Fascia decisions

Project Roof: Roof completed

Before refinancing the house, we have a list of projects we want completed. Obviously, the prison bath and bedroom closet projects need to be completed, but we have also have scheduled our house to be painted. You may recall that we ran out of time to paint the fascia after the roof was put in. It was too wet and honestly Nate and I were too tired to even consider taking it on ourselves.

At first, we were just going to contract our fascia and soffits to be painted, but the quote for having the whole house done was not that much more money, so we decided to get to just get the whole house done.

Front of the House

We are sticking with our same celery green, white and grey color combination. Last time around, we painted the fascia grey, but we are now contemplating painting them white to make them pop against the green walls.

Here’s a Photoshop representation of the two choices.

Fascia painted white

I really like the white, but am worried it is going to become stained over time.

Fascia painted grey

The grey isn’t bad, but it certainly doesn’t pop like the white.

So which one should I go with? The conservative grey option or just throw caution to the wind and select the white?

Painting isn’t going to happen for at least a couple of weeks so I have some time to make a final decision.

I also need to prune our fruit trees and flower beds before it starts which means harvesting all my kumquat and lemons. Expect some Instagram photos of the process, especially the fruit juicing stage which is a time suck but totally worth it. I am hoping to get it done this week to be done with it.

Building a Bedroom Closet: Part 2

Building a Closet: Part 2

With the closet framed, we were ready to bust through the bedroom wall and start working on the inside.

Of course nothing is simple on a build connected to an existing structure. You never know what you will find in the wall.

Building a Closet: Part 2

In our case, we had to deal with an electrical line running through the wall. We decided that we would have to move the wiring above the closet frame.

Finishing the back wall of the closet

But first, we finished the back wall of the closet since we could access it from the bedroom. We recycled the insulation from the just-removed wall and stapled it into the framing. Then covered the wall with a sheet of particle board that I would prime and paint later.

Dealing with the electrical line through the closet

Next, we moved inside to deal with the electrical line running right through the wall.


After turning off the power, the line was cut so we could extend it up and around the closet.


Our plan was to add an electrical box on either side (see the holes in the drywall) to hold the wires we were splitting.


It took a little work to get the wires up and over the closet doors. We drilled holes through the 2x4s above the door and then had to maneuver the wires down the walls through many different hidden obstacles.


We ended up cutting a series of holes in the wall to pull the electrical wire down. Then the wires were attached in each box.


Once we are done with the all the structural elements we will install blank face plates to cover the boxes. Next we deal with framing the opening, adding support and getting the closet track installed.

Building a Bedroom Closet: Part 1

Building a Closet: Part 1

The last few weekends, Nate and I have been in full DIY mode. He’s been working on consolidating our office stuff while I’ve been working with my Dad on our closet build. Since I am pregnant I am not doing anything strenuous, but I am trying to assist as much as possible.


The first thing we did was head to Home Depot and buy all our supplies for the first part of the build. This included all the 2x4s for framing, plywood and drywall. It was a little comical trying to help my Dad load everything on the cart. Luckily a crew member stepped in to help load it all in the minivan.

Building a closet: framing

The new closet is taking out about 3′ of the shed. Oddly enough, the barn doors of the shed do not go the full width, but end about 3′ from the right side where a regular door was placed. So we removed the old door to make way for our closet framing.


We also removed the siding to reuse on the outside of the closet. Carefully removing materials take a lot more time than you would think. We ended up cutting the piece of siding out to avoid breaking it.


The shed is about 3 1/2″ lower than the bedroom floor, so we build a frame using treated 2x4s to raise the height of the closet.


We attached the frame to the concrete floor using anchor screws. This was the first time we got to use our new hammer drill (thanks Josh) and let me just say those screws went in like butter.


With a secure base, the walls of the frame were built.


And then my Dad added a sloped roof to avoid any water that may come through the old shed roof (we didn’t replace this with the rest of the roof).


Then the siding was reattached to the outside of the frame.


And the walls and ceiling were insulated. I have to say the siding on the outside looks so much better than the old door that used to be there. Once it’s painted, it’s going to look like it’s original.

The first part of the project went really well. Of course you never know what obstacles you will face during a DIY project. Our biggest setbacks were just scheduling the time. Dad’s been very awesome to come over on the weekends, but he did do a bit of the work on a weekday to catch up on time we missed due to illness.

Next up, we will cut the hole into the bedroom, finish the outside of the closet and deal with a pesky electrical line running through the wall.

