Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life Interupted

Well, life interrupted (Life Interrupted was actually a movie) this week in the house improvement arena. I did get the floor of the kitchen grouted Wednesday night and the floor took a whole bag of grout, needless to say I ran out of the fine sanded product and still have a few areas that need some touch up. Mostly along one wall in the nook.

The below pic doesn't show the grout. I choose a color that is real close to the tile itself.

I was called into work Saturday and spent the whole day trying to figure out why our new $40,000 SAN's (Storage Area Network) would not sync with each other. Not a good thing if you are trying to run high availability virtual servers. I never did figure it out and our consultant had to bail and head back to Virginia. So that was a whole day lost to the home improvement saga. Honestly, I sat and looked at YouTube videos while Andy (my consultant) did all the work. I was mostly just there for security and to make sure he didn't steal the building. Saturday was one of those days you spend thinking about why you took a salary job instead of an hourly wage. Then you realize that getting an hour for lunch everyday just makes it all worth while in the end.

Maezie finished painting the nook with a second coat while I did yard work, cleaned up the basement and swept all the sawdust, did some picking up and rearranged all the piles of wood and door trim that had accumulated in piles down in the dungeon. Oh and a shit load of laundry. How does one guy make so many dirty clothes? Still haven't figured that one out yet.

I also pulled the vinyl from the two steps leading down to the basement and also off the landing. I had to take a chisel and hammer to get the vinyl off and took me about an hour to do two steps alone. Maezie wanted me to start to install the new tile on the steps, or at least cut the tiles to fit before I started the mortar mixing. I was just to damn tired to even start and decided to clean up and get ready for dinner.
I did get a call Saturday when I was trying to stay awake (working, I mean working) and my cabinets will be at the front door Friday morning! whoo hoo!!

And what is a 454 House blog post without a few pics of Sugar, being her usual self, cute!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Whoo Hooo!!

I finally got the floor all in. Now there still needs to be grout applied but the hard part is all done.
Maezie started to paint the nook with the Carmel Latte (Behr brand) on the walls and white on the ceiling. Here is a few pics with the first coat.

Next are a few pics of the first of many tiles to be laid.

Here are a few pics of the original floor. From what I can tell the original flooring was poured in as one solid piece with the base boards as part of the install. It is like a terrazzo type material that was stained colors as you can see in the pics. I broke a few pieces (long story, but I took a chisel and hammer to the base boards) and it looks like there is sawdust in the mix and you can see the color in the layers. There were 2 layers of linoleum that came up very easy (thank goodness!) and wala! the terrazzo! I had a thought of trying to "save" the original flooring but a small winged troll with a large flat shovel flew by my head and slapped me up one side and down the other until I had a thought of not really restoring the original and just put down the new tile.
I haven't found anyone that can really explain what the "tile" is/was but my moms neighbor (after explaining) said years ago it was a pretty nice floor and it had a nice glossy finish. Other than that, nothing for what it is.
The actual grid pattern is from dirt that sifted down between the linoleum over the years and not the actual origianl tile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Color Pallet

I took a vacation day Friday and had me a four day weekend. And promptly spent the entire weekend in doors and enjoying the nice weather from inside. It was kind of nice setting up the tools outside in the driveway. Saved allot of running up and down those basement steps. I finally finished the nook walls and ceiling. Here are a couple of shots of the breakfast nook ceiling.

Mazie spent her entire weekend helping ME! instead of working on her house. She has been allot of help this weekend and a real trooper. I finished the ceiling late Friday night. We got a call late from Home Depot saying they didn't have the tile I bought the night previously. So we cleaned up and headed down to Bloomington to take a look at the Home Depot down there for tile (it is a bigger store that what we have here) and also stopped at Lowe's. I had decided the night before to skip the floating vinyl floor and go back to the ceramic tile.
Found a cool tile at Lowe's, they had enough for the kitchen and we loaded up and headed home.
Sunday, I spent most of the day caulking the joints on the nook ceiling and cut a few pieces that I left hanging the night before. Mazie told me to call it a day around 3 and some friends came over and we had a cook out, drank a few beers and promptly crashed in the bed at 9:30.
Today, Mazie did a ton of painting while I tackled the tiling of the kitchen floor. I almost got the floor finished but my body just gave out on me and had to call it quits. Again Mazie did all the painting and cheered me on through out the day.
Now I know you are asking where was Sugar all weekend? Well she was at Grand Ma's and spent most of the rest of the weekend hiding in the bedroom, keeping the bed warm, and staying out of the kitchen fray.
Still allot of work to do, and two weeks until the cabinets are delivered. The biggest thing is I won't have cabinets sitting in the living room when they do get delivered. But Sears keeps calling me to come and pick up my stove that has been sitting at the store for 3 weeks.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Kitchen Marathon

Maezie and I did a marathon on the kitchen this weekend starting Friday night after work and ending tonight. Friday we worked until 2 AM and got up early Saturday and worked all day again until 10. Got some sleep went to church, back at it again until dinner. Exhausted is the only adjective that comes to mind right now. I did get all the laundry done, and mow the yard today also. Maezie is a trooper and I really, really, really appreciate all the help, But if she thinks she is going to use MY kitchen she has another thing coming. Ok maybe she can use the kichen a little bit.
Here are a few pics from Saturday. Pic 3 is just blue board (green board) on the wall where the stove is going to be installed with glass tile on the wall up to the ceiling.

