Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interior Paint Colors

It took a LOT of deliberation, but we've finally decided on the interior paint colors:

Left to Right: Benjamin Moore Decorator's White, Restoration Hardware (RH) Atmosphere Blue, RH Gravel and RH Silver Sage

I was trying to get shots that might show how they really look (it's really hard to get them to show up on the camera).  Here are pictures from the Restoration Hardware website:

Atmosphere Blue:  A light blue-gray color.  This will go in all the living areas upstairs, upstairs bathroom, and stairwell

Silver Sage: A light green (with a bit of gray).  This one is the hardest to see from the pictures.  It will go in the upstairs guest bedroom, downstairs guest bedroom, downstairs bath, and laundry room

Gravel: A medium-toned gray.  These pictures make it lighter than it is I think.  It'll go in the Master bedroom, downstairs den area, and office

The Benjamin Moore Decorators White will be our trim color throughout the house.

Bathtubs and fireplace

Just a quick post to note a few other things that have been done at the house...

The guest bathtubs are installed now.  They even have water in them! (Apparently you have to fill them up with water to pass the inspection).

Upstairs guest bath

Downstairs guest bath (sorry, it's hard to get a good angle there)

Fireplace is framed in:

After much discussion, we've decided to do lower built in cabinets to the right of the fireplace.  Our TV will sit on top of those cabinets.  We really didn't want to have to put the TV above the fireplace, and I think we have a good plan.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's been awhile

I haven't updated in quite awhile - life has been very busy around here.  Luckily, there hasn't been a ton that I've missed.  Or let me clarify, a lot has happened, but not much of it is very conducive to pictures.  So this blog isn't missing too much :)

I believe I'm correct in saying most of the electrical and plumbing, as well as all of the framing is done.  I think we're waiting on an inspection before we can move forward with some things, but hopefully that will come soon. And supposedly they could start putting in drywall as early as the next couple of weeks.  Once that happens a lot more (easily visible progress) will start happening (paint, kitchen cabinets, tile work, bathroom vanities, etc!)

Here are a few things I do have documentation of:

Our front door was delivered.

Bathtub is framed in the master bathroom

Attic ladder is installed (access through the master closet)

And framing downstairs is finally complete! (I'm standing in the living area down there, to the left in the picture is the downstairs bathroom, and to the right is the laundry room)

More of the downstairs.  This is the den area - Kyle and the electrical guy are talking about how big of a TV we're gonna put down there..... ha

Hopefully we'll have some great pictures coming soon.  Ann mentioned that this is the hardest phase because you're making lots of decisions, things seem to start moving slower, and you can't as easily see the progress.  But things are definitely moving forward!

And in case you're curious about how House #1 is doing on the market - we've officially been on the market for two weeks now.  In those two weeks we've had a few showings, a relatively successful open house, and a realtors' open house.  I'm encouraged that we continue to get traffic through the house.  We're just waiting for the right person(s) to come through and know that this is the house for them.  If you know of anyone that might be interested... please send them our way!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Officially For Sale

Our house is officially on the market now!  We're excited to see how this goes - I know it'll be quite an experience...

Here are pictures:

Theft, Hard Wood Floors, Paint Colors, and Master Bathtub

There's a lot to update on House #2 - all from our trip out to the house yesterday afternoon!  We'll start off with the most frustrating issue:

Unfortunately, late last week (probably Thursday or Friday night) someone stole several things from the house.  The largest (literally) were two bathtubs that we had saved from demolition.  We were planning on refinishing them since they are good quality bathtubs and would work well in the house (for the guest baths).  And apparently they are extremely heavy (according to Arthur) so it would have been quite the feat to steal them (meaning it was definitely more than one person, and probably more than two were needed to carry them out of the house).  Also missing were some building materials.

Rather disappointing, but hopefully won't happen again.  Now that windows are installed, the house should be more secure (even though they did what they could each day to make it secure before leaving).  We've also got all the neighbors on the lookout so perhaps that will help.

The positive side to this is that, despite the tubs being gone, at least we hadn't refinished them yet.  Which was going to cost about the same amount as buying new tubs.  So there's not much of an impact on the budget from the tubs.  However, the ones that were already in there were better quality than what we can buy new, so what we get won't be quite as good.  It'll be fine though.

Now on to happier things...

Hardwood Floors
The hardwood floors on the main level were being installed yesterday!  They should be finished today, and I'm not sure when they'll actually be stained, but I doubt that'll happen soon.  Here's a picture of the progress:

Master Bathtub
Our master bath was delivered.  Here it is:

Paint Colors:
We finally decided on our alternate exterior paint color.  Here's some samples (the light is really hard to get a good idea of what they look like - sorry!)

