acdntlpoet: (Home)
We didn’t get much accomplished on the house this weekend, but what we DID do made a large impact.

After narrowly escaping house work on Saturday, Jean and I made our way out to the Kennedy School in NE Portland to celebrate a friend's birthday. Her husband had rented a room in the school (now a McMenamin's of course) and set it up with a buffet as well as Mahjong and poker tables afterward... sadly, we were both beat and had to call it a night around 9pm. We did have a great time, however, and look forward to seeing both Doug and Sunny at a Bite of Oregon in a few week's time...

Sunday I finished installing the filler panels and cornices for the tin ceiling, so all the tin is finally up. I also stained some molding to finish off the beams where they meet the wall, but realized too late that I screwed up my angled cuts and will need to buy more molding to redo them all. Sigh, I even second checked it all before cutting everything. I must have been tired when I was working on that part...

Jean then took over and started painting the previously stark-white beams. Two coats down this weekend and she'll pick up next weekend with the faux finishing part to add a wood grain texture and glaze to add some much needed depth and complete the look. Even only partly done, though, the beams are really starting to tie in the room. I hadn't realized HOW much the white beams made the room look unfinished. The two coats of brown are already a HUGE improvement. I can't wait to see how the faux finishing works :)

The link below will take you to the Renovations album on my Picasa page:

renovations
acdntlpoet: (Home)
So, after much hemming and hawing, I decided that a nailgun was in order (even before [livejournal.com profile] elmunadi suggested it). My thumb has thanked me repeatedly since. I had initially wanted to do the ceiling the 'right way' but the frustration and fatigue, not to mention flat thumb, seemed to want to hold me back. So, Jean and I went to Lowes around noon to pickup more paint (this time for the foyer and kitchen) along with a miter box and a cordless nailer.

Seriously, this is the BEST power tool I have ever bought. Yes, it was $359. Yes, it was worth every penny. In the time it took me to install half the field in one section with a hammer and nail, I had installed the field tiles in the remaining 3 sections of the ceiling. All that's left now Is the filler and cornices, which I should be able to get done after work over the next week.

Here are some more in progress pictures:







For those playing along at home, I picked up the Paslode 16ga. Angle Finish Nailer from Lowe's:

Yes, I probably could have gotten it cheaper online, but really, I needed and wanted it -NOW- so I could feel at least a little productive before the long weekend was over.

This is a seriously awesome tool. I first saw it in use on a DIY show a few months back, and have since seen it on numerous other HGTV and DIY Network shows. I figure if they use it, it can't be all bad... and so far it hasn't let me down. It has already paid for itself in the lack of frustration and fatigue.... and no thumbs were harmed in the installation of the rest of the fields! What more do you need?
acdntlpoet: (Home)
We worked on the tin ceiling more today. Got the main field up in one section:


Then decided to add the filler and cornices in the same section before we move on to the rest:






Next up is to complete the first section and tighten up all the seems, then move on to do the same thing for the other 3 sections.

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure my thumb will survive this ceiling installation. I have hit it no less than 150 times just installing what you see in the pictures.
acdntlpoet: (Home)
Rewind to yesterday at 2.30pm when the electrician arrived to find our daunted hero eagerly greeting him at the door. Never a good sign for service professionals I am guessing.

We chat about the issue and I run down the laundry list of troubleshooting steps I had already taken. To my credit, he seemed fairly impressed with my troubleshooting kung-fu; so I got to keep a small amount of dignity at least.

I let him get to work checking the circuit for continuity, etc. and mosey on back to my office to keep an eye on work. As the electrician moves about the house, we continue to chat and talk through the problem.

Let me note here that since Saturday, I had had nightmares (waking and sleeping) of a whole house re-wire project being necessary. That is $25k I just don’t need to spend right now...

Approximately an hour into the diagnostics, he still hasn't found the break, but it is obvious there is one somewhere in the line. At this point I remind him that the plug next to the fireplace is dead as well which is odd since it is the only outlet downstairs which is displaying an issue. This oddity has been bugging me since Saturday when we encountered the problem, and my gut keeps telling me that is where the solution is also. The electrician agrees and we check out the receptacle, which looks perfectly stellar.

Of course at this point he asks me about the wall-plate switch next to the fireplace, wondering what it controls... "Oh", I say... "that is presumably for the non-existant fan motor in the fireplace which was removed sometime long ago prior to us moving in."

