Category Archives: remodeling

kitchen updates

When I left my house, it looked like a giant paper bag.

paper bag room


But over the past 3 days I’ve been getting iphone updates from my husband showing major progress! So exciting!


drywall is up
drywall going up


mudded and done!
drywall mudded and done


apparently the retexturing happened & painting began
Living room paint going up!


the kitchen is done being painted
kitchen with paint


and the livingroom is in progress — love the color!
livingroom with paint


Tomorrow the trims and doors go in, and then the trim painting and other finishing work will be done. It’s amazing how fast these guys are! I’m so glad we hired this job out instead of doing it ourselves!

today sucks

Normally I have amazing luck. Like HOLY CRAP I’M LUCKY OR THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SHIT. Well “`today was shit. I don’t know where the hell my luck went, but that bitz wasn’t with me today.


First of all, we failed the 2nd kitchen inspection, which was for insulation. Apparently the insulation inspector caught things the electrical inspector was supposed to tell use to include for fire safety — things that have nothing to do with insulation — and basically tells us to rip down the radiant barrier paper to put more wood up where the walls meet the ceiling. Okay, fine. Next time let people know BEFORE they do the insulation. Also, this isn’t part of today’s inspection checklist but since he’s a structural inspector hardass so he won’t pass us. BS! But moving on.


Then we have to rush over to the OB appointment only to find out that 1. He has merged practices with someone else so the waiting room is filled with a hellavalot of rude, non-pregnant, stare-y patients who don’t know that the bathroom is there for giving SAMPLES ONLY, MOFOS. And 2. That I failed my Gestational Diabetes test and have to go in for the 3 hour round of torture. Which I don’t have time to actually do because I’ll be in Tampa for a week while the drywall and paint goes up.


And it just keeps getting better! After we get home from lunching, Adam takes the rest of the day off from work to rush around trying to get everything together for an inspection this afternoon. He finishes, calls the inspector, and the guy says “Sorry, we’ll have to do it in the morning.” It’s lame and it sets everything back a day meaning we have to contact 10 people to let them know we’ve shifted the time table. (Insert explicative(s) of choice.)


So now everything is up in the air, I’m supposed to already BE in Tampa with my SIL but instead I’m going crazy trying to calm Adam down while he calls all these people, rearranges the appointments, and cleans up the house for tomorrow’s work. I haven’t even packed because I don’t know how long I’m staying or when.


At least I got a good bump picture! 28 weeks!

28 weeks!

We had to take twice as many pictures as usual to get this one & almost gave up on it!

buring the midnight oil

Since all the electric and plumbing work is done, we spent all day putting up insulation and radiant barrier. The kitchen is on the south side of the house and, because this is Florida, that means a lot of heat comes in right on this wall. Adding lots of insulation here is not only green, it’s also very cost effective.


Here’s what’s up in the ceiling, under the insulation:
Inside the ceiling

Those styrofoam boxes are called baffles. They keep the insulation from blocking air flow. Seems weird that the attic needs air flow, but otherwise the air in the attic gets super hot, which can transfer to the house, trap moisture, and damage the roof shingles.


Me stapling radiant barrier
The radiant barrier goes along the block walls, where we don’t have any insulation. It basically bounces the heat waves back out, instead of letting them come into the house. It looks like foil on one side and like a paper bag on the other.


Adam putting up radiant barrier
As soon as these last bits are done, we can go to bed! Inspection is tomorrow, 8am sharp!

it’s electric, boogie woogie woogie woogie

The new panel is in! Our electrician finished replacing it in less than 4 hours, I was totally impressed. Total cost? $750. Awesome!


Our scary old recalled panel:
The old panel


Electrician Tony, grappling with all the wires:
Tony the electrician


The nice and neat new panel:
The new panel


We made sure the new panel has extra space in case we need to add lines in the future, such as outdoor lighting. Or motion sensors to our daughter’s bedroom windows.

crazy in the head

Ok so here’s the deal, I’m about to hit my third trimester, my nesting urge has kicked in like WHOA, and my nursery currently looks like this:

Try to find the crib!
Nursery is even worse!


But wait! It gets better! My kitchen looks like this:
Kitchen Demoed


And here’s my lovely living room:
Living room in chaos


It’s out of hand! Honestly, this just snowballed into crazy town. At first it was just a cosmetic remodel. I swear. I just wanted new cabinets, counters, a dishwasher, and to re-texture and re-paint the walls.


Then we started messing with the footprint. Let’s switch the refrigerator out for the oven! And play musical chairs with their power supplies! So we had to remove the drywall & ceiling.


Then we saw what a mess the plumbing and electrical were, so instead of just adding lines for the switch & dishwasher, we had to gut everything and start over. Overzealous again, we started adding lights, a range hood, extra outlets, and that’s when we really looked into our electric system. We could not believe what we were seeing. Holmes at Homes would have flipped out.


My panel (circuit breaker box) was *recalled* and is all over the internet for safety hazard warnings. Like rampant fires. Even without adding all these extras, there was a huge chance of us overloading our current breakers & burning the house down.  With, you know, a newborn baby in it. So now we’re waiting for the electrician to come replace the panel, as well as the electrical line to our house.


Our remodeling project has ballooned in cost and time, but we know it’s well worth it. This is our home, our first little fixer-upper, and we want to do right by it and stay safe, too. Hopefully we can enjoy living here for a long time.


About 3 months ago, when I was all tiny and cute and barely pregnant (and out of my effing mind), I got a genius idea: I want to redo the kitchen. Like, gut it to the studs.

Why? Because of Shangri-la – that’s what I call my dream kitchen. I don’t usually talk about it, but I think about it constantly. It has white cabinets, neutral minimalist counter tops, and, most importantly, a dishwasher. (I say that last word with a heady amount of reverence.)

At first I was picturing a little country kitchen like this one.
Dream Kitchen

Then, I saw this modern version and fell head over heels.
Fab Ikea Kitchen

It’s Ikea, too, which means I can afford it without trying to MacGyver a pantry out of stuff at the ReStore. (And I am so not a tinkerer.)


Here’s what our kitchen used to look like before we moved in, in 2006. I remember thinking it was a cute, good sized kitchen, but that the owners had obviously chosen to go as cheap as possible when they put it in.
The kitchen at move-in

After we moved in, we painted, got appliances, threw in a little bamboo roman blind, and made it all cozy. While it looked great, it was an uphill battle to keep it neat. The lack of functional space and no dishwasher meant the counters were constantly covered. And I hate clutter. It also irritated me that the fridge visually blocked the door and that the air vent blew directly onto my stovetop. Not a smart layout at all.

Kitchen After


Here is our plan for the new kitchen. We changed the footprint, added a lot of pantry space, and, be still my heart, a dishwasher. I’m in love with it!
Left Side New Kitchen
Right Side New Kitchen

I’m still not sure about the dark blue paint with no backsplash shown in these renderings. I keep going back and forth between the blue and all white with a subway tile backsplash. Both will look good, they’re just different. Hmm…