Sunday, July 24, 2016

Workcation - Day 6!

On Sunday morning Michael went to church because it was his week to usher. I ended up staying home because I wanted to deal with the drywall dust everywhere. I took the vacuum around and vacuumed everything! I mean everything....I vacuumed the pictures on the wall, the furniture the cabinets, the dining room table....everything. I love my Kirby! I also painted the entryway with a second coat of paint....come to find out later I used the paint for the dining room which is similar, but different from the entryway paint. Oops! 

Once Michael got home we ate lunch....we knew that once we started the tiling process there would be no breaks for eating! After that Michael mixed up the mortar and we were off. 

Michael seems so much more alert and rested so I really felt like we made the right choice in waiting to do the tile! 

I had arranged the tiles by rows out in the garage so I started bringing them in. I had also wrapped tape around the stacks of tiles to keep them together. When I took the tape off I put it on the floor and then wrote the number that row was with and arrow pointing to the pile of tile it was for. It was a pretty good system and we never got any tiles mixed up! 

Some of the tiles needed to be laid a certain way because of the cut edges or some other reason. Sometimes it was obvious which way the tiles the ones that went around the hole for the toilet for example, but there were other times it wasn't so obvious so I would draw an arrow on the tiles that pointed to the south. 

Coming along! 

This was about the time the mortar started getting really hard. I had only bought one bag for this process so it was off to the hardware store for another bag. Michael counted the tiles we had laid so far and it was 41 and we had 41 tiles to go....pretty good for not planning that out! 

Putting in the last few spacers. I think Michael started around 12:30 and we finished around 4:40....4 hours on his knees on hard flooring....ugh!!! 

All his hard word paid off though because it looked wonderful!!! 

That was the end of the workcation portion of the remodel. The rest of the work was done after Michael got off work and then we basically were finished the following Sunday...all except a few cosmetic things. Stay tuned for The Rest Of The Story! 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Workcation - Day5!


This was our last day of working without the kids. We really wanted to get the tile done before they got home. That had been our goal the whole time. This tile thing is stressful though! The first thing I did that morning was drove to Home Depot to rent a wet saw. We had bought one of those score and snap saws, but after we used it twice and it broke both of the tiles we were done with that. 

We had originally laid out the tiles with this pattern. But then by happenstance Michael started dry laying the tiles in a different pattern and I loved it.

Our plan was to get all the tiles laid out and cut so I could return the wet saw so we didn't have to pay for a whole day. Plus after using the mortar the day before we knew how fast it dried. There would be no way we would have time to measure and cut tiles or the mortar would be rock hard. 

When I was off renting the wet saw Michael wasn't sitting around doing nothing...he painted the wall where the cubbies were going. 

Here is the tile floor all dry fit and cut out. This was extremely time consuming and mentally exhausting. After already having days and days that were both physically and mentally exhausting Michael really hit a wall. He was having a hard time with just basic cuts and getting them right. The pattern was also confusing him at some points. See the second to the last tile on the far right..the nice square tile. That one threw him for a loop. He kept thinking it should be a 12 inch tile and I knew it only needed to be a 6 inch tile so after seeing him struggle with it for a while I actually got a little forceful with him so he would stop and listen to me. Like I said he hit a wall and his brain had just had it!

I decided to go around and take pictures of all the tiles so if we ran across a problem we could look back at the pictures and see what we were doing wrong. 

The plan had been after taking the pictures we were going to immediately lay the tiles, but while I was taking these picture I just knew Michael's brain was not going to be able to handle it. He just honestly needed a break! 

I felt very strongly about this and knew I was going to propose that we work on something else. 

After snapping these shots I basically told Michael what we were doing. I'm not normally that forceful when it comes to this sort of thing. After all he is the one with more experience working on houses, but I knew that we needed to postpone this. 

I let him know that we could just work on more mindless things like painting. Michael was a painter for years and years so painting is something that requires no brain power at all. It's just nice and repetitious! 

