Monday, September 26, 2011

Building Permit Time…Again!

I’ve been slacking a little bit on posting the last couple weeks. Most of the work we’ve been doing has been to finish the TV room (formerly the den). It started with the installation of the new door. Once that was installed we were able to fix the drywall issues. Chris then painted the wall and installed all the trim. Now it looks great! I didn’t get to take a great “after” picture yet so I’ll be sure to post that next week.

To actually use the TV room we needed furniture. We ended up purchasing a couch and chaise lounge from craigslist and bought a TV stand from IKEA. I admit that I’m a big dork when it comes to following directions. I thoroughly enjoyed putting together the stand one night. I was so excited to get started that I chose a poor spot to do the assembly so didn’t have much room to maneuver. And yes, I count all the parts before I start…feel free to make fun of me.

We did have a couple accidents while installing trim in the TV room. The worst was when Chris was using the nail gun to install trim on a corner. He moved his finger so that it wouldn’t be in the line of fire while still holding the trim in place. Unfortunately, the nail bent when it went into the trim and ended up going through his finger and fingernail. I came into the room to see the blood splatter aftermath.

Sorry…on to more pleasant things. We are less than two weeks away from starting the demolition of our bathroom and closet. Our plan is to turn the current bathroom and a useless hall walk-in closet into two bathrooms. Because we’re dealing with a rather small space it took us awhile to figure out how to make it all work. Below are the current and planned layouts.

I got the building permit on Friday and we still need to send in the paperwork for the plumbing permit before we start that work in a couple weeks. Demolition starts on October 6…wish us luck!

Oh and I thought I’d leave you with another pregnant picture – here’s a comparison of me from 8 weeks to 20 weeks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby Skocik Due February 6, 2012

You may have noticed that over the last few months Chris has been doing all the work around here. There has been a good reason for that – I’m pregnant! For the first trimester I was suffering from extreme fatigue, nausea, and dizziness (not to mention that nobody would let me do anything!). Chris was a real trooper continuing to work out in the heat and humidity (and around polyurethane fumes) while I read books on the couch. Fortunately the second trimester is being much nicer - I'm still going to sleep really early but I feel much better!

We found out that we were expecting just after Memorial Day. The due date is set for February 6, 2012. Here are a couple pictures of me from each month. You can tell from my stomach in the 8 week picture that I hadn’t been exercising for awhile before this!

Of course my parents are extremely excited to be grandparents for the first time – I think my mom is already buying baby gifts and stockpiling them at home! In Chris’ family, this will be the grandchild to make it an even dozen (ranging in age from 18 to newborn). It won’t be the only baby in the family though since our sister-in-law Mary is expecting in October (hopefully we’ll get some hand-me-downs)!

So while this bun is in the oven, hopefully we’ll be able to finish up some big house projects. It may be more difficult once the little one makes an appearance! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Energy Audit, Scrap Metal, and Trees

This was quite a busy week at the Money Pit. Throughout the week, we worked on the den (soon-to-be-TV-room). The drywall is installed, mudded, and primed (of course I forgot to take a post-primed picture). We even went as far as to put some OSB on the outside of the wall in the sunroom. Now that we don’t have a leaky door and a 4 sq. ft. hole in the wall, it’s much easier to keep the room the same temperature as the rest of the house.

Earlier this summer we got an email from the county about a lottery for a free energy audit. We entered the lottery and fortunately we were selected. The audit company came out on Friday and took a bunch of measurements. We’re still waiting for the final report but we have a pretty good idea now what it will tell us.

The most exciting part of the whole process was the “building envelope sealing” measurement. They put a giant frame in the front door with a fan and suck out air. The goal is to measure how much air volume comes into the house. We knew that we had some issues in the basement with the rim joist areas but overall our number was pretty decent for a house as old and big as ours.

For the three day weekend we decided to take care of some things that have been annoying us. One was the big pile of metal we had hanging out in the garage. This was a combination of old (broken) storm doors, aluminum window frames from the “mudrooms”, busted copper tubing, and some wire. We loaded it up in the truck and took it to a recycling company.

As we waited to unload, we guessed how much money we were going to make from the scrap – I said $30, Chris’ guess was $60. So of course we were pleasantly surprised when we made over $300!

One of the other big tasks we accomplished was removing the leaning tree in our backyard. The tree has been hindering Chris’ grass cutting for awhile so we just cut it down. It was only a matter of time before it was uprooted anyway. Now it’s all cut up and the bundles are on their way to become mulch or compost at the dump.

Chris also used the chainsaw to cut down the two clothesline posts – thank goodness they’re gone!

Hopefully this week we’ll be able to finally finish the den and turn it into a true “TV” room!