Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New (Virtual) Home

If among your New Year's resolutions is to start reading A Coffee To Go, then you are in luck. The New Year is the perfect day for me to debut my new home online:

A Coffee To Go

My genius husband has essentially moved this blog on Blogger to a new home on Wordpress and the result is very cool. He took an already fun layout and tricked it out with cool personalized features. I will be posting under the new location from now on. I hope that you will enjoy the new, fun layout and as always, I welcome your comments on my blog!

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

D is for Durock

Our new tile guys started yesterday and put in a full day's work, and it shows! They are back again this morning, and we're hoping that a good bit will get done on through the weekend. Check out the progress so far - and this is just after one day!

Cement board is installed anywhere you plan to tile. In our case, 1/2 inch Durock is installed on the floor and 1/2 Hardi Backer (a different type of cement board) is installed five feet up the walls where we plan to tile behind the tub and sinks.

Hardi Backer cement board up the walls of our shower. The shower membrane was secured down and goes up under the cement board to prevent any water leakage behind the walls.

Hardi Backer behind the tub, where the wall tile will be installed

More Hardi Backer on the walls behind where the new vanities will go

Our toilet has a new home beside the bed, for now...

Dust! Needless to say, I've scheduled a huge cleaning party in the bedroom after the remodel has been completed

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Never Ending (Bathroom) Story

We're moving along with our bathroom remodel, and have made some good progress the past week and a half. My dad came down to help us last weekend with some electrical work. We bought two light fixtures that will hang above two recessed vanities, so we needed our current single junction box to disappear and become two. Dad also installed another outlet near the second sink.

In the midst of this progress, we had a setback with our tiling. We hired a tile guy, who subsequently disappeared after we gave him a deposit. After trying to stop the payment on our check (the check had been cashed before the stop payment went through) and calling the girlfriend of the tile guy numerous times, in addition to calling our tile guy over 100 times during the week he was MIA, we finally had to take matters into our own hands by the end of the week. After several heated telephone conversations with the tile guy, we went to the Cary Police Department and had the officer in the fraud department contact our tile guy. To make a long story short, our money was returned to us in the form of a certified bank check on Christmas Eve.

Now with that episode behind us, we are focused on doing as much as we feel comfortable with. Obviously we can't do plumbing work, so we had a plumber come on Christmas Eve to replace some pipes and stub in the water main lines to the sink and shower. Afterwards, we replaced some moldy installation and framed in where the two recessed vanities will go in between the studs in the wall. Luckily, we've found another tile guy - a man who does business with my father-in-law who has provided us with his tile guy for the week. Our tile is our (fingers crossed) last major hurdle. After we get the tile installed, we'll paint the ceiling and walls, bring the plumber back in to finish up the plumbing and begin installing the fun stuff - faucets, mirrors, lights and decorations. And oh yeah, being able to take a shower again in the master bathroom and putting our clothes back in the closet (that is, after we get our closet system installed).

Old insulation down

Old wires and junction box location

And then there were two...

Dad consulting the home improvement book

Our plumber's tools

New shower membrane

New drywall in the closet

New insulation and vapor barrier

The new tub filler, waiting to be unveiled

More to come!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas The Day Before Christmas

'Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a doggie was stirring, not even a mouse.
The fixtures were waiting by the bathroom with care,
In hopes that the plumber soon would be there.

The doggies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Milkbones danced in their heads.
And Husband in his ball cap, and I with pulled back hair,
Had just opened our wallets for a long bathroom repair.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the front door, readied our cash

The sun on the breast of the plumber's work van
Gave the lustre of reality to I and my man.
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But another contractor's estimate, more bills to fear.

With a young plumbing expert, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment our water line soon would be nixed.
More rapid than eagles his tools and supplies came
And he measured, and studied, our exposed shower drain!

"Now Mister! now, Misses! This job I can do!
The only problem is, you can't use the loo!
For the main water line, you will have to shut off!
So I can work quickly, you won't even scoff.

