Friday, February 20, 2015

Basement Bathroom & 10 Month Review

Today is our  10 month review.  We had sent a small list of things to our PM of our items.  I thought it was a relatively small list.

1) Various nail pops & cracked drywall - expected
2) Some cracked caulking around the sinks and master shower - expected
3) Venting problem with microwave.  This winter our microwave has been exceptionally cold.  Like 36 degrees cold this morning.  That's refrigerator cold. The PM pointed out that the vent is on the west side of the house - since the wind blows from that direction we are fighting a losing battle. I get it.  They did do something to the damper so that hopefully its a little better.
4) Cold air coming from fireplace.  I understand this is going to happen as well. They took a quick look at it and taped some spots where cold air was  coming in, so it should be better.
5) Driveway cracks.  They'll fix this when it warms up (it's -3 degrees here today). It sounds like they should be able to just replace sections of it rather than the whole driveway, which is preferable.  We'll see how that goes.  That's really the only major thing.  

Overall I've been really pleased.  Our PM has been great.  A few weeks ago we had my son's 10th birthday party, a sleepover.  Have Mercy.  The kids were playing ping pong in the unfinished part of the basement.  Someone got a bit wild and pulled some of the insulation off the wall.  It's held on by these nailed washer things.  My husband wasn't able to find them at the hardware store.  I asked the PM where we could buy them and he brought us half a dozen. Perfect. They probably cost Ryan homes, like .10 each,  so it was nice.

The PM was also impressed with our basement bathroom.  We finished it up right before the wild sleepover so the boys sleeping in the basement would have a bathroom to use.  My  husband did it all himself and I'm so proud of him.  It turned out great.  The PM even joked about Bob becoming a professional drywaller.  Bob emphatically replied 'No!'

I'm not sure what we spent on the bathroom, my husband says he has the receipts and plans on figuring that out.  We tried to choose cost effective options.  The tile was purchased at Lowe's for $5/square.  If you've looked at tile that's a great price.  I think  the vanity was less than $120.  We had replaced the bath fixtures in the master bathroom - we didn't like the way the installed ones sat in the granite.  Husband kept bumping his hands on the back of the sink, so we purchased two that had a longer neck for his big hands.  So, we  were able to repurpose one of those.  The other one was given to my sister in law who had a leaky faucet in her bathroom.  The towel rack, tp holder, and cup were purchased on clearance for $10 for the set from KMart.  I can't remember where the wood finish tile was purchased from.  My dad is a retired electrician, so he did all the wiring for us and had a fan for us to use. My husband did the plumbing - our neighbor had previously done their basement bathroom so he had all the necessary PEX tools for us to borrow; so that cost us a 12 pack of beer.  :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pantry Update

 So the pantry is a great size.  I love that the shelves aren't too deep.  The highest shelf is a bit high, but there's always things you don't use as often, right?  That being said, we also have the 9 foot ceilings, so I feel like there's a lot of wasted space up there.  I have things stacked a bit higher than I'd like on the top shelf.  I'm considering hanging another shelf up there.  Anyway, I had purchased a bunch of red baskets at our local Dollar Tree that I was using in the laundry room at the old house. At the time I bought extra and I'm so glad I did; I used every one of them in the pantry.  I really like having things organized.  In a pantry this big I feel like things need to be in a specific place or you'll never find it.  I probably lose a bit of space by using the baskets, but it's ok; I probably have more than I need and it keeps me from stocking up on things I don't need.  

If I lived by myself I probably wouldn't need labels on everything; I'd know where everything is, right??? Since I don't, this helps everyone else find things so they're not asking me every time they need something.  I got the idea from Pinterest to hang some baskets from the bottom using shower hooks.  I keeps stuff for the kids down there as well as extra plastic bags.  It works wonderfully.

Since we built on a basement, we have a big closet upstairs between two of the extra bedrooms.  It is gigantic.  It currently has an old bakers rack in there to store extra sheets and towels for the kids room, as well as some totes and our vacuum.  This closet is desperately in need of some organization and I hope to tackle that this summer.  

Master Closet Update

When we first began talking about options with Ryan Homes, I was disappointed there was not an option to upgrade closet shelving. I do not like the wire shelving at all. In the bedrooms my main complaint is the dividers for the hanger area. You cannot slide clothes more than about 10 inches. I believe the shelving is made by Rubbermaid; they have a better hanger option but it's just not what Ryan uses. In the pantry my complaint is that the wire shelving is uneven and difficult for storing food. I did find a cheap fix for the pantry; the container store makes some plastic liners that help the unevenness. Completely redoing the master closet simply isn't in the budget at the moment, so I've been trying to figure out what to do. This week Menard's had the Rubbermaid Max Add On closet system for $16 after rebate. That is in my budget. So here are some 'before' shots of our closet. 

Notice the errant Racquetball Racquet. Yeah...

Ta Da! I was able to move the shelf up and install this all by myself.  Initally, I was concerned about moving the shelf by myself.  Hubby showed me I just had to pry the nails out carefully with a curved screwdriver.  Using a level, I moved each of the holes up 14 inches.  I even used a screw gun to put new holes in.  I was able to reuse all the existing shelving hardware; even the anchor bolts came out undamaged.  I did move the right most support over about 5 inches so that it did not interfere with the shelving system.  I patched the holes from the initial placement before I installed the add on unit. The add on unit itself required only a measuring tape - no other tools required.  It was very easy.  My side of the closet now looks like this: 

I did purge some things, which really needed to be done anyway.  I have another unit to install on hubby's side, but I suggested he needs to purge some items too before doing that.