Thursday, May 20, 2010

My new decorating blog!

Since our home addition is pretty much done (with the exception of a few punchlist items which I will post about later), I decided to start a new blog about our house generally and how we are personalizing it to make it our own. Hopefully it's our "forever house" so we want it to always feel that way.

Check out Houseography!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

House Tour!

Just as I thought we could live with some unfinished projects in our house, we sign on to be featured in the annual Tuckahoe Elementary House Tour on May 22nd. This is an annual home tour in Arlington which generally focuses on renovated homes so people can get ideas on how to renovate their own homes. We are honored to have been asked to be on the tour! Here is more information on the tour and on how to get tickets:

After reading some other house blogs out there, I am now inspired to get back into blogging about our house projects (which have been pushed forward due to the house tour). We still have some fairly major interior projects to work on but generally we are shifting our focus into the backyard which is bordering on disaster in areas. Our dog, Angus, is not helping our progress since he enjoys eating and digging at the mulch!

Lots more posts and pictures to come, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finishing the new basement!

Well, after the sump pump project started being discussed, we decided to go ahead and finish the rest of our new basement so that it now includes a fully finished bathroom, a legal bedroom (with egress window), and playroom. This had been in our original plans but we decided not to do it when we did the rest of the addition because we weren't entirely sure what we wanted and we wanted to cut some costs.

The whole project took about 3 weeks despite continuous snowfall (very unusual for here), and we used Jim Cole again. We were fortunate to get him at a slow point so we feel we got a lot for our money.

We chose the same quality of finishes as we used upstairs but chose carpet instead of hardwood because of moisture issues. Although I have heard that you can use carpet or laminate in basements, we also really wanted the warmth of carpet. We chose a subfloor called DRIcore to use under the carpet. It's a great product which we learned about from some neighbors who used it in their basement. It is basically plywood pieces that lock together and which have some plastic feet-type pieces on the bottom - thus keeping the wood off the concrete. It's much warmer and provides a space for air underneath.

Eventually we will install some built-in bookshelves and a wall-mounted TV, but that is all for the next few months. Right now, the kids are really enjoying the play room (our son started crawling the same week we finished the project) and the extra guest room has already come in handy several times!

I'll post more information over the next few weeks, as well as some finished pictures.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh the dust!

We have now been back in our house for 6 months and are still thrilled with the results. I still think it has been a great investment. The last week has made us thankful that we did not live in our house during the construction!

A few days before Christmas, we got almost 2 feet of snow, and then on Christmas Day it was 50 degrees and it rained - a lot! We had water in the OLD part of our basement. Our new basement was dry (except for where the water from the old basement dribbled in) because of a drain system and sump pump installed when we did the addition. This has been an on-and-off problem for several years although we have never identified the exact cause - probably coming through the floor. So, when talking to Jim Cole, our builder, about some small outstanding items to fix, we asked him about the floor. He suggested a drain system which involved jack-hammering a trench along 2 walls of our old basement, putting in a sump pump, and piping it to the outside. We basically hired him on the spot (again) to fix that. Our thinking was that if we are going to finish the new part of our basement, then we don't ever want to have to worry about water leaking in.

The project has taken a little over a week, and is pretty much done except for hooking up the pump. I feel peace of mind already! Hopefully we won't have to make any more long-distance emergency phone calls to our neighbors for fear of our basement being flooded!

Once again, we confirmed that we made the right decision to move out during the renovation. Even this small project has created such a crazy amount of dust in our house (despite loads of plastic barriers), that we are anxious for it to be finished.

I'll post pictures shortly, along with some final pictures of the renovation (not sure if I did that ever).
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