Monday, January 24, 2011

"I think I nailed into a water line."

Those were my famous last words as I attempted to help Frank build a closet and play "Bob-the-builder". Good thing it was an easy fix (yes, I really did nail into a water line...), and the man-closet is done! Well, we don't have the doors up yet, but it is drywalled and ready to go!

There is a small room between the master bedroom and master bathroom, in this room was a big walk in closet and also a strange sink/stove/cabinet space that I guess used to be cool back in the 80's...

Not feeling the mini-kitchen between the bedroom and bathroom, sorry!
If you make a 180 turn from looking at this you are standing in front of a huge walk-in closet. We decided to knock these cabinets down and make a "man-closet". Here Frank is demonstrating his manly builder-like abilities. Watch closely as he precisely measures where we will put the closet header beams.

This photo was taken when we first started working on it. It took a few hours to get the frame work done, but I'd say that's pretty good for some people who are pretty much clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff (thank goodness for the internet!)...the drywall was put on it today and we're ready for the closet doors! You should have seen Frank while he was buying the 2x4's to build this...he was like a kid in a candy store!

If you look closely at the picture above you will see some copper tubing on the right. That would be the tubing that I accidentally nailed about 2 minutes after this photo was taken.

Let's see...I also have something else to unveil...NO SEPARATING WALLS BETWEEN THE DINING ROOM AND LIVING ROOM...and...OPEN FOYER! Can I get a hallelujah!?

In the last post we had torn the drywall off of the walls, but now they are seriously gone. And it looks good, really good! I'm so pumped to see this thing finished! Let's look at some before and after:

Before- notice wall on the right separating kitchen and dining room
After- The wall is gone!!
Before- From inside the dining room looking towards the living area

After- yay!

Before- small foyer with double doors into the living area

After- open foyer into living area (dining room opening on the left)
 Oh man- it feels so good to have some before and after pics! Although we are still FAR...very far, from finished. We have drywall professionals in the house this repairing all our walls, making the ceilings smooth, etc. We are staying at a hotel on base until they are out of there, because as you can see from the's super dirty and dusty!

One other thing - our neighbors invited us to a football party at their house to meet all our other neighbors. We live on a cul-de-sac with about 10-15 other homes and apparently everyone is friends and they have football parties anytime there is a game on! They were so welcoming and cooked us tons of food...grilled chicken, pulled-pork, brisket. Let's just say that Frank and I haven't ate that well in what seems like forever. We took a bunch of left overs with us so we have food to last us a whole week! I have a feeling I know where I'll be hanging out for the super bowl...they have it figured out...HUGE covered patio, 3 big screen TV's, fire pits, and probably more than 3 grills in their back yard. I feel so blessed to have been able to meet everyone before Frank leaves for Korea...They are all super sweet people and I feel like we totally lucked out on having such great neighbors.

This weekend we will be venturing out to the frozen tundra...also known as Michigan...for our niece's baptism. I think I may finally go sledding for the first time in my life! Is that sad? I guess it's to be expected growing up in Texas!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Light Reading

"What did we do after work before we had this house?"

That's the question we can't seem to answer lately...I guess I used to go grocery shopping, cook dinner, Frank and I would just hang out and chat/run errands/etc., and then usually go to bed pretty early (because we're lame like that). Not anymore! We're having a hard time remembering life before the house!

We've been staying really busy against time to try and get as much done as possible before Frank leaves for South Korea. We're already a little behind schedule, but we're getting there. The contractors for the big stuff should be out of the house by this Thursday and then we will be on our way with the few other contractors we have coming in (drywall repairman, carpenters, etc.). WOOHOO! Progress...

So this past weekend we had our first guest, Jason (a new pilot that works with Frank). He's in the process of buying a house here and was in between some training for a few days, so we offered him a room in our dusty house, luckily he doesn't mind! We set up a bed in one of the rooms and I cleaned the hall bath to the best of my abilities. It was fun having a roomie for a few days (mostly because he helped Frank move our extremely heavy refrigerator around the house, Thanks Jason!). Hopefully we will have better accommodations for our next guests at Casa de Prokops.

Here's a quick recap of our crazy busy weekend. We cleaned out the attic...which is humongous! It's so big that it reminds me of a barn, seriously. I wanted to post a picture of it, but I'll save that for another day. The previous owners had left some old boxes and trash up there so we carried it all out to be thrown away. We also found a few treasures like an old wooden twin bed headboard/footboard. I'm going to maybe spruce it up a bit and use it for one of the spare bedrooms, perhaps. Frank and I spent about 5 minutes imagining how cool it would be to put up walls and make the attic a huge family room with really tall would be super cool, but yeah, super expensive. So that idea was nixed pretty early....bummer. We (ok, ok...Frank) also tore out this strange stove/sink/cabinet assembly that was next to the master bathroom....weird.

