Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Move & Reno Updates and Blunders..

We finally made the move! and moving.... is no joke. Funny that I forgot about that from before but this time was different with us both working full time and having another child. Thankfully nanny Rose helped us with all the packing and cleaning etc. ( and that is about all you will hear of the wonderful Nanny Rose, because like my bubs I try to keep their wonderful-ness under wraps so no one tries to steal them :)

The house is still not finished. A lot is done but we moved in with no kitchen or cabinetry and sinks anywhere. Every day lots happens. Ideally another week or 2 would have been perfect but I am happy to not be driving back and forth and living amongst towers of boxes.  The most challenging thing since moving in, has been taking care of the kids with no kitchen and keeping them contained from areas that are not safe yet.

Amazingly, this process has not been the nightmare I expected or that people describe. I attribute that to having a good contractor.   I think it is incredible that everything was done according to schedule, and that we didn't have any bank breaking unexpected issues. He built into his bid some cushion for the things we encountered and to date I think we are about 10K under budget so that is wonderful.

I knew from the start that cabinets and countertops would be in after we moved. I just didn't feel comfortable making those purchases till we closed on the house and Nashville is SO busy with construction right now that the wait time for things is longer.

There have been many times of "OMG are we doing the right thing" I was real sure at first then second guessing everything because we really liked our previous house ( especially the back yard) and it's hard to leave what you love for the unknown. But since we moved in, we have both been so excited and sure that it was the right thing, and truthfully looking around thinking " Is this really ours?"  all the stressful deliberations over materials have come together just how we would have liked. I can not at this time think of any regrets on the choices we made. 

So let's see... a list of what I would do next time/ what we have learned in this process:
- I would pick all materials ahead of time to firm up pricing. ( tile, countertops, carpet, appliances, bath fixtures).  A lot can be lost in translation. I learned this when we did our East Nash house reno. A woman says a vague concept and a man prices the cheapest version of that thing. If you have all the EXACT stuff priced before hand, its much easier.

- I would include EVERYTHING in the contractor bid. I purposely asked him to leave off things like appliances and light fixtures etc. thinking I would just take care of that but it caused me much more stress on the back end and keeping up with receipts and making sure we had the money for those outside of our bid price.

- I hired my own painter because he was about 10K cheaper than other bids, BUT I might regret this. I am not sure yet. It was difficult to control his work since I had to co-ordinate him and the contractor had to co-ordinate everyone else. If the painter messes up someone else work ( hardwood floors) then you have to deal with that and who pays for the  mistakes etc. Things i had not thought through. Our painter ended up being late to the schedule right at the end and working literally 24 hours straight trying to get it all done so it got sloppy at the end. We also had to buy all the paint, and that is really expensive. He didn't have a contractor account for better pricing at the paint stores and all sorts of things I didn't think about. We shall see if he shows up to do his touch up work as he should. 

- I wish I had already chosen all the faucets, light fixtures, door knobs, countertops etc before starting so that when it came time for those I could just pull the trigger. Not knowing what you want slows everything down. Some of that stuff I thought I would just do it later, but then you gotta deal with painting around it and all. So much better to get it done on the front end when there is a team of professionals at your disposal.

- I wish I had given more thought to the bathroom cabinetry. I totally overlooked that and got some pretty basic cabinets ( doors not drawers) , except for this masterpiece below which was comped because of an error with cabinet order. They kindly gave this one to me and it came with a sink and countertop  and is the only sink we have currently so it was a blessing! 

Decisions I am proud of:

The hex marble tile in the master bathroom. I LOVE it. It cost more than the basic tile we used everywhere else but it's worth it.
raising the floor in the living room. I liked the recessed living room and thought it was kind of groovy, but it's dated and dangerous for kids and older folks so it was a good move.
adding a bathroom in a big bedroom closet. I was weary at first thinking it was gonna be a small dinky bathroom, but now that it is done I love it and its super functional and helpful. ( not to mention added value)
adding a gigantic storage closet in the playroom. That room was HUGE and we needed extra storage. I will post pics of it later so that to you guys can see what I mean. We split it into thirds and the last third we closed off and added shelves to make a huge toy closet and its awesome. We also added a homework desk station here and repurposed the old kitchen cabinets and countertops here and added a wall. ( thanks whit for that idea!)
- The hardwood floor color. I struggles here a lot. I wanted a darker color to make it more modern but I didn't want it to be so dark that it showed every little thing and looked dirty all the time. We chose the "jackobean" color and love it. FYI: t shows up lighter in pics than it actually is.
- The mudroom wall back the back door. It is not the full mudroom I would love, but it looks great, is super functional and was an easy low cost addition.