We painted both of our options on the back of the house to try to see what they would look like.  They are both similar to the original color we had picked, but darker.

We painted them again, against the original color we had chosen.

They look very similar, but we ended up going with C (the one on the left in the first picture and the bottom one in the second picture).  It's a color called Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams.  The white trim color we picked out looks good and we're sticking with it, and we're also planning on sticking with a yellow front door.  We'll look at more options when it gets time to decide that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Windows!

Weeks are very busy around here so most of our posting will probably get done on weekends.  Between working, studying, trying to sell House #1, and making decisions regarding House #2, during the week we are left with a very small amount of spare time.  Luckily (now that all our projects on House #1 are done), we have some free time to update on the weekend.

So here is an update regarding what House #2 is looking like now.  The major changes include:

Windows Installed

Fence Work:

Work on the stairwell:

And just because I like this picture, here is the view from the window in our master bedroom  (ignore the scaffolding - that's definitely temporary).  I can't wait to wake up to this!  (And how nice is it that the closest house is far away.  The back of our house definitely feels private).

This weekend we'll be deciding on exterior paint colors (instead of the color we originally chose) because I believe brick work and exterior painting will be done next week.  More pictures coming in the next week or so!

Bathroom vanity issues

So we have already been learning that you can't always get exactly what you want.  We had picked out our bathroom vanities based on the dimensions we were under the assumption would work (seen here).  Unfortunately, we learned that the vanity we had picked for the upstairs guest bath was too big.  I wasn't happy to hear this because I'd already gotten really excited about the one we had chosen (If you don't remember, it was this one:)

But we found another one we like, a little bit smaller, and that will fit much better in the space.  And it was even less expensive (money saved in one area is always great!  Because there are definitely areas where we go a little over budget).  Here is the one we have picked out to replace that one:

The wood looks a little more red in the picture than it does in person.  We had narrowed this vanity down between another one at Costco, or this one at Lowes.  This one was about 2" wider - and we thought that small amount of extra counter top space would be appreciated by guests - and I really like the drawers.  I also thought the black granite top would go well with the slate tile we hope to put down in that bathroom.  And I had really liked the hardware in the original vanity we had picked out, so I plan to find some similar hardware and replacing what comes with this vanity.  We might actually end up doing that for most of the vanities, but that will be an extra project we'll do ourselves. The picture I have in my head for this bathroom is very similar to our current bath - slate tile floor, white subway tile in the bath/shower combo.  We haven't gotten around to that point yet so it could always end up changing, but we'll see.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's going on this week...

We just received an update email from Arthur, so I thought I would do a quick post going over the plan for the week (straight from his email - all credit goes to Arthur for writing the info below):

"Structural support lower level:  We have the engineer’s letter and today we are cutting the slab for two (2) 2x2x1.5’ footings which will support the LVL beams which are transferring the weight which currently rests on the three round steel posts.  Once we dig the holes and put rebar in, we will call for a footing inspection.  The earliest that we will get the inspection is tomorrow.  Then we will fill the holes with cement, install double studs or posts, and run the LVLs from a point directly above the footings to the foundation wall where they will be attached by a hanger that sits directly on the block wall.

Post and rail fence:  It’s being finished today, except for the wire mesh.  Due to roots and rocks the top of the top rail is at about 54”, a little over the planned 48”.  We can trim the bottom of the posts but then would have to treat each with a preservative.  Still will use a wire mesh to keep animals in or out. (Sidenote - this is the fence that is going along the back of the property - right by the creek)

Plumbing:  Can’t finish the rough in until structural supports are installed lower level.  When supports are done we’ll finish cutting the slab as needed and then call for the plumbing inspection.  Once plumbing inspection is passed (the wait is up to three business days for this) we’ll fill in the trenches and get back to framing.

Windows:  Will now be delivered tomorrow and installed Thursday, a delay of one day.

Brick work:  Although the guys filled in one former window today they can’t do the rest until we pass the framing inspection.  That will be toward the end of next week.

This week will be fairly slow but once we get the basement slab put back together we’ll pick up speed again."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

House #2 Update

There is still a lot going on over at House #2.  I think currently we're waiting on an inspection before we can keep  moving, but they have been working HARD to get it to this point.

This is what the front of the house looks like now.

Closer up of the entryway.  I really like the arch and it makes it feel pretty wide and open.

