Saturday, April 25, 2015

Decions.... Kitchen doors for Ikea cabinets

Using the Ikea layout, I priced out the Semihandmade Doors and they were going to cost a little over what the cabinets would cost. Yikes!!  I wasn't even going to get their high end, I went with the more economical DIY door which I would have to paint.


Semi handmade


IKEA Grimslov  $518
Semihandmade   $1,500 (excluding shipping est $350-$500)
Sherr Style 400   $450

They all look about the same, and the Sherr Style 400 come primed, it's a no brainer.  Just waiting for the sample so we can be sure it's the right decision.

Here are the specs.


Ikea Grimslov    Fiberboard, Foil, Melamine foil

Semihandmade  Solid wood frame with MDF panel

Sherr                  Solid wood frame with 1/4" plywood panel

Style details

Ikea Grimslov (unavailable)

Semihandmade Stile 2 1/2" Rail 2 1/2"

Sherr                Stile 2 3/8", Rail 2 3/8"

Is 1/8" of an inch enough to justify $1,050 more?  I can live with a little narrower Stile and Rail.
Semihandmade and Sherr also bore the holes in the back to fit the blum hinges.

I'm going with Sherr!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kitchen cabinets... Ikea

The kitchen layout was designed by someone who wasn't going to do a lot of cooking.
The space and location of the fridge against a wall leave me with limited selection of available refrigerators that will fit.  If I want to spend $2K+ on a special fridge I can get more capacity but there is a budget to consider.  There was no place to add a dishwasher without completely getting rid of the sink cabinet because they aren't boxes, the base cabinets were built in the space and are connected to one another.  Then there is the blind corner to the right, wasted space, and those tiles are hideous, and they patched under the refrigerator with unmatched tiles.  I'm not excited about the base cabinets, so they had to go.

Ikea Sektion cabinets

Ikea has a new cabinet style this year.  It's supposed to give you more options in configuring your space and making every inch count.  They have lights inside the drawers and some really practical inserts to keep everything organized but I'll let you go to the Ikea website to investigate.  What I want to show you is the kitchen. They have a kitchen design application on their website which will let you configure your kitchen and spits out a buy list at the end.  I had a lot of fun playing.

Here is the design so far....

and the application lets you open the cabinets so you can see which you have selected and so you can remember if you have enough drawer space.  You can see below, I will have three drawers next to the sink cabinet.

I chose the simple cabinet for the sink, no bells or whistles..

The corner cabinet with the lazy susan.

A peninsula cabinet with more drawers..

The microwave cabinet with one drawer

The layout below.

I'm still playing with the app, this may not be the final once everything is said and done, i need to think about it a bit longer.

Door exploration next....

Friday, April 17, 2015

Progress and preparation

More tile work done, we are getting a feel for how it will look when finished.

I really like the super thin grout lines 1/16" and that is only possible because the tiles are all exactly the same size.  I had considered these tiles but once I lined them up on the floor, unbelievably, the tiles were all slightly different dimensions which would make such a thin grout line impossible. You really need to check your tiles before purchasing them.

It's going to be very pretty when finished.

The details have slowed us down... like undercutting trim.

The avocado bullnose is gone , maybe if I'm very good the bathroom will be finished sooner rather than later.

This little house has been a labor of love.
the doors should be installed soon and there's plenty going on at the big house...

There's been a lot of sweeping which calms me.

More updates next week...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Look away if you are squeamish about bugs...

By far this is the worst job I've had to do so far.  The house has gone unmaintained for so long, the critters have taken over.  This was layer upon layer of sticky spider webs, mud dauber mounds and wasp nests.  Needless to say, I had the wasp spray at the ready, and I would need it after knocking down a large nest.  An irrate wasp and buddy wouldn't let me near the house. I was unnerved but preservered.

the back of the house has two screened in patios.  Last visit I tackled the long patio, and forgot to take photos.  This is the smaller patio but by far the worst.  In preparation for a new screen enclosure we opened it up, removing the rotten wood and torn screens, but it was still daunting.

