Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another 600 sq. ft.

We've opened up a new floor for living space!  The basement carpet was installed on Saturday and it looks great.  We shopped around a bit but ultimately went with a Home Depot carpet and are happy with the final product.  We chose a carpet called "Royalty" (so fancy!), in Intriguing II, which has a slight pattern to it, in the color Hazelnut.  It's slightly darker than we expected but works well with the walls (also painted in Sherwin-William's Worldly Gray, as is the first floor).  We'll add some color with furniture and accessories later but for now, it's great to have some additional finished living space.  And, Brian already hooked up our new 60" tv and our new speakers so we're looking forward to movie nights soon.  At some point, we'll build a custom console for the speakers and other electronic items but everything is up and working as of this evening and we've moved our sofa downstairs, thereby also freeing up the first floor for more trim and painting.  This is approximately the sixth time we've relocated our living room area/sofa in the past year or so so I'm hoping it can stay put for a few months at least.  We also made a good deal of progress on the tiling this weekend, grouting the first floor tub surround and installing the bathroom floor, and installing the marble tile on the fireplace surround.  More finished pictures of those spaces soon!

Basement with carpet!

Not sure what's happening with the color in this picture...a professional photographer, I am not.

This picture doesn't do the scale justice but that is one very large television
More progress on the fireplace surround - marble tiles installed, ready for new insert, trim and custom-made mantel 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Basement finishing touches

We're back at work on the house after a very restful week in Costa Rica.  Nice to trade chop/tile/table saws for sand and surf for a bit!  But now we're ready to wrap up some big projects here.  First up, we've finished up the trim work and paint in the basement so it's ready for carpet install next weekend.  I'm happiest with the stairwell - an odd thing to pay attention to, I know - because it took so much time and turned out (in my totally biased opinion) very nicely.  Next time around and a little DIY advice - if you're fully enclosing a partially open staircase, just rip out all the walls and install new drywall. Since we didn't do that and instead kept the old drywall up top, we then had to try to match up the framing and drywall on the bottom.  We got remarkably close but it wasn't quite perfect so we added a band board to hide the difference.  I'm actually quite happy with the way it looks now because the band board breaks up the otherwise long wall so aesthetically, we probably would have wanted to do something similar anyway.  Nevertheless, it would have been nice to have the trim work be optional instead of mandatory.  We also got a little creative with the stairs, ripping the top of the baseboard to trim out the top of the skirtboard.  I think (and hope) that when the carpet goes in, it'll be impossible to tell that these were ever basic, open basement stairs.  I guess we'll find out next week - carpet install is Saturday so we'll have plenty of "after" pictures to share once the basement is finished!

Stairwell, waiting for carpet
And one from above - a better angle to see the band board and skirtboard

More detail on the trim

The first of a few shots of the basement, with trim installed and painted throughout

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Miles to go

We've been working away at doors and door trim and we are finally getting closer to completion but it's been a somewhat tedious and entirely non-picturesque task.  We've now installed 10 of the 11 interior doors (and the 11th can't be installed until we get some of the uninstalled trim out of the way) and we've trimmed out most of them too.  A little DIY advice - these little door hangers are indispensable when it comes to door installation.  We had used them for most of the second floor doors, then forgot about them, did one first floor door and remembered what a pain it is to hang a door without them.  Well worth the few dollars in time and hassle.

We're also very nearly finished with the floor trim in the basement, which has to be complete before the carpet guys arrive later this month.  One of the more time-consuming projects has been finishing the trim on the staircase.  Since we started with typical, unsightly open basement stairs, we've had to put a good deal of work into transforming them into a proper finished staircase.  One of last weekend's projects was putting the trim in.  We found pre-primed 16' x 8" pine boards that turned out to be just perfect.  Brian then boxed out the open staircase at the bottom and now all we need to do is add a little piece on top of the side trim and we'll be all set.

Finally, we're still moving forward with tile and grout - basement bathroom is grouted on the walls and tiles are on the floor.  There's a lot left to do before we get to any proper "after" pictures but we're making progress.

On to the pictures...

First, a before picture of the stairs

And after...almost ready for carpet

Just one of the many (and one of the smallest) doors we've installed and trimmed recently

More basement doors, installed and trimmed

Very dusty floor tile in the basement bathroom, ready for grout

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coming soon

This should make a nice mantle above the fireplace. I'm not sure what kind of wood it is, but its old and has lots of character. It should look pretty cool once its finished and put into place. Maybe that will be the weekend project.