Renovation chronology

If you are interested in just stepping through the renovation entries to see the progression of pictures, you can click on the “On the Home Front” category on the sidebar.

You “can” use the search bar at the top right – it’s powered by Google’s search engine and is VERY useful for finding stuff on this site – but it will bring back summaries of each blog entry (no pictures until you click on them) where the category will bring back the entire entries immediately.

Renovation update 05/16/2007

Today saw much of the framing for the new bedroom window completed with proper support being put in place (see the patch work going down either side of the wall).

Hopefully we’ll get the actual window installed tomorrow (Thursday).


The counter folks called and will be picking up the bathroom sinks tomorrow to mount as part of the counter construction.

Here is our new “air assist” Gerber Toilet (as recommended by Consumers Reports). It’s a Gerber EF-21-312 (elongated) with a Toto SS114 (softclose) seat. That’s the top part of the seat in mid-close.


The master bathroom window has been trimmed and painted. We’re pretty much playing a waiting game on this front until the counter arrives. You can see one of the medicine cabinets to the left of the window with the outlets installed in it. We want to get most of those rechargable items off of the counter and out of the way.


The bathroom fixtures were also installed. Pretty much all that’s left to do is install the shower door. I need to verify that the caulking has been sealed but I’m pretty sure all is well in there.


Phoebe is remaining relatively unaffected by all of this activity. She’s pretty laid back anyway.


Mav has taken to hiding in the morning so that he won’t be forced to stay in a big, airy room with plenty of food, water and a litter box. Preferring instead to cower under a bed or piece of furniture in some room right next to where the construction is going on.

He’s fine in the evenings but I can’t figure out what drives him to disappear each morning. It’s a little funny when he does this on days when Tommy and Larry aren’t coming over…

Renovation update 05/15/2007

Today, in addition to cleaning up the tiles to prepare for sealing, the electrician came and finished up the switches in the water closet and the outlets in the medicine cabinets. Also we’re playing with the accent lighting in the living room to make sure it nicely highlights the pictures over the buffet and the mantel.

The counter guy came to make a template,


He probably uses more glue in a week than I will in a lifetime 🙂


Also prep work began to replace the bedroom window,


It turns out that the window that was already there was not quite properly installed. The header was shaky and there were no real supports on the sides. Also, there was very little insulation around the window. This will all be corrected with the new window.

Renovation update 05/14/2007

Today the grouting was done,


and showing the bathtub


You can see a few more washes will be required before the grout can be sealed.

Also the side window was removed,


From the outside,


Here is the old window,


It looks like all that sawdust, grout and paint has become too much for Larry!


Also, the vanity cabinets were installed,


and front view.


the casement window was installed

Renovation update 05/10/2007

The floor tiles are now laid down. Today turned out to be a short day. Tommy and Larry will be dealing with another job on Friday (VERY pregnant lady who needs to get her coming kid’s room finished off a.s.a.p.) so no more progress until Monday. The folks who are building our vanity counter will be coming on Tuesday to create a template for it. So the next piece is to install the vanity cabinets. Then probably the window and finally the grouting.

Here is the vanity area with the floor down.


Straight view into the water closet


and on an angle to see the coming together of wall, floor and bathtub frame


Renovation update 05/09/2007

The wall tiling has finally been completed! It looks just wonderful. Next will be the floor tiling and then grouting the works.

Here is the shower head wall


And here is what the bathtub and back wall (behind the commode) look like,


Tommy was able to finish the far wall in very short order (to your immediate right as you look into the water closet from the door).


Also, good news, the awning-style windows for the master bedroom and the casement window for the bathroom arrived. We bought our windows from Andersen Windows – Doors. For the expansive bedroom window we also opted for their “TruScene” insect screens. Since our bathroom only looks out on some juniper in the side yard I just went with a normal screen on that window.

Here is an exterior before shot of:

Master Bedroom window


Master bathroom window (ignore the fan, it’s there to help keep air circulating as paint and adhesive in the house dry/cure)


Here Tommy is inspecting the new 12′ master bedroom window


And a quick shot of Larry immediately after helping to carry the window up from the truck.


Renovation update 05/08/2007 -2

I realize that I should actually date the renovation entries as the date of the renovation rather than as of when I post to the blog. Duh!

Anyway, here is what’s new as of the end of 5/8/2007.

This is the inside of the cabinet that we had constructed by Cherokee Cabinet Shop, Inc.

There are 4 adjustable shelves (which are off to the side), that little slider at bottom left is for my laptop so that I can keep it handy in the bedroom without it being visible. Apparently Mich doesn’t think it (the laptop) looks as attractive as I do and would rather it not be a focal point. Go figure.


A little more progress has been made to the bathroom tile. All that’s left now is the top part of the shower area and the wall next to the commode.


It’s a little hard to see, but there are a lot of complex cuts around the soap dishes and in the piping where it intersects with other piping.


