Friday, April 29, 2011

Built-in around Fireplace in Basement

Not much activity the past couple days.  The small basment windows were closed up with cement blocks yesterday.  No one came to work today.  I did get some drawings of the built-in we will have around the fireplace.  The TV will be mounted on the top.  Some of the brick will be covered up across the top, but the brick on the bottom will be exposed.  What do you think?

We went to the Minnesota Twins game last night.  We were happy to have nice weather, but the Twins lost.  We have the school carnival tonight and I will painting lots of faces.  Tomorrow we have Maddie's birthday party at the YMCA!  Calvin plays in 2 lacrosse games tomorrow and on Sunday he and Chris are going turkey hunting.  Alison has a softball scrimmage on Sunday.  Our weekend is packed full of activities.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Drawings of the New Kitchen Cabinets...Courtesy of Lakeside Cabinet Shop

I received the drawings for the new kitchen from the Lakeside Cabinets and decided to post them on the blog, so you get an idea of what the kitchen will look like.  I am having trouble opening or printing the drawings, so I took pictures (without the flash) from my computer screen.  Hopefully you will be able conceptualize how the new space will look.

More Framing, Poured Cement, Initial Inspection and Some Lighting/Electrical Work

I ended up ordering the vent hood insert for the kitchen.  I went with a 36" Vent-A-Hood 300CFM model.
It will be ready to pick up tomorrow.  I guess it has 2 speeds and the highest fan speed is 300CFM which will meet my venting needs.

More framing was done today, around ductwork and pipes.  The inspector came and everything looks good so far.  The plumber noticed an issue with the drain near the bar.  We need to have a septic guy come out to clear the line or determine where the issue is.  Apparently, they tried to pressurize the lines and there was a leak which is not a good indication.  Hopefully the fix is something easy and simple because we can't afford to have it cost too much.  Cement was poured to cover up most holes.  They still need to add a bit more cement to level out the spots.  Electricians stayed pretty late working on installing the canned lighting.  Looking good so far...

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well, they started the framing today.  The walls to the bathroom, utility room, bedroom and storage room/closet are all framed up.  They also formed the opening in the stairway walls.  I guess they will be pouring the cement after framing (who knew?).  I think the HVAC contractor will be coming this week too. 

I have a little dilemma...I am looking to order an hood insert for above the gas cooktop.  I talked to the rep at vent-a-hood and she suggested that we need the 600 CFM (dual speed) 42" version.  Our cooktop is 36", but she said we need a little overlap.  If I go with the 600 CFM version, I will need to replace the air to the HVAC unit.  If I go with the 300CFM (single speed) version, they don't think I will be satisfied with the hood.  Both units are close in price, so that doesn't really impact the decision.  I also need to know if I should go with stainless or a grey metallic painted surface.  Remember this is on the inside of the wood hood that will be built around it.  The size is the same on both units.  The rep at vent-a-hood said that code in Maple Grove may allow us to just have fresh air to the HVAC, but if we need a fresh air unit, it is added cost, so you can heat the air before it comes inside.  I don't really know much about this, but I would love to know if anyone has ideas.  I am not in a huge rush to order the hood, but in the next week, it would be great.  The rep said that if I am doing a lot of frying (3 burners full), then I would like to have the 600CFM unit.  HELLLP!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Appliance Selection

I have labored over my appliance selections and finalized my decisions today.  I selected Jenn Air appliances for the kitchen (dishwasher, double oven, built in refrigerator, drawer style microwave, and gas cooktop) and a Kitchenaid refrigerator and Whirlpool microwave for the basement bar area.  I still need to pick out an hood insert for the kitchen.  Here are my selections, if you are interested:
Jenn-Air 36” Gas Cooktop JGC1536ADS
24” Jenn-Air Under Counter Microwave Oven Drawer Design JMD2124WS
Jenn-Air TriFecta Dishwasher (panel ready/custom overlay version) JDB3600AWX
Jenn-Air 48” Fully Integrated Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator (Panel ready)  JS48NXFXDW
Door Handles for Refrigerator W10250640
Jenn-Air 30” Double Wall Oven with Multimode Convection JJW2830WS
Kitchenaid 24.5 cu ft Architect Series II Side by Side Refrigerator KSCS25MVMS
Kitchenaid Counter-Depth | French Door | 19.8 cu. ft. | 35 5/8" Width | Architect® Series II Refrigerator

