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My Best Friend's House Remodeling/Repair- Project #4

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zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
I will probably have to edit this post since I need to locate some of the photos to show the progress. To explain the history a bit, my best friend's house burned on Easter 2016. He moved into a trailer for awhile but ended up letting his ex live there (rent free). She was supposed to buy it but has thus far refused to pay a dime.
He lived with his father & paternal grandparents for awhile but there were problems & he had to move out of that situation. His father passed away & then a few months later his grandmother passed away. Living with his grandfather was unbearable (the man is *super* annoying).
He's in a bad financial situation because he nearly died in a wreck in 2015 & his ex took his wallet while he was in the hospital & used his info to open up multiple credit cards & max them out.
He ended up moving in to his late maternal grandmother's house after fixing it up. The tenants had been meth addicts so they totally wrecked the place. Floor was falling apart, roof leaking, carpets were nasty, syringes & drug residue everywhere-- place was disgusting.
The kitchen was a tiny room that was smaller than the bathroom. Roof leaked horribly & ruined everything in it & rotted the floor. So he repaired joists & replaced floor, put in new carpets in the rooms, converted the kitchen to a walk-in pantry (but it's currently the gaming room), converted half of the living room to the kitchen, merged the bathroom & laundry room, & put metal roofing on half the house.
I couldn't help too much with labor on some of it, but I did help him find products, researched stuff, helped haul lumber in my truck, took him places, & we paid for most of the stuff since he kept getting screwed over & having people steal from him. He's finally starting to do OK financially, but still lives paycheck to paycheck.
The pics of the old kitchen & of the bathroom during subfloor replacement are somewhere on my phone or computer but I need to dig them up. I do have some pics of the bathroom & current kitchen though.
The sink cabinet is a one-piece unit from Lowes. Project Source brand unfinished oak. Front trim is oak, rest of it is crappy mdf. I water-sealed the mdf but it is still rather fragile. Parts of it broke during installation so it was patched with fiberglass screen & gorilla tape. Gaps were sealed up to keep mice & roaches from squeezing in. Counterop was Formica VT Dimensions Labarador Granite laminate- prefabbed. Had to be cut to fit & I water-sealed the edges.
They wanted the cabinets to look like a medium gray ash type wood but the stain I got didn't want to soak in, kept showing too much yellow from the wood underneath, and went on more like paint. They ended up deciding they liked the more painted look, but you can still see the wood grain a bit. If I had it to do over again, I would have pickled the wood to take the yellow out & then done the stain & wiped it away. I tried the wipe-away technique at first but it didn't work with the Rustoleum stain. Wish I'd tried Minwax instead, but they didn't have it when I first looked. It still looks nice though.
He had a fridge we got him from right after the house first burned but he's since replaced it (his ex had it for awhile and gunked it up so bad they could never get all the insects out). He bought a used fridge that is larger & has a drawer on the bottom for the freezer.
The side cabinets came from Surplus Warehouse (which is now called Barton's Home or something). They are less expensive & better quality- plywood construction with unfinished oak. A few of the base cabinets went in first & we got prefabbed mitered countertops- one had to be cut shorter by about 20" or so. He didn't let me take it to my workshop to cut so the cut ended up rather rough. I ironed on the side trim but it popped out in one spot where the side wasn't flat when the counter was being moved.
We later got a pantry cabinet on clearance (it was "water touched" so it was lower priced). The base corner cabinet was oddly sized & when we went to put it in, it didn't line up quite the way we wanted so it had to be bumped back a little so the rest of the cabinets wouldn't block the doorway.
Found a range hood at a liquidation store (open box/returned stuff). I picked it for them because the buttons were down lower so his short fiance can reach them without a stepstool. Picked up the 30"x18" range hood cabinet from the surplus place. I stained it & he put it up when it dried.
Found some waterproof clicklock vinyl plank at one of the big box stores on clearance & it looks much nicer in there. Still needs some adjusting, base molding, & shoe molding around some spots.
The stove was from FB Marketplace & the oven never worked (but he hadn't wanted an oven at first). Unfortunately, after trying to fix it by putting in a new LCD board control thing, it started malfunctioning & the burners would turn on by themselves with no warning lights, oven started turning on by itself & it became a hazard so they are going to replace it with a GE Easyclean 6.3cuft convection oven soon.
Stock image of base sink cabinet
Msinkbasestockpic.png
After staining
Mitchnewcabs1.jpg