The laundry room is pretty much finished. The new utility sink is more solid than I expected for not being anchored to the wall. It’s designed to be bolted into the floor but I didn’t like that idea a whole lot. I discussed the option of attaching it to the wall with Tommy but it’s not going to be easy to do in an attractive manner. However, I’ve tested it and it is very solid as is so I think we’ll just let that be. We’re thrilled to actually have a sink in this room finally.


And here’s a view of the room with the cupboards painted and the knobs attached


Finally, kudos to Larry who shows that this work is part trade part art. We replaced our 3 gang light switch with a 4 gang switch and removed the apparently random switch that had been mounted above the 3 gang. Look closely, that’s a real wood wall that’s had a 2″ by 4″ (at least) hole repaired in it. It’s only because I knew it was there before that I can detect the original hole. Some very nice work went into making that eyesore go away.2390

Renovation update 05/08/2007

OK, a little more tilework completed. Tommy yesterday got from the lower of the two top green stripes up to the ceiling done yesterday.

Here facing the faucet end of the bathtub


and here facing the other end


The work is great, but I suppose we’re starting to get impatient to see the end of this part of the project. Anybody out there have any idea how long tilework should take? I have great faith in Tommy’s craftsmanship. The only prefab portion of this work is the actual green tiles are on a mesh. They actually come as a double-row and must be cut. All the diagonal tiles are, of course, being cut on site.

Oh, and you can clearly see how well the pattern goes through the lower soap dish. That’s pretty impressive!

Renovations – Laundry Room and Master Bath coming along

Here are the final pictures to bring us up to date.

The walls in the laundry room have been painted and the cabinets primed. You can see the new shelves have been installed and are longer than the old ones to take up the space created by removing the wall that used to hide the hot water tank.

You can also see the utility sink nestled between the dryer and washer.


Here you can see the new linoleum flooring, the pattern and colors were selected to complement those both in the garage foyer and on the patio.


Progress is slow but steady on the tilework in the bathroom. Hopefully on Monday we can get the last of the tile up and maybe even the shower door mounted.


The bedroom cabinet and the vanity pieces have arrived and look great. We had some concern at first that the center door panels might be too light but Mich consulted with her girlfriend and apparently all is well. 🙂


The new windows are scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Monday) so we should be getting to work installing those soon. Also, as soon as the vanity is installed we can get the counter guys to come in to create the template and get that process moving. It will likely take about two weeks after that for the counter to be ready so I’m going to make that a priority so the other work can be done while we wait for the counter.

Renovations – Overall update 2

Continuing with the renovations pictures.

We also added 5 new can lights to the living room along with 3 accent lights

In process:


And when the job was done:


And we added a couple of can lights to the kitchen to fill in some dim spots from our initial foray into can lighting there. I had them sectioned off so we can control those over the computer desk, the island and the sink separately.

In process:







and if you recall the square hole that’s been in the ceiling over the sink for the past year, that’s gone now!


And here are Wayne and his assistant from Precision Electric Co. who did the lighting as well as the wiring for the master bathroom and for the tankless water heater area.


Here is the new bathtub roughed in:


and the commode area:

Note the extra support that’s being incorporated for safety rails on the back wall.


And a few days later



and progressing, these pictures were taken at the end of each day. You have no idea of the amount of thought and planning that went in to placing the soap dishes such that the pattern lined up properly with them:








Here are some gratuitous pictures of the medicine cabinets as they are roughed in:



And a shot of the “before” version of our master bedroom window:


Finally, here are some shots of the laundry room progress. If you’ll recall we removed the hot water tank from there so we could then remove the little separating wall that hid it.

It cost me $1,530 to route the plumbing from the nearby aquarium up through the attic and into the laundry room to replace the plastic pipes that used to lead from the old water tank.

Here is with the sheetrock gone and the plumbing roughed in.



Now the sheetrock has been put in place ready for painting.


Mostly done, just need to replace the floor and do a final paint job. It’s not obvious in this picture but the utility sink we added is positioned between the washer and the dryer. Mostly so you wouldn’t be able to see it from the dining area / kitchen.



Tommy won’t be doing any work tomorrow so I’ll be posting the work from the past two days tomorrow or Saturday and then I’ll just post the progress as we go forward.

Our replacement windows are supposed to arrive on Monday. I expect that will be fairly exciting, we’re really looking forward to the much wider master bedroom window. It’s one of the very few South facing windows in our home

I should point out that we’re *very* happy with the work so far. It’s certainly not cheap, but both Tommy and Larry are thoughtful, careful craftsmen who know their trade(s). They clean up after themselves each day which Michelle especially appreciates, and they work with a professionalism that is pretty hard to find nowadays.

Another great thing is that *they* actually do the work. It’s not like they price the work and then send a bunch of low-payed, low skilled folks in to do the job. They are the ones you see each day and they know what they’re doing.

If you’re wondering that’s Turner General Contracting that’s doing this work. Again they are not cheap, but then I do believe we are getting what we pay for. This renovation has been far less painful than many of the horror stories that I’ve heard of from others. Much of that no doubt has to do with the approach and philosophy of your contractor. It really helps when you trust and are confident in the folks doing the work.