Saturday, May 23, 2009

One Year on Roe Circle

Well we made it, one year on Roe Circle. I figured it was time to look back through the past year. Sometimes it seems like we aren't making any progress, but looking at all the pictures, we have done a pretty good job.
A construction picture from the spring of 1950.
The same shot the afternoon we closed last May.
The patio a year ago.
The view of the circle about a year ago.

A file photo. The sliders were closed to the kitchen.
The version when we bought. The second bedroom and the bathroom were both pretty small.
Sam drywalling the new larger bathroom.
Original living room.
The living room/bathroom now.Original master bedroom. The wall got moved one window this direction to even up space between the two rooms.
Missing a wall during demo.The newly sized master bedroom and storage.
Framing the new closet in the second bedroom.
Finished closet.The original bathroom. There wasn't even enough space to take a picture in there.
Finding space.
Looking bigger.
New shower.
The bathroom now.
We have some work to go to finish this phase of the renovation but things are close. Although we could have finished earlier, we took time out to drink a few beers with the neighbors and have some fun. If the past year has been any indication, this summer and next year will be a blast. We've got plenty of beverages in the fridge so stop over. Happy Summer everybody!

Tiki Time

Hey we made it to another Memorial Day weekend. We didn't paint the entire living room grey. Our hospitality tiki got his own wall.
I bought these signed silk-screened pictures from the artist a couple years ago for my college tiki bar. I guess my tastes haven't changed much because they fit in nicely in the second bedroom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Battle of the Beige

Wow, where did the weekend go? I think we could have used a couple more days this weekend. Most of it was spent covering up some of the beige.
We finally got everything installed with the water heater and furnace. The on-demand water should cut costs along with the much more efficient furnace. We also got a pressure reducing valve installed so the pressure is back down to normal. These will eventually get painted the same color as the house.
In preparation for the carpet, it was time to paint the living room. Most everything is grey with a couple accent walls. Sam did the detail work cutting in and I came behind with the big roller.
This is pretty much all we got accomplished on Saturday. We did however make multiple trips to Lowes and Home Depot for other supplies.
Nera helping out.
Boy those ceilings are high.
The plan was to get the shades rehung today. It didn't happen but the painting is finished.
The other project that needed to get finished was the fireplace. I haven't been around much so it kind of dragged on. Alright, last coat of black then we are finished.
It turned out really nice. Now we have to track down the fireglass.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today the cats spent another day locked away in the bedroom while are HVAC guys tried to finish up. I worked from home until noonish when I picked up Sam for lunch. As soon as we sat down the plumber called as said a tree fell down in the back yard, hmmm. Jared went over and checked things out and filled me in. When I got home this is what awaited. The branch the woodpeckers had been working so hard on finally came down. Luckily it didn't do any damage. About as much as I could do without a chainsaw.
Anyway, here is an interesting shot of the mechanical room. Good thing we are finished because there isn't much more room. We had the plumbing put in for a new sink and a pressure reducing valve. We are waiting on one more cover for outside and this little project will be finished.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Carpet is Ordered!

Carpet shopping is now in my top 5 for Least Fun Things to Shop For. Others on the list include car shopping, apartment hunting, and Christmas shopping. Thank God we don’t have to worry about apartments anymore. This whole ordeal made me SO glad we’ve been doing the work ourselves. I couldn’t handle dealing with self-serving salespeople and contractors for the duration of this project.

The good news is that the carpet for the house has been ordered. We learned that gray (or grey for John) is not currently “in” and no one carries any shade of gray in stock. But there is an abundance of Johnson County beige in stock everywhere. Oh beige, you are the bane of my existence. We were able to find something in the right color and in our budget. Needless to say, we did not go with the Stainmaster stuff John previously commented on.

We ordered Mohawk SmartStrand through Big Bob’s for the whole house. I picked out a frieze for the bedrooms and a short plush from the living room and stairs. Here’s a swatch of what we ordered, we’ll have more pictures after the install. It’s pretty neutral and basic and that’s what we were going for. I would rather have our furniture, the fireplace, and our art and other belongings be the focus rather than the walls or flooring.

The frieze:

The plush:

We went through Big Bob’s Flooring out of their Overland Park location and they were great to work with. They were a good balance of helpful and knowledgeable without trying to blow too much smoke up our a$$. That seemed to be a problem at other stores. We may be going back there when we get around to the flooring in the furnace room. Is it still a furnace room if we have a hydronic air handler? Hydronic-air-handler-room just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

The plush will be in by the 20th but the frieze won't be in until early June so we have a while before the install, which is a good thing. Before then, we have a "little" list of things to do:

  • Finish the fireplace hearth

  • Pick out and place tile around the fireplace and in front of the side door; grout

  • Finish painting the railing

  • Finish painting the master bedroom

  • Sand and top coat the joint compound on all cracks and windows

  • Prime the remainder of the living room

  • Paint living room

  • Remove remaining carpet and pad

  • Take doors off hinges

  • Move all furniture into the kitchen

Minor details, really. Most of this stuff is small and can be taken care of between now and the end of next weekend. After the install, we're down to trim, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and unpacking.

