Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to work!

I'm getting motivated to tackle the bathroom wall tile grout again.  This bathroom project has really been my nemesis and it was close to being done last year.  But of course we over-estimated both our abilities and grout set time for the wall tiles.  We were left with a functional but sloppy mess to clean up.

Caked on grout before cleaning.

Last night I decided enough was enough and we should just start working on it, even if just a little at a time.  I used a glass scraper (a.k.a. - razor blade with handle) and it worked well on the surface of the tile.  It took a long time to get the grout line to look decent and I'm still looking for a tool that will make that part easier.

Grout lines after cleaning.

Chipping away at grout is kind of fun and it's very rewarding when the lines look nice and clean.  But that feeling wears off very quickly when I look around and see how many lines there left are to do.  Why did we go with subway tile again?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to take down a tree.

This past summer Mrs. Forest noticed that the mulberry tree in the back yard was keeping out a lot of light. So she decided that it should be taken down. Now normally a chain saw would be used but if you're part of Mrs. Forest's Magic Tree Service you could just will it down!

If I could just get her to perfect this skill we could make millions!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Still here!

It's been a long time since my last post.  Kids and work have put a hold on the house, but I finally got a small project done yesterday.

I covered up a hole in the porch roof where squirrels were getting in.  I used wire mesh and an one-way  exclusion door to make sure any squirrels inside could get out.  Hopefully, they didn't start storing their nut supply yet because they will be S.O.L.!

It was hard to access the area by ladder and I had to stretch to get the mesh secure.  Hopefully, I have it secured properly but I will keep checking for any signs of entry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick update

Just a quick update on the past few months.

Finally finished connecting the radiant heat in the bathroom on Monday night!  The floor is nice and toasty!

Also, did some painting in the Living Room and Dining Room!  The walls and trim used to be pistachio green!

And shoveled a lot of snow!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Has it really been a month.

I can't believe it's been over a month since the last post.  The bathroom project was moving along smoothly and the end was in sight.  But of course the ideal world of DIY home renovations just doesn't exist in reality, especially if you own an old home and have 3 young DIYers at home who always want to help.
The slow down of work in the bathroom started with the grouting of the wall tiles.  I'd like to say it was a rookie mistake, but it wasn't.  It was part over confidence and part poor planning.  We are still working on the grouting and hope to finish it soon.  Well, "soon" is a relative term and if used relative to the length of time the bathroom has been taking...  I'm sure you get the point.
The next slow down of work was caused by the sink installation.  We had put in a pedestal sink before so I figured it would take a half a day to complete.  Now "half a day" is not a relative term; it's a definite amount of time and if multiplied by 28 gives you 14 days!  It took about a day and a half of actual work, the rest of the time was accounted for by: 
  • figuring out the very limited instructions for the faucet
  • a trip to Lowes to get an escutcheon or parts of escutcheon that would work for the drain
  • a trip to Home Depot to get an extra P-trap for the off center drain stub out coming from the wall
  • waiting for the correct valve piece to come in the mail so the cold water would open clockwise rather than counterclockwise
  • testing and correcting the drain for leaks (multiple times)
Well here it, props go to Mrs. Forest for making me test a portion of the drain prior to putting the basin back on the pedestal (would have added another week to account for frustration).


It's amazing how having a sink upstairs again makes such a big difference to everyday life.  Not having to run downstairs to brush our teeth has been awesome!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grouting Bathroom Wall Tiles

This past Sunday Mrs. Forest and I grouted the bathroom wall tiles.  I'd like to say the task is done but it's not and it looks like it will take many long hours to complete.

It all started out smoothly, we taped off the floor, walls and tub.

Sink Wall

Toilet Wall

Tub/Shower Wall
We then mixed the grout and applied it to the joints.

Mrs. Forest Mixing Grout
I was a little lax about the setting time for the wall grout.  I think after successfully grouting the floor I figured grouting the walls would be a piece of cake.  As is the case with most of our home improvement projects, that was the first mistake. 

Mrs. Forest and I worked together on applying the grout and I thought it would go fairly quickly, second mistake.  The corners of the walls and chair rail were a pain to grout and it turned out to be almost an hour before I started to wipe down the walls to remove the excess grout. 

It took a lot more scrubbing than expected and a decision had to be made.  Keep on working or feed the kids!  Of course feeding the kids won out, but "feeding" also involved going shopping to actually have something to feed them, third mistake.

By the time everyone was fed and the kids put to bed the grout had a good amount of time to set.  Well, it's going to take a few days to scrape off the excess and get the grout lines to look the way we want.

I did manage to get the toilet in though.  The only hiccup with that was partially flooding the bathroom and water leaking into the kitchen below causing some plaster and old ceiling tile to come loose.

Yes it works!
With ceilings in mind, Armstrong has introduced a new custom ceiling product and are having a giveaway at One Project Closer.  Looks like something that would work in our kitchen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More pictures...

...of Mrs. Forest's handywork.

We are slowly but surely getting to the point of grouting the wall tiles.  The tub knee wall and two corners of the chair rail remain to be completed.  Doesn't sound like much but the amount of tile cutting involved doesn't do much for the motivation.


It's hard to believe that these boxes are actually empty and out for recycling!!!