Tuesday, December 22, 2009

building cabinets

Frugaldad "gets" to take 2 weeks of vacation over the holidays. What better thing to do than build a new kitchen? He's been building cabinets.
Photos that come before today's progress are at the end of the Addition set at flickr.
here's a little preview (look at the fog!)

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I never showed you a picture of the trim board on the edge of the bamboo floor.

trim board on the bamboo right before the carpet was installed

Then the carpet guys came!
carpet is installed!

Then we started moving toys into what will be a really big playroom until we finish the basement and turn it into a really big playroom, and the upstairs becomes a master suite.

new space to play

new space to play

What amazes me is that I know that we have so many fewer toys that a lot of families. Yet there are still so many!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

counting the minutes....

until the CARPET gets installed in the morning! Only upstairs, but you'd better believe we're moving stuff in there as soon as we can!

cleaned up

(I realized it isn't actually finished in the picture, the trim piece at the edge wasn't installed so you will get another picture later)
bamboo from the west

we are far from finished, but this is a big step! We'll put trim in the windows soon so we can hang blinds. That evening sun from the west is blinding! And we'll install baseboards before moving large furniture.

Two years is a long time to cram everything into one living area!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


You might call it dumb luck, but we like to refer to it as careful planning.

The stairs are on the south edge of the room, and the factory-manufactured stair nosing had a groove in it. So the floor had to be installed starting at the north edge of the room, because you nail into the tongues of the flooring. But how, pray tell, do you make sure that the flooring meets up with the stair nosing in the right place? If it was off, we would have to rip down an entire course of floor the length of the entire room.

So we measured. And measured. And did some math. And measured and did math again. We laid out a few boards and figured that each joint added 1/32" to the boards themselves, which are 3.75". So we multiplied 3.78125 by the number of courses of floor (it wasn't actually that simple), and then snapped a chalk line where the first course should be nailed. And then we hoped for the best.

This is the line that we have to meet up with, see it a few inches from the edge of the stairs?

approaching the stairs

It is where the factory stair nosing ends.

stair nosing

So we got 3 courses away from the stairs, and stuck in some scraps, and it is going to be perfect. ...to the 32nd of an inch....perfect.

perfect fit

and that, my friends, is what happens when an engineer builds his own house.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

floor progress

So we've been working on installing the bamboo flooring. Er, well, Frugaldad has been doing all the installing. I am really good at holding the other end of a tape measure, though. Here is the room before. Just in case you forgot, this is going to be our dining area for a while, and then we're going to put our kitchen here and turn our old kitchen into a really big dining room.

Before the floor

Here it is after a couple courses were nailed down.
the first couple courses

and a few more courses
the first few courses

after the first day
after the first day

the Frugalbaby has learned to speed army crawl...
chasing his brother

Frugaldad took a day off work and worked on the floor some more and got to here:
after two days worth of work

We think we are really going to love this floor. And have already decided that with kids and pets, we're not going to stress when it gets dinged and scratched.

Every single hardwood and laminate floor brochure I've ever seen has a dog in it. So we had to take this one.

the "dog on the hardwood floor" picture you see in all the brochures...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Status report

The final certificate

We passed our final inspection!

While the certificate says complete, it doesn't mean the project is finished! We have bamboo flooring sitting in the house acclimating. We're pretty sure we've picked out the carpet. We need to install window and door trim and baseboards.

Then begins phase two, in which we move our kitchen into the addition and start remodeling the old house.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Twenty-one months and counting....

We have passed our final plumbing and electrical inspections. We've picked out carpet and other flooring. The final inspection ought to be done in a week or so once we get things wrapped up.

We've been busy little bees!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Got color?

We've been painting, and wanted to put some color on one wall in what will be our family room. We thought we had a great one, but now that it's on the wall, it's a little bright and we think we'll paint over it. I picked a really calming blue for the other room, and another greener blue for the bathroom.

I realized that the far wall is still only primed in this picture (click to see the whole thing). We did the back wall of the plant shelf as well, the theory is great behind tying the two rooms together with the same color but that color is just too much.
wall and plant shelf
shockingly green

The blue on the left is more purple that the bathroom and is in the south room. The lighter green is the tinted primer and the bright green dropped in it is the actual paint. Flourescent, huh?
got color?

the bathroom
painted bathroom

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More deals

We've really been blessed with good deals lately! In addition to the toilets...

12x12 marble tiles, regular price $4.87, bought for $1 each (these will be backsplash around the tub and maybe a bathroom countertop)
bathroom vanity/cabinet, regular price $79, bought for $39
outdoor light fixtures, regular price $10, bought for $2.50

and I never did mention the Trex decking, but we really wanted to use Trex on the decks outside of each exterior door but the cost is so much higher than wood. Frugaldad was in Home Depot one day last fall and found a discontinued color marked down more than 60%. So he bought enough for both decks.

He also found some PVC trim marked down 90% to trim the basement windows on the exterior.

When you are doing a project the way we're doing it (long and slow), you can often postpone purchases until you find a sale or a clearance special. As long as you know what you're looking for, and what you need, you can buy and save a ton of money. Just don't buy something just because it's cheap, buy it only if you love it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

potty talk

We're getting close to the end, and that means fixtures. We've been shopping for the prefect toilet (who knew there were so many options?) and had decided on the brand and model. One day Frugaldad was walking through Home Depot and came across some toilet bowls, almost the exact model we had already decided on, with one of the features missing (if you're really curious, we were going for the "right height" model and this one wasn't) and it was marked down on clearance from over $80 to $13.80. It seems they are changing only the model name, nothing about the toilet bowl itself. So he bought two, one for the addition and one to replace one of the old toilets in the original house.

Now that's what I call frugal renovation.