So lots more pics and details coming later but I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh so I can remember next time around.  Feel free to email me any questions you have about details.. 
 I also made  checklist of things to think about /decide on when doing renovations in certain rooms ( baths/kitchens) so I am happy to share that if anyone wants it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tudor Renovation Updates #2

Lots of updates! If you follow me on instagram then you see these more in real time with more detail. This is just a highlights reel and not in a very orderly fashion either but I am too tired to organize it! HA

So .. fireplace has been redone entirely. New gas logs, firebox, stone, and reclaimed mantle. If I ever need another side business it will be re-claimed wood cause they cost dolla 
dolla billz y'all!

 Drywall repair and you can see the floor is raised now and all the hardwood is down.

I want something like this by the garage door. 

Built ins are started and all carpentry stuff. I originally wanted them on the sides of fireplace but they could not be recessed so the fireplace would have been stuck between and further back. 

The closet that we turned into a guest bath, or as Fenn calls it "The guessing room" aka Guest Room. :) Tile is in on shower and floors. Toilet is in and now frameless glass ordered.

Master bath : quite the transformation. Walls down, shower tile in, tub in, and marble hex floors. I am SO excited about this room!  That floor is my favorite!!

The giant storage closet is has been added to the playroom. We needed some storage space and this will be perfect! Plenty of room for holiday decor etc and then the door on the far right will have floor to ceiling wood shelves for toy storage. 

This was a half wall on the side of the staircase but I was so worried about Fenn trying to climb over it and a friend suggested building it up and making and L shaped desk/homework space here. Once I saw the wall up I knew that was a good move. I will have a nice art work area now for Fenn and upper cabinets that I can hide marker and such so sister is not decorating the place in her spare time.

Kid's bathroom tub/shower is in. Floors are tiled.
 Master shower tile. I really struggled with the tile pattern but after studying the pics I liked on pinterest, I loved the clean look of tile without any pattern and am happy with that choice now that I see it up. Who KNEW how many tiny decisions would be involved in this. I also went with small grout lines and epoxy grout in a platinum color.

Laundry room tile is in. Color is hard to see in this pic but it's kind of an oyster white-ish color.

Kid's bathroom tile floor. Our tile guys listen to dub step music all day which I love. (That is their phone plugged in there , playing their jams).

Unexpected expenses since last report :
- I made a large error in the master tub selection. I let the tub guy talk to me about a tub that was not in stock " but was like what I picked out" except when it was delivered it was much more shallow than the one I wanted. I tried to just get over it since it was in , and then it was installed but the more I thought about it the more I knew it had to be changed. Then I had to pay for 2 tubs and the installation/removal etc. UGH! But when the new tub was in I knew it was the right decision. Just a painful one.

- Added a few more things to the carpenter list.
- raised that half wall in the playroom

We have 2 weeks left till move date! 
- hardwood will be stained and finished
- carpet will be put in
- paint will be finished
- cabinetry installed in kitchen and bathrooms
- plumbing fixtures put in
- electrical finished

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Updates on the Tudor Reno!

I always worry about jamming up everyone's feed with house pics, but then people ask me for them a lot and my favorite pics online are Before/After House type pics so here we go! Round 2! We are about 2 weeks into the renovation. It has been going really well and fairly fast. 
A quick rundown:
- Demo ( removing all the carpet, old floors, and wallpaper and some walls, and all the existing kitchen and bathrooms)
- Building up the living room floor
- replacing the old subfloor ( it was not suitable for laying hardwoods. )
- rebuilding one of the stair cases
- can lights installed
- Hardwoods have started going in. Office, dining room, and power room are complete. Living room, kitchen and hallway are partially complete.

