Saturday, March 24, 2007

Master bedroom and bath

When we decided (April 2002) that the master bedroom in the house was just too small, and the bathroom even smaller, my husband decided that we should look at the basement as a possible place to build the master bedroom and bath we wanted. As I've mentioned before, our house sits on a full walk-out basement. At the front of the house, the ceiling would be a little above ground level. On the sides there are windows as the ground slopes, and the back is completely above-ground.

We built our master bedroom in what was an office. But first we tore down all the previous walls, and built a new one that would give us more space. We also took out the half bath that was down there. Our bedroom is about one-third of the length of the basement, but it also includes an area that we've used as an office (it fits two L shaped desks), and which is currently more like a den or reading area. Part of the area our room takes up includes the master bath. We created a room within our bedroom that was on the back wall, so it would have a window, which we had to add by removing cinder block.

We designed a bathroom that would have a corner shower stall with seats and two shower heads, and we used glass block for the upper half of the side walls of the shower. We also wanted a bidet. We built the frame for the shower, and had to jackhammer the concrete floor to move the plumbing from the old half-bath. We also wanted to add new half-bath on the other side of our master bath's wall, so it would be accessible to the living room. There was a lot of jackhammering. :) We also laid all the tile. That was a fun project!

The flooring is a Formica laminate. For the walls, we have beadboard for the bottom third, or maybe a bit higher--it's above counter-top level, at any rate.

I'll talk more about the bedroom in another post. But here are some pictures from the creation of the master bath.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Latest work--siding

I'm skipping over a ton of things, chronologically, because I'm so excited that we have new siding going up. So far, just the siding on the front of the house has been replaced. It was a pale yellow aluminum, and now it's "clay" vinyl.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New kitchen

In February 2004 we totally remade the kitchen. We'd replaced the applances already (avocado is a nice color, very retro, but I think they were all from 1976!), but now we were getting serious. We tore out all the cabinets, and replaced the vinyl flooring with an Armstrong laminate that looks like ceramic tile. We tore out the ceiling fiber board and replaced it with the wood beadboard. In addition, we took the opportunity to remove the wall from the stairwell, turning it into a half-wall, opening up the kitchen and dining area and letting more light get to the basement. We moved the stove so it was angled in the corner. The microwave will hang over it--just not in this picture. :) And we haven't gotten to the flooring yet. The counter was a nightmare--we had to special order what we wanted because of the length and the corner that would hit the stove, and it came in on time, but had not been done correctly. So we waited for at least 2-3 weeks for a new one to come, using cardboard as a temporary counter top. Fun!

So this leads to the kitchen

You can see the lovely dark wood laminate cabinets that were originally there, and the countertop was white with gold specks. There was no room between the stove and sink (ok, maybe 8 inches), so you couldn't use that side for anything while you were cooking. We'd started removing the old ceiling boards, to be replaced with wood beadboard.
The L shape counter was annoying, and you couldn't use the bar side of it for anything.
There were two windows, but now we have just one, over the sink, because when we pulled out all the old cabinets we added wall cabinets where the other window had been. At the very right of the third pic you can see a doorknob where there was a nice-sized pantry, the only good thing about the kitchen at the time!

Here we had started moving things around. The pantry was torn out and the refrigerator was moved to it's new location. The fridge used to be where the trash can is in this pic.

The Foyer

This is from June 2001. You can see the dark wood paneling on the wall. And there's a view of the kitchen's old floor. All the first floor rooms (except the bathrooms and kitchen) had wall-to-wall orange shag carpeting. Eddie removed it and sanded the beautiful wood flooring beneath, and urethaned it, before we moved in.

Screen door

This is the old screen door we had, plus it's a nice gathering of the boys in the family. In front we have Uncle Donnie holding cousin Jack, Nick, Uncle Mike holding cousin Stuart, and in back is Eddie holding Thomas. This is from about February 2001. We had already replaced the original wood door before we even moved in, and don't have any pictures of it that I can find. Also notice the lovely iron railing. It's still there, to be replaced some day . . .

Old picture of the house

This picture is from 2001 or maybe earlier. We had already cut down the tall, overgrown hedge of holly bushes that lined the drive on both sides. In this pic you can see where they were from the dirt showing next to the drive.

House Under Construction

Our house is in a constant state of construction--remodeling, really, but I couldn't find the Italian word for remodeling. :) In costruzione translates as "under construction," and that's close enough for me! I'm going to use this site to try to record the changes we've made, with pictures of before, during and after when I have them.