Sorry to do this… (not really a motorcycle post)

I don’t have that many followers here on WordPress but I do feel bad for those that I have. I’m no longer posting motorcycle related stuff here. I’ll only be posting it here:

http://motocynic.wordpress.com/

I’m trying to keep all of my motorcycle and related posts in one spot and when I imported this from my Livejournal a lot of other random crap came with it. So this will be my last even slightly motorcycle related post on this blog.

If motorcycles are what you want then please check out the new blog. It’s the same with just a new url and everything is motorcycle related.

See you over there.

Hopefully

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What I do when not Riding

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The Kitchen: Tear it out and start over

It did not take long for us to start planing what we were going to do with the house. The offer was just barely accepted before we were talking about the things we needed to change or fix and the things we wanted to change.

One of the biggest things we wanted to do was open up the kitchen, this is a very popular thing to do and I really like it. One of the reasons I wanted a larger house was so that I could entertain, and one does not do that easily when trapped in a kitchen. We suspected (correctly) that one of the the two walls that we wanted to take out was load bearing so we came up with some ideas on how to deal with this. Luckily I have a father who is a Civil Engineer and an Uncle in construction so we were able to come up a good solution that we were happy with.

We visited the house a couple of times while in escrow planning the kitchen lay out. We quickly realized that we would need to move the sink, since it was in the corner with a wall we wanted to remove.

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While some might balk at removing what looks like perfectly good cabinets and counters, be assured that you can’t see all the cracks in the tile from here.

Here are a couple of pictures of the kitchen in the original form. Really nice… if you like being locked into a closed space and made to cook dinner.

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It was a long journey from that to this:

It has changed a bit.

It has changed a bit.

We started here, on this wall. Not sure why, but you have to start somewhere. We began taking things apart. In hindsight deconstruction goes much faster than the putting it back together.

Step one carefully take out the shelves. We re used them next to the new sink.

Step one carefully take out the shelves. We re used them next to the new sink.

Remove Cabinets and Counters.

Remove Cabinets and Counters.

Remove wall, and admire your handiwork.

Remove wall, and admire your handiwork.

Then take this wall... and make it look like...

Then take this wall… and make it look like…

This.

This.

Looking out of the kitchen into the living room.

(The other side) Looking out of the kitchen into the living room.

It was here that we had to use the professionals. Putting the beam in was made to look easy by the wife’s Uncle. Easily worth twice what it cost. He got it done in one (longish) day. Including reinforcing under the house to handle the way the load of the wall shifted. It’s nice to have a father who can make you feel good that the engineering was right. (He actually did the math.)

It's nice to have people who know what they are doing.

It’s nice to have people who know what they are doing.

Looking pretty awesome.

Looking pretty awesome.

Later that night once we cleaned up a bit.

Later that night once we cleaned up a bit, looks really good. Still so much work to do.

The only picture I have of myself. We took out the built-in cabinet in the wall behind me, I'll share what we did with that space in another post.

The only picture I have of myself. We took out the built-in cabinet and the ironing board in the wall behind me, I’ll share what we did with that space in another post.

The Lovely Wife is working hard here. Putting the wall back together.

The Lovely Wife is working hard here. Putting the wall back together.

Look we have walls (mostly) it got late and needed to have the electrical finished up before it was closed up.

Look we have walls (mostly) it got late and needed to have the electrical finished up before it was closed up.

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We also started work on the arches for the corners of the doorway.

We did arches here too, mainly to hide the vent pipe in the upper left corner.

We did arches here too, mainly to hide the vent pipe in the upper right corner.

 

Once we got all the electrical done and drywall up we could start installing the cabinets and appliances. It was around this time that we moved in. We had the bathroom done (which we were working on concurrently) and were hoping to get things done faster by living in the house instead of an hour away.

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Getting this set of cabinets were relatively easy. and the kitchen was somewhat usable.

We got the diswasher and stove hooked up ASAP with no sink in the kitchen there was no way I was doing dishes in the garage.

The hardest part of getting the Cabinets in was putting the pantry in. It needed to be cut down and assembled in place since it was exactly 8 foot by 2 by 2 leaving no room for the slight inconsistencies in a 75 year old house.