And that, my friends, is where things got better. I recalled opening up the grill to allow the removal 3 very long dead squirrels and had seen 4 uncapped wires protruding from the side wall. I thought nothing of them since they had obviously been like that for a decade or more. Unfortunately, it seems I must have bumped them during the removal of dead squirrels.

The ONE thing I completely forgot about and never checked resulted in a slightly expensive lesson learned. The exposed leads were capped in the fireplace, the breaker flipped, and it stuck. Problem Solved! Power is back to the upstairs and most importantly, my home office.

The good news from all of this is that the $180 for the diagnostic was easily and immediately applied to the installation of a whole-house surge suppressor which was also installed yesterday. So while it was indeed an expensive lesson, I still came out okay with additional protection for my home electronics and home office setup.

Whew. The future looks a bit brighter once again.
acdntlpoet: (Home)
So...

This past weekend, Jean and I devoted ourselves to priming and painting the main living room. To do this, I needed to prep the room appropriately which meant removing the 4 all sconces and capping off the wire leads. Since I had to shut power off to do this, I took the time with the house powered down to replace the ceiling fan in the craft/2nd guest room.

Did I mention it was 102 degrees on Saturday, and that we don't have A/C? )

More pictures can be found in my Picasa Web album here: http://picasaweb.google.com/acdntlpoet/Renovations

Damn, I think I need more cowbell....
acdntlpoet: (Home)
Last night, Jean and I decided that if we didn't order lighting for the living room now, that we'd just be annoyed by not having that room complete after painting and installing the tin ceiling. So we up and ordered 4 sconces to replace the originals currently on the walls.

Since the living room seems to really love the Mission/ Arts & Crafts styling, we opted to continue in the same theme... so we picked up two each of the following:

These will be mounted by the stairs and front entrance:
Meyda Tiffany reproduction of the famous Green Diamond Sconce first designed c1910 during the First American Mission Movement:





And these will flank the fireplace:
Meyda Modern Arts & Crafts Switched Sconce - Pasadena Rose Modern Mission Motif c1919:



Of course all this was brought on by the fact that our tin ceiling panels, cornices, and filler all arrived this week. The main field panels we will be installing after painting the walls look like this:



I think we will be painting it as well to help open up the room (low ceilings in the living room aren't conducive to darker treatments).

Work will begin tonight or tomorrow, depending on how we feel. In either case, before/after/in-progress pictures will be taken and posted over the next few weeks. The sconces should arrive sometime in the next 2 weeks, just enough time for us to finish painting and get to work on the ceiling installation...
acdntlpoet: (Home)
This past weekend was a whirlwind of work on the house. Ok, so maybe that is making it a bit more grandiose than it really was. In either case, we got some much needed work started and well on its way to complete.

Friday night was a rather expensive run to pickup window coverings and painting supplies. A few hours and a few hundred dollars later, we arrived back home and began tearing out the old shutters. Horrid as they were, they lasted this long since we just couldn't decide what to do. So instead we opted for a 'temporary' solution which will likely last for quite a while until we really figure it all out.

Pictures from the work can be seen here:



Some items of note in the pictures:
1. Yes we BURNED the shutters. It felt GOOD.
2. Yes the curtains are too long. I will be hemming them up when I find the motivation/time to do so.
3. The colour of the guest room doesn't really translate in the photos. We primed first, so that is the white you see... the walls are a light brown/tan with just a hint of orange. The colour is called "Pony Tail", but I doubt that helps at all...
4. The trim is just primed right now. Next weekend will be the semi-gloss work once the walls are completely dry and we can tape it all off properly.
5. Once taped we will also be doing the fun touch up work needed on the ceiling. Because, as the lolcats say: "paintin, ur doin it wrong". Yes, I got spastic with the roller. Jean is much better at this stuff than I am.

When the guest room is done we can move on to the next room, whichever that may be; we have so many to choose from!

I -may- be selfish and repaint the office next. We shall see, since that room will be more work to prep than the guest room was. I DO know that I need to do something about the crapping blinds in here before summer really hits... of course that also means I need to decide on a color and proper window coverings too. Damn.
acdntlpoet: (Home)
So, through the home renovations and repairs, there comes a time in everyone's life where they just need something to LOOK GOOD.

To that end, we just picked up a great addition for our living room which really ties in the whole style:



Yes, my Mission style kicks your wussy Atomic Age's ass. Bow to my wicked mad interior designer kung-fu skillz.

Now we just need to do... oh, -everything- else!

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