Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Backsplash thoughts

We've spent the last few weeks debating backsplash materials. We wanted to do some rectangular tile, like a subway style or thinner like this Walker Zanger Skyline tile which is more 1.5"x6" and a thinner piece. I guess I never realized how expensive glass tile can be for something cool.
We were also looking at doing a sleek stainless tile but again, it was a little too much on our tight budget.,

Monday, July 28, 2008

been busy

At this point in the process the drywall has all be hung and is awaiting tape and mud, cornerbead, and "zip-strip". Zip-strip is just another profile for drywall edges that gives you a super clean straight line at the bottom and top of your drywall panel. It also allows the mudder to mud down to the bottom of the drywall and blend the zip strip into the wall. It has this little removable piece that you "zip" off when it's all done and gives you a clean line at the floor. I image that it's a detail the people over at would go for.
Here's the detail...with other images coming later

Friday, July 25, 2008

Energy film

The majority of our windows in the house are single pane glass. And with the windows being about 4'wx7'h, that's a lot of glass that is not that energy efficient. While the trees on our site protect most of the house from sun throughout the day, the low evening light does come through below the branches. We get amazing light in the house at those times of the day, but also some heat gain. I don't know what the winter condition is like yet, but I imagine the engery efficiency is pretty poor. Now with all the renovation that we've done, we are also pretty poor and can not afford to put in new windows at the moment. So I came across this product,
Here is what they claim:
Energy Film is made of a spectrally selective material that blocks 70% of thermal solar energy in summer and reduces heat loss through windows in winter. It blocks 97% of UV light while still allowing 77% of natural light into the room. Energy film also has excellent visual clarity.

"An estimated $30 billion or more of Energy is lost per year through single pane windows"

"An average Home Loses 25% of Energy Through Windows"

I'm interested in trying this product out until we can afford new windows in the house. Anybody out there familiar with this product? How easy is it to install, does it work, do you notice the film?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


This is what the house looks like a week later after starting renovations. On Friday the drywall crew delivered all the gyp board, Monday they began hanging. They got about halfway done.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

renovation day 6

At this point most all demo is done. I think all the flooring has been laid. We had to move the furniture out of the front room so we could finish laying the floor in that room. This also allowed us to leave some room for the drywall crew that will be coming.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Start of day 5

You can see by this point that all the kitchen cabinets and counter have been removed. More importantly, you can see that we framed a new wall that will divide the kitchen and the living room. We changed the pass-thru so that it will be one large opening in the middle, instead of the two small ones at the ends that used to be there. You can also see that there are two openings at the base on both ends that will house cabinets that face into the living room. We did this instead of using corner cabinets in the kitchen. This way the living room will have some extra storage for dvds, games, blankets, etc.

end of day three/start day four

Laid some more flooring...

laying floor end of day two/start of day three

Start of day 2

Since the house is two levels and we are going to be living here while MODifications are going on we will be leaving the lower level untouched while we work on the main level.
After we gained access to the house on Sunday and I immediately began tearing out the carpet. On Monday, with a lot of help from friends (who I will be in their debt for a long time) we demolished the kitchen cabinets, took off the wall panels on one wall, took out the pellet stove, and continued to get the floors ready for flooring. All this while movers were bringing in our stuff from the old house.
Tuesday we started laying the new hard wood floors. I used SW Quality Floors & More to help do the flooring. He supplied the tools and expertise, while I helped supply some of the labor to help offset some of the costs.
These images show the work made up to Tuesday morning. You can see the demo that was done in order to be ready to start laying down the hardwood floors.
We wanted to use a dark stained bamboo flooring, but they were out of stock. Due to our short timeline for moving in and renovations we had to chose from what they had in stock as anything else would have set us back a month for floor install. We were able to find a great deal on some beautiful Brazillian Koa (aka "Tigerwood".) While it's probably not the most sustainable flooring we could have used, it was a great deal, and at least we understand the significance of using rainforest wood, Right?. We'll just have to try making up for it with some other materials and energy choices like our energy efficient appliances.


Some may know that we bought a new house recently. A really cool, but dated, 1961 Mid-centuryish modern.