Kitchen Remodel: 5/5

Starting on Friday, 4/18, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen in 5 days. With some luck, beer and a lot of hard work, I’ll complete it by 4/22, end of day. Each evening, I’ll document my progress. Here is my final update, #5 (4/22/2014).

I gave myself 5 days to complete my project. I got close, but didn’t quite finish. The big hangup was scraping all of the old tile mastic off. This took much longer than expected. A good base is critical to a good tile job. I’ll have to finish the tile over the weekend.

photo (27)Being able to lay tile is a great skill to acquire because all of the money is tied up in the labor. Even our beautiful, 18″ travertine tiles were only 2$/foot. There is nothing like taking an old vinyl floor and putting  beautiful tile in. Huge improvement, cheap and not difficult.

Now, I must admit that I allowed myself a 6th day. So, I could finish the work tomorrow. To hell with it though; I’m going snowboarding instead! Bye bye house, hello Breckenridge.

I’ll post pictures of the kitchen when completely done. The counter-tops show up on May 8th, so look for an update sometime after that.

Day 1, prior to starting

Day 1, prior to starting

photo 4 (1)

photo 5 (1)

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Kitchen Remodel: 4/5

Starting on Friday, 4/18, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen in 5 days. With some luck, beer and a lot of hard work, I’ll complete it by 4/22, end of day. Each evening, I’ll document my progress. Here is update #4 (4/21/2014).

The good news is that all of the cabinets are hung and they look great. Our lines are straight and the cabinets are sturdy. The bad news is that I didn’t even lay one single tile. There are two reasons for this:

  • This. Is. A.PAIN.

    This. Is. A. PAIN.

    Scraping up the old mastic is a chore: Last week, we took some tiles off and they popped off super easy. Great! However, not all of the subsequent tiles gave in so easy. Many put up a very strong fight. We spent hours scraping the floors, getting the old junk off. The most important part of a good tile job is getting a solid foundation. The good news is that we’re ready to put tile down first thing tomorrow.

  • Sorry neighbors. At least we're not cooking meth.

    Sorry neighbors. At least we’re not cooking meth.

    Our home is a mess of monumental proportions: Due to construction, our yard and garage have been humongous disasters for months (thanks you kind and understanding neighbors for not calling the village on us). We haven’t been able to park a vehicle in the garage in 2014. I cannot stand this. Messes mess with my mind. I lose my keys, wallet and phone constantly. My brain is frazzled. Not good. Enough. So today, we spent about 5 hours just cleaning up. I feel much better.

Stats:

  • Cabinets are done!

    Cabinets are done!

    Hours spend today : 9 (total 35)

  • Trips to Home Depot: 1 (3 total)
  • Injuries today: 0 (1 total) My thunb still hurts from the “drill incident” the other night (drill + human flesh = not good), but nothing new. My fingers appreciate it.
  • Beers consumed: 2 (total: 9) That’s it. No more beer after today.
  • Prognosis: Meh. Tomorrow, I’ll get a lot of tile down, but still won’t be complete. Did I fail? Maybe.

Behind the cabinets treasures!

IMG_1635

Who is this? Is she still alive (doubtful)? What do I do with this picture? Perhaps it will end up in a random neighbor’s mailbox. Please don’t rat me out to the USPS.

We’ve remodeled houses before and one of the fun parts is finding the junk left over from previous occupants. This home is no exception. Behind the cabinets, we’ve found all kinds of treasures including periodic table place-mats and random pictures of senior citizens. I’m definitely keeping the placemats, but not sure what to do with the pictures of “Aunt Mildred.”

One more day

This fun was supposed to go on for 5 days. I’ll have completed most of the work by end of day tomorrow, but not all. I’ll still have a bit of tile to finish up which will happen during the weekend because I have to go back to my 9-5.

Some of you may be wondering why the hell I’m blabbing about hanging cabinets and laying tile. I assure you that it’s not to toot my own horn. I’ll have something to say about this tomorrow, so stay tuned*.

 

*”Stay tuned?” Is that a dated saying or what? Who has to tune their TV or radio to receive a broadcast anymore? I wonder if anyone under the age of 30 even knows what on earth I’m talking about?

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Kitchen Remodel: 3/5

Starting on Friday, 4/18, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen in 5 days. With some luck, beer and a lot of hard work, I’ll complete it by 4/22, end of day. Each evening, I’ll document my progress. Here is update #3 (4/20/2014).

This is where we started the day

This is where we started the day

Every day, I make a list of what I want to accomplish. I set high goals for myself, so much of the time, I don’t complete it all. Today was one of those days. I wanted to start laying tile, but it didn’t happen. One of the cabinets caused much, much grief, so the tiling will wait for another day.

I also blame the PoPs just a bit. Mrs. PoP made a comment on day 1 about putting random remarks in the walls. I LOVED this idea and went nuts writing messages in the walls for future remodelers to read. Scroll down to see!

Here is a really bad picture of where we ended. I'm sorry, my stupid photo sync is not working at the moment.

