Category Archives: House Projects

End of Year Update

Hello friends!  I know, I know, it’s been a few months since I’ve updated you on the house progress.  I wish I could cut this post short and say, “surprise — it’s finished!”; but alas, that is not the case.  It is definitely getting closer though!  Each stage that we have been in seems to ddddrrrrraaaaggggg slowly by and I think we will never be able to move on, but then the day comes when we finally wrap up another phase and get to proceed onward.  Perhaps that is why blog posts have gotten fewer as the time has gone on — there is just only so much updating to do!  Anyways, enough rambling on about the passage of time… I am sure everyone has their own personal experiences of projects taking longer than you expect and can relate in some degree to what we are going through.

So, in the last post I wrote at the end of September, we were just beginning the drywall phase. Well, I am happy to announce that drywall is officially done!  Mr. Fixer hung all the drywall himself (with the help of some great family and friends), and then as we set off on our San Diego babymoon in mid-November, the drywall guys taped and textured and finished it all off! How amazing it was to come home to WALLS!!!

It felt like it would be smooth sailing after that was done and that we’d get to move in right away, but we still have some big projects to check off the list before that happens (like installing ductwork for heat, which Mr. Fixer is working towards right now… another one of those time-consuming tasks).  Nevertheless, we’ve made progress on other things in between, including painting, installing electrical outlets and switches, and tiling the bathroom and kitchen floors. And of course, celebrating the birth of a new nephew, traveling, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the midst of it all!

Enjoy the pics that recap the last few months, and Happy 2016!  Here’s to a new year filled with more projects (they never really end), a new baby, and lots of other unexpected adventures! 🙂


Mrs. Fab


Meeting baby Harvey

We kicked off the beginning of many weekends away from the house by meeting our new (and first!) nephew Harvey!


Mr. Fixer hanging drywall

In between weekend travels, Mr. Fixer steadily chipped away at installing the drywall.


Nick and Chris helping with drywall

Our friends Nick and Chris were very helpful in assisting Mr. Fixer hang the top pieces — those sheets are darn heavy!


Me, Kris, and the girls

In the beginning of November, we took off for a long weekend trip to Montana to visit my dear friend Kristen and her sweet twin girls. We had so much fun playing in the snow and getting a taste of what it would be like to have a little girl running around the house someday! 🙂


Secret helpers

While we were away in MT, we had some secret helpers cleaning up the house for us and helping us get ready for the drywallers to begin their finish work. What an amazing gift that was!!




Taped drywall

This is the beginning of the drywall finish work. We got to see a glimpse of it before we headed out to…


San Diego

…sunny San Diego for a week-long babymoon. It was soooo hard to come back to the cold and the rain!



Mr. Fixer in paint suit

As you can see in the background, though, we returned from our vacation to finished walls! Mr. Fixer suited up the next week to begin painting!



Just in time to host Thanksgiving dinner in our living room with flamingo lights and space heaters! Definitely a holiday to remember!



Mom painting

Family stuck around for a long weekend to help with projects around the house, such as paint touch ups…


Mike painting the nursery

….painting the nursery…


Tile layout


Brett working on outlets

…and electrical work.


Brett using tile saw

In fact, my brother and sister-in-law were having so much fun that they stayed an extra week to finish up all the tile! Thanks guys!!

Brett installing tile

Almost done with the kitchen!

Hanging out with Harvey

And me? Well, I got to hang out with this cutie the whole time! 🙂


Let the drywall begin!

Happy Monday friends!  The last few weeks have been busy and it feels like we are making soooo much progress at the house!  The fact that drywall is going in right now fills me with JOY!  But before that commenced, Mr. Fixer installed our new insulation and we demo’d our old ceiling.  Originally we thought it would save us money to keep the old ceiling intact and just skim over it with mud, but our drywall guy recommended we actually put new drywall over it.  Since that obviously wouldn’t save us any money, we figured we might as well tear it out!  It caused a bit of a delay, but at least we enjoyed great company while we were at it! 🙂

Enjoy these picture updates!  By the time the drywall is all finished, we just might know what color to paint the nursery! 🙂


Mrs. Fab

Mr. Fixer framing out ceiling

Mr. Fixer is framing out the second part of our vaulted ceiling in the addition. We did this for two reasons — we weren’t a huge fan of the cedar paneling everywhere, plus we wanted to put some insulation up there to conserve energy.


Ceiling insulation - partial


Ceiling insulation - complete


Wall insulation

Insulation around the house is complete! Plus we passed our inspection (of course!).

Collage - ceiling demo

Last weekend we had friends over to help with our ceiling demo. Guess what Mrs. Fab did all afternoon? 🙂

Mr. Fixer with drywall

Look at that big smile on Mr. Fixer’s face?! We loaded up our 16′ trail with 6000 pounds of drywall and off we went (slowly)!

