Monday, September 28, 2015

Progress, but more holes...

Today was a day of mess and progress! Yay!!! Here is where we are at:

If you have been following for some time, you may remember the roach problem. It took 2 years to fully get rid of them, but they have been gone for over a year now. I knew when the cabinets came out that we would see some old crispy dead ones and sure enough we did!

This is probably the reason for the roaches. Behind the cabinet there was some work done and a big piece of drywall was removed and put back. it was never finished at the bottom and right behind that it just went down deep into the ground with the plumbing. That is going to be sealed up before the remade cabinets go back in! I sure am glad we got to clean under the cabinets.

Here is just an exploratory hole. Can you tell it was made with a hammer. Nice and uneven, that will be fun to patch. All that insulation all over my bathroom also.

Another exploratory hole in the kids bathroom.

Bathroom holes made bigger and a lot of dirt!

More bathroom holes!

I used to say everything in this house is brand new except for the kitchen. We even re-did all the drains that are above the slab. Now, when this is done, all the plumbing will be new and the kitchen is no longer un touched! It's like a brand new house.

Loads of drywall dust!

You can see the kitchen from the bathroom.

These files I left out show how bad the dust is. I am going to have a lot of cleaning. Maybe Mr. C will let me get a one time cleaning person when all this is done.

The good news for today is, it looks like it officially is a re-route and NOT re-pipe. That is wonderful news! 


What a Mess!

I have a swiss cheese house now. 

Nothing in this house is normal! Craig and his dad realized that when they were dealing with electrical, he just had to abandon things and run new lines. Why should it be any different with plumbing? There are some strange loops and weird things going on around here.

2 plumbers spend an entire day here on Friday trying to abandon the underground lines, but were unsuccessful in doing that. I don't know much about plumbing but where there should be one 3/4 inch pipe there are 2 and in those 2 pipes water is coming up not one and down another.

So, here is where we are at for today. We are going to re-route everything out of the slab, but the plumber needs to open the walls behind the cabinets so insurance gave us approval to take the cabinets out first. Hopefully we won't see sunken floors under those cabinets when they come out!

Last week was such a roller coaster! Insurance doesn't pay for plumbing and we have had a couple different plumbers come in (maybe I am repeating my self). But one said almost $10,000 to replumb the whole house, but we just want everything out of the slab, another said like $2,500, then $5,000 but if we want copper $11,000. Ugh! All this with our deductible factored in is a bit of a nightmare. We are re-routing everything out of the slab and not going through the floors. So, this seems to be our best option. Hopefully plumbing will get done this week.

As the process goes on, I will be sharing more because this is my life and I don't have much else to blog about when I can't use the main part of my house.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Leaky Plumbing

Now that I finally got back into my blog, this is what happens! See those lovely cracks in the grout lines?

About a month or 2 ago, I started noticing some cracking. Lately it has been getting pretty bad and some of the tiles are sinking. I thought our house was sinking. Well, maybe it is, I don't know. 

Anyway, last week I got our water bill that was $330 more then the usual bill. This bill was for the 2 months of the summer that we cut way back on watering. Remember our dried out grass? You can see it here if you didn't see it before. We stopped watering the front, the kids only took showers once a week (we have a pool, it's not that gross) and I was washing dishes trailer style. 

When I got that water bill, I immediately called and told them something wasn't right. They scheduled someone to come out Monday morning and as soon as he opened up our meter it was spinning like crazy. Turns out we are using about 220 gallons of water a day.

After the water guy left, I called insurance. They started sending people out right away. The plumber said we have a raging slab leak and the whole house needs to be re-piped! Long story short fast forward to Friday, we have these drying machines that are drying the house out even though water is under ground. We have our water shut off except for a quick shower in the morning and flushing the toilets once a day. 

 Mr. C has a patient that I think owns Hobi plumbing so we called him. He sent a guy over that said we can re-route everything out of the slab instead of re-plumb the entire house. Oh my gosh! What a blessing. That is such wonderful news because insurance does not pay for plumbing, only the resulting damage.

Today, I got to have my water on while the plumbers found the direction of water flow and the leaks. That meant for me, I got a nice shower, a load of laundry done, some floors cleaned and my pool filled.

Since I can't really do any projects with this mess, well, I guess I could, but that would overwhelm me. I am going to blog about my mess and how this project goes. We are trying to be "Sewgreen" with this just like everything else in our house, so our first big dilemma is Pex or copper. We decided to go with Pex (Copper is 2x's as much) and have the water routed through the upstairs lines first so our shower water doesn't flow through Pex incase of any MTBE leaching. We have a really good filtration system for our drinking water in the kitchen, so we should be good. As far as green for the environment, hopefully this Pex will never come out of our house because it is not biodegradable and it is toxic if burned. I guess that is not so green. When you are looking at thousand's of dollars difference, you do have to sometimes look at the money involved.

There you have it, our beautiful mess these days.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Stairs Before & After

When we bought this house, we noticed right away that the railing shook about an inch on either side. This was a safety project that absolutely needed to be done. I wasn't terribly upset about that though. The 80's oak isn't exactly my favorite wood.

