house post alert: let there be light!

when i laid out the plans for the house, we didn’t want to waste precious window space on the bathrooms. first of all, they’re not very big. second of all, the windows are always awkwardly placed.

i recently went on a modern home tour with my friend, matt. and pretty much all of those houses had that problem. it would be a gorgeous bathroom with lots of natural light… but your neighbor could see you peeing or showering – basically being a creeper. look at this beautiful tub and say hi to your neighbors at the same time!

so, we did not put windows in the bathroom.

but  i still wanted to find a way to get natural light in there. welcome to the world of solar tubes, sometimes known as sun tunnels.

solatube example
image courtesy of lubbock skylight

you may be wondering, does it really bring in that much light? the answer is yes. and it’s a great quality light. so we installed one in each bathroom right above the shower/tub.

but, per the usual, there were challenges.

i planned on just getting the typical 10″ ones you can purchase at home depot. however, you’ll notice that it looks like it goes for a sloped roof. we don’t have a sloped roof. so, those easy-to-install kits were not gonna fly.

so, we ended up with 14″ commercial-grade tunnels, complete with a larger chunk of change out of our pockets. and then our contractor informed us that the installation was going to take even more out of our pockets – not a shock. i knew when glancing through the installation instructions that it was going to be an increase, but that doesn’t mean it felt good.

and there's light!
and there’s light!

it does actually look like there’s a light on in the bathroom. if there’s any light outside, even at sunrise, you really don’t need to turn a light on.

little bit better of a pic of the master shower
little bit better of a pic of the master shower – minus the blurriness
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and the the guest bathroom – a noncreepy shower/bath awaits your visit!

when you (yes -you!) come to visit, you’ll get to enjoy some lovely daylight-lit showers and/or baths. what are you waiting for? maybe for kelly to move out? good news! that’s happening literally as i type! when she gets settled, i’ll take pictures of her new place – just renovated as well. or you can visit and see this all for yourselves.


house post alert: the back door

the ugly back door including cat door!
the ugly back door including cat door!

when i laid out the plan, i knew the door needed to be moved. the kitchen was tiny with the current location.

so, i started looking for doors. i had already selected the front door, but they didn’t have the exact door i needed at the price i wanted. so i found this company – ETO Doors. they seemed decent. and they had the door i wanted – this door. it was simple and the lead time was minimal. so, i ordered it – or i attempted to. it took them a while for them to even acknowledge my order. that should’ve been a hint.

then, i place my order. my credit card is charged, but i don’t get any sort of receipt. i have to email them to get a receipt.

finally i get a receipt and an idea of shipment. that one week lead time? try slightly over two weeks – a monday. not the end of the world, but irritating. why would they say a week lead time when it’s not really?

so then my shipment date comes and goes. no communication from them. i call and email. no response. i call again and finally get someone on the phone. he says he’ll find out and call. no return call. ugh. this is wednesday after the supposed ship date of monday.

i finally get someone on the phone and make her check my order. funny enough, it’s packed and ready to go, but she just doesn’t have any idea why it hasn’t been shipped yet? she promises to see about it getting out.

well, it did finally get out, but not until the monday after. so that conversation from the previous week? they did nothing from that. absolutely nothing. so the one week lead time ended up being three weeks. great.

see the exhaust fan? location of the old door.
see the exhaust fan? location of the old door.

after all of that, i started doing more research on the company. turns out i wasn’t the only one with problems. and luckily, my problems were fairly minor. many people ended up with doors that didn’t fit or were damaged. my door was fine – once it finally arrived.

the only thing that i’m kicking myself for is the height of the door. notice it’s not the same height as the window next to it? yeah… should’ve gone with a slightly bigger door.

and here's the door - with such a handsome model
and here’s the door – with such a handsome model

at least the door lets in a lot of light. it really makes a difference in the kitchen.

house post alert: curb appeal?

nick and i recently went to a neighborhood gathering to get to know some peeps! it’s always interesting to try to explain where we live. we are part of the neighborhood, but are tucked away. half the people didn’t even know the street existed. if they do know the street, they have no idea where our house is. so, conversations often go like this…

new neighbor: “hm… i don’t know your street… oh wait! does [so and so] live on your street?”

me: “yes, they do! okay, do you know the zen house next to them? beautiful landscaping? very calming prescence?”

new neighbor: “oh yes! that house is really cool. wait, is that your house?”

me: “no, we’re the ugly white box next door to it.”

invariably, they have no idea what house we’re talking about by the time we get to our own. i guess that’s better than being remembered for a bad reason, right? either way, we are slowly working on changing the appearance. major changes will take a while. i think we both need a break from dealing with a construction zone. small things, however, are coming together! here’s what we’ve done:

  • Install new front door
  • Painted new front door
  • Installed new porch lights
  • Purchased a small table and chairs set

here’s what i’d like to do this summer – it’s not too ambitious of a list:

  • Install new address numbers
  • Install a new mail box
  • Lay out some plant/flower beds

and, as always, here’s some eye candy:

door from the inside - brings a lot of light in
door from the inside – brings a lot of light in
in daylight
in daylight
with the new lights
with the new lights
costco to the rescue. i think i spent more time researching these lights than anything else we put in the house.
costco to the rescue. i think i spent more time researching these lights than anything else we put in the house.

house post alert: painting

so, we’ve moved into the house – in fact, we moved in back in mid april. it was a hellish month. in fact, it wasn’t until this past weekend or so that i felt like the house wasn’t a disaster. needless to say, it’s been slow going. there are more posts to come regarding that.

for now, here’s the story of painting the house!

my father, expert painter, joined us for a weekend to paint. how did he get so lucky? we were supposed to get all of the priming completed beforehand. we were also supposed to paint the trim.

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looking towards the back of the house

notice the supposed to.

yeah. that didn’t happen. we got through priming all of the trim and some priming of the walls. no painting of the trim. what did help us is that the wood floors weren’t finished – so no worrying about drips to clean up. my dad was a huge help. he knew what he was doing (or at least pretended to) and we didn’t. i thought the trip went really well overall and we got a lot done.

well, not everyone else was on the same page.  i later heard from a little birdie that my dad was frustrated that we didn’t get more done – and i was mostly to blame. apparently i like to dine too much. my plan of hitting some decent restaurants took away from the ability to get painting completed.

i’ll take that blame. i’m cool with it. i will, however, not take all of the blame.

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veering off to the left

nick is going to get some as well. see the pieces of molding sitting in our living/dining room? nick painted those. good job nick.

too bad it took him an HOUR AND A HALF to paint them. nick is, quite possibly, the slowest painter on the planet. i should’ve known when he was being all methodical and perfectionist about the primer. yes, the primer that’s fully covered up by paint.

nick may very well have a different opinion and perhaps a redemption story when we got to lay down the final coat of paint. he doesn’t post on this blog, though, so we’ll see if you get to hear it.

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then finally rotating back towards the front of the house

no pictures of the master bedroom yet. that’s for a different post. here’s pictures though of the second bedroom and bathroom paint colors. if you attended our wedding, you’ll notice the similar color schemes. yes, i based our walls on our wedding decor – the colors my mom originally scoffed at. then all of these stores embraced the same colors last spring/summer. i am just so stylish and trendy.

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second bedroom accent wall
bathroom alcove that looks much less creepy in person
bathroom alcove that looks much less creepy in person

paint colors (is it bad i know these from memory?):

  • trim and cabinets – sherwin williams ice cube
  • main space – behr little dipper
  • master bedroom accent wall/front door – custom color
  • bathrooms/second bedroom accent wall – behr balmy seas
  • rest of second bedroom – behr ice cube