Scripture above doorway

A project I have been wanting to do for some time (before drywall!) — write scripture on the walls that pertained to each room/area of the house.

Ryan with first piece of drywall

On Saturday we prepped for drywall installation (papering the floors, etc.) and managed to get the first row of sheetrock in before calling it a day. Thanks for your help Ryan!



Dad helping with drywall

My dad also drove down from Seattle to help Mr. Fixer! Couldn’t have done it without ya, Dad! 🙂




Mr. Fixer installing drywall

Mr. Fixer finishing up the back bedroom.

Completed ceiling - drywall

And here we are! Except the bathroom and a couple of closets, we finished installing all of the new ceiling in the main part of the house.

Electrical, Mechanical, & Structural – check!

Hello friends!  The day has finally come — time for an update!  About a week or two ago, Mr. Fixer finished up the mountainous project of replacing all the old electrical wiring in our house. We replaced old wires, got a new electrical panel, laid out a new lighting plan, added outlets, and so on.  But alas, it did, and we passed our inspection with flying colors.  Let me tell you, Mr. Fixer is impressive!  Throughout this whole process, I’ve been continually blown away by what my smartypants 🙂 husband can do or figure out how to do. He really is the epitome of DIY!

In the midst of this project, we finally moved on-site into our little travel trailer, affectionately called “the pod.”  Goodness knows the stories we will be able to tell our children someday… It’s about 17 feet long and maybe 8 feet wide, but it does have a full-size queen bed (with a Tempur-Pedic mattress!), a bathroom, a little 2 burner stove, a convection microwave that I still don’t know how to use, and a tiny refrigerator.  Plus a dining room table that folds into a second bed!  So someday when we aren’t actually living in the pod, it will be a great little trailer to take camping!

It was a little difficult taking pictures of wiring (there’s only so much to see!), so I’ve thrown in some random pics of things we worked on while Mr. Fixer was busy doing his thing.  Enjoy!  Stay tuned… insulation and drywall is next on our to-do list!


Mrs. Fab

New panel

New panel


Mr. Fixer is very organized 🙂


Feeding wire into the new box

Recessed lights

We installed several new recessed lights throughout the house. I learned a lot about designing lighting plans for remodels during this project! Main lesson… be flexible! 😉

Vaulted ceiling

A side project that we had our good friend Pat help us with was firring out the vaulted ceiling in the addition. We weren’t a huge fan of the wood paneling and it didn’t mesh well with any other area of the house, so we decided to drop the ceiling slightly and we will just sheetrock over it. A bonus, though, is that we get to tuck some insulation up there, so the space will be a lot warmer than before!

Mom ripping out the bush

Another side project — ripping out lots of ugly bushes in the front yard! Luckily I had my mom’s big muscles to help! 😉


Our neighbor let us borrow his creeper van to haul all the yard debris away!

Mike driving the van

Mike had a blast driving the old van! We thought for sure we’d get pulled over at some point…

The pod

And last, but not least, THE POD!

Plumbing – check!

Well hello, friends!  It’s been awhile, I know.  But goodness, have we been busy!  As I was reviewing all my photos for this blog post, I got to relive what we’ve been up to for the last several weeks — a beach trip with middle and high school kids from church, two weekends of helping friends move, a thirtieth birthday celebration for yours truly, Mother’s Day in Seattle, a fishing trip on the Columbia with my dad, and a new job for Mrs. Fab!  Meanwhile, we’ve been spending every spare minute at the house working on plumbing and electrical — what a project! The plumbing finally wrapped up at the end of last week, though, and I am proud to say that Mr. Fixer passed his plumbing inspection on Friday morning with flying colors (I had no doubt).

I am off to do some shopping for the next adventure in “Operation Fixer to Fab” (stay tuned… we’ve got some new digs!), but I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day!


Mrs. Fab

This pile of tubing and fittings grew and shrank, grew and shrank.

This pile of tubing and fittings grew and shrank, grew and shrank.  Mr. Fixer would call up from beneath the house, and I would cut pieces to length and pass them down.

Looks like some sort of Halloween joke, huh?  Mr. Fixer was in and out of our crawlspace more times than he can count!

Looks like some sort of Halloween joke, huh? Mr. Fixer was in and out of our crawlspace more times than he can count!

Mr. Fixer created this handy contraption to help unroll the PEX tubing.

Once all the venting was in place, we began to install the water lines.  Mr. Fixer created this handy contraption to help unroll the PEX tubing.

Water lines under house

By the time all the lines were in place, we had used over a thousand feet of PEX.

Plumbing manifold - before


Plumbing manifold - after

After – here is the plumbing manifold all hooked up!

PEX everywhere

We had tubing going everywhere!

Meanwhile, our faithful electricians were busy at work :-)

Meanwhile, our faithful electricians were busy at work 🙂

Hi Mom!

