Saturday, October 1, 2016

Home Renovation Weeks 2 and 3: Carpet Gone

Week 2: Surprise Under Stairs

Two weeks of updates in one post! Hope it's not too long, but we were traveling last week.

Carpet Removed - the old carpet was removed while we waited to receive bids from potential contractors. And SURPRISE we discovered this black stripe on all of the above ground stairs.  So at some point in time the stairs were stained an ebony color and it was (partially) removed, perhaps in the 1980s or 90's when it was last remodeled.
Which makes me wonder... at what point in time it was stained black??

Sanding and re-staining all the stairs would be much more costly than replacing the carpet runner so the stripe will remain for the next owner to wonder about.

Not to be out done, the basement stairs (pic below) also came with a stripe of unfinished wood.  And some really nasty sub-floor was at the top (to be replaced with original hardwoods from another location).

Contractor Bids & Selection - It took about 2 weeks for the contractor bids to come in, which surprised us.  We aren't moving any walls and the only "iffy" bit is moving the location of a 3rd floor toilet. Everything else is cosmetic changes and was listed in the designs.

Elizabeth really helped us by visiting a past client of one potential contractor to make sure we didn't lose momentum because we were out of town.  After a lot of discussion and chatting between my husband and myself and Elizabeth, we decided to move forward with contractor Chris.

Moving the Master Toilet location - While looking at houses, I could never find much information about moving toilets. I read that moving an above ground floor toilet is easier than one on a concrete floor because it all drains down and there would be no concrete to break up. Well, that's true but I have since learned there are floor joists to work around, so I might loose some height in the bathroom below in order to accommodate the new plumbing for the master toilet to go around the floor joists.

I will make a separate post later about this once they open up the bathroom walls, because I think a lot of people are curious about moving toilets. I know I was!!

Left: concrete tile for basement powder room. Right: basement wood tile flooring. Looking good next to each other!

Renovation Week 3: Budget Adjustments

Budget & Scope Adjustments
We all met at the house on Tuesday to cover a few changes we made to the original scope of work.
  • Adding: Asked Chris to quote adding heated floors in the basement and master bath (fingers crossed we can add it!). Repair a cracked skylight pane.
  • Removed: No longer replacing the plumbing fixtures in 2 of the powder rooms, dropped adding built-ins to the office, and dropped the second bedroom's crown molding to save money.  
The remainder of the week was waiting for Chris' schedule to open up to begin work. He started today, October 1st or about a week after we committed to him and 3 weeks after we closed on the house.

Finalized Appliances - We have to place the cabinetry order asap, since they have a long lead time, which means finalizing the kitchen appliances and paint colors. We downgraded my original fridge and microwave selections to help the budget. Honestly, Elizabeth tried to sway me towards the more practical selections originally, but I was just blown away by the show room shine.

Once I started to see real numbers adding up, I picked 2 of a few things (like the fridge). Pick number one was my wish list, and pick two was the more budget conscious version. Makes it easier to go back and play with the numbers and not have to review all the options all over again.

Selected Dining Room Wall Paper & Wet Bar Paint Color - since we have to pick the wet bar cabinet's paint color, Elizabeth helped us select the adjacent dining room wallpaper to make sure they compliment each other.

Dining Wallpaper: Osborne & Little Lintel pattern (in the 03 colorway)
Wet bar Cabinet Paint: Sherwin Williams 7018 Dovetail 
Wet bar tile: Pratt & Larson raised frame A in metallic color C603

Keyless locks - contractor & subs will need access to the house when we're not there. I visited a locksmith who graciously suggested I order the keyless locks online and save $100 because they have to mark them up, he explained it's easy enough to bring the lock cylinder to the shop and have it re-keyed to match my existing keys (or have a locksmith out).  I opted to buy these Schlage locks that will work with an integrated home system that we might add in the distant future. Love the idea of being able to unlock a door from my phone...someday.

DIY Garage Door Keypad - I am proud to say I installed this universal keypad from my local Home Depot.  It is mounted outside the garage door so it can still be opened if someone doesn't have a remote with them. Super handy. For around $30 it's totally worth adding! You don't even know you NEED it until you've had one.

Security System - Elizabeth suggested having someone come in to see about updating or retrofitting the existing system before all the walls are finished. Makes sense but no idea where to start!

*New* Kitchen Slabs - Below is the original slab that was determined to not have been finished correctly. Hoping the new version of the same slab are just as pretty.
We will probably go see this week and then pick the cabinet paint color after we see them in person.  Right now we are leaning towards Sherwin William's Jubilee for a blue gray. But I'm nervous it might be too baby blue.

Kitchen collage with potential paint colors

Payments - this part hurts, but it's the reality of renovation. With the contractor selected, it was time to order and pay for all the tile, appliances, and plumbing, We also had to give a 20% payment to start work at contract signing with our contractor Chris. Ouch ouch ouch. I have to remind myself it's all part of our plan and it's okay. For anyone else out there planning their renovation, it was about 30% of our total budget spent all at once. One cool thing is we received significant "trade" discounts by purchasing through Elizabeth. Even hubs was pleased when I pointed out the different in pricing.

Donate old kitchen cabinets & appliances
Set up security system consultation
See new slabs in person and select final kitchen cabinet paint color (I'm so scared!)

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