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The Home Improvement Thread

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Replies to: The Home Improvement Thread

  • busyparentbusyparent 1024 replies44 threads Senior Member
    We have so many projects in our house. We have neglected upkeep. A big one is a damp and moldy (not the black kind) crawl space. I got 3 bids and they ranged 18-30k ( big area)! Wow. I prefer to move but house is convenient to work and spouse wants to stay. Anyone done a project like this?
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  • kjofkwkjofkw 809 replies95 threads Member
    I love white cabinets, which are still 'in style' at least for awhile. BUT, anything white in our house doesn't seem to stay white. Our white smoke detectors are now tan; our white curtain rods are beige; our 'white' walls are anything but ;-) Think we'll consider a light wood. I assume grey will only last about 5 more years as well.
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  • emilybeeemilybee 13242 replies35 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    I love my natural maple cabinets - they are European design style. Kitchen is 9 years old and they look brand new and not dated at all, imo. My kitchen opens into our family room which has "cozy earthtone colors, so neither white nor gray would have looked good. IMO, in about 10 years people are going to walk into all these gray houses and say so 2010's and needs to be ripped out.
    edited July 2017
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22891 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I highly recommend the Laurel Bern blog for paint color suggestions. I'm not sure whether it is considered a "private" blog, so I won't link to it, but you can find it easily by googling.
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  • coralbrookcoralbrook 7916 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Following along!
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  • psychmommapsychmomma 3169 replies47 threads Senior Member
    We need to have our paver patio steps redone. Pavers removed, base leveled and pavers replaced. We've had the patio 10 years and the steps have areas that sank, but are hard to fix since the installers glued a lot of parts together. I dislike spending money on things that don't improve your home, but just bring it back to normal.
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  • coralbrookcoralbrook 7916 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    I had a ton of deferred maintenance on our exterior. Spent 3 weeks cleaning, scrubbing and re painting our outdoor living room. We have a built in BBQ with hood through the roof. Got the guys up on high ladders to scrub ship lap roof and it was gross, gross, gross from years of cooking on BBQ. New cushions and pillows and new handles on cabinets and brand new neutral outdoor carpet. Painted the whole thing in same dark taupe and cream color scheme. Sanded down and 4 coats of marine varnish on the mahogany side wall tops. I think I'm probably the only one that notices the difference....but it makes me so happy to go out there and spend time now because, $3,000 later, it feels clean:). Also resealed all the concrete hardscape around pool and walkways with wet look sealer, fixed sprinklers and new lighting. The solar outdoor lights are great.

    I'm helping a friend redecorate her house from earth tones/ rust color scheme to lighter and brighter. She needed me to come over and gently push her over the edge. Pulled all furniture out and we put paint samples on the walls. Went with Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige which is one of my 'go to' colors. Her walls were yellow and rust tones. Then all the beautiful trim was painted crisp white from a yellow based cream.

    Her old oak floors were a horrible yellow aged varnish and had worn spots. They sanded down and I created a custom stain color with Weathered Oak and a hint of grey stain to balance out the red tones from the Red Oak. World of difference when you walk into the house now.

    Now she is slowly removing out heavy dark furniture and replacing with light and happy pieces, while trying to keep her new beige brown sofas. We retiled the fireplace with a fun turquoise glass tile When I take her out for shopping....every piece we pick up (pillows, throw blankets, side tables) I ask her "does that make you feel happy?" Because that is what it is all about. Don't just settle....it has to make you happy to touch it, feel it, see it, like the new countertops some of you have installed.

    Also....beautiful new light fixtures everywhere are really making a difference
    edited July 2017
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39790 replies472 threads Senior Member
    @coralbrook - what kind of marine varnish do you recommend?
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18747 replies328 threads Senior Member
    "does that make you feel happy?" Because that is what it is all about. Don't just settle....it has to make you happy to touch it, feel it, see it, like the new countertops some of you have installed.

    Yes!! This is what I love about renovating and decorating!!
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  • missbwith2boysmissbwith2boys 582 replies22 threads Member
    We are doing two projects this summer. DH insisted that this is the year we do the foundation work on one corner of the house and I insisted that we enlarge and rebuild the hen house and coop area.

    The last 10 feet (width) of one side of our house is not on the original basement foundation. The first 25 feet length of that side is an old enclosed porch and the last 20 feet is in part of our master bedroom. The part under our master is strictly post and beam with no stem wall/sill board. It's been a mouse superhighway for years. He tore off the exterior skirting last weekend and pulled all the insulation and vapor barrier today. We will likely dig the footing trenches but have someone come in and quote the formwork and concrete/sidewalk. It'll probably be ready to go next week for quotes, so at least that's moving fast.