You can also get a good view of what used to be a closet at the top of the stairs. We took that out to make our master shower bigger. You can see that post here. Our hall way was lined with doors and I didn't like that, so that was another reason to get rid of that closet. Don't worry, we have tons of closet space.

Mr. C started with taking out the railing to put wood on the stairs. That was a big job! I was able to lay wood everywhere else, but I didn't have the patience to even attempt this! (Not to mention, he didn't trust my patience with it as well.)

Home Depot has banisters, railing and the big posts in pine, oak and metal. We went with the pine because I didn't want the wood grain and I wanted the stain to really show up. After staining and sealing the wood parts, Craig got to work on the spindles. We were so happy to see this go up finally about a year after we moved in. The railing came out the week we got the keys, so the top floor was off limits to the kids.

The most difficult part of this project was getting the angle correct on the banister. The top set of stairs was not built to code and they are not quite as tall as a normal step so the angle on the banister is different then standard. I think Mr. C had to buy a new railing and post because of mess ups. He felt like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Day. From what I remember he woke up, tripped on a hole in his jeans, pealed his toe nail off, cut the railing too short, realized the post was cut too short and a lot in between. I wish I could remember it all because it was quite comical.

Here is the finished stairs. Wood with white risers, no more door at the top of the stairs and new railing. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I love Mr. C's suggestion of the white risers. They do get dirty, but they are not hard to clean or touch up with a little white paint.

By the way, this too is a project that is incomplete. You can barley tell, but at the bottom of the top section of stairs there are 2 spindles missing. Your guess is as good as mine for when it will get finished.

Just some more views. This picture you can see the pattern of spindles we choose.

Now we are safe on our stairs again.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Exterior Before & After

This one is a lot of pictures! Going through all of them, I didn't realize how much work just the outside was. 

Here is the front of the house before... 

Here it is after, yes, the grass IS dead again. It wasn't though until we stopped watering the front this summer. CA is in such an awful drought that we can only water Tuesdays and Sundays. We decided not to water the front at all because our pool uses a lot of water. We kept with the watering schedule in the back because that is where the kids and dog play. If we are out front, the kids play in the street. 

Here is the back yard before...

All the cracks on the back of the house and the pealing stucco...

Now the patio and back of the house after, the grass looks great because this was before the water rationing.

Yard before...

We ripped out the extremely short 4 foot fence to replace it with a taller one. During the 1 day we were without a fence I left to pick up the kids from school and came home to a car blocking my driveway. Since, I was on a bike, I couldn't block the car in. When I went to investigate, I hear a loud clunk and ran back to the front to find someone fleeing my yard. He was in the process of stealing our saw! At least he dropped it when he heard me looking around. We had been doing so much work that people had been watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity. It was a work truck from the guys that were repaving the streets out front of our house.

More before of the back of the house.

Here is the back now. The grass has been in much better shape. We are just barley keeping it alive. Hopefully we will get lots of rain this year and we can have our grass back. Plus, it's full of dog toys all the time now.

Looking toward the pool before...


These next pictures are just the process. We couldn't decide between blue or green for the exterior. I love both colors but we ended up with green because it is less common.

The blue was pretty too.

Next decision, brown beams like the inside or white? We went with white.

It's always nice when the kids willingly help. They like to paint.

They actually helped a lot on this project. C stopped earlier then L. L loves to paint anything.

We were going to get all new exterior lights until I though, they might turn out nice with a little spray paint.

Painting them saved us a ton and they look great!

More of the back after the stucco is all repaired and most of the paint is on. We had a lot of helpers painting, Craig's parents did huge portions of it and we had one of our good friends spent a weekend painting the back of the stucco.

The front just looks so much cleaner!

After all this, the though of ever moving again is overwhelming. I hope we never have to!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Little C's Room

Well, I am sharing another incomplete project. This one needs some decorating. Here was little C's room before we closed escrow over 3 years ago now.

It was a lovely purple with forest green carpet and black trim.

We picked a nice blue for his room that went well with the dark floors. But C always though his room was too dark. He wanted me to pain the whole thing over again. C loves to keep so much stuff out and he fills up his skate board shelves so much that you can't even tell what they are. It's so hard to let him have his own style. I want them to have some freedom in their rooms, but also keep it clean and within some bounds. The shelves and dresser are just something I have to let go of. 

I didn't really want to repaint the whole thing and I had wanted to do some stripes from the beginning.

So, I talked C into letting me add a really, really light blue color for the stripes.

It's always nice to have some help!

This Green Frog Tape is the best! If you use it, just make sure you press it on really well and take it off when the paint is still wet. You can either click on my link or buy it at any home improvement or paint store.

The stripes actually turned out really good! I was very happy, they ended up being straight and level.

Little C doesn't sleep very well in the morning when the sun comes up so I also made him some black out curtains for his room. He picked the fabric. The stripes actually did end up lightening up his room quite a bit. Little C is very happy with them and is willing to keep the blue paint for a while.

Remember, I mentioned the things C likes to keep out, well he apparently likes to hang things from his ceiling fan also.

Here is the final Before and After! What a difference, but the sad thing is, when I showed C these pictures together, he looked for a while and then said, "I like it purple better." and walked away.