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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updates to kitchen and bathroom

We ran out of time so we hired contractors to start and finish the job. The contractor for the bathroom pulled a bit of a bait and switch. He was bidding on the project and bid a low price. However what he failed to mention was what was and was not included. Turns out putting the fixtures was extra. Are you kidding me? By the way did I mention he came highly referred from a friend? To his credit he does great work. The scary part is he did the bait and switch in the middle of the work so it felt like he was taking our bathroom hostage and we had no choice. So people out there looking for contractors be wary and get the details of what they are and aren't going to do. Try to get things in writing. Get multiple bids. Ask what some common things other contractors may do to bait and switch. More updates to come.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. As we were sanding and doing things what we started to realize is that there was lead in the paint so we stopped trying to do it on our own. Instead we decided to gut the place and replace things so we wouldn't have to worry about the lead paint in the future. Just an update on the den...we tore off the wallpaper and we are having a paint professional repaint the place to make sure the lead paint is all sealed in. You can see pictures of the den which used to be knotty wood paneling, now its all white and makes the room look a lot more spacious. Of course its only primer and it will be painted a different color. The den is now being converted to our dining room.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bigger pictures for lights

Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper is a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. A small room took me two days. You will need the following:

  • Spray bottle
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Razor Blade
  • Putty Knife
The process is to score the wallpaper, but you don't have to. The wallpaper needs to be sopping wet then you can remove the first layer of the wallpaper. Once that part is off you can spray more solution onto the remaining paper...this way removing the paper part a lot easier.

You can see the wall paper, then the yellow part is the remaining backing of the paper. You will essentially be taking of the exterior of the wall paper then the paper part.

To mix the solution you will need really hot water (2 parts) and laundry detergent (1 part). Its best to do this when the weather is cooler otherwise the solution will evaporate. To do this you will need to spray the solution onto the wallpaper, make sure you cover the outlets below and the ground because this will get sticky and messy. Once you let it sit for 10 minutes you should be able to use a razor to remove the outer layer. It will take several tries. Once you have it down to the bottom layer it will be much easier to remove. Continue to do this until its done. The wall will need patching so make sure you use some spackling to cover up holes and dents.

Mowing Your Lawn - The Old School Way

I was debating between  gas powered lawn mower and a hand reel mower. One is powered by gas, the other is a manual rotary blade. It is a small yard so it is the right choice for me. I can use it any time I want because its quiet. It doesn't pollute, nor does it require any gas. A good article about mowing is

I recently bought a hedge trimmer, hand reel mower and a leaf blower.

The mower I bought was Its not bad, but I kind of wish I spent the extra $20 for the greenworks one. I was struggling as to figure out whether or not to leave the clippings, but after reading several articles it seems ok to leave the clippings there... in fact its actually good for the grass.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Upgraded Lights

Kitchen with new switches done before patchwork by our Electrician Daniel Flores
Before recessed lighting we only had a single light

After he installed recessed lighting it changed the way the room looks

Den before and after with newly installed lights