Inside and upstairs at the Woods…

I did remember to take a before picture of a window sill to give you an idea of what some of the walls looked like before being painted. I do so love what a fresh coat of paint adds to a space!


There is an upstairs loft in this house…


Next year I’m going to paint the floor up here, and will probably give the wall that is currently painted a fresh coat of paint. We are going to ignore the sloped ceilings. It’s a cabin-like space, after all!


Rather than putting mattresses in the house, Steve is putting plywood into twin bed frames. He’s going to purchase inexpensive inflatable mattresses that folks who spend the night can use with bedding or sleeping bags. It’s seems cleaner to us to do it that way, less dusty. Wouldn’t you agree?


Here’s the view from over the railings. The living area looks happy. I had the chairs feet-up on the dining table and it’s not totally tidy, but you get the idea. I can tell already that I will want to clean the tops of the ceiling fan blades. I wonder how I can reach them…


The screened-in porch is just outside that big front door.


And, lastly, here’s one of the downstairs bedrooms, with one bed platform, a table, and reclaimed lamp… All we need are some more bed platforms and the Woods will be good to go!



Outside at the Woods…

This post is mainly for my Mom, who asked me this morning why I hadn’t show pictures of the outside. The property is not really visible from the road. As you drove over a small hill, from the road, this is what you see. There’s the new shed on the left. The Woods house is down in those trees. You can see the front of Steve’s pickup, which is backed up to the door of the screened-in porch…


Here are some recent before pictures of the porch. Trust me when I tell you that these before pictures are way better than it looked a few weeks ago. I should have taken pictures of it then. Sigh.




Today, Steve finished cleaning up the porch. Yay! All it needs is a welcome mat!




There is a bit of loose screen to fix—later, when it’s cooler out.





More from The Woods house…

I wish I had taken some before photos of the living area of the Woods house back in May… you’d really be impressed now! But I didn’t. You’ll just have to take my word for it that a major transformation has taken place.

Mostly we threw away the stuff that just had to go, and then I cleaned up the space. Everything with upholstery was too dusty and dirty to keep. The carpet remnant was gross. Some of the chairs and tables were too rickety to trust… It’s all gone now!

The walls in this part of the house had one coat of paint already, but the ones I could reach got another coat of bright white paint. The wood walls and high ceilings are going to stay the way they are.


The turquoise is the new coffee table, at least for now. It adds a nice pop of color and it’s already there. The wood chairs are solid, but the webbing in the seats had rotted away. Steve cut plywood to fit and I found cushions at Lowe’s. They are very comfortable now!

The upstairs is big and will mostly be used for beds. It gets hot up there in the summer.

There is a wood stove that will be wonderful on cold winter days (and nights). This area is way, way cleaner now than it was just days ago.


The black chairs will have blue cushions to match the other two chairs. I spray painted the old, stained lamp shade white—it’s on an interesting lamp on the table. There is another shade that I’ll spray paint when I go back to paint the bedroom.


The dining table and chairs are solid and comfortable.


Steve and I both are pretty happy with the results of our efforts. This is a nice place and should see more use now :-).

It’s sort of like piecing…

I had the privilege this week to spend some time with my oldest son, Chris, tiling his tub surround. I taught Chris how to tile a year or so ago but I think he is now better at it than I am which makes me proud!


I helped him tile this bathroom floor a few weeks ago and then we both got busy with other things. Since then he managed to work on the walls, set in the toilet, and the vanity. The vanity required extra attention because the plumbing was in the wrong place. A drawer had to be removed and a shelf added. He installed the sink (twice) and the faucet (also twice) because of plumbing issues. The boy is more patient than I am, or at least he appears to be to me.

Tiling this tub surround was complicated by the fact the the bottom 6″ of the wall was not completely flat. The tiles did not sit flush against the wall. They rocked in places and the gap was big enough that the tile pattern was not going to work the way we originally thought it would. But, thankfully, there was a fix! We cut the bottom 12″ tiles in half, lengthwise. The non-flatness is not noticeable—yay!

I had to draw the tile pattern, and use a calculator. Chris was quicker and did more in his head but it was good that we checked each other before taking the tiles to Lowe’s to be cut.


The wider, back wall was pretty easy. The harder wall was the one with plumbing…


We were going to drill holes in the tile but it didn’t take long to figure out that, even with a tile bit, it would take hours. Instead we had the tile cut in such a way that we could set back in a little L-shaped piece. The holes themselves will be covered with plates that come with the plumbing fixtures.


We ran into ‘level’ issues on this wall. For some reason, even though everything was level, the horizontal grout lines that carried over from the back wall wanted to not line up. The spacers only worked in some places and in others the spacers weren’t big enough. We ended up using nails below the tiles in some places to keep them from drifting down. It’s stuff like this that makes tiling so much easier when you have two people… even if one person (me) was not doing any actual tiling.


