Dining on the (NEW!) Deck – A Hildring House Outdoor Adventure from Debra

outdoor sofa
Photo by Amber Shumake Creative

Welcome to my looooong overdue post about the deck. I’m not gonna lie, I thought this deck was overkill …. a lot of $$$ …. would it really add that much to the value of the house …. etc etc.

Luckily, it was Mr WTB’s turn to win and so onward we went with the OTT plan. (Dan here. Notice how when it’s my plan, it’s over the top? Just wait until the post about the new 35 square foot bath in Debra’s Domain!)

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

exterior pergola before

This is the listing photo— that pergola was quite wobbly, there was a large ‘step down’ from the house to the patio. Continue reading “Dining on the (NEW!) Deck – A Hildring House Outdoor Adventure from Debra”

The Littlest Bathroom Renovation – Hildring House – part 2

Renovation of the Littlest Bathroom in Hildring House

Hi! Dan here, kibitzing at the beginning of Debra’s post. As you know, (go here for the first inspiration post)  the bath in Debra’s Domain was sorely in need of a re-do. Hence, we continue with the Hildring House littlest bathroom renovation. This is actually the second inspiration post. I may be chiming in (who am I kidding? Of course I’ll be chiming in!) in italics.

Just because it’s tiny doesn’t lessen the work load. For me, every decision feels even MORE important because there is no room for mistakes in 35 square feet!

Decor Pad

I’ve spent some time (okay, LOTS of time) [days and days] looking at vanities. The easy (well, easier) part: size. Unless we moved walls, nothing bigger than 33 inches is going to fit. While I love the look of a console or pedestal sink in small spaces, I actually use this bathroom daily. Continue reading “The Littlest Bathroom Renovation – Hildring House – part 2”

Hildring House Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning

Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning

We are very lucky to have an abundance of bathrooms at Hildring House- one for the grandboys, one for the mister, one for me, and a powder for guests. The powder is pretty – I love it very much:

Powder Bath full view
Photo by Trey Freeze

We talked about it in a prior posts. (Dan kibitzing again – you can find that post here.)  The master has a 1980’s makeover that is in need of an update. But it’s functional and, now that it’s been painted, tolerable. Now, however, in Debra’s Domain at Hildring House, it’s time for a full-on Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning.

The very small (35 square feet!) bath in Debra’s Domain is the next Hildring House project. I know, we never finished the last project..but that’s the way renovations go sometimes. The outdoor reveal will have to wait a while. So for now- onward with Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning.

Dreams and Inspiration

I am still in the planning phase – my hope is that a really good plan will eliminate most of the surprises and speed things along once we get started. So this post is all about the planning process. Let’s start with the dreams: Continue reading “Hildring House Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning”

A Small Closet Adventure With A Big Impact at Hildring House

Debra says: Some changes improve the look of your house. And some  increase the value of your house. But some make your life better – every single day. This post is about one of the last kind: a small closet adventure with a big impact at Hildring House.

Before

You may remember that about a year ago, I mentioned that the mother-in-law suite at Hildring House would become Debra’s Domain (you can find that post here, if you’re interested – it’s really all about demo, so it’s pretty messy). Well, Debra’s Domain is a thing now. It has two closets – one big one that we “stole” from the garage, and one smaller one that was the only original closet in the space. (You can find that process in the middle of this post.)

Since we built the larger one pretty much from scratch, it’s pretty nice: well-organized, new fixtures, etc.

The smaller one was the problem.

Closet before - oneSee what I mean? Continue reading “A Small Closet Adventure With A Big Impact at Hildring House”

A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens

Our friend John Stuart over at Trade Up Kitchens – a UK-based kitchen supply company – has a guest post for us: “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops.” For those of us in the US, a “kitchen worktop” is a counter top. Actually, “worktop” makes more sense, doesn’t it? In any event, here it is. I hope you enjoy it!

Buying Kitchen Worktops

Your choice of kitchen worktops will dramatically affect the whole aesthetic of your kitchen. Choosing your kitchen worktop is one aspect which should never be overlooked during the design process. Similar to your flooring, your kitchen worktops sit on a horizontal plane, making it a prominent feature in your kitchen.  With so many options available, choosing your kitchen worktop can seem like an impossible task but our guide is on hand to help you find the best option for you.

Granite Worktop
Photo – Trade Up Kitchens

Before choosing your kitchen worktop, it’s important to consider two things:

Your budget

Worktops come in a variety of materials, all at differing price points. Before you decide on a material for your kitchen worktop, it’s important to assess your budget – this will dramatically influence your choice of worktop.

Your lifestyle

If you’re choosing kitchen worktops for a student house or you’ve got a house full of children, then you’ll need to consider a sturdy, low-maintenance worktop. Alternatively, if you’re likely to clean up any spills immediately and don’t mind dedicating a little time to its maintenance, then you’ve got a few more options when it comes to kitchen worktops.  

After you’ve taken these two things into consideration, you’ve got to choose from the following kitchen worktops: Continue reading “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops – Guest Post from Trade Up Kitchens”

Hildring House Exterior Improvements – In Progress

Any home renovation project should involve exterior improvements, as well as snazzing up the interior, and Hildring House is no exception. Just to refresh your recollection, here is a shot of the exterior when we first bought the house:

Exterior before

Beginning of Exterior Improvements

We started with a new roof. And that required more destruction than you ordinarily would expect. You can’t really tell it in the above picture, but the shingles are metal, made to look like shake. I really don’t know how long they had been on the house but clearly it had been through multiple hailstorms. They were really beat up.

The worst part of the roofing situation, however, was that the fascia and underside of the eaves were clad with aluminum siding. I’m probably going to get nasty letters from the siding industry but, please, never do this to your house. I understand all of the arguments about it eliminating the need to paint. But the cost for that is deterioration of the wooden elements of the structure.

Rotted eave structure
Rotted eave structure

No matter how careful the installers are, no matter how much caulk they use, water will get under the metal and sit, unable to dry, rotting out the wood. Until you have this.

As the roof and cladding came off, an old pergola out back had to come down – it was in almost as bad shape as the rotted eaves. Here’s what the back looked like during demo of the metal and bad wood: Continue reading “Hildring House Exterior Improvements – In Progress”