We've already reached a point in our new house where our over zealous preservationist ways have begun to impact our projects.

It's no real surprise in a house that's over 100 years old, but by the time we started the removal of the weird partial wall in the living room we already knew we had an issue on our hands. The walls of the room appeared to be in decent shape, appeared to be drywall, but also appeared to hold a secret.

At first glance you probably wouldn't think twice about the walls, assuming someone has simply pulled down the old plaster and put up drywall. Such as life in an old house. It's sad, but it happens more than it should.

But upon closer inspection we noticed something odd. The door and window casings throughout the room seemed to be very thin. These are 100 year old mouldings that should be at least 3/4 if not one inch thick, but we could only see 1/4 to 1/2 inch in front of the drywall.

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Comments 16

A few weeks ago we reported on our efforts to remove the odd half wall in the living/entry area in our new house.

As much as I wanted to take on this major structural renovation work on my own, I knew the effort necessary and that it was likely best to let the pros handle this work.

With that in mind, we reached out to several construction companies and found one we clicked with to do the work. We worked with them to define the scope of work and where their responsibilities would end. Ultimately, we wanted them to tackle the wall removal and structural beam install, and we'd handle the rest. We even did a little of the demo ourselves.

The best part of hiring things out is the speed at which things happen. What might have taken me and several friends a week of planning, buying, hauling, demo, and work, would only take them two days of effort.

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Comments 11

As Alex mentioned in his post on piling caps, we're a little all over the place with our DIY focus right now. We have a list of projects going on simultaneously, and it seems we're having a hard time checking any of them off the list as fully completed. The makeover of our new home's downstairs bathroom is one of these projects.

To quickly recap where we are on the bathroom, the weekend we bought the house, my mom and I had the floral wallpaper down (yay!) but in removing it, a lot of the drywall paper came off too (boo!). Over a several week period, Alex painstakingly skimmed the ceiling and walls to give us a good, smooth surface for our new paint job

The wall color, Benjamin Moore's Wales Gray, and ceiling color, Benjamin Moore's Silver Crest, both went up without issue and we're really happy with the results. The trim color, on the other hand, Sherwin Williams Alabaster, was a total miss. The color is too yellow and the sheen feels really chalky, not the smooth and shiny finish we're after. We're in the process of selecting a new option, with a lot of great input from commenters, and will later repaint the trim.

That brings us to today's post.

For weeks I drove around with the shower curtain and paint samples in the trunk of our car so that if I found something I thought might work for our room, I had these important pieces in hand to do the necessary comparisons. I also started online shopping (or more accurately, aimless web wandering) for well priced options to incorporate into the space. I was on the hunt for lighting, window treatments, and accessories, but the hunt was going slow.

One of the items I knew we had to address was the window coverings. The bent metal ivory blinds were beyond saving for the space, and the floral valance isn't my taste, so into the Habitat ReStore donation pile it went. 

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Comments 21

While it may feel like we're starting project after project and not really ever finishing anything, in reality, that's EXACTLY what we are doing!!!

Our project list is a mile long and growing. Right now we've got:

While I likely have a good excuse or nine for why each project isn't further along, I won't bore you with made up lies and convoluted stories of how we got to where we are. But I will say, in the words of SNL's Classic character, Middle Aged Man, "Hey, I'm working on it!"

Instead, why don't we tackle a decidedly more bite sized project that will allow us to not only start and finish a project rather quickly, but also check something off of a list that seems to be growing at a pace that I'm beginning to get uncomfortable with.

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Comments 11

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, and if you're like either of us, you have a DIY partner in crime you'd like to shower with gifts and adoration that show just how much you care for them. 

But the thing is, the cliched dozen long stem roses, box of chocolates, or flashy jewelry you typically see given on Valentine's Day just doesn't tend to play well with the home project enthusiast you likely call your significant other. Don't worry, we've got your back. 

If you're looking for a perfect gift or two for Valentine's Day that won't break the bank but is sure to make your renovation partner's heart smile, we've got a great list of 10 tools for under $10 that will surely make you the construction Cupid of your relationship. 

While your love may be the glue and nails that keep you and your significant other inseparable through all of your renovation projects, all you really need is a good pry bar to come between the bad molding and other items you need to demo in your life. This 10" Molding Pry Bar has been a staple in my tool bucket since day one, and has been responsible for the majority of our various hand demolition projects. You've got the flat pry bar on one side, and the cat's paw nail puller on the other. It really can't be beat for a handy demolition tool. 

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Comments 3
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