mkitchencabstouchup3.jpg
Side base cabinets pre-staining
Mitchkitchennewcabs2.jpg
After staining partway (ended up hitting the side later)
Mitchnewcabs3.jpg
Pantry cabinet pre-staining (w/ my bro acting like a fool- at least his shoes look cool)
mitchkitchenpantry1.jpg
After staining
Mkitchenpantrystained1a.jpg
Setup for the sink with the old fridge
mkitchenrangecabsfridgesink1.jpg
Setup with new fridge, range hood installed, & new flooring
mkitchnewfridge2.jpg
Range cabinet & hood
mkitnewflrdone8.jpg
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
The accordion door is new as well. When his grandmother lived there, it had an accordion door, but it was long gone when he moved in. There had originally been a wall between the current kitchen & the living room. The tenants tore it out. My friend re-built a wall there to have some separation.
The old fugly faucet got clogged with gunk when my friend first installed it so I got him the new faucet & the over-the-sink rack.
Darth Vader thing in previous post is a toaster. He likes his toast on the Dark Side. :p
Better shot of the range hood
mwallcabtouchup2.jpg
Better shot of the sink & over-the-sink rack
mkitchensinkrack1.jpg
The automatic trash can (sadly bugs got in to the wiring & broke it-- chewed the wires)
mkitflr+trashcan.jpgMitchkitchenautotrash1.jpg
Side of the pantry with a napkin dispenser my friend found in a garbage bin & a magnetic whiteboard I got him to write notes for when they are out of stuff-- they ended up using it to leave each other love notes
Mpantryboard1.jpgMpantryboard4.jpg
The walk-in pantry (formerly the kitchen) with Reflectix up on the walls to insulate it
mwalk-in-pantryinsulation.jpgmwalk-in-pantryinsulation2.jpg
New low profile LED light that can have color tone & brightness adjusted
pantrylight.jpg
The ceiling fan that was moved from the living room to the kitchen. I believe it was from the liquidation store. He got 2 new ones from the liquidation store but they were a crappy brand & didn't work. Online reviews said they were garbage. Sadly the store doesn't do refunds or exchanges.
ceilingfanlivingroom.jpg
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
The walk-in-pantry has gone through some changes (I need to get current pics) since it is now a little gaming office. It still needs more Reflectix, possibly drywall if my friend gets tired of the sort of disco vibe, & flooring.
The kitchen is at least mostly finished for now. Ideas are being tossed around about what to do with the corner that the trash can sits in. My friend wants to install a larger pantry cabinet next to a small upright freezer. But they don't really have a dining area at all, so my suggestion was to have a storage bench seating area with wall cabinets above for storage and a fold-down table with storage in the wall. Folding chairs that can be hung on the wall when not in use would go with it.
He eventually wants to have a sliding barn door type thing between the kitchen and living room. Something with a Z design (will find a picture for reference). It may be stained the same color as the cabinets & will hang in the living room.
I didn't get photos of the wall cabinets before they were stained because I stained them before they were put up. My friend adjusted the lower cabinets, secured the countertop better, pushed the pantry cabinet back more, drilled a hole for the electrical outlet, & put up 3 of the cabinets. I had picked a 27x30 cabinet for the end cap but we saw a microwave cabinet in the store so he got that instead (despite my warnings it might not fit). Turned out it didn't fit so now it's in the laundry room next to the washing machine & is holding the detergent (I need to take pics). We determined that a 30x30 would not only fit, but was cheaper than the 27x30 for some unknown reason. So that's the one we went with.
Before last cabinet was put in
wallcabsup1.jpg
I plugged the measurements in to Google Sketchup & did a concept drawing for the general layout (which helped me choose cabinet sizes)
sketchupcabinetstextured2.png
Once I checked the store to see what cabinet sizes were available, I manually drew doors on (and added a backsplash to the countertop). I didn't have exact measurements for the doors so I guesstimated. I was off on the pantry doors. I also based ceiling height on the height above the stove but the ceiling dropped a few inches so the cabinets ended up lower than expected, but overall, the finished product looks similar to what I ended up with.
sketchupcabinetlayout2.pngsidecabinets4.jpgsidecabsupper1.jpgsidecabslower1.jpg
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
I don't have a drawing of the original layout of the room before my friend moved in. There used to be an ADA tub where the vanity is currently sitting. The toilet is in the same spot it was before but was oriented differently. The floor was absolutely ruined. The ceiling slopes & looks sort of like the inside of a rolltop bread box. My friend removed the old tub & put in a tall shower-- it had to go in a corner because it was too tall to fit where the old one had been. The old laundry room literally had the floor fall out so he moved the washer & dryer in to the bathroom.
This was the layout he had before he remodeled again:
Mb-roomcurrent1.png
This was the plan to change it
Mb-roomplan1.png