Here is a really bad picture of where we ended. I’m sorry, but my stupid photo sync is not working at the moment. Better pictures tomorrow!

So, here are the stats:

  • Hours spend today : 12 (total 26)
  • Trips to Home Depot: 1 (2 total)
  • Injuries today: 0 (1 total) This amazes me because I’m always hurting myself; 4 broken fingers and counting…
  • Beers consumed: 2 (total: 7) This is way out of line for me. I’m moderate with everything in life, so usually 3 beers a week is my max. I’ll tone it back down after this misery is behind me. In the meantime, Oskar Blues is making some money.
  • Prognosis: I’m still happy with the progress, despite my lack of tiling today. I have a lot to say about all of this, but more on that later.

I am extremely tired. For some crappy reason, my brain started spinning at 4am this morning. When I wake up, there is no going back to sleep. It’s been a long day, so time to go to bed. Good night everyone and thank you for reading.

IMG_1614

Inside-the-wall ramblings, to be discovered by the future home owner

IMG_1616

My sense of humor is stuck in junior high. Hey, at least I admit it.

My sense of humor is stuck in junior high. Hey, at least I admit it.

Our neighbors brought us this! It's an upside down, right-side-up, pineapple upside down cake. Delicious!!!

Our neighbors brought us this*! It’s an upside down, right-side-up, pineapple upside down cake**. Delicious!!!*We live around people who make our lives better. This is a real gift.
**I often wonder if people understand my semi-insane ramblings. I hope so. 

 

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Kitchen Remodel: Day 2/5

Starting on Friday, 4/18, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen in 5 days. With some luck, beer and a lot of hard work, I’ll complete it by 4/22, end of day. Each evening, I’ll document my progress. Here is update #2 (4/19/2014).

Today was a good day:

  • We finished tearing out the old cabinets and hung some of the new ones.
  • Most of the tile is now torn out.
  • I moved the oven gas line and refrigerator water line.

I thought that I’d be a bit farther along actually, but a friend invited me out to a local microbrewery, so I cut out early (the evil siren call of beer). However, I’m still on target to wrap up this work in 5 days, if not before.

Stats:

  • Hours spent today: 8 (total: 14)
  • Trips to Home Depot: 1
  • Injuries today: 0 (a day without puncture wounds is a happy day)
  • Beers consumed: 3 (total: 5)
  • Prognosis: Great, things are moving along fast. As long as I can get a line of tile in tomorrow, I’ll be in good shape.

Oh, and for the Mad Fientist, today’s beers were:

As long as we’re on the topic of beer, a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of finding Enjoy By at a local store. This is one fine brew. If you have the means and can find it, I highly recommend picking some up.

Here is where we started the day

Here is where we started the day

Orange, really? Did people really have orange kitchens? I like the color;  have an orange car. But not in a kitchen. Ever.

Orange, really? Did people really have orange kitchens? I like the color; I have an orange car. But not in a kitchen. Ever.

IMG_1612

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Kitchen Remodel: Day 1/5

Starting on Friday, 4/18, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen in 5 days. With some luck, beer and a lot of hard work, I’ll complete it by 4/22, end of day. Each evening, I’ll document my progress. Here is update #1.

Old kitchen

Old kitchen

I bailed from work at 4pm today and immediately started tearing up my kitchen. Since I work from my home, I was able to start about 90 seconds after I logged off. It would have been less than 90 seconds, but I had to put my crappy work pants on.

So today, I removed most of the cabinets. Taking them out is pretty easy. Undo a couple screws with the drill and off the cabinet comes.

Monstrosity

Monstrosity

My other other big accomplishment was modifying a wall for our refrigerator. Our food cooling device is a massive beast. While I love the counter depth refrigerators, I don’t like how much they cost. The good thing is that the wall that the refrigerator will back up to is 12″ thick (used to be an exterior wall). So, I hacked away at it and now, my refrigerator will be counter depth.

End of day 1

End of day 1

Stats:

  • Hours spent: 6
  • Trips to Home Depot: 0
  • Injuries: 1 (jabbed myself with the drill)
  • Beers consumed: 2
  • Prognosis: Good, I think I’m on target.

Day 2 Plans

My blood is in this project literally!

My blood is in this project literally!

Tomorrow, I hope to accomplish the following:

  • Remove the rest of the cabinets
  • Finish mudding my refrigerator indent
  • Take out the tile
  • Move refrigerator water line and gas line for oven
  • Start hanging the new cabinets

Wow, I have not slept well all week and am exhausted! Good night and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

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Four Day Kitchen Remodel

I love to challenge myself! I strongly believe that we get better when we push our comfort zones and stretch our limits. If you’re just moving with the crowd, you’re going to arrive at the finish line with the crowd. No thanks.

Dinosaur Bob, my tile assistant

Dinosaur Bob, my tile assistant

I like working in short, intense bursts. I can’t stand it when projects drag on and on. This means that when I start something, my days go from 5am to 10pm in a mad rush to get the project behind me while still putting in at least 8 hours at my normal job.

Over the weekend, I finished the floor tile in two bathrooms. Mrs. 1500 grouted today and sometime tomorrow, we’ll go from having 1 toilet to 3! Happy, happy day!

