the house when we first saw it, but I showed him the picture it changed his mind :) That's kind of what I'm going for providing cost doesn't get too carried away. Fortunately we are doing most of the work on the inside ourselves so that can free up some dollars for the outside. We close on it next week and will then meet with contractors to get an idea about price. The inside has been beat up pretty bad, but structurally it's a great house. We know the owners so they let us get in last week to rip out carpet and patch holes, etc.

mendelman said:
Especially, toward the house.
Eh, if it's icy at least the back wall of the garage will stop us ;)

The house is no where near the floor plain and isn't the low spot of the neigborhood so I'm really not too worried about the driveway. At the base of it there is a drain that runs to the public storm. There's also a storm manhole at the top middle of the driveway so only water we will get is from the driveway itself. It poured hard last week for 30 minutes and we went by the house ten minutes after and there was no standing water - it had all drained and garage was completely dry. I am more worried about it for eventual resale though. We are pretty certain we will build a new garage off to the back corner, fill in the driveway, and turn the existing garage into a family room. So that would remediate any potential issues or concerns.

WSU MUP Planner said:
SWMP - You should submit a photo of the house to This Old House Magazine and get them to give you a free rendering of what sort of renovations could be done. Or I know we have more than a few Cyburbian architects, they should start kicking out some free renderings for ideas!

Great idea! It's 50 years old, so it's historic right ;) I tried my hand at photoshop but I'm horrible and pretty sure my 10 year old could have done better.

dvdneal said:
Sorry, personal pronouns seem to confuse me online and I won't ask what you're wearing, because that's just a little creepy.

No problem, same here! I love your house, it definately has a lot of character. I am finding I really like the mid-century and later stuff, they are definately unique. Sometimes its just best to play it up and work with what you have.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
No problem, same here! I love your house, it definately has a lot of character. I am finding I really like the mid-century and later stuff, they are definately unique. Sometimes its just best to play it up and work with what you have.

I just think it needs something up front like that other picture. Something over the door to say this is the front door! or maybe a better landing at the top of the steps. That's just one of the projects that has to wait. I'm busy gutting and redoing my kitchen right now. Cabinets are refaced, the walls are partially framed out for larger openings, electrical is relocated. It's amazing what moving one light will do to light up the kitchen. My wife no longer has to cook in the shadows.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
4y8uzebe.jpg


So here it is.....

I'm trying to decide if I want to rip out column and overhang or just embrace the mid-century style that it is. Actually, we are highly considering turning the garage into a family room and adding a new garage off to the side/back. Probably should figure that out first.

Ouch. There are two problems with the design that jump out to me. The first is all of the faux colonial decoration. The second is the conflicting vertical and horizontal elements. Aside from that, I might also think about some larger windows and replacing the siding materials. You might create a very modern, horizontal composition faced with ipe.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
My home improvement has to go on hold for a weekend while I tackle my yard. I've got sandburrs in the front and an overgrown planter i've meant to deal with for a while.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
6,066
Points
37
Actually DP, that house is my inspiration picture! DH hated the house when we first saw it, but I showed him the picture it changed his mind :) That's kind of what I'm going for providing cost doesn't get too carried away. ....

Great minds. My first thought was "double-look garage doors" to help diminish that snout-house look.

Oh, and congrats on the wedding and family-moon! Enjoying your pics on FB.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
A house kitty-corner from ours just hit the market. I've always liked the outside of the house as it has a bit of a Mid Century Modern flair to it (without being overpowering) compared to most of most of the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. I like the interior photos on the real estate listings. I'm hoping they have an open house so I can be nosy and go snoop around. I'm really interested in the materials in the kitchen and to see what the layout is like.

What's the Cyburbian consensus of going to a neighbor's open house for a home you have no intention of buying? I'm just trying to get ideas for our own home and am building up the case for renovations by showing my wife what could be.

I don't really know the older couple that lives there other than to wave hello at them.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
Ouch. There are two problems with the design that jump out to me. The first is all of the faux colonial decoration. The second is the conflicting vertical and horizontal elements. Aside from that, I might also think about some larger windows and replacing the siding materials. You might create a very modern, horizontal composition faced with ipe.

I agree the windows are too small, but they are 5 years old so not likely to be replaced. I hate the columns. I think we might hire an architect we know to come up with something for the exterior for us. I know enough to make myself dangerous but having a hard time visually anything at this house. And if we do the garage addition off to the back and make the current garage a family room, it would only make the house look longer.

