Creating kitchens and baths for finicky customers since 1993

backsplash features inset metal tiles for accent and texture

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our very own Extreme Garage Makeover

- or, oh how I wish I'd taken some "before" pictures!

Picture if you will, a garage, filled with the accumulation of over one year's gathering of "stuff." A garage so crowded with assorted useful debris that only a four-foot walkway remains. And picture yours truly, the homeowner, arriving at his castle after a hard day's work filled with dread at the prospect of seeing the sorry state of his own garage.

Most workdays I need to swap one set of tools for another, or find a place to park some materials for the next day's job or a future project. The degree of disorganization that greeted me each night had reach depressing proportions. Something had to be done. What better way to spend the first perfect day of summer's final weekend?

I drafted my eldest son for this overwhelming task. We started with a trip to Lowe's for supplies and picked up various sizes of potential shelving for our attack on garage clutter. I'd hoped to buy a new set of front-loading bins for our recyclables, but we couldn't find a single one there. Home Depot has them, but we were already at Lowe's and the clock was ticking on our workday. We paid for our shelving and drove home to dig in.

We began, of course, by dragging almost all the junk I'd stacked in the garage out into the driveway. This process filled the space of three large vehicles. Both of us uttered various sighs of concern at the size of the job ahead. It was hard to figure out where to begin.

In the end we discarded one extra trashcan, one large bookcase, two perfectly good porcelain sinks, one fishing pole, two very large boards, and an entire trash-tote full of assorted worthless junk. For about an hour there was actually room in our garage to park a normal-sized car (not our goal). We assessed our shelving purchases and set-up shop.

garage makeover adds new shelves and cabinats

In the pictures you can see the two new cabinet shelf pieces we created. The one on the right is for ceramic tile and related supplies. The one in the back left corner is for "other stuff" and isn't even close to full! We also moved the oak base cabinet seen on the left wall -- it used to be buried under the front workbench. We gained about twenty square feet of work surface and found good spaces for everything that wasn't headed to the dump.

workshop view of garage makeover and new cabinet

Will another year's pack-ratting result in the same gloomy situation that we just corrected? I hope not. My real goal is to make decisions about which items will actually get used, and which should be given away or trashed. Some of what's stored in our garage is slated for exisiting to-do list projects. At least now I know what we have and where it is. I just might check-off a couple more lines on that list after all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Using the vanity-stretcher to update a bathroom

white vanity grows 4 inches taller!
Remember back in the olden days, when we were all shorter? Ever get a kink in your back from bending over to use one of those too-low bathroom vanities? That was today's customer's problem, and I helped fix it without replacing her existing vanity.

With a couple hours' carpentry and less than $100 in materials, plus one new fancy vanity top, we've saved our customer's back and updated her bathroom dramatically in one quick makeover. Did you spot the fact that this vanity has been modified before your read this text?

I showed my wife this picture earlier, and she said, "that'll work fine for ours, too. When can you get that done?" (She smiled while she said it.) Seriously, though, it's a very handy and affordable bathroom trick! The second vantiy is shown below. That oak strip you see just beneath the new top was an ordinary hunk of oak from Home Depot, cut and stained on the job site.

oak vanity grows three inches taller

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Extreme Home Make-over day 2

Loading up trusses for new Extreme Home
Day Two for Extreme Home Make-over in Geneva. Work continues as the new Hill house takes shape. Orange shirts are crew members for the general contractor, and blue shirts are TV Network staff and volunteers.

The house is well underway, with trusses headed for the roof via on huge crane, and landscapers racing around filling in and fixing up. The crowd is bigger, too! Luckily for the work crew, the weather is as close to perfect as it gets in Western NY. They'll work three shifts through the nights, with caterers feeding 250 staffers at a seating, several times each day. Can you even imagine the logistics of this operation?
Extreme Makeover house takes shape
Click the title link above to view the complete Web Album from Google
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Extreme Make-over: Home Edition visits Geneva, NY

Extreme Home Makeover crane awaits orders
Geneva, NY: ABC's Extreme Make-over: Home Edition crew arrives to begin work on the Hill family's new home. During the five days left for construction following Wednesday morning's demolition, the team will draw from a pool of several thousand volunteers to complete a 3,200 square-foot home and 2,800 square-foot barn. The Reveal is set for Monday, August 25 at 2 pm, EDT.

Geneva sits at the head of Seneca Lake, in the Finger Lakes, just thirty-some miles south of our home in Fairport, so we raced over to join the crowds on Wednesday afternoon. The construction group has commandeered several homes surrounding the site, as well as a funeral home parking lot and a second city lot for staging vehicles and materials. Two city blocks are closed completely to traffic.

Extreme Home Makeover crowd near caterer's tent

Work began first on the outbuilding situated behind the new residence. We could see two or three tall walls behind the giant excavator that was scooping out the house's basement. We gathered with a few hundred other onlookers behind the famous barricades set up across the street from the work site. On the day of The Reveal, cameras will show the huge crowd occupying that same area, before panning to a shot of "the bus." After that, Ty Pennington will utter his famous line, "Bus driver, move that bus!"

Click the title link for all Day One pictures on Google.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We've been floored!

creepy old linoleum floor
What can you do with one of the most perfect weekends of the entire summer?

First you can work most of Saturday on an outdoor project (pictures coming soon). Then you can finish that project on Sunday morning. After that you can watch a bit of the NASCAR race (Carl Edwards swept the weekend), and then decide on a whim to go buy new laminate flooring for your kitchen. Yup, that's what we did.

There's no sense buying new flooring and then storing it in the garage, so we spent the evening installing it. Had my two best and favorite helpers along for the ride. We had fun, and transformed our ugly linoleum floor into a thing of beauty and luster in about five hours. See above for "before" and below for "after" pictures. We're so happy we finally got this done!

brand new laminate floor in cherry finish

That'll save about two thousand words...

PS: Want to see more pic's of our various home projects, and this year's "tropical" garden? Just click on the title of this article to navigate to more home photo's.