Progress: Breezeway to Mudroom Conversion (Part 3)

8 min read Turning your breezeway into a mudroom is a great way to connect your garage and house. This kind of breezeway to mudroom transition is perfect for many mid-century ranch houses with detached or semi-detached garages. Here’s what I’m doing!

Two weeks ago, when I posted about installing my DIY windows,  I promised I’d talk about what’s going on behind that pretty cedar wall.  Here’s the progress update  on my journey to transform a useless breezeway into a practical mudroom with some bonus garage storage! 

I’ll go over not only WHAT I’ve been doing but also WHY it is important and HOW you can start thinking about the same solutions for your home. Continue reading “Progress: Breezeway to Mudroom Conversion (Part 3)”

Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 2)

3 min read Getting the glass in these windows took me three months of waiting for the right weather conditions (and free time) and about three hours of work to install!
I am SO EXCITED that they are finally in!

Remember back in OCTOBER, when I posted about putting up this fun cedar slat wall?  Well, the project is still ongoing.

Getting these DIY windows in was such a simple job that I’ve been waiting to get wrapped up for SO LONG now.  It took a few moving parts: having the glass cut to size and having the right weather conditions to caulk it into place.  Plus I’ve been crazy busy on all previous good-weather work days working INSIDE the garage to build the mudroom part of the project.

Technically THAT progress update should be Part 2, but I forgot to post about it in November and now I just want to shout from the rooftops about my brand new DIY windows!

Continue reading “Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 2)”

Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 1)

2 min read The big chunk of work for this fall is transforming the long narrow breezeway into a cosy and effective mudroom plus a little bonus garage storage.  

This is phase one of … well many.  I’ve pushed the project a little late in the season so before I get started on constructing the new mudroom structure within the existing breezeway I’ll be closing off both ends.  To the street side, that means the new and permanent extension of the garage wall.  On the back yard side I put up a quick temporary wall of translucent plastic to secure the garage and keep it somewhat weathertight. Continue reading “Progress: Transforming the Breezeway into a Mudroom (Part 1)”

Progress: a (pretty painless) mini patio for the back yard

2 min read I’d thought my next move was to start framing in the new mudroom between the house and garage but then I remembered … it will never be easier to move the pavers from front to back than right now.  

I did a quick about face and prioritized putting together my (mini) patio project.  I’d had something like this in mind for a while but had to make some quick executive decisions about size  and proportion.  Continue reading “Progress: a (pretty painless) mini patio for the back yard”

Progress: Basement Bath and Bar Sink

2 min read Progress continues in the basement with the final plumbing work. Its about to go on hiatus, however, when I turn my attention outside for fall.

The basement isn’t quite finished but I made some great strides forward to prep for the final plumbing work down here.  I also introduced myself to the Ikea kitchen system which gave me a few moments of confusion and then turned out to be even more straightforward and hackable than I’d hoped. Continue reading “Progress: Basement Bath and Bar Sink”

What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls

3 min read Have you ever felt an overwhelming desire to just drill a hole in the side of your house.  Maybe not.  And that’s for the best.  But since I have, you can share in the benefit of my experience. 

When we installed the exhaust fan for the new basement bathroom, the most direct exit route was right through the rim joist of the house.  Dad got out his trusty hole saw with the largest (4 inch diameter) attachment and got to work on it.    Continue reading “What stands between you and the world, or Taking a Hole Saw to House Walls”

Quick Change: Replacing the bathroom toilet and flooring at the same time

3 min read This is actually a project from a few months ago I forgot to report on. Here’s how I chipped out the old vinyl floor, pulled the existing toilet, snapped in the new floor and popped in the replacement all between 8am and 8 pm.

Before I let the drywall team go to town on the basement, I wanted to exchange the upstairs toilet JUST IN CASE there would be an leakage during the process which might undo the nice clean ceiling below.  Since the basement bathroom can’t be finished until after the drywall is complete, this meant taking out the house’s only toilet.  I decided to forge head and replace both the despised green vinyl flooring and the old toilet in one fell swoop.  Continue reading “Quick Change: Replacing the bathroom toilet and flooring at the same time”

Progress: painting the basement walls and ceiling

2 min read Painting has always been one of my favorite home improvement activities.  My mom changed the wall colors almost as often as she changed her mood and the whole family was always permitted (expected) to help out as needed.  

Spreading paint onto my newly drywalled basement was a deeply satisfying several day process, fueled by color energy and audio books.  The one down side was that, without the final electric installed and with the new sheet rock ceiling blocking my ability to hang lights from the rafters, it was a bit dark down there.  Continue reading “Progress: painting the basement walls and ceiling”

Progress: The basement drywall is in!

2 min read The drywall was hung, taped, and textured and now its ready for me to get on with painting. I have a quick decision to make. Help!

While I was upstairs, ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet, the drywall crew was downstairs turning the basement spaces back into rooms.  It’s very exciting to see the work progressing.  Continue reading “Progress: The basement drywall is in!”

Revealing the gorgeous hardwood under my (hated) Wall-to-Wall Carpet

3 min read I finally pulled out the tired green wall-to-wall carpet in my living room and revealed … a lovely warm toned and dense grained hardwood floor underneath. I’m so happy I can’t stop rubbing my hands together in glee.

I actually can’t believe it took me a year and a half to get around to this step.  I always knew I was going to rip out the terrible green wall-to-wall carpet and expose the hardwood underneath.

Note: For ranches of this era hardwood floors were standard issue since nylon wall-to-wall carpet was invented after WWII as an alternate way to keep the war industry producers in business.  It was not common in Wisconsin in 1952 when my house was built.  I had even pulled back a small corner to confirm that it was down there.  But somehow I just didn’t get around to getting it out!  Continue reading “Revealing the gorgeous hardwood under my (hated) Wall-to-Wall Carpet”