I'm glad I only had to put one of these in. Though I was impressed with how well the wife and I managed it, just ourselves.

I’m glad I only had to put one of these in. Though I was impressed with how well the wife and I managed it, just ourselves.

We then put the rest of the cabinets in to finish the island. With proper reinforcement for the bar overhang. We then had to wait a while for the counter tops to be made and installed.

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They were finally put in just 2 days before our house warming party. We still did not have a kitchen floor for that party, but it was great to have a fully functioning kitchen!

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There are still things that need to be done. Little things, moulding, and other small details are still unfinished but even I don’t see them. Every day I come home and smile at how amazing my house is.

 

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My House in Pictures: Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room

So many hours and Days, but I think it was worth it. If you want to see what it looked like before you can see the house in these posts: Kitchen, Bathroom, Living room and Dining room.

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Sadly I don't have a picture that we're not working on filling the filing.

Sadly I don’t have a picture that we’re not working on filling the filing.

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Seeing how the table fits with both leaves in. Works great!

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The House is Amazing

My wife Candice and I closed on the house at the end of April. Six months later we had finished nearly everything that we wanted to do. Including a complete kitchen and bathroom remodel. I mean we tore out 2  walls of the kitchen and removed 50% of the Bathroom walls and the remaining wall in the kitchen down to the studs. While we were at it we rewired and replumbed the entire house.

This was not done by just the two of us. My Dad was there for 90% of it, Candice’s Dad and Uncle put in some weekends. My Brother, his Wife,  my Mother, Mother in-law, Aunt and others all pitched in too. It seemed like it too forever, but funnily enough it now seems amazing how much we got done in only six months.

Right now one of the most amazing things I do everyday is come home. Coming home and walking into the house is nearly always amazing. Sometimes I just stop and stare at how great everything looks and struggle with the concept that we did all of it ourselves. All those hours and weeks and months that we spent without a break are nothing compared to the dream like feeling I get when I am filled to bursting with joy when I walk around my house.

Sure there is still much to do, many loose ends, but the majority is done, and the house for the last month has become more, it is now my home.

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It's a nice looking house.

It’s a nice looking house.

 

 

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Strangely Silent: An Update on Our House Buying

Many of you know that Candice and I have been on the path to buy a house since July of last year. (if you didn’t know this I’m sorry and I should be better at keeping in touch with you)

This has been a crazy and sometimes painful process little of which has been shared on Social Media. This is because the whole process of buying a house in the Bay Area is quite possibly one of the craziest things you could want to do right now. It is a sellers market and homes get multiple offers days after being put on the market, and prices are sky rocketing.

For Candice and I this meant spending most of our free time during the week looking for homes online in the areas we wanted to live. Then on the weekends we would look at them, putting offers in on the ones we liked. We did this for the last four months, over and over and over again. We put in over a half dozen offers, and each one that we didn’t get was a painful rejection and a loss of someplace that we had already invested a bit of our dreams into. As much as you try not to get attached to a house you put an offer in on, you do have imagine yourself living there since you are spending tons of money on trying to buy it.

I won’t lie, I went a bit crazy.

So when we had an offer finally accepted at the end of March we were very reluctant to tell anyone despite being pretty excited. Even as things progressed we have continued to only tell people when we speak face to face so fragile did the dream still seem. It’s not until today when I know that everyone has signed the final papers and that there is only one thing left to happen before I get the keys am I even willing to write this down. I could not let it become real, still keeping my hopes as low as possible, always trying to be ready for the other shoe to drop.

However, if you are reading this it means that the other shoe doesn’t exist (or it’s still out there waiting) and it means that the deal is done.

Candice and I have a home and we couldn’t be happier.

We look forward to having you over (as soon as we tear apart the kitchen, bathroom… never mind just come on over!)

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The Acacia House: The Short Version

The first of Triplets

The first of Triplets

It's a nice looking house.

It’s a nice looking house.

Looking into dining room from living room.

Looking into dining room from living room.

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252 Acacia Livingroom

 

 

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252 Acacia Bathroom and Bedrooms

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