On Saturday we made 3 packed-full truck load trips to the Saturday trash drop-off to get rid of all the trash in the attic/old baseboards, lots of wood from the cabinets we tore out of the master closet, crown moulding, a toilet, dishwasher...just to name just a few items. It was a LOT! Frank was overly amused by the trash compactor...especially when it literally squished the old dishwasher to a million pieces, and our baseboards into wood chips, in less than 2 seconds. In his words: "This is the coolest thing EVER! I could sit here and watch this trash compactor all day long!" Hahaha...such a boy. I will admit, I was rather amused as well. It was pretty cool!

After the trash runs we probably made 10 trips to Home Depot/Lowes/Harbor Freight. I seriously don't know how may times I have been to those store in the past few weeks, but I estimate about 2 times per day on average...yeah, we're pretty much on a first name basis with the employees now.

I really don't even know what else we did last weekend, but I feel like the house kicked my butt. After the trash compactor, the rest is a blur...I'm pretty sure we went through a time warp. I know we unstuck a bunch of windows, started cleaning the trim to paint, talked to a few paint "experts" to figure out a game plan for painting the whole house, cleaned the pool, made a few trips to the pool store to get our water tested and talk about converting to a salt pool, took the baseboards out of all the carpeted rooms, vacuumed...and vacuumed, and vacuumed some more, and knocked out the drywall on a few walls we're taking out (and the ones with termite damage...more about that later). That's only scratching the surface, but that's some of what we did.

About termites....we found out about 1 week before we closed that we had active termites in the house. Say what!? Yes, we were under contract for 3 months and didn't find out about termites until the last week, go figure. So anyway, the termites are dead now, but we are left with old termite damage to the drywall that was discovered when we took out the baseboards. We were lucky that the studs were not affected!

What started as this.....

...Turned into this! AHH!!

Soooo yeeeahhhh. My "project" for the next few days will be taking out all this nasty, termite destroyed insulation. Fun! At least it's a relatively easy fix :). Staple up some new insulation and have the drywall guys add that wall to the list of stuff they need to repair....The above photo's are from the front bedroom...the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms had mild termite damage to the drywall, but nothing to the extent of this. Luckily the master bedroom was spared!

Taking the drywall off the wall that we are knocking out was probably the most entertaining work we did. Here are some photos:

Ready, set, beer? Go!

Punching out the drywall

Yay! I can see from the dining room into the living room/kitchen!

This can't be safe...

On to the foyer

And it's gone!

Can't wait to see what it looks like in the end!

As I was returning an extension cord to Target today I decided on a whim that I wanted to buy  new book. This probably isn't the best time to be sitting around reading, but I figure a few minutes before bed won't hurt, right? Well, I wanted something light, a no-substance kind of book that was more for entertainment only. After spending like 15-20 minutes or so in the one small book aisle in Target (What? That's not normal?). I found myself on Amazon on my iPhone looking up reviews of the books to find the best one. Then I thought to myself...I'm one of THOSE people! My some of you know...likes to research things to the fullest extent before he buys it. There's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it takes a lot of time, and I wonder if all that time spent is always worth it. I can understand large purchases...but not the small ones! I mean, all I wanted was a measly book, something easy to read before bed. Now here I am standing in Target forever and researching all the books that looked good...and I totally admit that I was judging each and every book by it's cover!

I blame Frank for becoming one of THOSE people that researches everything to the bitter end before deciding. I think I must have had it in me before, he just brought it out. Frank and I made two separate over one hour trips to Lowe's just to look at their refrigerators and compare each, and every one of them before we decided....and we drained both our phone batteries looking on consumer reports while we were there, just to make sure that we were choosing the right one. This was after spending probably 2 hours researching online at home. HAHA! Yeah, we are kinda weird. I'll totally admit it, though. I'm way past the acceptance phase now.

Anyway- what I was trying to get at...the book. So I spent about 20 minutes looking at Target and then decided that I didn't want any of those books....So I drove to Books-A-Million. And for those of you that know me well, I can't just spend a few minutes there, it's 1 hour minimum! I am very easily distracted by all the magazines and books and it's so hard to make the book store a "quick trip". I walked up and down every aisle and still couldn't find anything (yes, still searching reviews on Amazon, lol). I ended up on the history asile for about 10 minutes, ok...20, and ended up walking out of the store with this:

So much for the light reading!

I've been telling myself that I want to spend more time studying American History, so I've made it my Late New Years Resolution. I don't know if I'll actually finish this book, but I'm gonna try!

