Saturday, December 06, 2008

Home Improvements: Before and Afters

Look what I found packed up in a box, wrapped in newspaper - its my blog. (Oh moving humor, you never get old) Heather and I officially moved into our house nearly two weeks ago. Woo-Hoo!!! It feels strange to have a house, but it is nice to walk around at night without worrying about pissing off our neighbor downstairs.
But before we moved in, there were a few projects we wanted to complete. There's an endless list of projects to come, but these three were the ones we wanted to focus on before we got into the house.

PROJECT #1: Re-Grout the Patio

There's a patio outside our kitchen. Beneath it is our "Artist's Retreat/Rock Band Room." During the inspection process, we learned that when it rains, water would leak through the patio and cause water damage to the "AR/RBR" ceiling. We had the sellers fix this room before we moved in, so to make sure there was no further water damage, Heather and I decided to re-grout and seal the patio.

Of course, we never had done this before, and learned how to do it based on watching youtube videos. We found out, very quickly, that it's not as easy as it looks on those videos. Because we had no idea what we were doing, we probably did double the work we should've. I won't go into details, but we finished it over the course of 11 days. There were many aches and pains, but after our first major rain, we found that our grout work held up. (Okay, there were a few water leaks in the corners downstairs, but the vulnerable spots, where water used to leak, have been fixed).

Here's a picture of the grout work as we were in the midst of cleaning it tile-by-tile.

PROJECT #2: Remove Popcorn Ceilings.

There were three rooms with popcorn ceiling: the living room, master bedroom, and a section of the kitchen. We both hated having them in our apartment, so it was a no-brainer to get rid of them in the house.

Once again, because I watched a few youtube videos, I was convinced I could do this on my own. But after learning my lesson from the grout (and a quick "No" from Heather), I decided it was best to farm this one out to a pro. (If anyone is looking to get rid of their popcorn ceilings, we'll give you our guy's info.)

Over the course of three days, he and his team took down the popcorn, fixed some bad work that had been buried for years, and painted them for us.

Here's the bedroom before...
...and after!
The living room before...
...and after!
The kitchen before...
...and after!
It was such a relief to see the ceilings without that popcorn shit on them. It changed the entire look/feel of the rooms to us. Luckily, he finished it in time so we could complete the next project...

PROJECT #3: Painting

There were three rooms that were in dire need of a paint job: the living room, master bedroom, and 2nd bedroom. Heather and I were very much in tune with what we wanted and picked out the colors very quickly. My biggest concern before we started was that we'd run out of time before we were supposed to move in.

In order to get it done on time, we began painting the 2nd bedroom at night while grouting. The 2nd bedroom was a kid's room and was BRIGHT yellow, a bit too intense for our taste.

Here's what it looked like before...
...and we took it to an olive green.
While the ceilings were being finished, we had to put the living room and bedroom on hold. By the time they were done fixing the ceilings, we had one and a half days to get the work done. Luckily, we had a lot of volunteers step up and help out and were able to get it done. Huge thanks to the Blake, Annie, and Shantel for painting with us, and thanks to everyone who offered to help!

The master bedroom was a dark blue before - a bit darker than we'd like. Here's the blue before...
...which looked really dark in person. So we decided to keep things bright and painted a much lighter blue...
The biggest room, of course, was the living room. Before it was slightly off-white...
...and we painted it a more creamy, cake-batter color...mmmmmmm, cakkkkeee!
Heather hated the color intially because it looked more yellow than she expected. But as it dried, the color got a little bit darker, and she fell in love with it. How can you not love the cake batter?

We also decided to do a brown accent wall over the fireplace. Here's before...
In order to figure out the color, we tested a couple of different shades of brown next to our new cake batter-y color....mmmmm, icing! You can see the two test colors on the right side of the accent wall. Both colors looked more like shit than a nice warm color.
Luckily, in the basement, we found a brown paint that matches our front foyer.
Neither of us are completely sold on it and we may change it. But for the moment, we are warming up to it. It's such an easy wall to re-paint, that we could do it within an hour.

There was one other project left on the agenda...

PROJECT #4: The Beast

Since we're in the spirit of before/afters, here's some of Winnie (aka, The Beast). Heather decided to take the cat to the vet before we moved to get tagged and groomed. But a simple trim wasn't going to do - Heather decided to go big time and get a lion cut for the cat. Here's what she looked like before...
...and of course, here's her ridiculous look after.That's just fucking funny. It's starting to grow back, but she still looks goofy.

Okay, that's enough for now. I have to stop with this and get back to doing some unpacking.