On Our Own Again

Larry left us on Tuesday and went back to enjoying his leisure summer in Michigan. His last assignment before leaving was to change some broken glass from our french windows and bring it back to life with a new coat of paint. Larry managed to put on a coat of primer and two coats of white paint before his departure. I finished the job by putting on a third final coat of paint to mask all the discoloration from years of neglect. The white paint really brighten up the little room a lot.

After hours of scraping off the excess paint, looks pretty nice.

My other project this week is putting the kitchen cabinets together and installing them. Well, as usual, we ran into some problems with the cabinet placements and other miscellaneous stuff which prevented me from finishing the installation this week. But this is what we have so far. One of the obstacles is the farmhouse sink I requires a lot more customization that expected, so we are opting for an easy solution by getting a regular drop in sink (we haven't found one we like yet). We might get a bigger cabinet (21") instead of the current 12" cabinet to go next to the peninsula, since our space can accommodate it. We still need to purchase hardwares for the cabinets because Ikea didn't include them on our order list. We have to exchange one of the butcher block countertops for one with deeper dimension to use on the breakfast bar/peninsula section. Our tiles should be getting here next week, so when the kitchen is done, bathroom is next. So much to do, so little time...it's late, I need to catch some zzz's.

All the cabinets came in flat packed parts which required assembly.

Organized, and ready to be assembled.

Rough assembly finished.

Roughly hung, they are level!

Our future kitchen. We were worried that it was going to feel cramped, but it's actually pretty roomy for such a small kitchen. 


Thank You Larry!

We've been really hard at work these couple of weeks because Justin's dad, Larry, is here to help with the renovation for two weeks. Boy did he come at the right time. He's helping us get a lot of stuff done. He and I worked together last week to prime the walls which took couple of days. Then we organized the garage while we were waiting for the mud on the sheetrock to dry. On Friday and Saturday, he helped our electrician install the housing for the recessed lights upstairs.  At the end of our Saturday workday, we made sure that the floor was cleaned and ready for the floor installation first thing Monday morning. I made sure that we had at least Sunday off to recharge for the long week ahead. 

Sheetrock with one coat of primer from Benny Moore.

1000 square feet of engineered hardwood floating floor arrived last week. We left them in the downstairs unit to acclimate to our house. After checking the average installation cost if we were to hire someone to do it, we decided to tackle the job ourselves. 

The subfloor after mopping. The gray square along the right wall is a spot where there was a height difference in the floor board. We patched it with mortar to level the floor. But as we later discovered, while laying down the floor; there were other uneven spots on the floor, though it was too late to correct them.

The underlayment that goes under the wood floor. Do you like our temporary "security system" on the patio door?

We tried out laying the floor across the room horizontally, but it looked too choppy in my opinion. So we did it my way, staggered in a vertical pattern.

We knew it would take a while to get the ball rolling on installing the floor.
It took us a whole day to do half of the living room. 

The living room was finished on the second day and the front bedroom done on the third. Our method has gotten better and the work has gone a little faster everyday. Our goal is to finish the master bedroom and closet tomorrow hopefully with some time to spare so Justin and I can go kitchen cabinet shopping!

Front to back view.

Partial view of front bedroom.

Living room, back to front view. I've noticed some minor mistakes on the floor, but not too shabby for us first timers. Love it!

Just a reminder of how far we've come. The light floor color has brighten up the living room so much!


Yard Work

I have been focusing on making the yard a little more organized because there's not much I can do on the inside of the house right now. At least until the sheetrock guys are done, which they are supposed to today!

Last weekend, Justin and I spend two full days on trimming and whacking the weeds out of our unruly yard. So happy that I found someone on Craigslist who's been taking a lot of the plants that we are trying to get rid of for his yard. So far, he's taken the sad little palm in our side yard, some succulents, a jade plant, a bougainvillea (we have five of them on one fence), and a yellow hedge.

Anyway, it was hard work, but the weather was super nice, so I didn't mind working outside in the hot sun. I always forget to take a before picture before the work starts. Here are some before and afters.

This patch of sidewalk was so over grown with plants and weeds that trash often get trapped in there. I took some of the plants out and trim the others back. The empty space will be filled with bricks from our old foundation/chimney. We've also been trying to trim the big loquat tree, it's filled with rotting fruits right now.

I gave away a of bunch of bricks for free on Craigslist, but saved some for small projects in the yard. Maybe that will save me a few bucks on dumping fees.

I found a taker for the two squished together plants and paved in the empty space. I think it looks a lot better and offers better access.

Okay, it's only half way there and it looks like the lavender plant I dug up from our yard is not going to survive its' new home on the sidewalk. I've been looking for an appropriate replacement plant. What do you think about a dwarf peach tree or blue berry bush?

I liked the palm tree, was sad to see it go, but it was overshadowed by all these giants trees around it. At least I know it went to a good home. 

Two full green compost bins and eight bags of tree and weed trimmings later, we took a few days off this week to recover and rejuvenate.