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The Home Improvement Thread

BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
edited July 2017 in Parent Cafe
It looks like a few of us have been busy with some home improvement project lately and scattered our DIY and contractor questions and comments in many different threads. Perhaps, it is time to reconcile all of that chatter under one roof -? Let's start a new thread. This is like Dressing Young for the house. :) Good idea? If not, ignore this!

Replies to: The Home Improvement Thread

  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,136 Senior Member
    Good idea.
  • runnersmomrunnersmom Registered User Posts: 2,167 Senior Member
    We are replacing our foyer floor starting next week. It's been a thorn in the side of my husband since we moved in 23 years ago and, of course, 3 weeks before we're throwing a large engagement party for our S, he's pulled the plug to get it done. We've ordered the tile and the tile guy we hired comes very highly recommended and promised a 7 day job...I can only hope he's right. My H always wanted a herringbone wood floor, but for many reasons we went with stone-like porcelain 12x24 tiles, set subway style. I wanted to do a refresh of the powder room, which I have always hated, but it's hard to justify the expense for something I just don't like, but is certainly functional and not falling apart.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    I am trying to decide what color to paint my new siding. The old siding was painted depressing "chocolate" (poop) brown. Good riddance! The windows are brown fiberglass. I am thinking keeping the trim brown. White trim looks nice but is a PITA when it comes to maintenance.
  • emilybeeemilybee Registered User Posts: 13,136 Senior Member
    My across the street neighbors have brown firm (window are also brown.) There house is a very light beige - one of the colors which is in the brick on the front of their house. I can take a picture if you'd like. Just pm me your email address.
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 8,809 Senior Member
    I like off white. BM's linen white has a touch of yellow in it. Th darkest I would go is Sherwood Williams Toasted Almond
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    Good ideas. Thanks! The siding came pre-primed in cream primer. I am getting used to it and kind of like it.
  • anomanderanomander Registered User Posts: 1,647 Senior Member
    @runnersmom Are you on a slab or wood? Large-format tiles have higher requirements in terms of support (rigidity in particular) if you have a wood subfloor, so make sure you discuss it with your tile guy if you haven't already.

    Regardless, 12x24 stone-look porcelain in a running-bond pattern (i.e. Subway) looks fantastic. I hope you can get it done in time!
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    @runnersmom - good luck! It can be done!

    Our kitchen countertops were torn out and replaced quickly. If we have not had a custom layout, we would have been done in 2 days. We are just waiting for custom backsplash that had to be mapped out separately, after the countertop install. But I can already use the kitchen without the backsplash - no issues.

    Speaking of parties, Mr. B really, really wanted to have a patio party, so I washed the entire deck (1000 sft plus!) and we assembled the grill and the firechat set to go on it in one day. I was tired as a dog, but the party was a success.
  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,887 Senior Member
    I am thinking of doing our kitchen counters Bunsenburner. What did you replace yours with and what costs?
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Registered User Posts: 4,165 Senior Member
    @anxiousmom we did ours last year with a great looking quartz. It has a swirling grey, taupe, beige pattern. It really looks like a marble but it is virtually indestructible. My husband cleans it with Windex :)
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    @anxiousmom - the cost will greatly depend on the project scope and the amount of labor needed. We needed 3 foot wide countertops and custom backsplash, so the cost was over the moon. We went with a company that contracts for Costco here, so that was still a good deal. I am absolutely in love with the material - it is quartz made by Cambria in Berwyn pattern. It has creamy greys and just a tiny touch of sparkle and looks amazingly good with the cream colored cabinets that came with the house. I was going to reface them because they were painted, but I think I will keep the painted doors now! :)


    The sinks are Blanco "white" - they are just a touch of grey and match the light grey in the pattern. The whole combo goes well with the stainless appliances.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,041 Senior Member
    I am 90% finished with repairing our detached garage. It's one of those things that certainly has very little return on investment, but I was tired of looking at the sway back roof covered with moss, the cedar shakes covered with green stuff, with the occasional one at the bottom falling off etc. etc. And there was a big enough hole where the hill had basically slid down and rotted things out that large animals could get in and camp out. It ended up more as a rebuild, underpinning the nonexistent foundations, replacing studs that turned out to be eaten away by termites, rebuilding the roof almost entirely. (Upper half had no underlayment, undersized rafters and missing cross ties. Also did I mention the driveway drained into the garage? Anyway it's all done except for a small concrete patio that is supposed to get slate, and a little bit of fence repair. And they said they'd help me replant my rain garden since they managed to kill about a third of the plants.

    While we had the contractors around I had them redo the backsplash behind our sink. I'd built my counters extra deep three years ago when we redid the kitchen and thought I could have the beadboard paneling there. It turned out we splash way too much, so it's now tile.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    Nooooo!!!! Tell your husband to lay off Windex! Ammonia is not good for quartz. Clean it with soap and water - that is all what's needed.
  • collage1collage1 Registered User Posts: 1,738 Senior Member
    Thanks for starting this thread, BB. We just replaced our kitchen countertops (quartzite) and I love them. They look a bit like carrara marble with white stone and gray veining. We had dark granite tile with grout and the lightness and lack of grout make me happy every time I walk into the kitchen. We also painted our wood cabinets a complimentary gray (BM trout gray). The next step is to redo the fireplace in the adjoining family room/great room. We're replacing our wood burning fireplace with an insert and replacing the previously matching dark granite tile with a beautiful 3 dimensional tile (erth coverings large strips in lava) and that should be done in about 3 weeks.

    Multiple additional home improvement projects to follow with a different contractor, the biggest of which is the addition of a deck to the family room/great room. I had posted on the Flip thread that I'd love to hear if anyone has any experience selecting a nano-type bi-fold door. Ours will be 18 feet across and I believe we've narrowed it down to La Cantina and Panoramic, both of which we're seeing over the next few days. I'm hosting Thanksgiving and our contractor just became available and, with a potential 8 week lead time to get the doors, I'm under pressure to select and order as soon as possible.

    And, in terms of color pairings, I think cream and brown look beautiful together although I'm sure identifying just the right cream could take some time. @bookworm, sounds like you have some expertise in this area.
  • collage1collage1 Registered User Posts: 1,738 Senior Member
    @anxiousmom, you asked about cost for replacing countertops. We needed 3 slabs of quartzite and, with fabrication, it came to under $10,000. There were little extras like needing to replace/upgrade all the outlets and covers and, as had been predicted, our disposal broke a few weeks after and we had to replace it. I think there was one other modest expense but can't recall what it was at the moment.
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