The fence to the right side of our house is going up! (There's Arthur working on it).  The fence to left is already up thanks to Amy and Jay :)

Side area of the house

Another view of the side of the house.  Yes, that is the paint that has started to go on (just in a few spots).  No, we don't like it as much as we had hoped.  It's a little too blue. So we've got a couple of other colors we're going to paint spots on the house to try.  They're darker, still have blue in them, but less bright.  

And this is what the back of our house currently looks like.  You can see where all the future windows are going!

I think the plan for this week is get the brick work done, windows in, and exterior painted.  That will go a long way in making the house look done!

Cleaning, Painting, Organizing, etc.

I figured it was about time for another post regarding all the work that we've been doing on House #1.  Because I feel like that has been taking over my life (or at least my weekends), but we've gotten a lot accomplished in last few weeks.

Before I show pictures, I'll give a quick description of the past two weekends.  Last weekend my parents came to help (and I have no idea how we would have gotten to this point without their help).  We also had a stager come on Saturday morning to walk through the house and point out every single detail that we should change to make our house look better for prospective buyers.  We want them to see themselves living in our house, not us and our tastes in our house.  So pretty much - take a lot of the personality out.  Some of the biggies included: paint the blue wall in our living room a neutral color that matches the rest of the living areas, take out all personal pics and replace them with something else, take out even more furniture than we already had (stored in Amy's garage for now), get all the windows washed, and add some trees and pine straw to the front of the house.

So we got to work last weekend painting and cleaning and moving furniture.  My sister helped me finish up the painting on Sunday while I was sick (again).

On Friday we had someone come out and plant the trees, mow and clear out the yards, spread the pinestraw, and pressure wash areas that needed it.  Then yesterday morning we had window washers come out and clean all our windows.

Yesterday was the longest day in history (it felt like anyways).  I really need to study today so I was determined to get all of the cleaning that was left done yesterday.  Kyle did our taxes while I cleaned, and then he helped get all of the little things marked off our to do list.  He wasn't feeling well so he stopped around 10:30 (yes, I know that is still very late), but I didn't stop going until 1 am.  But now our house is CLEAN.  I still have to clean the floors but I knew it wasn't going to quit raining for a bit, and decided to wait until it quits today so that I don't clean the floors and then have everything dirtied up immediately (mainly by our dog who refuses to wipe his paws before coming inside).

So - sorry about all the detail in case it bores you - but it will help me remember what this moment was like in the future!  And here are pictures I just took of lots of the projects:

Blue Wall

Blue Wall (well, beige wall now)

Laundry area.  We added the side tables (bought and put together last weekend from Ikea) and moved the bookcase (there used to be a giant storage cabinet there)

Removed the wedding pictures that used to be above the mantle and put up this framed art work (ok really it's just a pretty piece of paper that cost about $5).  Thanks goes to Amy for this idea.

We also put up similar art work above our bed.

New furniture arrangement of the living areas (main difference is the loveseat that is gone.  We gave it to my friend Julie)

Moved the furniture around in the guest bedroom

We removed a big leather chair, an extra desk, and one bookcase from the office and rearranged what furniture was left.  Also ORGANIZED everything (which was a huge task and involved major frustration last night at around 11 pm because it still was a mess and no one wants to organize a very messy office late at night.  But we got it done!)

Painted this cabinet in the bathroom.  I wish I had some good "Before" pictures, because it was a very orange-colored cabinet.  It looks much better white (and we wish we'd done this a long time ago!)

Our exterior before Jose came in and cleaned it all up and planted the trees we bought

The front after all the work had been done on it.  Much better!

We also went to Lowes last night and bought some plants to be potted and put around the entryway.  I don't know ANYthing about plants.  At all.  So it took us awhile to decide on what to get but I think it looks good! 

More of the potted plants.  The plants to the right are where our trash cans used to be.  And you can see to the left the large window that looks right out on that area.  It's the window behind the dining room table so we wanted to clean up the view (no one wants to look at trash cans!)

And one last thing before I head off:
Our cute little dog, Roland, whose bones and ropes and balls and crate and dirty paws and fur takes over our house, will be going to his Granmama's and Granddaddy's next week while the house is on the market.  We can't really imagine life without him around here, but it will definitely be easier to keep the house clean and showing the house when we don't have to worry about what to do with him.  Don't feel too bad for him though, he's headed to my parents' house where he gets to run around outside a lot and hang out with my parents' dog, Lonny.  He'll have fun.