    At the same time, I'm having a fencing contractor come out and deal with the fence. The previous owner installed a dog run along the house - 40'x20'. We cut it in half so the chickens have a 20'x20' yard but one issue is that the fence goes to the house and we want the sidewalk to be accessible. So I need to have the fence opened up and reconfigured.

    Once that's done we can install new siding and paint the hen house. I'm hoping we can enlarge it this weekend (he originally gave them a porch but I'm having him enclose that so they have more interior space.) Last item before August is to build a completely enclosed outside area attached to the hen house within the fenced coop area to give them secure outdoor access for when we travel (to make pet sitting easier!)

    Over the winter, part of the enclosed porch will be turned into a master bedroom walk-in closet. There is already a wood floor in there. We have to remove two big windows and close off a door from the living room, but the porch room shares a wall with our master so opening up a door is quite easy. Insulation for that room will be needed, not to mention sheetrock.
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  • collage1collage1 1883 replies73 threads Senior Member
    @CT1417, our fireplace is a pretty standard, built in the '50s brick fireplace. We're demo'ing the hearth (has dark granite that was put over brick) and, as mentioned previously, will have tile on the accent wall on which the fireplace is located.

    If you're curious about this type of project, I'd measure the dimensions of the open space of your current fireplace and stop in a fireplace store--around here there are many. They will let you know your options in terms of what will fit in your current space. We were told we could do more demo and have more options but we weren't interested. Then you need to have a gas line as well as electrical (if you want a fan which was recommended) run to the area. With the add ons of a special trim, the fan, rocks, building a platform on which to put the insert, installation, etc., it will cost a little under $5,000. This doesn't include redoing the wall with new tile, demo'ing our hearth, adding a new mantle, etc.

    One last note, I went to several fireplace insert shops and the prices varied pretty dramatically. Also, some manufacturers prominently display their name on the front plate which eliminated some places that only carried those manufacturers immediately.

    With regard to windex and granite/quartizite: our fabricator's 1st choice for cleaning is Windex without ammonia. Does exist; you just have to look for it. Bought some and it's fine. I'll use it up but I always liked granite gold and will likely go back to that.
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  • bookwormbookworm 9108 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Collage, I think I've every white shade of BM. The interior of my current house is Cameo, which is warmer than Linen. My office is linen. I had 5 samples painted around my house, but the toasted almond was my painters choice. It's darker than the prior Sahara, but both look nice with the brown trim around Windows, door, garage door. My neighbor's house has less Windows, and they have white trim, so painter used a darker tan for the contrast.

    I've made good use of all the sample jars. I've repainted bookcase, furniture, and even my bathroom cabinets. They were off white, but I never thought they matched the quartz countertops. So I chose one of the samples to redo.

    I also used quartzite in my kitchen, white background with tan and grey. I looked in vain for Black Fantasy, but just not available. On HGTV, they use whitish quartz most of the time.

    Newest project is redoing blinds. I got a new bed and bedspread for guest room, so now will repaint the accent wall. BM stores have a display of winning colors for the year. I gave the brochure to my g/f when she was moving her office. She chose 2 of the beige/grey colors, and it came out great. There was a light blue/gray which I think would work great in my bedroom.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39790 replies472 threads Senior Member
    I played with BM coloring tool. I think I will go radical: BM Windmill Wings color looks good with brown windows and cream trim. B-) Something about blue houses makes me happy.
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  • CT1417CT1417 4435 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I had my entire house repainted more than a year ago, using all BM colors, and some I mixed on my own. I think I used 14 different colors, when you include trim, hallways, wall unit, and rooms on three floors. I shudder to think of how much money I spent on sample pints and then quarts when I was playing with custom blends. The easiest was just copying a friend's choice, which only required borrowing her shelf for the color match!
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  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 4225 replies82 threads Senior Member
    Actuallly, windex is on the list of things to use for Silestone Quartz "Silestone’s Quartz Maintenance

    For Silestone Quartz with a polished finish, we recommend you use a mild household cleaner, such as 409®, Fantastik®, Lysol®, or Windex®. In case of stubborn spills or stains, soak the area for up to 10 minutes with one of the above cleaners and vigorously wipe away with a non scratch Scotch Brite® pad."

    Other quartz may have different instructions so always follow manufacturer's recommendations.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18747 replies328 threads Senior Member
    Wow, @sherpa, that sounds like a fantastic project. Are you going to live in it, or sell it?
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 39790 replies472 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    None of those cleaners are recommended for Cambria. They are on the NoNo list. Soap and water are cheap! And I already tested it with someone spilling tomato paste on it and leaving it sitting... Worked great for cleanup.
    edited July 2017
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  • sherpasherpa 4820 replies96 threads Senior Member
    @VeryHappy - Definitely going to live there. We've already moved in and we close on the sale of our Park City house in two weeks.

    You may have the username, but I too am VeryHappy.
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  • CT1417CT1417 4435 replies24 threads Senior Member
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