12/20/08: Porch mostly totalled

I still have a bit of trim work to finish up on the porch (and hang one door) but for the most part the expenses are done.

What did it cost to tear down and rebuild my porch?


That's just materials. Imagine if I hadn't done all of the work myself! Average cost my research showed for having a contractor do the work was around $8000 plus the stone work.

In addition, I spent another $571 on tools this year (cordless drill, nailgun.) And another $97 fixing the electrical damage I did to the power line for my washer while reattaching a downspout. lol.

12/01/08: Working on the Dining Room

Well out of my "which project should I do next" post I've already tackled the Entertainment Center and Porch. Now I'm working on the Dining Room. That just leaves the upstairs bedroom. I know everyone voted for the bedroom first, but my daughter never could move out her stuff so I could redo the room, so it'll just have to wait until she goes off to college next year.

You may remember the before picture of the dining room:

Well I tried to remove wallpaper and paint, but the room didn't want to cooperate. Much like the upstairs bedroom I renovated back in 2005 it had seven or so layers of wallpaper and at least two layers of paint. I elected to just throw drywall up on top of it all. This time I didn't remove the trim first, and I think it was a very good decision both for time and look.

Here you can see the wallpaper layers peeled back. I've already removed the top layer or two of paper, and got down to the first layer of painted wallpaper, and behind that another layer of dark patterned wallpaper, and behind that a layer of green painted wallpaper that extended behind the trim.


We went with a rich gold color for the walls. I haven't painted the trim yet, but here it is now:


I hung 3/8" drywall directly over the wallpaper without removing the trim. Removing the trim would have taken an inordinate amount of time, not to mention probably destroyed half of it in the process. It wasn't hard to use joint compound right up to the edge of the trim, and since the trim is 7x1 boards, you don't even notice except in a few places where the wall is slightly warped and the trim isn't. Yay for old houses ;-)

10/22/08: The porch mostly done and decorated!

Click for a larger view...

Halloween Porch

Tony  Porch 

09/28/08: Got some ceiling hung

Today the kids and I hung three of the ceiling panels for the porch. It was a much bigger deal to do than I had hoped, but I think it's going to turn out just fine.

This also means I got to use my nail gun for real for the first time! It was certainly fun. I can't even imagine trying to install a wood panel ceiling without a nail gun. We'd probably still be on the first panel.

Tony  Porch 

09/26/08: WaMu, I Get The Last Laugh!

Some of you may recall my scathing review of Washington Mutual titled "How Washington Mutual Wants To Screw You".

Looks like I get the last laugh.

09/14/08: The Stone Work Is Underway

The stone work is underway, and it's turning out better than I had hoped. It's certainly more art than technical skill. Once I figured out the proper mix for the mortar things started going pretty smoothly.

I'm using "manufactured stone" which is basically concrete poured into forms and tinted. It's about half the weight and half the cost of real stone, and much easier to work with. No, I didn't get it from Lowe's - there's a local concrete supplier who got me everything I needed.

I found that mixing less than a gallon of mortar at a time was best, because my skill level is low so I'm slow at it and that keeps the mortar from getting dry.

Click the picture for a larger view:
49/365 I Hurt.  Really.

Tony  Porch