New Linoluem Kitchen Floor

Wow, finally I am starting to make some progress toward having a real house. After just about a year and a half, I am within a few weeks of having a functional kitchen.

Below is the picture of my new installed floor. I contracted this project out and it was a smart move. Raphael and his crew with New Vision Flooring, knocked out the project in one day. They installed a new sub-floor and the linoleum in about 9 hours — pretty quick and the install looks really good.

We used Forbo linoleum tiles. I used light-green and gray as the field colors and finished it with a black border.
Forbo Flooring

The total cost of the project was $2700; $1700 for materials and another $1,000 for labor


June 30, 2008 at 5:56 am 2 comments

No more drywall to install

Today was a key milestone for my project. The last drywall screw was driven home today.

Now with all the drywall and plaster work done It’s time to focus on the trim. I never realized how much a house’s appearance depends upon the trim.

Last week I shared some photos of my pocket door installation. Below are the before and after photos. You can see the full resolution images at flickr by clicking on either of the photos.

Finished Pocket Door Installation
Finished Pocket Door Installation

I am also including a photo of the how nearly complete family room. The photo below is taken from the kitchen. The unit under the window will be built into a window seat with 4 oversized storage drawers
Family Room Area 2

It’s a bit hard to believe but this area used to be the kitchen — see the photo below
Kitchen Cabinets

March 31, 2008 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

Pocket Door Installation

As part of my original plan for my kitchen remodel I designed a large opening between the breakfast/family and dining room areas. As I neared completion I realized that this design wouldn’t work.

First, instead of making the house seem bigger, being able to see through the house from the front door actually made the house seem smaller. Secondly, the dark stained wood in the dining room clashed with the white painted wood for the eating area. Finally havin a direct flow from the front to back door is bad feng shui. Superstition is that having the front and back doors aligned causes money to flow into and out of the house — hmm been happening a lot around hear lately.

View from the living room to back of the house

Bungalow Living Area

The solution, install a door between the dining and family room. My architect suggested I install french doors. Taking her advice would have been much less work, but I didn’t want to loose the wall space required for door that swing into the living area. I decided upon installing a pocket door. Although they are a bit harder to install, I thought the benefit in terms of usable space would be well worth it.

Step 1 of my installation was to rip out the wall and soffett for the existing entry way between the dining room. This was not fun at all because I had reinforced the walls with structural grade plywood.

Step 2 frame the opening for the pocket door. The door I am installing is 42″ wide X7′ tall. As a result the framed int area 86″ wide X 7′ 3″ tall. You need to leave some extra height for the slider track.

Here you see the framing work and pocket door frame installed
Pocket door frame installed

Step 3 install the door. This is just a temporary door, which I used to make sure I had the framing level at the top and the door jambs are plumb. I spent a couple hours fiddling with the the door jambs to make sure they were plumb.

Door installed here — notice the temporary door is too short
Pocket door closed

So that’s it my pocket door is installed — If you have questions feel free to ask. Next step is to redo my drywall.

March 26, 2008 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

Kitchen Remodel Getting Closer

I lost my camera a couple months ago. So while I have been working away on the house, I have not been able to provide any progress updates. I had hoped that has I started cleaning the house up a bit the camera would surface. Well no such luck. Today I finally broke down and bought a new camera.

The kitchen/family room is not done yet, but these photos will provide some perspective on how things are shaping up.

Before View
Demo'd Kitchen Area

Almost after view
Kitchen Center View

Windows and doors have been moved to create the new configuration for the back of the house. Here are before and after photos

Before Picture
California Bungalow Back View

Almost After (paint needed)

It may not look like it now but once it’s done the kitchen will be a huge improvement

March 20, 2008 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment

Finished Bathroom

Here are photos of my finished bathoom. If you look at the doors which are yet to be refinished I think I came pretty close to matching the original color palette. Contrary to popular belief not all bungalow bathrooms were limited to black and white. In fact, one of the folks at the Monrovia Planning department told me “you’re lucky to have a house with an original floor that was in such great shape. My grandmother’s house here in town had a floor just like that.” I only wish it was an original floor, that would have saved me a bundle.

Here are the photos — enjoy


Slipper tub
ok, maybe I need to finish painting the window

arts and crafts bath
oh yes, and I also need to source some picture rail modeling to complete the walls.

No I guess my bathroom is not really finished, but this provides you a perspective on how the final product will look.

October 27, 2007 at 3:57 pm 1 comment

A new blog post finally

it’s been quite some time since I updated the progress on my project. I’ve been busily working for most of my blogging hiatus. The house really doesn’t look much different but there has been a ton of work done. First, I removed all the old lathe and plaster walls, so I could insulate the walls and rewire the entire house. At first I thought rewiring was an unecessary luxury, but when I found out that insulating around an old knob and tube wiring systems was a fire hazard my decision was made. I paid roughly $3,500 to have the house completely rewired and I put about $800 worth of insulation into the walls and ceiling.

The next big project was to install a central heating and airconditioning system. Like the wiring I outsourced this work. I paide $5800 to have the heating and air conditioning coil system installed — I held off on the compressor because with cold weather coming I didn’t feel a pressing need for air conditioning. Since there was no wall or ceiling in the house installation only took a couple days.

With the major infrastrucutre improvements done, we have been busy with installing plywood shear supports and drywall throughout the house. I decided to install 3/8′ plywood on the inside perimeter and load bearing walls to improve the structural integrity of the house. You know the saying; they don’t build them like they use to– well in this case I think that’s probably a good thing. Today’s structural codes are much more stringent. Over the plywood we installed 3/8 drywall which brings us to the original 3/4 thickness for the walls.

As I was waiting to order some lumber at home depot the other day I thumbed through a book on house framing. I was quite surprised to learn that the depth that the nail is sunk into plywood effects the structural strength. So if you have 3/8 drywall and you sink the nail a depth of say 2/8′ your plywood will have the strength of 1/8′ plywood. So the ideal depth would leave you exactly flush with the plywood. I definitely put that in the good things to know category.

October 25, 2007 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

Bathroom Remodel Trimmings

The plumbing’s done, the floors in, the walls are covered. It’s time to start with the trimmings.

Wall Coverings:

    • Benjamin Moore Historic Color Line. On the walls I elected to go with the Aura Line which runs about ~$50/gallon
    o Ceiling – White
    o Moldings & Wainscoating – Cream Silk oc-115
    o Walls – Norwich Brown – HC-19
    • Total Cost ~$160.08

Mouldings & Wainscoating:
• Baseboard – 7.25’ x .75’ board — I had to buy a router to finish the edges
• Chair Rail – 2.75’ x .75 board – again I had to finish the edges to make it look right
• Wainscoating – X.X Tongue and Grove bead board. Keiron at Design Mouldings told me that MDF would not work very well in a areas where you had the potential for water exposure.
• Total cost – ~$400 for all the wood.

Bathroom Fixtures:
• Sink – Kohler: K-2322-8 Kathryn® pedestal lavatory with 8″ centers
• Toilet – Kohler: K-3484 Kathryn® Comfort Height™ two-piece round toilet
• Bathtub – Victorian Classic

Lighting Selections:
• Wall Sconces – Hudson Valley 2311F-OB Hudson Valley 1971-OB
• Ceiling Light — Hudson Valley 2311F-OB
• Total Cost — $350

June 25, 2007 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

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