I ultimately left the decision up to him, but I made a pretty strong case and he agreed. 

In order to not mess up the tiles I decided to remove them in rows. The tiles are sealed so when I removed them I just wrote directly onto the tile the row number. 

Since we were taking a step back from the tile we were able to finish some other things around the getting the cubbies into there home. 

This was something that Michael was super stressed about. He knew he measured correctly, but it was also going to be a very tight fit. I thought we were going to have to shave the drywall down a bit, but Michael was able to use the rubber mallet to knock on the cubbies to get them to move. 

It was a slow process. He had to knock on the lower left corner then the middle, then the lower right corner, then the upper right and then the upper left. So on and so on....until they were in. It was definitely a praise Jesus moment for sure! 

Hallelujah...they fit!

We were also able to paint the bathroom! I was so excited to see the color on the walls. It's so pretty!! I think it looks blue and Michael doesn't like blue, but he says it's green and since I'm a little colorblind it works for us! He also was able to get the light required a bit more wiring because he mounted the electrical box a little too far to the left. You know you can only account for so many things. 

On that same are my cabinets. They look a little different though. This was the only time I almost cried during the remodel. When we went to mount them we realized that we were a half an inch off in order to be able to mount both shelves. See I had told Michael they were cabinets that fit directly over the washer and dryer and they do, but for some reason the washer and dryer are 27 inches wide and these cabinets are 28 inches wide. Boo!!!! I seriously got in a funk, but I knocked it off after about an hour and then I started looking on Pinterest. I found this picture and told Michael that I wanted something like that. 

Rustic Shabby Chic Laundry Room, vintage Vinyl decal small laundry room:

He was able to alter the cabinets so they would work and I really love them. In fact now that there was more wall space that would mean my back splash tile would be more center stage than before. Since we weren't able to finish the tile Michael called my mom and asked if they could keep the kids for us the next day until after dinner...they were planning on bringing them up around noon. We figured it would be better for us to come get them anyways because they were going to have to come in two cars to bring back all the stuff we brought with the kids. Mom was more than happy to do that. That meant we were going to be able to get the tile laid like we wanted to before the kids came home. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Workcation - Day 4!


This day was devoted to texturing! The night before I had put the plastic up in the dining room in hopes of keeping some of the crazy mess at bay. With the fans running to dry the mud it was quite funny. I felt like we were living in a circus tent!

The first thing Michael did was mix up the mud and then started texturing. The funniest thing about this whole texturing thing is how much time you have to work mudding the walls and making sure they are nice and smooth and then you mix up the mud, put it in a hopper, attach it to the air compressor and then basically have it sneeze blobs all over the wall you just made nice and smooth.

It sure gives the walls a nice finish though!

This part actually went super fast....I think Michael was finished at 10:30am. Even he was stunned! 

After texture was on we had to wait for it to dry of course. I honestly can't remember what we did. I think I remember driving to Lowe's and Michael asking me what day it was and saying it was Friday. We had gotten a big tub of something to lay the backing board on the floors, but it was the wrong stuff so we needed to return it and get the right kind of mortar. 

At the end of this I'm going to count all my Lowe's receipts so I will know how many trips I really made during this whole remodel. I'm sure it's an obscene amount of times! 

Once the texture dried Michael was able to get a coat of primer on the walls. 

For Ella's room I put up plastic to keep the texture from going everywhere, but I forgot to put paper down on the carpet. Oops! Thankfully once texture dries you can clean it up pretty easily. 

Michael didn't notice the lack of paper in time when he was doing Ella's room, but he did notice it in our room so he laid some down to protect the carpet. 

Yay for no more door to Ella's room and not being kept awake at night when she's sick and coughing!