Every neighborhood  has a haunted house, perfect for Halloween. still requires a bit of elbow  grease but it is improved.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tile installation the Raimondi tile leveling system

The tiles are going down, progress at last.  We are using the Raimondi tile system. It is guranteed to help level your tile installation (within reason). This is the bomb people. The substrate had some imperfections, and this has corrected them, so that the tiles are all the same level, and we're left with a 1/16" grout line.  I'LL never install tiles any other way.

The downside of the Ditra is that we can only install 20 tiles per each 50 lb. bag of mortar, so it's been time consuming.  We estimate it will take 18 days to finish the job.  At least we are working towards the bathroom and kitchen.  After the fourth Day we can start building cabinets to break the monotony.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Dumpster.. too big, too small, just right

The driver drove past the property, from the house I could see the dumpster and I said to the contractor, "OH,  it's not that big".  Then the entered the property, almost taking out a branch on the oak tree, lowered it and opened the door in the back.  This dumpster is a 30 yarder, 19' x 8' x 7'  1,064 cubic feet.  It's too big.

Day 1

Day 2

                                                                         Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

We estimate 2,000 sq ft of carpet, 1,000 sq ft of padding, 2,400 sq ft of drywall, 8 cabinets, 300 ft of baseboards, assorted doors and frames.

We have the ceiling and about 25% of the walls left. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trying to economize in the bathroom....

At this point if I suggest tearing down the shower surround, I will have a mutiny on my hands.  Truth be told, the tiles in the surround don't bother me.  The bullnose needs to go, the avocado green accent will clash with everything else planned for the bathroom.  The tile in the surround has a green gold vein running through it, in an almost random pattern.  I can work with this.

The plan is to remove the avocado bullnose, and replace it with the impossibly thin bamboo tile mosaic, and finish with a bullnose to match the tile floor.  That is the plan anyway, since I did not have a tile from the surround I am relying on my memory to match color.  We shall see how that works out in the end.  In any event, I still have my receipts and can return them if it doesn't work out.  Once the tiles are installed, we can resume an almost normal existence on the site.  I really miss having the toilet and have to drive down the street to the gasoline station to use the facilities.

I pulled a white tile from the shelves to give me an idea of what a white sheen would look like next to the tiles.  I'm excited to see it in the actual space.

Next week there will be a lot of activity, more contractors coming out to the site, a long awaited dumpster will be delivered, so we can clear out what we have demoed in the big house.  Tradesmen will be coming out to give estimates, and landscapers to hopefully cut down trees.  I can test a color I have selected for the kitchen cabinets and if we are very lucky, in the next 10 days we will start the very large job of tiling. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Some progress and some distraction.... Ditra completed little house

Finally, we have the tile underlayment completed in the bathroom and living area.  

We have decided to do the prep work for the tiles, so we have the mid points marked. We've been playing with the tile layout but my contractor has convinced me that staggered will look better, than the super complicated pattern I picked.  I have to agree but I enjoyed the expression on his face when I presented him with the complicated one, then I suggested chevron (because I'm evil)  There was some sweating and head shaking going on, and even stuttering.

 There will be a lot of thin set mixing involved from this point on, because the Ditra (orange stuff) has little cavities that have to be filled, then more thin set on top for the tile.  Also we will be using self leveling spacers from Raimondi, it's a cool little system that is supposed to help level out the tile installation if there are any imperfections in the foundation, so that should be fun.  They won't be in until mid next week, so there was some landscaping and pressure cleaning going on.  We have officially migrated to the big house.  

Everywhere you look there is something to do, so we spent hours cleaning out debris, and pressure cleaning the underside of the long porch.  It was full of spider webs, wasp nests, mud dauber nests and all manner of other insects.    When the little porch is finished we'll have before and after pics.  I forgot to take the "before" shots this time and just jumped in.  This is just a sample of what we were dealing with.  When I show you the before pics of the little porch, you will see what an undertaking it truly was.  There is some urgency to get this done so we can put up new screens and frames because these critters have a season up there and it's just starting.  We are also doing our best to seal the buildings to prevent any insects or "others" invading the property.  I'm sure we'll find some intruders but we would like to minimize it since I will be doing all of the attic work.

This week though, cable will be installed in the little house, as well as the AC, which we are beginning to need.  We've had wildly variable temperatures, from freezing cold to summer 80's.  The AC/Heat will be a welcomed, addition.