Archive for the ‘Family Room Renovation 2009’ Category

My favorite part of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is when they move the bus.  I mean, who doesn’t love the look of surprise on everyone’s faces?
Well, we had our own big reveal of our family room remodel at Thanksgiving.  We finished with just a couple days to spare.  It feels so good to be done with it!  So everyone yell with me “Move that bus!” and enjoy these before and after photos:

From the front door:

From the living room:

From the kitchen #1:

From the kitchen #2:

From the family room #1:

From the family room #2:

We absolutely love the new space!  I enjoy the extra light that comes through the opening.  I love that on Thanksgiving I could watch the Macy’s Day Parade while I was stuck in the kitchen cooking.  I love that Alex can be in the family room and I can cook and feel like we aren’t so separated.  We love it all!

At one point we thought we’d put french doors in.  Logistically, it wasn’t worth it (we would have had to move the door to the garage over to make it all work) and the cost didn’t make sense.  We knew we’d have the doors open 90% of the time too, we’d only close them to separate the dogs on occasion, so why bother?  Instead, I got smart and bought a gate (and one additional extension to fit it for our opening size).  It’s tension mounted, so we can take it down if we want for parties, but it’s great to keep the dogs out of the family room when we aren’t in there to supervise them.  I highly recommend this gate for anyone with dogs or kids.

 So that’s it!  No more drywall dust.  No more  shop-vac as a furniture piece in the family room.  And especially, no more painting or caulking.  Give us a couple months though, we’ll find a new project to tackle.  (Like, a new door to the garage, new white trim in the rest of the house, or new carpet in the family room since ours has a hole in it where a wall used to be and is a hideous blue… I haven’t thought about it at all though, can you tell?)

Don’t forget to check out how we got to the finish line:
Cutting the opening
Sanding, sanding and more sanding
Painting trim


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Alex cut and dry fit the trim.  It’s currently being painted.

We’re still aiming to get it done by Thanksgiving (T-Minus 7 Days).  We’re also hoping to clean the carpet in the family room and thinking about getting a pet gate at the new doorway to help preserve our soon-to-be-clean carpet.  We’ll see.

PS. The Home Depot guy was right.  The secret to a nice paint finish on trim is Flotral and the most expensive paint brush you can get (The Purdy).

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I finished sanding our family room doorway today!


I am so glad to be done and excited to prime and paint it.  Next up is a lot of dusting around our house.

See that spot under the platter that is shiny and dark? Yeah, that’s the clean part of the table. I’m so sick of this dust!

I’ve also been cutting fabric and started sewing a new quilt.


Alex has been busy too.  He finished all the pressure washing for the year.


We didn’t even realize just how dirty the deck really was.

Today – I voted (did you?) and Jack helped me make decisions.


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A recent blog comment from Jacci (who has a great blog about making her house a home) made me realize it had been quite a while since I mentioned our family room remodel… probably because we’d taken a bit of a break.  After the drywall was up it seemed livable so we enjoyed that for a while.

But, recent plans to host Thanksgiving at our house as encouraged us to get going again.  Alex mudded for a few days and then let me take over because he says I’m the professional (I mudded and sanded a house for a week with habitat for humanity.  Probably 8 years ago.  I’m totally a professional. Right.)  Each day this week I’ve worked on mudding and sanding.  I’ve quickly realized working on a remodel is tough, the new drywall doesn’t all lay flush with the 50-year-old drywall and it takes quite a while to get it looking smooth.  Lots of thin layers really is the key.

Go back here if you’d like to remind yourself what it looked like at my last update, almost 2 months ago.

Here it is tonight:


I think another day or two* and we’ll be ready for primer.  I can’t wait for the day that the shop vac and step stool aren’t family room furniture anymore.

*Okay, another day or two probably mean 2 weeks, because house project timelines always take at least 5 times as long as we think.

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the drywall!  Its no longer sitting in the garage.

Here’s the progress of the remodel:

Alex replaced the sub-floor to cover up the hole for the old air return.  Jack supervised.


Chica found a piece of duct tape that used to hold the carpet pad together. It became her toilet-paper-stuck-on-the-shoe curse for a while before we saved her.


The day ended with drywall up.  Lets not focus on the dented portion on the ceiling.  There was a bit of a mishap that included a scrape on Alex’s leg, a chair falling in the hole on the floor and a really banged up piece of drywall.  We’ll pull it back down and replace it before finishing it.


It’s starting to look less like a dump and more like a house again!

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Alex worked on the hole in the wall for a few hours today.

Demonstrating how the door will swing:

Thanks for keeping the house clean sweetie!



Our project supervisor:

Ugly flooring below the carpet #1:

Ugly flooring layer #2: (I especially like the gold flecks)

Not bad for how much work we’ve done

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