Basement Remodel: Update

We hired Ryan from RC Drywall to come and hang the drywall the last week of April. They were great to work with and I’m happy with how it looks. I really wanted smooth walls and ceilings like we have everywhere else in the house but we saved some money (and time) by having them do a light “hand texture” on the wall and a “stamp texture” on the ceiling.

They finished on a Saturday which meant we couldn’t spend the whole day painting the office like we had hoped. Instead, Derek and Curtis installed our three new window wells and *mostly* filled the huge holes. We still have some finish work to do on them but at least there are no giant pits of despair in our yard for small animals and children to fall into.

The next Monday we primed the office, Tuesday we painted, Wednesday we did trim and Thursday we did finish work. The carpet installers came Friday morning to put a remnant in the office that we had been using in the den.  Friday afternoon I rented a carpet cleaner from Home Depot, used and returned it just in time to run off to my choir concert that night. Busy week.

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We used Benjamin Moore Aura paint. So. Amazing. We did one coat on each wall and we were done! It was worth paying the extra money for the high end paint. We tried to save money by using a mid to low grade paint upstairs but we ended up having to paint everything 2-3 times. So annoying. The girl at the hardware store told me after using Aura I wouldn’t be able to go back to anything else. I think she’s right. I’m hooked.

The office colors are Benjamin Moore: Old Navy, Wedding Veil and Annapolis Gray.

We got Derek’s desk and computers moved back in on Saturday and I bought these awesome chairs on KSL.

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Oh and I LOVE having my hubby working from home again. I feel much lighter and happier again. The last two months have helped me to appreciate how truly spoiled blessed I am. You wouldn’t think a 15 minute commute would make such a big difference but it does. We have so much more TIME together when he’s here. When he’s home, we get a whole extra hour at lunch with him, plus all of the water breaks he takes during the day. When he was driving to work, sometimes I only saw him a total of an hour a day. He’s not allowed to get a “real” job ever again.


A Nerdy Thirty Birthday

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If you know Derek, you know how appropriate a nerdy thirty party was. It was even his idea…. kind of. 🙂 He wasn’t a big fan of the bow tie but he was a good sport.

Here’s the Invite I sent out: DerekBdayInvite (2)

2014-05-10 14.20.03We had Derek’s favorite snacks: Doritos, popcorn, Red Vines and on the other table we had nachos and soft pretzels with soda.

My three smallest nerds:

ImageImageImage2014-05-10 13.31.38These two… We sure are going to miss having these cousins around.Image

2014-05-10 16.20.07Aunt Linda was the favorite! I’m not sure how many books she read but the kids just kept them coming!Image

I think he had a good time and felt loved. Thanks for coming everyone!


Basement Remodel: Fireplace

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


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.


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.


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!)


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!




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…



Happy Birthday Christian!


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!


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.


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.