Unfortunately, there was a very large beam under the joists where the toilet needed to go & the beam went so low to the ground that the plumbing couldn't pass under and there was no way to really move it. Instead it was kept in place but rotated 90° to the left. My friend forgot to hook up the plumbing for the lav before installing the tub & he couldn't remove the floor & there's not enough room to crawl underneath so the lav is no longer hooked up, but it is sitting where the dryer used to be. The wall between the bathroom & laundry room was taken down, the floor in the laundry room was leveled out and brought up to the same level as the bathroom, vinyl plank was installed, & the washer & dryer were rotated sideways & placed on the far wall opposite the tub.
This is prior to the vinyl plank being installed.
Mlaundrymoved.jpg
This is when the tub was first installed before the new showerhead arrived. Tub is American Standard Saver from Lowes. Tub spout is from Danco. Shower valve is Delta Multichoice with Delta Monitor 17 Lahara trim. It has two levers built in to one to separately adjust temp & pressure.
newtubinstalled1.jpg
New showerhead- KES brand with rainshower with handheld shower & built-in slidebar- got it for under $70:
kesshowerhead.jpg
Old shower rod got installed at the back of the shower so stuff can be hung from it & a new double-curved shower curtain rod (Zenna NeverRust type) was installed.
mshowercurvedrod.jpg
Got new LED light that can have color & brightness adjusted. Old light was a bulb that hung down, new one sits flush to the ceiling (it has a low ceiling so they needed all the space they could get)
Mnewlightlarge.jpg
With shower curtain closed (it apparently works like a blackout curtain to people inside the shower)
scalemirrorshower.jpgshowertoiletlow.jpg
This is a shot from outside the room (from the little girl's bedroom)
vanityfloor.jpg
The vanity will be replaced with a 48" one at some point. A large cabinet (microwave cabinet) in unfinished oak is now up to the left of the washing machine. It holds the detergent. I don't have a picture yet.
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
More pics of my friend's bathroom/laundry room:
laundry3.jpglaundryfloor1.jpg
The view of the bathroom ceiling from the laundry room (laundry room used to be a porch but someone walled it in).
walledge.jpg
To give an idea of how bad my friend's truck wreck was, he had traumatic brain injury w/ swelling in the skull, punctured lung, wrist & bones in hand snapped so pins were put in, upper arm bone snapped so badly it popped out of the skin & hit him in the face-- had to have a titanium rod put in, & he fractured 3 vertebrae in his neck.
1799938_698934696906065_7977572865423734156_o.jpg
20150427_142735.jpg
He had to walk around with those pins sticking out of his hand for months. Doctor used pliers to yank them out w/o anesthetic.

The living room had gone through multiple changes. Different carpets were put in but got ruined (before he sealed the place up better, raccoons & mice got in). In fact, when we were first working on the bathroom we heard a noise that we thought was a very large rat. My friend went to go in to the old kitchen & saw a raccoon holding a pen. He walked away, opened the front door, & told the raccoon it was free to go & could have the pen. It moseyed out the door & dropped the pen on the porch.
The room has been changed up since these pics but I wanted to show the carpet.
48027361_2415835925099468_9096349951033606144_n.jpg
48056298_332907820841577_5761419527724204032_n.jpg
48237085_302347443735093_3039880175962554368_n.jpg
48272846_332947657556870_8262974807818108928_n.jpg
My friend's fiance is in the pics (back when her hair was dyed black). The cat is named Tux. She's the mother of the kittens we are going to take home.
There is now a better Air conditioner with heat in the window, large sectional couch, gray faux ashwood entertainment center where the TV used to be & the TV is wall-mounted. (I really need to find where the pictures are saved for it).