Once the primer was dry we were able to get into the bathroom and start laying out the backing board for the tiles. Michael had to measure out the bathroom in grinds....we use a chalk line to help with that. Then we cut each of the pieces. This stuff is a lot like drywall, but thinner and stronger. Cutting it was a pain. Michael jigsaw came in handy, but we had a heck of time getting it to hold onto the blade. During this remodel he burned out two drills so we had to go buy a new one and I'm thinking his jigsaw is on the way out as well. After the pieces were cut I numbered them and then we started fitting them into place. 

We dry fit them into place to make sure they would fit and made adjustments that were needed. 

Then it was time for the tile mortar to be put on to hold the backing boards into place. This mortar stuff is hardcore. Michael had to mix it in the bucket for 5 minutes...which feels like an eternity when you are having to hold the drill with all your might and keep it from getting away from you. Then we had to let it sit for 5 minutes and then mix for 2 more minutes. After setting the backing board onto the mortar it was time for screws....lots of special screws. I tried to put them in for Michael, but they were so tough to screw in. Poor Michael's hands were just shot by this time. Cutting drywall, applying mud, sanding mud, texturing, painting, cutting backing board, applying mortar...all of it had taken it's toll. I felt so bad that I didn't have the strength to help. As for my hand it didn't really slow me down at all. I had to be creative when it came to gripping things, but honestly I was able to function pretty normally. Once I popped the blisters and cut the skin off I just put Neosporin on them, bandaged them up and put gloves on. There was no way I wasn't going to be in the thick of this remodel due to a burned hand! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Workcation - Day 3!


Thursday was the day to mud the walls. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but a necessary part. This part I most definitely could not help with. So instead I got to do more drywall! It was fun watching Michael do all the cutting the day before and then getting to do it myself. Plus since this section was out in the garage I knew that it wouldn't matter if I messed up a little. 

I didn't need to use the green board out there...although that is the section where the washer is going to be on the other side....I was just using leftover pieces. 

This section was the most frustrating section of all. Michael actually forgot to put an extra 2x4 on the far left side to anchor the drywall to. He was busy and the last thing I wanted to do was interrupt him. We didn't actually have anymore full size 2x4's so I took a bunch of scrap 2x4's hammered them into place every so often and then put X's on the outside wall so I'd know where the 2x4's were place so I could anchor them in. It was a lot of work to just get drywall into place! Also one thing Michael and I have learned through this whole process is...WE HATE NAILS! Michael is so amazingly awesome at so many things, but nailing isn't one of them. When he was doing the framing work he bent so many nails...he actually told me to save them and take a picture of the pile, but I didn't. Using a nail gun is a breeze, but actually physically hammering in framing nails takes talent. I only had to hammer in a handful of nails for this section and I wanted to punch something! It was so frustrating! At one point I did throw the hammer down and walked away for a bit. I might have said some choice words and I'm sure our neighbors were laughing! 

Of course Michael got the first layer of mud in the actually bathroom first. Then we set up fans everywhere to speed up the drying process. 

While that was drying he moved onto the areas outside the bathroom. Later on he was able to do a light sanding and then mud a few places that needed it. 

That night we were able to go out to a late dinner. We had planned to go on a nice date since we were sans kids....we wanted to take advantage of the Sunset Dinner at Anthony's, but it was too late when we finished. So instead we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for the first time. There special on Thursday's are .70 boneless wings. Michael got 10 with this Jamaican Jerk sauce and I got 5 with the normal medium buffalo sauce. We also share a Caesar Salad and some Street Tacos. Michael's were really hot and I think he only ate 9 of them. I finished all 5 of mine, but the best thing were those Street Tacos. They were an appetizer and they were only $5, but they could have been a complete meal for me. They were amazing!! I think if we were to ever go again we'd just get the food to go though. That place is LOUD. There were 21 TV's in the area we were, the music was loud and I think the average aged person in the restaurant was under 25. I definitely felt a little out of place!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Workcation - Day 2!