Whirlpool 1.5 cu ft Countertop Microwave Oven MT4155SPS


Here are the basement and kitchen plans.  I think you should get an idea of what the space will look like. 
Basement:  Currently unfinished, will have a family room/game room/bar area, bathroom, bedroom, storage room and utility room.  Close up small basement windows, install new bedroom window (need to meet code). 
Kitchen:  Knock out wall between kitchen and dining room, expand kitchen into dining room, make the opening between the kitchen and living room larger, add center island, all new appliances, 2 new windows.  Install new lockers and command center into laundry room/mud room (entrance from garage).

Laid pipes, removed old sheetrock, installed new water heater

The plumbers took timeyesterday to lay all the drain pipes.  They need one for the shower, the toilet, the sink and they need plumbing to get upstairs for the new kitchen sink.  Other activities that happened yesterday include removing sheetrock from the outside (south) wall of the basement and replacing our water heater from 40 gallons to a 50 gallon version.  You can see all the studs in the pictures.  This outside wall is going to get spray insulation throughout.  I understand that spray insulation makes sure to keep critters and mice out of the basement.

Last night, I went to Sherwin Williams to try out some stain.  I guess Sherwin Williams will stain any surface for you...for free.  I brought in a maple board and they let me try many, many stain colors, so I can bring the sample board home and decide what shade looks the best.  The cupboards will be made out of maple and the wood will be conditioned, so the stain will be applied evenly and smooth.  Sometimes with maple, the wood stain makes the cupboards blotchy or dirty, so I want to make sure that doesn't happen. 

I am going to try and figure out how to post our plans.  Although they may be sketchy, you will get the idea of what our plans for the new layout will be.  I will also try to post how the cupboards will look too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Jack-Hammering to move drains and pipes

Today there was a lot of jack-hammering in preparation for moving the pipes and drains.  There is a drain located where the hallway will be to the bedroom and the rest of the drain/pipes need to be moved for the bathroom.  Also the utility sink is removed, so they need to cap off that drain, too.  Lots of work done today.  I also see a big load of 2x4's were delivered and carried down to the family room.  Progress will seem slow at first, but a lot of planning goes into remodeling and everything has to be "just right" to continue.

The contractor for our remodel project is Mitch Johnsen from Shoreline Builders  He is a local contractor that was referred to us by our neighbors.  We are excited to work with Mitch and his crew throughout the project.  The cabinets and built-ins will be made by Lakeside Cabinets in Nowthen, MN  Adam has already measured everything for the kitchen cabinets, the built-in in the family room, the lockers for the laundry area, the vanity in the bathroom and the bar area.  They are anxiously awaiting our wood and style selection for the cabinets.  This needs to be finalized before the begin construction of the cabinets.  We are planning to go with maple cupboards throughout.  It will have a medium colored stain and the oak floors will lightly stained, but very close to natural.

Here are a couple pictures of today's updates:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Basement BEFORE Pictures

We have officially started to embark on our remodel project.  The contractor showed up at 7:30am today.  We are starting with the basement, since some of the plumbing needs to be moved, re-routed, etc.  They started today by jack-hammering the cement floor, so the plumbing can moved into the bathroom location.  Chris went downstairs at 1:00pm to see the progress and they asked him if they woke him up.  He responded by saying, "he hasn't fallen asleep yet."  He said the jack-hammer was very loud.  He didn't hear them pulling down the walls from the storage closet, but he did hear the jack-hammer.  The plumber said that usually the cement in older houses can be easily impacted with a hammer, but our cement is rock solid, therefore it takes a long time to jack-hammer.

I am posting a bunch of "before" photos, so you have a good idea of what we had to start with.  In a couple weeks, we will be starting on the kitchen.  For now, we are ready for the basement remodel to begin!