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Showing posts from 2010

Front Porch Makeover

Our new siding may have made a huge difference in how the house looks but it doesn't make up for the awkward way the driveway meets the house. The way the driveway leads directly up to the bedroom window makes it pretty obvious this room started out as a garage. The concrete front step could be repainted or even tiled, but that would not disguise the converted garage space.Our solution was to lay decking over the existing step and extending to the end of the house, resulting in a 23'x5.5' front porch. When we expanded our foyerand replaced the front door we also raised the door 1.5” to leave room for the new decking. Luke did all the framing and attached the ledger board to the house, while I worked on pulling screws out of our used deck. In April I found an ad for some used cedar decking on Craigslist. For $50 I got the remnants of a 24'x16' deck. The wood was stained a redwood color and looking a little worse for wear, but the boards were still straight and wi…

Chimney Makeover - The Reveal

It's been a long time since I posted anything about the chimney work. September 24th was the last day of putting up slate, but all the finish work was put on hold while we replaced the siding, and painted, and built the front porch... On Halloween we scrubbed the chimney with muratic acid and wire brushes. Once the slate was deemed sufficiently clean we sealed with the same wet-look sealer we used in the foyer and on the fireplace. I love how the sealer brings out all the colors in the slate. Since it's been so long since we began here is a reminder of what we started with:
Front Before
 Front After
Side Before

Side after
Close up
Refacing the chimney was a huge project. I didn't fully understand just how much work this was going to entail (200+ hours). But I think our investment of $850 in materials has paid off. Sorry that there are no photos showing the entire front of the house. I am saving those for when the front porch is finished. It's just about done, so…

Siding Finished

Only four weeks ago the siding looked like this. Thanks to help from my parents we made progress at an amazing rate. We did all the tear-off and put up house wrap one weekend and put up all the siding the next weekend. Because of weather delays we had to wait until last week to paint and I am still finishing up the trim work. But I can't wait any longer to post or my mom will have to drive over here just to see the finished product of her labor. So here is how it looked an hour ago. Although it's looking much better we are still not finished. The carport has to be painted inside, the chimney still has to be cleaned and sealed and we'll be building a porch across the old garage opening to the left. Fortunately Washington winters are late and mild so we will have time to work outdoors, not a lot of time, but hopefully enough to get finished.

Master Suite - The Reveal

We've really been pushing ourselves to get this the master bedroom and bath finished. There have been a lot of late nights but we are finally ready to move it. Six weeks after we stripped it to the studs and started over, the master suite bears little resemblance to the dreary bonus room we had last month. Before (View from bedroom door)
After Before (North wall with seriously sagging floor. It dropped 2" over 6'. )
 After - Lighter, brighter and level
West Wall
We added a doorway into the pantry and converted it into the master closet. We're not tv in the bedroom people, but that would be a perfect spot for a flat panel.
Before (South Wall, unheated bathroom, closet that also housed water heater)
 After - New wall with pocket door, enlarged bathroom Old bathroom -
It was so small the only way to get a picture was by standing on the vanity. This was our only place to shower for the first year in this house. It had no heat which made getting out of the shower in the wi…

Kitchen Reveal

I have to come clean. We finished the kitchen over a month ago. But between replacing the roof and starting on the next major project I forgot to post pictures of the kitchen. All in all, it took about five months from demo to completion. To be fair, if we were remodeling only the kitchen we would have been finished long ago. But because of permitting and inspection hassles we ended up doing the kitchen, dining, living and laundry rooms all at the same time. On top of that we had to do all the framing, electrical and plumbing work for the master suite as well. But all the work and expense have paid off with our newly finished kitchen. Just so the change is more dramatic, here are the photos from the day we moved in. Dining room with the kitchen on the left and separated by a pocket door.
New view of dining room
The wall separating the kitchen and dining room made getting consistent photo angles difficult. This one was shot looking from the dining room looking into the kitchen (…

Fireplace Makeover

I love our fireplace, though entirely for the warmth. There was nothing redeeming about it's appearance when we moved it. We used a very simple pattern for the tile layout but I think it works well with the overall simple style of the house. We used the same slate in the foyer so it all ties together nicely. I found the mantel and lintels on clearance last summer. Unfortunately the workmanship of the mantle was appalling. Had it not been a clearance item we would have returned it. Luke put in several hours correcting factory flaws/sloppy construction. He also had to make some modifications so the lintels fit properly but the end result turned out better than I could have expected. And just so the transformation seems more dramatic, take one final look at the before picture:
I have to thank my friends, especially Arielle, who convinced me to go with the gunmetal doors instead of black. The color really works with the slate.
So how much did this transformation cost?

Laundry Room Reveal

I know, I know, you were starting to wonder if we would ever finish a project. Truth be told we are 99% finished with everything. The kitchen just needs a little more work on the countertops and the living room is waiting on the fireplace mantle. So really, we are very close and everything will be finished over the next few days. Then I can finally post some pictures. I just can't stand posting photos when the project is not quite finished. So to tide you over until then please let me present the laundry room. Do you remember what it started out as?
The wall behind the washer was rotten and moldy. The gap under the door allowed a constant stream of mice and spiders to enter the house.
We had to remove the window to allow the stacked washer and dryer. It was a small price to pay for a much more usable layout.The old platform for the washer and dryer was about to collapse into the plumbing trench below.

Also, the door to the (future) master bedroom opened into the laundry are…