I would recommend to anyone looking into new flooring to stay away from retail stores with salespeople that work on commission, unless you have several thousand dollars, time, and patience to spare. The outlet store approach saved us money and my sanity.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It Has to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Now that the carpet is decided on, we are pushing to get the living room finished. Today was supposed to be priming, but lots of little wall repairs ate up all of the time. I am hoping soon the pictures in the house won't have the shop vac in them. Sam just wants to rip out the old carpet.
There always was this crack that drove me crazy. Sam cut out material and refilled it. You can see out the window progress on the red house. Well, they have poured the new foundations. Look Ma no walls. Our neighbor Mark dropped off the dumpster and demo bobcat this weekend next door. So as of next week we will have two houses under major renovation on the circle.
Repainting the stair rails. The kitchen is starting to fill up with everything that has to be moved out for carpet.
While Sam was slaving away inside, I got the garden put in. We have a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of little grasses that will be coming up.
I finished grinding/polishing the fireplace surround. Afterward everything got stained to even the colors. When the black stains dries it looks kind of rusty colored. Now all that is left is to wash off the stain and wax it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We closed on year ago Thursday. That means as of Monday this portion of the remodel has been going on a year. Good thing Sam got the carpet picked out today. It will take a couple weeks to order and get installed, but that will let us finish painting. We managed to limp through a 12 mile run this morning. Last night was a little Friday happy hour that turned into a happy 6 hours. My first year is over and it was a good night to celebrate. Sam continued to pull trim and paint in the house. The weather today was perfect and we used it to get the garden in. I rented a roto tiller to help rip up the grass and get things going. It only took a couple minutes of trying to do things by hand last weekend that convinced me there was a better way.
Working in some moss and manure. Tomorrow we will get things planted.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Adventures of Carpet Shopping

We have been carpet shopping lately. I didn't know this but used car salesmen and carpet salesmen are one and the same. Here are a couple of interesting things in the fine print of the stainmaster carpet brochure.

Carpet salesman says, "You must register your carpet to be eligable for the warranty, but it is transferable between owners. This sealed the deal when I sold my last house." Looking at the fine print we found "Warranty registration is not a condition of warranty coverage."

Here are a summary of the "Typical Stains Not Covered by the Warranty"

- Chalk

- Charcoal

- Crayon

- Dirt (wow, nothing like leaving that so general no one can make a claim)

- Linseed oil (because we use so much of that)

- Rust

- Solder (I guess fixing electronics in the bedroom is out)

- Urine/feces (keep in mind these are marketed at being good at resisting pet stains)

- Toothpaste

- Toilet bowl cleaner (yet another reason not to put a toilet in the living room)

- Makeup

- Vaseline

- White glue

That is a shortened list, pretty much everything else is on there too. Kind of funny that a product marketed as stainmaster has a huge list of things that stain it.

That is like saying He Man is master of the universe, but in fine print:

The He Man Master of the Universe statement is only applicable in situations that do not involve He Man actually being challenged. Typical enemies not covered by this statement may include

- Skeletor, Beast Man, Tri-Klops, Trapjaw, Mer-Man

*Other evil-type villans may also not be covered on a situational basis

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Nice weather and we are coming up on the one year mark, so there is some motivation to get things done. Today I managed to get the last slurry coat on the fireplace. Not that it has been that much work but the last few weeks of the semester have been busy. I also seeded the weed lot we call a back yard. Since Eric tackled the same thing when he moved in, I am following his advice. Stay tuned to see if grass triumphs over weeds.
My battle over weeds is nothing in comparison to Sam's battle over the beige scourge that is our walls and floor. She got a few more sections primed today, Portland helped.
What you can't see is an interesting rig to support the ladder and reach the high part of the vaulted ceiling.
Now that we have plants it is time to get the garden in. See the small turned part? That was enough to convince me to rent a rototiller, next weekend's project.
Another ugly project that needs work. I started replacing pavers left from removing the grasses on the patio.
This is as far as I made it before the grill and beer called me. Good thing we have an endless supply of pavers next door that Mark isn't going to use.

Jerad grilled and we dropped tiredly into a lawn chair tonight. So soon we will be able to take it easy one of these weekends.