On the morning of the 4th of July I woke up at my parents and I had a vertigo attack. It was awful especially because what I normally do is open my eyes to orientate myself, but they have a ceiling fan in the room and it was spinning. Talk about not a good combination! I quickly closed my eyes and rolled over to my left side. For some reason I only have vertigo when I'm on my right side. Anyways later that morning my mom did the maneuver on me that's supposed to help with vertigo. I think I had a little bit on Tuesday, but by Wednesday I was doing good! Praise God because Wednesday was devoted to drywall so I spent a lot of the day looking up and down and it could have really been rough.


The very first thing I was planning on doing that day was taking a shower...I hadn't showered at all on Tuesday and by the end of the night I was just too tired to go take one. I came downstairs and got some cereal and then was going to go get cleaned up. One of things I had to do for Michael on Tuesday was run to Lowe's....for crying out loud I think my van could honestly drive there without me piloting it because I've driven back and forth so many times. In fact one of the employees said that she honestly thinks I live there. Thank goodness the store is only a few miles from our house. Anyways....I had to run to Lowe's to exchange the can lights we had originally purchased. In the beginning we got the remodel ones, but since Michael took the ceiling down he needed the new construction ones instead. That meant that he wasn't going to be able to put up the ceiling and cut the holes to install the lights he was going to have to install the lights....which he did on Tuesday with all the other electrical stuff...and then he was going to have to measure the drywall and cut the hole for the lights and then install it. The worst part is when you are drywalling the ceiling everything you are doing has to be turned around. You are cutting it on the ground, but it's going on the ceiling so it gets very, Very, VERY confusing. Your brain does not want to work that way. So needless to say we scraped a couple pieces. Of course we were able to salvage them and use them in different places, but it was frustrating to say the least. So as for that didn't happen! Once I started helping with the drywall and was basically covered in dust there was no point! 

The first piece of drywall wasn't really that bad at all. Michael cut out the hole for the first light and then he screwed a piece wood into one side of the wall so it would be a support for the drywall and then he held it up while I screwed it into place. We work well as team! 

The second piece of drywall was a pain in the tushie! There were cut out parts and like I said it was confusing. Finally we decided instead of using one piece we'd just have to have an extra seam so we could get on with it! That one piece took us well over an hour! 

After hours the ceiling was finished! 

After doing the ceiling the walls were a piece of cake!

The area for the cubbies is all drywalled!

I honestly was thinking I wouldn't be much help to Michael during this time, but I ended up being quite the helper. I'm pretty good with the drill so I was able to screw in the drywall while Michael was measuring and cutting the next piece. 

We used the green board around the base of the bathroom just in case we every have any water issues.....there is going to be a sink, toilet and washing machine in this one room so it's better to be on the cautious side! 

Have a ladder in this small space wasn't going to happen so I just used one of the dining room chairs. Let's just say at the end of this remodel I'm glad we have 4 more chairs in the basement! :) 

My hardworking man indulging me with a picture!

Instead of cutting a bunch of pieces we used a full sheet to cover the wall where the door to the bathroom would be. 

We have a Hobbit door! 

Since I'm always the one with the camera I wanted Michael to take a picture of me actually working. I saw the flash for the above picture and then I saw another flash, but it seemed like it was too low.....

he thought it would be funny to take a picture of my drywall dust bootie! Hahahaha....very funny! 

Of course later on Michael cut the whole for the door and then he drywalled the outside of the bathroom. 

There were a few more tricky pieces like the one for the sink....we had to get the hole for the outlet, the drain and the two water supply lines just right or it would mess up the whole piece. 

The area for the washer and dryer is all drywalled!

The pony wall got some special treatment....first off it was hammered into place, then there is a metal bar running through it bolting it to the floor and for the last little bit of strength Michael put pilewood instead of drywall on the left side. He really didn't want it moving at all! 

We had hoped to get the first layer of mud on the wall, but honestly that was a bit overzealous of us. We did all the drywall, made a trip to the dump and then Michael got all the seams taped. It was a LONG day....I don't think we finished until after 8pm!