Veloise said:
Great minds. My first thought was "double-look garage doors" to help diminish that snout-house look.

Oh, and congrats on the wedding and family-moon! Enjoying your pics on FB.

Thanks!!! The honeymoon is in December, so wanted to take the kids away for a bit too :)

WSU MUP Student said:
What's the Cyburbian consensus of going to a neighbor's open house for a home you have no intention of buying? I'm just trying to get ideas for our own home and am building up the case for renovations by showing my wife what could be.

I don't really know the older couple that lives there other than to wave hello at them.

I think it's fine to go to an open house to scope it out!
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
A house kitty-corner from ours just hit the market. I've always liked the outside of the house as it has a bit of a Mid Century Modern flair to it (without being overpowering) compared to most of most of the rest of the houses in the neighborhood. I like the interior photos on the real estate listings. I'm hoping they have an open house so I can be nosy and go snoop around. I'm really interested in the materials in the kitchen and to see what the layout is like.

What's the Cyburbian consensus of going to a neighbor's open house for a home you have no intention of buying? I'm just trying to get ideas for our own home and am building up the case for renovations by showing my wife what could be.

I don't really know the older couple that lives there other than to wave hello at them.

I say do it. Realtors are used to having neighbors show up. Just tell them you have a similar house and are looking at design ideas because you think this is a nicely done house.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,196
Points
27
How about some nice, warm corrugated galvanized steel to make the house stand out from the neighbors? You would be the envy of the block.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12175680@N07/14599685280/

The house already stands out from the neighbors, not sure they would go for that look :) Although I'm good with the retro mid century look (and even galvanized steel) I'm sure the neighbor to the left would shit a brick, he already said if we put up a garage he's moving. Even though he got a variance 15 years ago for his garage, and ours would be wholly on our property and not need a variance. Making me second guess my move back to the city.

The street tree was half dead so the City removed it today thereby making the house more obvious :(

I need your photoshopping skills!

I kind of like the one that's two down to the right (the red one) : https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.975107,-95.224809&spn=0.18,0.3&cbll=38.975107,-95.224809&layer=c&panoid=oGu0zJ6BLU5ItrK0OU9jYg&cbp=,179.07,,0,-0.0&q=Lawrence,+KS&output=classic&dg=ntvb
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,702
Points
26
I like galvanized accents, thinking of covering up a masonry block fireplace structure with it....
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,255
Points
57
Mrs. P and I have actually discussed doing something similar to the red garage you guys showed from Lawrence. Our idea is to have more of a double carport rather than walls and the roof be solar panels. It would fit well with our house too.
 

Rygor

Cyburbian
Messages
2,758
Points
19
So my DW and I have been living in our new townhome south of Denver for a month now. In the meantime, I've done the following:

- repainted all three bedrooms plus downstairs powder room
- fixed outdoor floodlights, including one at the bottom of our front patio water feature
- fixed the outdoor water feature/waterfall. It needed a new pump, which set me back about $50 at Home Depot. Works great now and it's set on a automatic timer so it comes on in the morning and shuts off once it gets dark.
- replaced all doorknobs (all original 1970's brass and UGLY) with brand new black/oil rubbed bronze knobs
- replaced all closet and cabinet knobs with matching black/oil rubbed bronze round knobs
- the side patio was just a bare concrete slab with some pebbles past that within the fence. The area also holds the A/C unit. I added very realistic artificial turf on the slab, got a grill (put it in front of the A/C so it kind of blocks it, added a porch swing, and DW added some nice flower pots and hanging baskets. It's quite a pleasant place to be now!
- pulled out the ground cover in front of our front fence and replaced with a nice rubber red mulch and planted some tall native grasses and some flowers in a nice flower pot. Looks 10X better.
- fixed a few broken stone tiles on the front patio area
- installed a cabinet above the master bath toilet since we needed more storage in there (no medicine cabinets)
- fixed the master shower faucet that for some reason was not flush with the wall (it was sticking out about 1/2" from the tile leaving a gap where water could get behind the wall!)

