February 24, 2011

Operation Staircase

First of its kind project for us, redoing a metal spiral staircase.

The staircase at our beach condo was in sad ( but still serviceable) shape. The blue carpeting was worn down and perpetually a bit dirty looking. All the spindles and risers had a not so fresh coat of white paint that was heavily chipped and marked with the smudges of countless suitcases and sneakers. But the topper was really the handrail, which was a plastic tube. Like a giant crazy straw.

Those staircase decor items of the 3-d fish and hanging towel? Long gone.

Looking up the view wasn't much better...Hello $30 rickety fan that made clicky noises but provided much needed air flow in the condo.

While the staircase as a whole wasn't too offending, it was really Dull. Out of the whole 700sq ft condo, the staircase is the only little bit of unique interest in the place. Stuck in the corner of blahvilles that is the kitchen.

Since the kitchen is way out of budget right now (WAY), we decided to focus on the stairs for our winter project. I know, cause we needed a "winter project" like we needed another hole in our heads.

First, Pete took off the weirdo handrail and a top step to use as our template. We're lucky in the fact that these stairs are solid metal steps underneath. I think it helps tons on the stability and DIY ability for this project. Had the stairs been more of an open skeleton underneath I'm not sure I would have felt as confident about redoing the treads as I was.

If you look for the pink ugg in the picture below, you can see we've already replaced the blue carpeting on the landing with leftover laminate from the downstairs. Thumbs up for the improvement and for using something we already owned!

Before painting I got out my bucket of water and cleaned off the walls. I'm sure most of you are like this as well, but I feel compulsive about having REALLY clean the walls before painting. The idea of all that painted in grime makes me feel... like I'm committing some sort of DIY crime. Sometimes I tell myself the amount of prep I do is why my painting projects always seem to take longer than they should, especially compared to other bloggers and their gold medal antics in the speed painting olympics. SomedayI should just face the fact that I'm a pretty slow painter. Call me a easily distracted daydreamer.

Being Mr. Up and Up on safety, Pete measured the stairs and the differences they had in height from each other. Turns out, our stairs were out of code. As not a one was a matching distance or within the right range from the other. Awesome. So in the interest of safety/covering our asses and being within code Pete took almost an entire afternoon to move the stairs. You can see the bare metal on the center pole how far some of the the stairs were moved.

Next up, the ultimate primer application...

February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy birthday to my mom! My numbero uno commenter, reader and all around blog stalker. I love you and hope you are enjoying your snowny birthday.

My mom loves herself some blogs, so other readers who are not my mother ( I'm guessing 5 of you) feel free to post your blog links in the comments section! Give her (and myself) some new reading material.

PS: I got you a present! It's from HERE.

No, not baby booties.

February 21, 2011

Nightmare house

Last night I had a nightmare that we had another house, one I had completely forgotton about. For a few minutes after waking I was panicked that we did acutally own a fishing shack in the middle of a swampy bay area.


February 17, 2011

floor seeking a fun rug. must like vaccuums and pets.

Currently we have a half done garage, a staircase that is missing the actual stairs and an entire house in the middle of being torn down to the studs. And what is the one thing I keep constantly thinking about?

A rug for our dinning room.

More specifically this rug:

the Dash and Albert Cat's Paw Rug.

I love how it's full of fun color and whimsy, while being a little old fashioned modern. Got all that? Those are the buzz words I'm using now to describe my design sense going forward for our house(s).

Ever since we brought home our lovely new table last May, it kicked off our slow and completely unnecessary ( but wanted) spruce up of the dinning room. The two of us shopped for and debated chairs, stools and a settee before settling on our current seating solutions. Seen here for the wrap up of the search, it only took about five months to get to that point. Now I'm back on the rug hunt, estimated time to completion from kick off of project- 1 year. Yeah, I'll be happy if I have a rug on the floor by May.

I'm pretty sure I'm focusing on this rug with such intensity because, well, it's easy. So easy you might meet it under the bleachers after school. Compared to every other project going on, the idea of buying said rug and just simply rolling it out in the dining room is just so appealing.

Now all I'm waiting on is the email from Pete where he tells me the rug is hideous and I must be out of my mind to like it. It's a fun repartee we have going on lately. You should have heard the *spirited* discussion we had this weekend about trim colors in the beach condo...

Your opinion- hideous rug? Should I keep looking? or can you see the appeal?

February 16, 2011

Checking in

Quick apologies are in order as I've been taking a little break from blogging lately. Everything is Ok! No major upsets or categorically life changing events have happened. I'm just going along living everyday life in New Jersey. Day in, Day out.

My full-time-adult-grown-up job has hit a busy spot though, working those extra hours are zapping my brain cells hard core. By the time I wearily close down my computer at the end of the day I'm completely spent and have lost all ability to form cohesive thoughts for the blog. Since my job gives us the bucks to help pay for our houses, it is pretty important for me to focus on getting my work done before updating here. No matter how much I wish the situation was reversed!

Just because the blog has been silent doesn't mean the projects have stopped! We've been working away on beach condo stairs and are completely done with phase one of the project. The phase where I'm pretty sure I lost my sense of smell due to marine quality oil based paint.

February 3, 2011

Demo: In Progress

Believe it or not, I like in progress pictures better than the before usually. There is something about this stage of demo that is so exciting to the inhaled too much plaster dust renovator. You can see the result of your work right away and that is incredibly gratifying during a large project like this. At the same time there is still much more to demolish and discover about the house, which makes my crowbar jump with anticipation of what is to come.

The fun of demo helps to even out the disgusting moments of demo. Like when you tear out a bathroom sink and discover an insane amount of mouse poop underneath. Or when you throw up in your mouth from another poop discovery.

February 2, 2011

Shadow or No Shadow

Happy Groundhog Day.

I hate groundhogs.

Click here to find out why.