renovate

Grout AptA Bath Before After

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Bath

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We started with a shell of a bathroom. When I say shell I mean just framed walls with plywood because the previous owner had at some point demolished the entire bathroom and was in the beginning stages of putting it back in. The shell of a bathroom that we had to work with was not quite big enough so we widened it and gained a few more feet. I also added a window in the bathroom because I just don’t like bathrooms without windows–that really goes for any room, natural light is always a good thing. I had a little fun and tried out a vanity in a color other than white in this bath. I waffled for a while about doing a gray vanity or a camo green vanity but finally settled on blue. The vanity is Benjamin Moore’s Stratton Blue mixed in Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint line.  …

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Grout front

Grout Cottage: Meet & Greet

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I’d like to introduce you to my newest project—the Grout Cottage. She’s hurtin’ and the people in the neighborhood are delighted that we plan to rescue the house and so am I. For a proper introduction– here are some basic stats, Built in 1895 (the oldest property we’ve renovated to date) Two story, Queen Anne Duplex; two apartments both two bedroom, one bath Has some original stained glass windows German wood lap siding metal roof has small dilapidated carriage house in rear w/ dirt floor Queen Anne architecture will incorporate bay windows to avoid smooth surfaces, one of the unique features in this house is the single cutaway bay window on the right corner with bracket detailing. Moving around to the rear, this is lovely isn’t it. I’m looking forward to improving that upstairs porch. If you’re thinking it looks structurally unsound…you’d be correct. the old carriage house, up close,…

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DSC_0159

Sarah’s House: Mystery Leak

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Ever wonder why I don’t get anything accomplished on my punch list, well that’s because when you live in an old house and don’t have the dough to rip the place apart before move in day– you have to take it one repair at a time. The master bathroom was not really at the top of my list for improvement but a month or so ago we discovered that there was a steady drip down in the basement after morning showers. Our plumber Doug came over to assist me in determining what exactly was leaking. First, we ran all of the fixtures and none of them were causing the drip. So Doug had to open up the partition wall that houses the shower/tub plumbing, he didn’t see a leak there but he saw a lot of wet stuff and what he thought was a crappy tile job. There was a…

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Guest Cottage Kitchen Remodel Part I

Guest Cottage Kitchen Remodel Part I

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Late last year I began remodeling a little kitchen in a guest cottage on our property. This project had a significantly lower budget than the Indiana project or the Midland duplex remodel so this kitchen won’t be gracing the pages of…anything. But I think it’s a great improvement! The footprint of the kitchen is pretty small, its only about 8′ x14′ and as you can tell from the dimensions–narrow. Fortunately, the kitchen has a pantry which offers the opportunity for additional storage. Here is the before, Hallway with ugly sink, scary fluorescent light and open shelving, looking in to kitchen I think the thought behind the sunshine yellow wall color was–trying to brighten the space and detract from its decaying fixtures. It wasn’t working for me. Inspiration and points of reference for the remodel, Focusing on the open shelving which is an IKEA shelf & bracket. Seriously considered butcher block/wood countertops, talked with a number of trades…

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Kristine’s House: Kitchen Demo

Kristine’s House: Kitchen Demo

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You might remember my post about my friend Kristine’s house.  She and her husband Fred are remodeling their kitchen and redecorating their living room. I’ve been helping Kristine a bit in both of these pursuits.  Kristine has chosen IKEA cabinets in the new Ramsjo door style, which is a shaker/traditional fusion. By electing to install IKEA cabinets she and Fred will save some money without having to sacrifice quality. Here is the space after drywall repair and floor installation, Kristine completed the demolition herself to save money and when I say “herself”…I mean just her. She rented a dumpster and went at it! She hired a plumber and an electrician to come and terminate the connections and to relocate some of the plumbing and install recessed lighting. For the new floors, Kristine chose 4″ wide white oak which was continued from the kitchen in to the living area, down the hall and in to the master bedroom. After Kristine and I talked through the layout using a measuring…

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Indiana Project: Upstairs Bath

Indiana Project: Upstairs Bath

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This is what the bathroom looked like in the beginning, This is the current state of the upstairs bathroom at the Indiana project. I did consider leaving the brick exposed but the mortar was in bad shape and decided to skip expending time and resources on revamping it. A close up of the window and the shelves that have been framed in the shower. Standing in bathroom looking toward door and hallway.  You can see the ring for the toilet on the floor on the right. Both rough in electrical and plumbing work are complete, as well as insulation.  This room has passed inspection and is ready for drywall. This bathroom presented a few challenges, Challenge #1– How to best position the shower? This room is long and fairly narrow but the challenge is the slanted ceiling.  We had to restructure the entire bathroom and really part of the upstairs…

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Indiana Project: Mission Accomplished

Indiana Project: Mission Accomplished

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Last week the deck was completed. Let’s review again… Then Now As you can already tell the windows are in too. I hope to receive sign off on the rough in inspection this week, that would mean clearance to begin hanging drywall and really begin making the magic happen on the interior. I should be able to make the call to the inspector on Wednesday requesting the inspection. Thats my goal. We’ve come a long way but still have quite a ways to go at the Indiana project.