It's been a busy month trying to get all that work done before baby comes but mission accomplished! We even got the baby's room ready to go in that time (which required assembling a new crib, getting a dresser and chair, and a substantial amount of organizing). Whew!
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
Finally getting to the finishing steps of my kitchen wall remodel. I knocked down a wall and expanded two square doorways into arches. The drywall is hung and the first coat of mud is on and sanded. I wanted to get my second coat done this weekend, but I had to do some other home repairs. After our big rain I had to fix a giant crack in the basement that the last owner just sealed with construction adhesive and covered up. I also had to fix a weird electrical problem. The outlets in the bedroom went out, but the outlets in the laundry room, on the same circuit, still worked. It turned out to be a bad outlet that I logically shouldn't even be on the same circuit, but it's been changed out now. Took a couple hours to figure out that one. If you ever want to question building codes I'll send you my old outlet. It's all burnt from the arching electricity.
 

kjel

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44
I mentioned something to The Man about applying the concrete sealer to the stoop stair treads in front of the house. There was a 1 gallon plastic container of "concrete sealer" where I keep all the home repair stuff. He grabbed the 1 gallon can of concrete block waterproofing coating and proceeded to paint the treads, risers, and real stone with it. I nearly had a heart attack when I got home and saw it. $40 later and 6 hours of time stripping and brushing later it's been undone. He is no longer allowed to do anything around the house unless directly supervised.
 

kjel

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Guess what? He's ok with that. ;) :D

Genius......:D

He's not ok with it because he really does want to help. We have a 180 degree swap on traditional gender roles in the household which is hard on him at times. I am the breadwinner, a construction manager/developer by vocation, make most of the financial decisions, undertake the home projects, etc. He stays at home with rt, cooks, cleans, runs errands, and takes classes at the community college twice a week.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,517
Points
53
He's not ok with it because he really does want to help. We have a 180 degree swap on traditional gender roles in the household which is hard on him at times. I am the breadwinner, a construction manager/developer by vocation, make most of the financial decisions, undertake the home projects, etc. He stays at home with rt, cooks, cleans, runs errands, and takes classes at the community college twice a week.

I'm going with genius. I'm not allowed to do laundry. I'm barely allowed to cook and my cleaning is barely considered helpful (wife usually goes behind me and cleans again). Now if I could only screw up the lawn mowing I'd be golden, but it's a tool and the wife is smart enough to know I can use tools. On the other end, my wife is not allowed to shovel snow (back problems), paint anything (can't even cover a small bathroom wall in two coats), or help with construction without my directions. I guess it's fair.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,877
Points
57
Over the weekend it got cold enough that my wife wanted me to turn the heat on. Much to my surprise, one of the two furnaces in the house would not start up. Even more frustrating was it was the more important of the two... the one that supplies heat to the basement and first floor.

After a few hours of testing each of the components, I discovered it was a bad control module. New one should be here on Friday. However I also found that the control module for the 2nd floor furnace is the same as the control module for the basement furnace, so I moved it to the basement until the new one comes in so we at least have heat on our first floor, and heat rises. (We also have mattress pad heaters for the beds so it is not too bad.)

Needless to say, I was very relieved because a $150 part is a lot less expensive than a $2000 furnace.
 

Linda_D

Cyburbian
Messages
1,753
Points
21
Needless to say, I was very relieved because a $150 part is a lot less expensive than a $2000 furnace.

I hear ya. I had all kinds of issues with my hi-efficiency gas furnace last winter, to the tune of almost $ 1,000 in repairs/service calls all told, and the thing is all of 10 years old which pushes my buttons because the old style gas furnaces with the old mechanical thermostats would last a couple of decades before needing much work.

Since my city has municipal electric which is very cheap, I am seriously thinking about switching to electric heat. I've already got 220 service since I have an electric dryer and electric baseboard heat in the sunroom. I would have to upgrade to 200 amp service. I have several friends who have converted to electric when it came time to replace gas furnaces. Our electric service here is very reliable. There have been maybe 3 city-wide power outages, including 1 because of a regional grid failure, and only 1 or 2 local area failures in the 16 years I've lived in this area, and none were for more than a few hours.

If the furnace does a reprise of its furnace from hell act this winter, that will undoubtedly seal the deal on going electric.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
We hired some dudes to do some corrective work around the house...dry wall, baseboard, lighting, landscape stuff. They've done great work. They're not finished yet, but I'd recommend them to anybody. One of the dudes looks like he's from Duck Dynasty.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
The reconstruction of the second bedroom will be completed tomorrow with the laying of the carpet. When we add the furniture, our house will be back in order.
 
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