The grouting has commenced

The grouting has commenced

However, the next project is right around the corner. It’s the kitchen. Our current one is ugly, ugly, ugly. The cabinets are worn out. The tile looks like it belongs in a fast food restaurant. We don’t like the layout. This weekend, everything changes. Starting Friday evening and over the course of the next four days, I’m going to attempt to remodel my kitchen. Here is what I need to do: Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: What do YOU want to know?

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today, getting kind of a late start this morning.

Today, I want to know what YOU want to know. Are there any questions you are grappling with, financial or slightly otherwise, that you would like to pose to the readers?

But first, let’s recap last week with Mr. 1500′s question, How do you keep track of your spending?

Mario from DebtBLAG recommends Mint.com, saying “It’s far more powerful than people give it credit for. It’s got lots of options for customization, entering cash purchases, splitting up purchases (if, for example, you put a whole dinner for four on your card and accept cash), and so forth.” Emily from EvolvingPF, Mrs. PoP from Planting Our Pennies, and Refine. Rinse. Repeat. all give Mint their thumbs up, too.

Allie from Allie’s Everyday Adventures and reader Nicki both recommend the GoodBudget app, which allows you to set up virtual envelopes, fill them with “cash” and as you enter your purchases, it deducts the cash from the appropriate envelope. It is available for both iPhone and Android phones.

Mom over at Three is Plenty recommends You Need a Budget. This app for your phone costs $60, but is “worth it” according to Mom. She describes it as “fundamentally envelope budgeting.” Reader Mary says she cannot rave about YNAB enough and Reader Lou really likes it because you can plan a budget in advance.

Jen from JenSpends uses Mint but doesn’t like that she cannot plan budgets in advance, and that sometimes it has difficulties connecting to certain accounts. She is waiting for YNAB to go on sale. Thanks for that tip, Jen.

There were plenty of you who just use a spreadsheet on your computer, or paper and ink like we do. Mint seems like a really handy tool, if you don’t need to make future budgets, and YNAB seems like a great way to keep to a prepared budget. Thanks for all the responses!

And now to this week’s question. I started this whole Ask the Readers way back when I wasn’t sure if I should hold a garage sale or just donate to charity all the things we didn’t need. After the overwhelming majority of you said to donate it, I did just that.

But I have asked all the questions I have wanted to ask so far, and a few weeks have grasped at straws. So I am turning it over to you. Do you have any financial-related questions to pose to the readers? Anything you are struggling with? Let’s hear them, and I will ask them, starting in two weeks. Next week we will recap our meeting with the brewery/pizza place and ask if you would invest, given all the information.

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10 Questions with Big Guy Money

Today is the 25th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions and a Pizza Place. (The 1500′s are pizza fanatics.) We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all 17. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.

I find that most people don’t really change. Reinventing yourself isn’t easy and most people stay who they are, good or bad.

Eric from Big Guy Money isn’t like this. He has made some painful mistakes, but recognized them and chose to become a better person. He shares his stories in brutal detail.

As you may have inferred from his blog name, Eric is also a big guy (take a look at his bench press goal (!) below). So, if you ever find yourself wandering the plains of North Dakota and happen to run into him, reach up high and give him a pat on the back for all of the positive changes he has made.

Big Guy Money Family Logo

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great. Continue reading

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Thursday Rant: Spendy Encounters of the Third Kind

I hear people yap all the time about how they have issues with money. It comes in many forms: “I can’t make ends meet!” “I need a second job!!” “The car payments are overwhelming!!!” However, in almost every case, there aren’t really issues with money…

We really love our neighbor. She’s a great grandmother who I’ll call Julie. Unfortunately, she’s going to move soon, partly because of poor decisions by her granddaughter. The granddaughter is who today’s post is about.

Encounter #1

armadatower

Spendy Encounters of the 3rd Kind*

I first noticed the granddaughter shortly after we moved in last June. She dropped by Julie’s home to drop the great-grandchildren off. I immediately noted her car, a Nissan Armada (base price almost $40,000). It was jacked up and had a $2,000 set of wheels on it. The truck was outfitted with all kinds of other fancy stuff. It looked ready for a safari. She was either wealthy or a big spender. I hoped it was the former. Continue reading

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Performance Update 15/50: March Crapness

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2014 is to get my portfolio up to $768,536. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013, I have accomplished this goal. Time to look back on the month of March.

The goal

In March, my retirement pile was brutally assaulted on 2 fronts:

  • My cash pile was depleted due to home construction expenses. I had a bunch of bills to pay and pay I did to the tune of $25,000 (wow, I hate writing these checks!). I’ll still have other expenses (flooring, trim, railings, sigh…), but I shouldn’t have to dig into my savings again. I hope to start building my cash back up again as the year progresses.
  • My investments also took a hit as my tech heavy portfolio got walloped. This is a bit of a relief actually. The markets, especially technology stocks, were (still are) overheated.

201403 chart

Here are the numbers as of 4/1/2014: Continue reading

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