Unexpected Expenses:
- old Termite damage
- plumbing in a wall we were removing
- stairs not built properly so once carpet was removed we had to rebuild them

You can compare most of these pics to the previous post. 

Living Room: Building up the recessed floor. I liked the recessed vibe, but for safety and re-sell reasons and overall better flow , we decided to bring it up to the other floor.

Kitchen: No more cabinets, floor removed, lights in, wall gone. 

Playroom: MAJOR difference without all the wallpaper and chair rail. 

Guest room. Painted, carpet removed. 

Dining Room : Painted, hardwoods in. 

Office : hardwoods in, wet bar removed. 

Master Bathroom : Gutted. Walls removed to create more space and add a shower. This room is gonna be crazy different. YAY to having a tub again :)

A look coming down the foyer stairs. New floors, and chair rail gone.

New stairs coming out of the playroom/bonus room. These stairs are SO pretty! From the top of the stairs everything looks new and bright and light and I love it! 

Coming Up : 
  • Bathroom Fixtures being installed
  • Dry wall/framing work
  • Fireplace stonework
  • I can't remember the rest!

Over all we are really enjoying everything and watching it come together. I don't anticipate being done by the time we move in. I think we will be lucky to have cabinets and unlikely any countertops. I didn't want to order anything until we closed so that time frame was just too tight. I am OK with that because I think we kept our expectations realistic, and let's be honest... ain't much cooking going on around here these days anyway... 
I underestimated how many tiny decisions would be involved. I have a million pinterest pics and I can say " I like that" but then when asked a detailed question like, what type of tub, what size, what brand faucets, this stone or that one.. etc.. it's pretty overwhelming. Mostly because I just worry if I am making the right decisions but I guess time will tell. 

If anyone has any recent appliance shopping experiences or feedback I would love to hear that as I am ordering those this week . 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chateau Le Griza : BEFORE PICS

First things first, we were not looking to move! We simply got trapped inside for a week due to the snow and I got a flyer about this house in my inbox, and it caught my eye. It was just down the road from where we live now, so I suggest we go over there to check it out for fun, and it was all over after that. 
Right when we walked in, and I got that brady bunch vibe, I loved it. I am "feeler" sort of house shopper. I always have a list of things I want, but if I get "the feeling" I can overlook some things. Fenn was sliding down the stairs on his face and found some shamhodricks stickers and it all just felt right. I could see us living there.

I really loved the layout of this house, and of course this beautiful tudor exterior. It is on a big lot, and is wooded in the back, all pluses for us. I also loved the idea of being able to choose all our own finishes and design, without having to build which we will NEVER do. 

Things I didn't love were the sloped lot, and lack of parking for all our friends and family when they come over and I really wish it had another bedroom. 

For whatever reason these pictures would not load in order. This is the downstairs half bath.
Master bath:

Dining room:


Office ( super pumped about an office AND that grasscloth wallpaper which is gonna stay )

Living Room: ( gonna knock out that wall between kitchen and also the half wall ). Behind those little closet doors is a wet bar open to either room. LOL

Kitchen.. ( gut job) but I love the groovy cabinet hardware and will def keep it.

Laundry room with a laundry shoot, which I LOVE. @grizaham won't love his modeling debut :) This is my favorite room. We are some weird people cause Bubs always loves garages and attics, and I love laundry rooms. This one is big and will have washer/dryer , utility sink, extra fridge, and mudroom. 

Cornflower blue with mauve carpet. The things your 80's dreams are made of :)

The playroom is HUGE and has outdoor carpet and tons of wallpaper. It will soon have tons of storage as well to accommodate my mad holiday decoration collection and all the toys. 

So there you have it. Some gnarly before pics! Stay tuned for progress pics.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time to Play Catch Up....

So behind on the blog but big things are happening on the house front so time to play catch up and post some pics.  We went from 1927 Tudor to a Brick Ranch and now we are going back to a Tudor, but one from the early 80's. 

Here are pics of our Rancher.

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