Frank left for Vegas today and will be gone until Friday. I'm hoping I can hold down this fort and manage the contractors for the next few days...wish me luck!

P.S. My new favorite iPhone app is Logic Box, check it out, it's free :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day

It's kind of a big deal if ice and snow are predicted in the south. Last Saturday, schools and businesses were already deciding to close on Monday for an "ice storm" that was predicted for Sunday night. Weelllll...we didn't really have much of an ice storm...Don't get me wrong, the weather today was crappy! It was rainy, freezing cold and windy all day...but not nearly as bad as predicted. Anyway- I drove 30 minutes to work this morning only to find out that not one person was there, guess I missed that memo! I had brought breakfast for everyone too, ha! More food for me....) Sooo...I turned around and went home. Frank is off work on Mondays so we got a lot done today, namely appliance shopping.

We don't currently have any appliances, so a refrigerator, washer and dryer were on the tops of our list. Today we ordered a new washer/dryer, and bought a new fridge and dishwasher! YAY! I can finally cook again and not smell like poo from wearing stinky clothes all the time (I kid...well, sort of).

Our new fridge
I can't wait to fill it up with food because I am so tired of eating wears on you!

I've been thinking about the kitchen...I really like the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and lighting and I was thinking it might clash with the stainless steel appliances, but after looking a bit online, it seems to be sort of "in" right now to mix it all up. We know for sure that the kitchen will have dark hardwood floors and stainless steel, so I'm thinking I might do a cream color for the cabinets; if I get really ambitious might try doing a cream color with chocolate glaze like this:

It's kind of old world looking, I'm starting to notice that I'm leaning a little towards the rustic look when it comes to the kitchen.

I love the dark brown island with lighter colored cabinets

Just toying around with ideas now- it's fun to dream...but I'm sure this will change about 1 million times before we decide for sure. Off to watch the rest of the Auburn/Oregon game :) Goodnight!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh where, oh where has my coffee maker gone....

This weekend has been pretty low-key. Frank had to work at the squadron, so it's been just me. I'm not gonna lie...I was pretty unproductive. We had a few of the wives and significant others in town since their guys were working, so we all ended up hanging out most of the day yesterday (Saturday). It was much needed to get away and hang out with the girls!

Here is what we've had going on the past few days:

Another photo of the new roof
Baseboards off!

Removing wallpaper in half bath

We made a huge mess!

Hi Frank :)

My attempts to find the coffee maker were futile...  :(

Removing nasty liners from the cabinets

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And it begins...

Yes! I finally checked “start blog” off my to-do list. Now all you guys can keep tabs on us from Texas and Michigan (and everywhere in between!).

Most of you know that we recently bought a house and will be renovating it. I thought this would be a good opportunity to keep everyone in the loop and share pictures of our house progress, along with keeping you up-to-date on all the other things we have going on…

The house we bought was a foreclosure located in a pretty nice sub-division in east Montgomery. It’s 4 bedroom/2.5 bath, so we have a lot of work ahead of us! We purchased the home with a FHA 203(k) loan, which will help wrap some of the big repairs into our total loan amount (like the roof, HVAC, etc.). The cosmetic stuff and small repairs we plan to tackle ourselves. We officially moved our stuff into the house in the beginning of January, right after the new year. Most of our stuff we fit in the storage room, even the motorcycle! It’s times like this that I am actually glad we don’t have furniture! We have a few things in the house, just our bed, clothes and bathroom necessities…so we are sort of “camping out” for now. This past Monday we had the roof replaced (yay!), it looks great and makes me excited to see the rest of the house come along. Frank and I also removed all the tile from about 1300 sq. feet of the house last week to get the floors ready for the hardwood installation. We are trying to do as much as we can to save some money, removing the tile ourselves ended up saving us about $2700!

Here’s a photo of the house (taken with my phone, not great quality, sorry!)….this is after the roof was replaced. The house obviously needs some landscaping…and I would like to add shutters, but we’ll save that for the spring. 

I’ll start an online photo album and link it to this page. In the meantime- here are a few more photo’s of what we’ve been doing so far:

 Grout from all the tile removal

Luckily the tile came up easily and even I was able to get a lot of it up with just a crowbar!

Frank running the tile scrapper

De-tiled kitchen and dining room. The wall on the right separating the two rooms is coming down soon!

 Frank disassembling the half bath

Before we can do much more, we have to wait for the contractors to finish working on the electrical/plumbing/HVAC/misc. repairs that were agreed upon when we closed. Hopefully those repairs will go quickly so we can start making this our home! I will try and update this at least every couple of days, so keep checking for more posts :)