As dry bank accounts dwindle with each home improvement,
The Husband and I were anxious to stop the money movement.
So up to the bathroom our plumber ascended,
With a box full of tools, and pipes soon to be mended.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from upstairs
The sawing and hammering from our bathroom repair.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Out the pipe valves and wrenches came with a bound.

The plumber was surrounded from his head to his foot,
With new pipes, hammers, sockets and soot.
The bundle of tools he had resting on the floor,
And he looked ready to work, and so much more.

His tools-how they twinkled! his work boots how merry!
The new pipes were the color of roses, the washers like a cherry!
We unpackaged our fixtures, tied up in a bow,
And the silcone caulk was white as the snow.

The plumber spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And sawed the old pipes, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his tools,
And giving a nod, out the invoice he pulls.

He sprang to his van, all his tools packed away,
And up the street he drove, without any dismay.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Pay the bill within 30 days, and have a good night!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prep Work

This week we made more progress on our bathroom. We have subfloor back in the closet area and we've purchased all of our tile and some supplies. Because our vision was more than we could take on ourselves, we hired a tile guy to tile the shower, around the tub, the floor and portions of the wall. Tonight the tile guy did some prep work, removed the old shower base and scraped the popcorn off the ceiling. We're looking forward to getting tile in the bathroom and to start putting our house back together again.

Sydney exploring the new subfloor in the closet

Bare bones shower

The shower base removed

Buh-bye popcorn ceiling!

Major shopping trip to Home Depot for tile and supplies

Choice porcelain tile for the floor

Fancy tumble stone tile for a decorative inset on the walls

All the things that will eventually end up in our bathroom

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Demo Continues thought we were making progress? Well, we are! During our initial demo this past weekend, we found wet subfloor in the closet. Turns out there was no leak from the adjacent tub in the guest bathroom, nor was there a leak from the roof. The wet subfloor was due stains...trapped for almost 20 years. Yeah, can only imagine how THAT smelled. So, in order to get rid of the smell, we had to get rid of all the subfloor in the closet. We're also removing some subfloor that was under the vanity. Fortunately, we are not tackling this project alone. We have reinforcements. One of my wonderful co-workers offered up her wonderful husband to help us out. He has years of experience doing this kind of work, so we know we are in great hands. Check out our continued demo:

Stack 'o drywall and subfloor

Our closet wall that we had to tear out to get to rotten subfloor below.

The corner of our closet.

The exposed side of our tub in the guest bathroom.

Stack 'o tools.

The fun continues...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bathroom Remodel

You know when you sit back on the couch and snuggle up under a blanket and turn on HGTV? And you know how cute those little hosts are in their designer jeans, fitted vintage T-shirts over long-sleeve white fitted T-shirts and perfectly unscratched toolbelts? Oh, and you know how they edit the program to show only the fun parts, and almost none of the homes they work on have surprise water damage, mold, leaks or termite damage? And the homeowners who are doing it all "DIY" actually have licensed contractors with them guiding them along the way? Well, move over HGTV, we're rockin' DIY the real way.

We're remodeling our master bathroom after we discovered a leak under the shower last year. Armed with Home Depot gift cards and a chunk of time thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, we started demo on Wednesday. We discovered some rotten wood not only near the shower base but near the vanity and in the closet. We pulled out some drywall, pulled out the vanity and ripped up the vinyl floor. The smell is terrible (um...water damage plus possible cat or dog urine stains on the subfloor does makes you really question why you didn't buy new construction. Dear previous homeowner, if you are reading this, you are gross). We have the windows wide open and the bedroom and bathroom shut off from use. We have a couple of handymen coming out on Monday to give us an estimate on replacing the subfloor and pulling out the heavy shower base. Check out our most awesome demo pictures:

Our closet

Where our giant mirror use to be

View from the tub

View of the tub

Where we use to shower

Where our toilet use to be (yes, that is purple paint on the wall. Again, we seriously question the judgement of the former homeowner)

View from the closet

Inside our closet, where we discovered wet subfloor

More demo in the closet

The vanity we pulled out

Where I sleep because our bedroom is off limits (and apparently where River sleeps too)

Our guest bedroom is now our new walk in closet!

What happens to your bedroom when you are remodeling your master bathroom