Adding a Bedroom Closet


This weekend our bedroom finally gets a new closet. It’s been about five years since Bath Crashers took our old one away to make room for our amazing new bathroom. It was an easy trade back then, but I am really excited to have one back in the room now with the baby coming.

My dad is helping me with this project since Nate will be working on the Prison Bath and Nursery. Last weekend, Dad emailed me our plan of attack and since he is so sweet for taking this on with me I wanted to share it today.

The Construction Plan


The new closet will sit in our shed that is on the opposite side of the bedroom wall. Eventually we plan to take over the shed completely with a walk-in closet that can also be a place for extra storage and a little office nook. But that’s down the line – this weekend we are just building your standard size closet with sliding doors.

I have a three day weekend (thanks President’s Day!) to get started but we still have a lot to accomplish in that time period (and probably many more weekends to go until it’s finished).

  1. Frame back, side walls & bottom (both treated & untreated)
  2. Remove house siding from inside closet space (in shed) & install on back wall
  3. Insulate back wall
  4. Insulate floor & install floor board
  5. Insulate end wall & install end siding
  6. Remove bedroom wall sheetrock, 2×4’s & frame closet opening to sliding door specs
  7. Sheetrock back and sides of closet
  8. Install clothes rod & shelf
  9. Install sliding door
  10. Tape, plaster & paint closet

We will frame out the closet and insulate it before cutting into the bedroom wall. This let’s me keep my bedroom intact for as long as possible.


Here’s the framing from the front (bedroom side).


Framing from the back (shed side).


The frame for the side and bottom of the closet.


Although ugly, we plan on installing these contractor grade steel sliding doors. For temporary doors, we wanted something well made, but inexpensive. These doors fit the bill.

Material List

  • Treated 2x4s – 1 -2×4 x10′ & 2 – 2×4 x8′
  • 14 – 2×4 x8′
  • 2 – 2”x6” x 6′
  • Sheetrock 2 – 4′ x 8′
  • Insulation 50′ + of 16” R19
  • Use existing back siding
  • Need End siding – 3′ x 8′ plywood
  • Floor – 3′ x 5′ plywood
  • Sliding door – metal
  • Clothes rod & shelf

Why we are adding a closet now

We need a closet so we can get our house appraised to refinance plus the nursery is taking over mine in the office.

Bedrooms are not necessarily defined as having a closet, but if you have ever researched (like me) the issue, it’s a little confusing. Here’s what I have come up with. Older homes that were built without closets (example: early 1900’s) don’t necessarily need them in their bedrooms, but bedrooms that were build with closets should have one. Since our bedroom was built with a closet it seems smart to add one back in before the appraisal.

I’ll report back on progress next week. Weather should be in the late 60s to early 70s – perfect for an outdoor project!

State of the (Concrete) House 2015

State of the House 2015

Today I am going through my 2015 State of the House. It’s my version of State of the Union (or a Governor’s State of the State, Mayor’s State of the City…). It’s a way for me to give a quick snapshot of where we are in our home projects and the actual state of our house right now.

Top Home Projects of 2014

2014 was really about getting a new roof over our heads and updating our infrastructure. Even though we contracted the jobs out, we did a lot of little projects to help along the way. I also undertook a few smaller projects I am pretty proud including putting in a mulch side yard all by myself.

  1. Our new roof, updated electrical and plumbing
  2. Installing a ceiling in great room
  3. Mulching the back side yard
  4. Installing a drip system in the front beds
  5. Replacing all our screens in windows and skylights

What We are Looking at for 2015

Our main goal in 2015 to get our house in order so we can refinance and then prepare for our first child in June. Many of the projects we are undertaking will be focused on the first part of the year before baby comes. We have no idea what time we will have for home project after we are new parents, so we’ll take the second part of the year slowly to feel that out.

  1. Finish prison bath
  2. Add closet to master bedroom
  3. Paint fascia and trim on roof
  4. Converting my office into the nursery
  5. Refinish dining chairs

So you could say we have a few things on our plate! I’m excited though. We have a great plan for the bathroom which I will go over in the coming weeks. Plus, I’m going to tackle the closet install with my Dad (who I love doing projects with). And of course, I have a few more goals that are on my “if I have time” list like finish the drip system install in the backyard. Hopefully I’ll feel good enough to accomplish them, but we will see. I imagine crawling around installing drip lines 7 or 8 months pregnant may not be the easiest or wisest move.

Video Walk-through

I love the video format for this post because it gives a real definitive record of how our house looks at this moment. In fact I took this video today to be as authentic as possible. Nothing else captures those little details like a video walk-through.

For a comparison, you can watch the last State of the House I did in 2012.