Small Projects

The new exterior light on the corner of the workshop.

Today finally felt like a normal Sunday. It has been crazy busy her over the past couple of weeks, between my work travel, hurricane Sandy, and holidays. Today we had nothing planned save a few errands to run before lunch.

I decided to take an easy day. I had no major house projects to work on, so I decided to finish up a few small projects around the shop.

The first project was to replace the spotlight on the corner of the workshop.  I had installed a motion sensor light several years ago, and it no longer worked. I decided to use one of the RAB lights I had left over from the garage and put it on a timer.  I picked up a dusk to dawn timer switch. The timer adjusts for sunrise/sunset and will turn the lights on at dusk and off at a fixed time, and back on in the early morning until dawn.

The second afternoon project was to work on the door to the second floor of the workshop. I have a kerosene heater for the workshop, but without a doorway to the second floor, all the heat escapes from the first floor workshop. I still have a little more work to do on the door, but it is getting closer. I pulled one of the antique doors that had been in the workshop loft. I’m not sure I like the painted door in the middle of unpainted plywood. Maybe next summer I will paint the plywood walls.

The new door to the second floor of the workshop.

A Thanksgiving Day Hike

Will, Ben and Papa taking a break on our hike

The weather this week has been nearly perfect. It has been (maybe) a little cool in the mornings, but the days have been wonderful. We took the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather and did a hike behind the house on Thanksgiving morning. My dad was visiting for the week, so we got to enjoy the woods with him.

We took a little detour from the normal loop that we hike, and took a closer look at some of the abandoned hospital buildings that are adjacent to the trails we hike.

We enjoyed a turkey dinner (thanks to the Sawyer Farm for the turkey – it was wonderful), and Susanna even ate a few bites of the Thanksgiving turkey. Will was quick to point out that the turkey is the only thing on our table that was on the tables at the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving dinner in 1621, but we enjoyed our meal nonetheless.

Taking a break for a photo on our hike

A Kitchen Question

The stove moved to its new location.

Yesterday I moved the outlet for the stove from the floor under the window to the wall that we had installed to cover the door. Susanna added curtains to the window.

The plan for the kitchen redo (this time) was to limit the cost and scope of the work.  We aren’t replacing the cabinets (just repainting them) or moving major appliances (other than the stove). We aren’t replacing the floor.  All of which will need to be done when we finally get around to doing a proper remodel of the kitchen in a couple of years. We are trying to make the kitchen more usable in the meantime.

The space between the end of the counter and the wall is 54-inches.  The stove will take up 30 of those inches.  We have been talking about filling up the remaining 24-inches with cabinets/counters.

The problems:
– We can’t match the existing countertop or cabinets – so it will be obvious that it was added.
– Any counter/cabinet we put to the left of the stove will only be 15-16″ deep (not the normal 24″ deep) because of the window location.

Our thoughts:
– Originally we pushed the stove all the way to the right, which would leave 24″ for a cabinet/counter to the left of the stove. It would be shallow, and the top wouldn’t match the counter to the right of the stove, but that would probably look fine.  The problem with that is that the stove is then 8″ from the sink, and that felt too close.
–  Our current thought is to do an even split of the space with the stove. I would purchase a 12″ wide cabinet to put to the right of the stove, and build a 12″ wide and 15″ deep cabinet to the left of the stove.  We will put upper cabinets in and a microwave over the stove.

Some questions:
– Will centering the stove make the most sense?
– What color should we make the countertops? I was going to make them out of white oak to match the (planned) island top.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kitchen Color Scheme

The new kitchen color scheme

When we decided to repaint the kitchen, we decided to pick paints from the Sherwin-Williams Victorian Color Palette®. The upper walls were painted with Empire Gold (SW0012). The lower walls were painted with Copper Pot (SW 7709). 

I wasn’t too sure on the colors when we looked at them in the can.  The bottom looked a little more orange than I had expected.  However, in the end, I think the colors are perfect for the room.  Now all we need is a better looking floor – but that is for another year.

A crazy month

I can’t believe that it had been nearly a month between posts. It has been a busy month. After my last post, I had to travel for a weekend for work. I had one weekend after my trip before hurricane Sandy came through. I had computer problems that were finally fixed by a fresh OS install this week.

I am still in disbelief about how quickly we painted the kitchen. I typically have problems finishing projects, so it was very nice to have Susanna there pushing me to finish things. I haven’t had a lot of time in the workshop, and I still need to get a door installed to the second floor, so I can keep the heat on the first floor as the weather gets cold.

A picture from the road - doing a small boat transfer with Bob C.

Kitchen Improvements

The new kitchen colors - the door still needs to be stripped and refinished.

One of the (very many) discussions Susanna and I have about the house is how to renovate the kitchen. Properly renovating the kitchen is a big project. We need to decide how to allow for plumbing to get to the bathroom that we plan on adding upstairs. The kitchen needs new cabinets (which I would like to build), and we will have to modify the window that goes out to the sun porch (we want to remove the bottom half of the window so we can put a counter under the window.

I think we have agreed on a basic layout for the new kitchen – but we aren’t ready to start that big of a project this year. We probably won’t be ready for several more years. Which left us at a decision point. The walls are in pretty bad shape, and the color of the kitchen is pretty ugly.

Two weeks ago we talked about repainting the kitchen. We decided to do a quick refresh of the kitchen without doing any major renovations. Susanna and I agreed on colors and got to work 10 days ago.  We moved cabinets and a counter out of what had been the pantry and put it in the main kitchen. We knew we were going to lose some storage space in the pantry (we are making it the laundry room). During hurricane Sandy, we both had some extra time (2 days off of work for me, and all week off of school for her), so we made much quicker progress than I had anticipated.   Needless to say, we were not bored at all during the hurricane – even when we lost power for 4 1/2 days – we had a generator for light and water, and no power is a great excuse to eat out.

I moved the washer and dryer to their new locations in the former pantry.  Last weekend we removed the antique trim, and covered up the door to the pantry/laundry room. The entry to the laundry room will be from the mud room/entry area.  The plan will be to move the stove in front of the former doorway, and I will build shelves to go in the corner.

Once the kitchen is done, the next quick job is to redo the entry way/mud room. My dad will visit for the week of Thanksgiving. If we have time, hopefully we can make good progress on that space.  It is small (only 6′ x 8′), but needs the plaster replaced on two of the three walls as well as a new wall/doorway for the laundry room. I also picked up some used hickory flooring to replace the ugly glue down linoleum squares that are still there.

Kitchen painted with new drywall covering the old doorway to the pantry

The refresh on the kitchen should give us a couple of years before we need to complete the full remodel of the kitchen. The walls aren’t perfect (we just did a quick patch of the wall, no major repairs). The floor is still horrible. We may in the near future decide to replace the glue down linoleum squares with new linoleum squares – we would pick a little higher quality than the tiles that are currently installed. It would be a quick job, not nearly as big of a project as installing proper hardwood floors.