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Basement Remodel: Fireplace

I spent all week trying to figure out what to do with those *awful* green bricks.

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I found a tutorial on pinterest about how to stain brick using concrete stain, but the problem was that green paint (or whatever it is) wouldn’t let the brick absorb the stain. I tried concrete paint thinner. That did nothing. I talked to the guy at Standard Masonry Supply and he recommended trying hydrochloric acid (with all kinds of warnings about how the fumes would melt my face and ruin my lungs). It did nothing.

My dad suggested that we try his sandblaster. He hauled over his huge air compressor and all of the sand blasting equipment only to have it flip our breaker. He got to work on the fireplace anyway using the smaller air compressor we had here. One hour later he had only gotten about 10 bricks done. The next day during nap time I gave it a go. I didn’t make much more progress than him: about 10 bricks in an hour.

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Meanwhile, Dad had tested out the big compressor and it was working again so we gave it a second try. It was SO MUCH FASTER. In another hour I was halfway done. Saturday morning I put in another couple of hours and was finished by lunchtime.

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The brick color is a little dull but I think after a good cleaning and a coat of sealer, it will look really nice. (Much better than GREEN!)

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Derek, his brother and dad finished framing over the rest of the brick Saturday afternoon. Hooray! Almost ready for drywall! A few more finishing details and some new wiring to finish up this week. We’re getting close!

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Airplanes

We got to celebrate our cousin’s 2nd birthday last weekend by visiting the Hill Aerospace Museum. We went there last fall as part of Isaac’s potty reward but the boys were way more excited about it this time. Everything is more fun with cousins! They love the movie Planes and I was impressed at how quickly they recognized all of the different types of planes. We saw a Chupacabra and a Skipper and jets like Echo and Bravo. I don’t think I would have made those connections if they hadn’t pointed them out. It must be a boy thing…

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Happy Birthday Christian!

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Basement Remodel: Windows and Framing

Hi. Remember how ever remodeling project is full of little projects that you didn’t plan or budget for? They give me (the stay-on-schedule-plan-maker) anxiety. I thought the windows would be easy because my dad is the (Carter’s Glass) window guy. Yeah, well. First we had to hire an excavator (who cost more than we wanted.) Image

2014-03-17 09.00.54The boys loved watching the excavator from the windows.

And then we had to hire a cement cutter (who cost WAY more than we wanted). Image

Then we had to break up the cement block that came out of the house (because the expensive cement cutter was only a cutter not a measure-er or a jack-hammer-er or a hauler away-er). After all that we finally got the new windows. And I do have to say they were worth all of the trouble. I LOVE them! They let in so much light and they are so white and pretty! Thanks Dad!

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New windows in the office and game room.

Our second unplanned project was framing. When we pulled the wall paneling down, we discovered that the exterior walls weren’t framed with 2x4s. We had known that we’d be framing in a closet and a couple of new doors but we weren’t expecting to do the whole basement. We could have just put sheet rock over the top of the existing 1x2s but we wanted to install insulation so we decided to frame. Image

Derek framing the den.

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Bedroom with new window and framing

We aren’t quite done. I decided that I wanted to cover this *beautiful green-brick* fireplace as well. So we are in the middle of framing over the brick and we still need to do the closet and the doors… So many detours. Image By the way, I got my inspiration for my new fireplace from The Lettered Cottage. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

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Basement Remodel: Demolition Part 2

Grandpa Curtis is our remodeling superhero. He came down two more times this week to get us all demolished and cleaned up. Uncle Nate donated his day off to helping too. His job was dusty and gross: pulling down the ceiling (I think he discovered 3 *old* mouse nests!! Ew! Glad those are gone.) Thanks Nate!

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The boys were so excited to “help.” They had all of their tools down there hammering away. Isaac especially had a good time working next to his grandpa. He was carrying ceiling tiles up the stairs and into the truck for a good hour while Curtis was hauling the big stuff. He talked non-stop and enjoyed every minute. I think Grandpa did too.

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I was surprised and impressed at how good Isaac was with the little crowbar. He was popping nails out like a pro. He kept hitting himself in the face, but he was in heaven.

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He also got to take a ride to the dump with Daddy first thing this morning. He was looking forward to it all week and as soon as we woke up this morning, he was ready to go.

Boys are kind of fun sometimes.