Below is one of THE best tools that I have ever used when it comes to doing fine trimming. There were a few (actually more than a few) places that I needed to do some fine cuts on the trim work. It beats working upside down, on a ceiling trying to make fine cuts with a box saw.
This little do-dad rotates 3 degrees side to side and has a speed control on the handle. It literally cuts wood like butter. It also does sanding and acts like a chisel, but I haven't tried those attachments yet. Saved alto of time, I mean alot of time and headaches.

Pic 1 is some of the trim cutting that I had to do. Although the picture does not do justice, the first coat of the Ruskin Room Green went on today.
A shot of the tile with the wall paint. And finally just a few shots of the rest of the room.
That's all I have for this evening, just to tired to really put sentences together.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Picture

I added a new picture to the right side of the page and above for your viewing pleasure. You can double click on the image to get a better and bigger view.
This was given to me for my birthday and is a collage of The 454 House. This collage is by far the most meaningful gift I have ever received in my lifetime. Truly an amazing image and unsolicited. I was totally taken back when my Home Depot insider gave it to me the other night.
I hung the picture above the mantle and it will make a permanent part of my home. Very, very, very cool. I was also given a large Frank Loyd Write book with tons of pictures, a short timeline of his life and history of homes and buildings he designed and built for clients. An amazing person.
But the picture is still tops on my book!

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers and grandmothers out there.
Yesterday was my birthday and I treated myself to a FULL day of paint balling, I love the game! I only play woodsball and get a real kick out of stalking, hunting and popping a full load of paintballs into my quarry. Of course the opposite is true. I was hit hard with paintballs and today I have the bruises to prove it. But it is all in fun and at the end of the day friends and foes alike shake hands, slap backs and laugh about this shot or that shot or the one I took in the head.

The team I played on won the game for points and allot of people won some good prizes. It was my day and winning topped it all off.

Worked a bit more over the past few days on the kitchen ceiling. Made some good progress and applied three coats of high gloss on the panels and trim. I was also able to find 3 pendant lights are wired up and working. There are actually green glass globes on the ends but the CFL bulbs caused a big glow in pictures.

And below is the final product without the lights gowing, trim all attached and unbelievably everything lined up and is square. I still need another coat of paint on it but essentially it is done.
Now onto the walls.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Did a bit more work tonight on the "light box". I wasn't really paying attention and shot a nail into the end of my thumb, didn't go in too far but enough to make me bleed like a stuffed pig. I like doing those kind of senseless things just to remind me that I am awake. Not really just my way of rationalizing stupidity.

I left the one end open so I can slide my panels in after I get the lights and wired up. After that I will add more trim to dress it all up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Fastened trim and caulked most of the kitchen ceiling today. Oh I did do loads of laundry in between and did some cleaning. This place is a pigsty from all the dust floating around and Sugar has been adding to the ghost turds by starting to shed the rest of her winter fur coat.

Here is a picture of the picture of the center light piece that I am fabricating for the kitchen ceiling.

The next picture is of the "cleat" that I fastened to the ceiling. I still need to get some lolly bolts or butterfly bolts into the 4 corners to help hold the entire contraption up, I predrilled holes into the 4 corners before running a couple of drywall screws to temporarily hold things up . I thought of prefabricating (we will just call it the box from now on) the box downstairs (in the basement)but after thinking about it for a few seconds the thought of then trying to lift and hold it all to the ceiling while simultaneously attempting to fasten everything upside down and over my head, a big NO WAY! crossed my mind (actually I had a few choice words that a Sailor uses in almost every sentence used in daily conversation).

The next image is of the pieces I have laid out and and have dry fit together, I still need to cut a few more chunks of wood and trim to get it all together first, and then hump it all upstairs for a final install.
I cut groves on the inside of the side pieces so I can slide 1/4" plywood into the center. once that is in place, I will fasten some trim to make it look purdy. The box is basically 60" x 16" and sectioned off like the picture above with 3 pendant lights hanging down. So a 1 foot square on each end and a 3 foot rectangle in the center. Make sense?

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Started today by doing the lawn and getting that done and out of the way. Thank goodness for having a small yard.
It was one of those days that was just to nice to be in the house, but the kitchen was calling and if I didn't get in there it will never get done.
Although Sugar means well, and not having opposable thumbs it is hard for her to hold the nail gun while I hold the panels up. So that leaves all the grunt work to me. The first pic is of the initial couple of panels I put up, I went with an alternating pattern, with a total of 6 panels running opposite of each other. When I get the trim up it will all tie in together and look pretty cool.
This was pretty tough work, measure, cut, dry fit the panel, trim, put adhesive on the back, place the panel, hold the nail gun and the panel at the same time all at 9 ft in the air. I know I am going to feel it in my neck and back come Tuesday.

The second image is what I found under the ceiling fan when I removed it from the box, a pretty pattern of wall paper that was later just covered over with popcorn ceiling spray on.

The last is of the first panel installed in the refrigerator corner.

Every panel I have had to carry into the basement, sand lightly to get the fuzzies off and then prime. Haul the sheets upstairs hoping I cut things correctly and install. There just isn't room in the upstairs to work with the wood, and knowing my luck if I had setup shop outside it would have rained. So I just did the stair master all day long. The good thing? I am going to have an ass that is solid as a rock from all the up and down the steps and ladder all weekend! Who said there isn't perks from home rehabbing? Buns of steel baby!