Christopher is, today, cleaning out the mastic that oozed through the gaps. Then he’s going to grout it. I’m so glad I’m not involved in that job… I really do not like to grout. They should be using the shower by Saturday and I know that Lorna is extremely excited. And Chris is way happy too :-).


Window dressing…

The very last bit of our home remodel happened without me writing much about it. We replaced all of the windows that needed it a couple of months ago. That part was fast. The other part of this job, however, was slower because I wanted the inside window trim changed.

What I have always called a ‘window sill’ is actually called a window stool. My mom’s house in OKC had marble window stools and they were so very nice. I knew that if it was going to happen in our house, it had to be now. I wanted ours to be made from Caesarstone, the same one (Nougat) that we used on our bathroom vanities.

The Caesarstone had to be ordered and it took some time to come in. Before Easter, Rick’s crew took off all of our interior interior window trim…

WindowTrim-1The windows weren’t lovely, but we lived with it until our job could be worked into the Caesarstone crew’s calendar.


A week or so ago David and his crew put in the new window stools. Then Rick’s crew put in the new trim and generally tidied it all up.


Steve and I cannot remember a time when we could look around the house and call it done. We don’t have anything on the list that needs to be fixed. It’s unnatural—but nice! That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a project looming… it’s just that it’s not a project for our house. Oh happy, happy day!


Day 13…

We woke to very slightly cooler temperatures this morning. In fact, the next couple of days are supposed to be cooler – highs in the low 90s! Better late than never, right?

Steve and Chris finished out the eaves and soffits on the east and north sides of the house so that I will have something to paint tomorrow. They also finished putting up new siding on the wall below where it meets the brick. 

BrockettBefore-WindowWall-04 copy

I cleaned off and painted the outside of the new french doors. There's not a lot of area to paint but darned if it doesn't make a difference. I didn't realize how reflective the glass is. If you look close you can see me in my painting clothes holding my camera. 

BrockettBefore-BackDeck-07 copy

Steve and Chris spent some time taking down unneeded wires on the last wall of the garage. Amazingly enough, this is the last area that needs to be renovated. Our goal was to be done by Wednesday, July 11 and I think we're going to make it!

BrockettBefore-BackDeck-08 copy

I haven't written at all about the play that Chris and Elanor are in. The play is Sarah, Plain and Tall which is being put on by Theatricks here in Sherman, TX. Rehearsals began before we started the renovation. Dress rehearsal was last Thursday and there have been performances Friday, Saturday, and today. The show continues through next weekend. I have no idea how Chris is managing except that he young(er than we are).

I haven't seen the play yet. We have tickets for the last performance, next Sunday. I have heard reports that Chris and Elanor are good in their roles. Here's a photo Chris took of Elanor backstage opening night. She is not Sarah, nor plain, but she is tall for her age! 


Day 12…

The peaked eaves on the east and west sides of the house needed to be painted. This job was going to fall to Steve and Chris because I don't usually get that high off the ground but they were busy putting up soffits today and I was out of any other useful work to do. So I put on my big girl panties and painted the high parts!

BrockettBefore-Eaves-01 copy

The wood on the east side needed to be scraped. As the flakes were flying I squinted and tried not to breathe too much. I only got a little bit in one eye and even if there was lead in the paint, I didn't gnaw the boards so I should be fine. 

BrockettAfter-Eaves-01 copy

I had to get on the roof to paint part of this area and to paint some wood peaks that are in a weird place on the roof. I was on the roof twice today. The first time I scooted around on my bottom. The second time I was able to make myself stand up and just walk – albeit crouched over.

Chris and I decided I didn't need to paint the louvered metal things. They don't look great but they don't look awful either. They are just fine the way they are. 

Chris and Steve put up more soffits/eaves on the back of the house. You can see the bit that wrapped around to the east side where I was painting. This takes more time than you'd think to construct. And there was a bit of creative use of flashing. 

BrockettBefore-EastWall-01 copy

The more we do, the more I realize that carpentry, construction, is a lot like piecing. You measure, you cut, you figure out how to fit the pieces together so that they cover what needs covering. Except that here we can use Liquid Nails and caulk :-). 

You can see part of a tree in the photo above. It is a huge pecan – one of the biggest in our town. This is a lovely tree that provides needed shade, but I had no idea how much they shed! Sticks and limbs that come off that tree daily. And sticky stuff, and other plant matter that piles up on the roof, on the ground, on the deck… I'm beginning to actively dislike this tree and it knows it. It drops stuff on me! Chris had to take the gutters off because there is no way to keep them clear of tree junk. But pecans are tasty and it is a pretty tree. So it's staying put.

We're taking tomorrow off to clean house and Steve and mom have one last dog obedience class. Taz is actually behaving better, and mom is too! We'll go to church tomorrow night and then we're watching Independence Day over the pool. Sunday it's back to work on the house.

Just so you know, I have found time to do a bit of quilting. Soon I can show you the finished AAQI quilt and I've started working on the project for my Adventure in Italy class. Really, you want to be saving your pennies for this trip – it's going to be great fun!