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Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

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This bathroom remodel took place at a rental house in Southern Pines, NC, the same house with the painted stair runner posted about here. I don’t have a true before and after for you because I didn’t make it over to the house with my camera before it had already been demolished. There’s a different approach in renovating a rental property. Generally, I like to keep things neutral and keep a tight budget in mind which is why you see a lot of off the shelf fixtures. I don’t want to push the design envelope because I know that most of the people in my area probably won’t appreciate it, the painted stair runner blew a lot of minds but in a good way. I’m not trying to sell this property, I’m really just trying to maintain it or remodel it to a level that will set it apart and…

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Indiana Project: Exterior Repair

Indiana Project: Exterior Repair

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Checking in with the Indiana project…really I don’t check in, I should actually pitch a tent out back because I’m there so much. This week there are different sub-contractors running all over the house.  The HVAC will be roughed in and should be complete by the end of the week. This was a significant unforeseen expense. The house has an existing oil furnace and we are changing it over to natural gas, this required all new equipment.  We knew that we had to extend central a/c to the upstairs but we had no idea that we would upgrade the entire system and switch fuel types. This was a blow to the budget and we had to make some adjustments. Plumbers will begin their work this week.  The plumbing rough-in is expected to be complete by the end of this week. I spent most of last Friday afternoon learning about drop-in…

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Who put the B*S in building?

Who put the B*S in building?

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Good Morning and let the venting begin! Who put the poo poo in the construction/remodeling process? Local city officials like those sitting down at planning and inspections, that’s who. Bureaucrats who live some times happily, most of the time unhappily under a mound of forms and are so ingrained in a process or code that seems to serve no one. I know, I know those bureaucrats are someone’s mother, daughter, niece or father. That doesn’t mean that I can’t dislike their process and sometimes along the way not like them very much. Trust me I talk to bureaucrats all day long at the “real job”, I have lots of pent up disdain and for totally justified reasons. OK so I live in an area that is referred to as the Sandhills in North Carolina, adjacent to golf mecca (Pinehurst), its a collection of small towns.  Although the downturn in the housing…

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Could this be it?

Could this be it?

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Oh boy, thank you Remodelista for unearthing this on Inspace Locations and presenting it to us all. It really helped me piece an idea together for the Indiana project. So after seeing Remodelista’s post on the English Cottage entry, it was easy to draw a line from that to an image I found not too long ago at Canadian House & Home. The color contrast is delicious and my love affair with watery blue seems unending. And as I said before, there are painted cedar shakes on the exterior of the Indiana house.  And I found this rooting around in Flickr one day,  This is an old Sears houseplan, it was called the Amsterdam. After doing some light research I’ve found that this house is a Dutch Colonial Revival and I think the Indiana house is too.  I originally thought the Indiana house was begging for a big covered front porch.  But after collecting…

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It’s A Beautiful Butterfly

It’s A Beautiful Butterfly

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Clearly I’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar way too many times to DC (hence the title of this post). I love when you find those home transformations where the beginning structure is a 1950s ranch or as some call it a post war box and it turns in to a Craftsman style cottage or bungalow. Example given… And then… images via Fine Homebuilding Some of  architect Ross Chapin’s fine work, and after…

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The Rental

The Rental

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My family and I are working on a cottage in Southern Pines, NC. We plan to locate tenants for this property. It will be on the rental market by the end of this month. We did some slight revamping and had to do some significant repair to the plumbing, kitchen, new windows and a bathroom upstairs. We purchased it at the beginning of December and experienced some setbacks mostly because we couldn’t all agree on whether or not to gut the kitchen. We ended up emptying it out. This view looks in to the kitchen from a bathroom, the sunroom/laundry area in the back. I snapped a few other pictures just for fun. We’ll take a look at the whole place once it’s done. Below is the exposed lath after cabinets and dilapidated beadboard are removed. Despite the raw quality of the lath, the color is a warm honey color,…

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