What remains to be done:
LIVING ROOM
*Paint walls
*Get better curtains
*Replace front door (bc it got busted in)
*Install barn/sliding door instead of curtain between kitchen & living room
KITCHEN
*Paint walls
*Cut, stain, poly, & install toekick trim
*cut, stain, poly, & install shoe molding
*Move some of the vinyl planks over closer to pantry & replace some messed up planks
*Install new door & window trim
*Paint under cabinets or install some sort of backsplash
*Install stainless steel splash guard behind stove
*Install under-cabinet lights & put a light above the sink
*Create breakfast nook & murphy bar/table
BATHROOM
*Install new vanity & hook up plumbing
*Create actual walls around the tub
*Paint walls & ceiling
*Replace door & move wall switch so the little girl can reach it
LAUNDRY ROOM
*Move junk out
*Put in new door to outside (right now it's a defunct sliding glass door)
*Paint & poly cabinet
*Repair & paint walls-- maybe install insulation too
GIRL'S ROOM
*Replace carpet
*Put in new bed (loft bed?)
*Take out window & make it in to storage shelf
*Create more storage
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
Some ideas for the kitchen- depending on budget:
A pair of Cosco folding dining chairs w/ X back.
foldingchairs1.jpgfoldingchair.jpg
Broan stainless steel 24x30 splash guard (backsplash) for back & side. May use some metal screw caps to hide the heads of the screws & make it look better.
broansplashguard2panels2.png
Stainless Steel 30" StoveShelf Magnetic Shelf to stick to the top of the stove & cover any gap between stove & wall. Might use extra magnets to make it stick to splash guard.
stoveshelf.jpg
Over the range floating shelf 30x3.5" for higher up (unless there's a magnetic version or something that would work- but don't want to risk it falling). Will have to look in to options to see what could work for additional storage.
wallshelfss.jpg
Magnetic spice rack & paper towel holder to stick to side of fridge
magneticfridgeshelf.jpg
A Z-Frame barn door similar to this one (but maybe custom made so it doesn't cost $300 for a door w/o the hardware)
grayZpanelbarndoor.jpg
Something similar to this idea- a storage bench, but it would either be upholstered or have a cushion that could be removed & washed. Maybe even a back cushion as well. I'd have a toekick (or maybe heelkick) so it would be more comfortable to sit on.
Bryn-Mawr-Breakfast-Nook-Detail.jpg
Might have to actually make the bench because they are selling particle board pieces of garbage.
Would also have to make the fold-down bar. This image was a brag-post from Ana-White's site.
murphytablesm.png
I would probably want to have the hardware hidden as much as possible. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do a latch that my friend's short fiance would be able to reach. Maybe a ball catch- but that might stick out on the side of the table. Also trying to decide how to finish the tabletop. The frame would be the same color as the cabinets.

Any thoughts?
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
Thanks, Meerkat. I really wish I had before pics of when the room was just empty & what the old tiny kitchen looked like. He'd had a stove, a fridge, & a sink counter in there & that's all he could fit. Stove was off to the side in a corner as was the fridge. But the roof leaked & destroyed everything.
He nixed the idea of the storage bench (I suspect his fiance was the one who nixed it, but she always claims he said he didn't like something when she's the one who doesn't like it). I made a crappy collage of the current stuff plus the ideas.
MKitchen1jpg.jpg
 

zannej

Procrastinator
Neighbor
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
284
Got the new stove on Monday & got it put in. Friend had to pop the hinge pins in & take the door out & take the stove out of the box to get it unloaded. He got some Samsung model with 5 burners. Despite it being memorial day, they wouldn't stack military discount with the holiday discount so sales tax was $60 (it's over 10% sales tax here).
Picked up stainless steel backsplashes (one for back & one for side). Got the back one in just fine but realized a wall switch was in the way of the side one. I then had the idea of moving the wall switch away from the stove (because it's not a really great place to have a light switch & his daughter can't reach it). People had to walk in the doorway and stumble over to find the switch. We discussed it & he decided to move the switch over near the doorway. I suggested he get a new switch- a rocker one. He wanted black. I suggested a stainless steel backplate so the rocker would be easier to find in dim light. I found them online & showed him a mockup & he liked it. Real thing looks much better. So now the switch is in a much more convenient spot & we got the sidesplash up.
My craptastic cut & paste mockup of the light switch:
Levitonblackrockersswallplate.png
Actual light switch on unfinished wall
LightswitchLeviton.jpg
Just the backsplash (it looks much better in person)
broanssbacksplash3.jpgbroanssbacksplash4.jpg
With the stove
broanssbacksplashStove2.jpg
broanssbacksplashStove1.jpg
With the sidesplash and a gap cover between stove & counter
backsplashsidepslash2.jpg
backsplashsidepslash1.jpg

Next step will be to trim more of the molding around the window to be able to tuck the range hood's power cord out of the way & cover it with the other aluminium angle. That will give it a cleaner look.
The gap cover is aluminum but looks like plastic & isn't very long. Was way more expensive than it should have been for a single one & doesn't have anything to hold it in place. I'd think about sticking some sort of silicone on the bottom to give it a little grip- or maybe a magnet strip for the stove side. It won't stay still & slides around. Wish we'd just grabbed black ones instead. They came in pairs and were much cheaper.
Still, it already looks a lot nicer than before.
 

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