Hi Mom!

Powder room sink

And here it all is — all hooked up and ready for inspection! (Powder room)

Bathroom sink




Laundry room

Laundry room

Second bathroom sink

Second bathroom

Shower and sink


ADU sink

This area is for the small wet bar/kitchenette that we will rent out eventually.

Island vent

Island vent for the kitchen sink — the inspector was especially impressed with Mr. Fixer for this one!


Digging Trenches

Hi friends!  I spoke with my grandma on the phone yesterday and she reminded me that I haven’t posted a new blog post yet, so I thought I should get right on that! 😉  The following pictures are of our huge sewer replacement project.  We had a pretty good idea going into the purchase of our home that this would need to be done, but we were not really sure to what extent the “damage” would be until we started digging (and by “we,” I really mean Mr. Fixer… and other people).  We began a few weeks ago, and while I co-hosted a tea party for about 20 women, some of their spouses headed over to our house for some pizza and digging.  Thank goodness for their help in getting this project started!  Once again, I am so thankful for our community of friends!

Enjoy, and next time you see Mr. Fixer, give him a nice pat (massage?) on the back! 🙂


Mrs. Fab

Deck removal

Notice that our deck is gone? To begin, the guys had to remove the deck to get to the sewer line.

Beginning of sewer line

The beginning of the line, and the digging!

Holly bushes removed

We had some giant holly bushes bordering our deck that got in the way. Don’t worry, though, Mr. Fixer hooked them up to his truck with a chain and pulled them right out!


IMG_6144Old sewer pipe


Corroded pipe

And this, friends, is why we needed a new sewer line. We had a septic system!

Mr. Fixer digging

Mr. Fixer continued to dig long after the other guys left, and the following weekend. He’s such a hard worker!

Mr. Fixer in the trench

And he manages to keep on smiling the entire time!


Nick and Limin having a drink break

This last weekend we had some helpers fill the trench back in with dirt. Thanks Nick and Limin!

Mr. Fixer and more digging

This picture jumped out of order and I can’t get it to go back. It’s a good overview of length though. I think it was about 40-45 feet of digging altogether!





Water line

Oh, and while he was at it, Mr. Fixer decided to dig out the old water line too.  Does anybody have a good recommendation for a physical therapist?!


Prepping for New Electrical & Plumbing

Happy Monday, friends!  The following pictures are a couple weeks old, so my apologies, but I figured I should at least get them up on the blog before my mom and step-dad come down again (bless them!) on Friday!  Once again, we had a great time while they were here.  In between pulling out electrical wiring at the house, we hung out at McMenamins (a must for Mike when he’s in town), attended a men’s breakfast event at church, had a dinner and movie date, and made buttermilk blueberry pancakes!  Goodness, it doesn’t even sound like we worked at all!  😉

Hope everyone is getting ready for one of my favorite holidays tomorrow — St. Patrick’s Day! Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about a big ol’ plate of corned beef and cabbage!


Mrs. Fab

Mom pulling out old wires

Mom had to work those muscles pulling out all those wires!


Mike removing wiring

Mike dealt with the chaos of our main electrical box.



Teamwork! And a beautiful smile from my mom 🙂


Mr. Fixer installing new shower pan

Mr. Fixer is installing the new shower pan in the back bathroom.


Mr. Fixer prepping for shower pan

Ever the precise one 🙂

Blueberry pancake face

A special pancake just for me. Thanks Mom! 🙂




Hello and happy Thursday, friends!  I am looking forward to this week coming to an end because my mom and step-dad are coming down again to hang out and help at the house. These visits have become so fun, and they truly enjoy helping us build our new home!  I have a feeling though that it is kind of like babysitting — they are probably glad when they get to pack up and return to their own cozy (and finished) home by weekend’s end!  😉

Mr. Fixer and I, on the other hand, are in this for the long haul.  The past few weeks at church we’ve been discussing the same passage in Acts (chapter 2, verses 42-47) about community, fellowship, and devotion; and the word devotion is definitely something I would associate with Mr. Fixer.  He has got to be one of the most devoted people I have been blessed to know.  Not only has he shown incredible devotion to our marriage, but he is also so devoted to his work at the house (not to mention his full-time day job!).  I was there the other day cleaning up for him and snapping some photos, and I am truly amazed at what he has accomplished in the little time he has been able to actually be there working.  And the most humbling part of it all — he is doing it all for me!  Okay, so he is having fun and loves doing this type of stuff in general, but goodness knows that guys can tolerate living in filth and mess much better than us gals!  He wants me to have a beautiful and comfortable home, and he is doing everything he can to provide that.

Sure, sometimes I get discouraged that he’s not home right after work, or that we aren’t going on fancy getaways or eating out at fancy restaurants.  In our society and culture, we are conditioned to believe that these are the signs of devotion.  I have to remind myself that devotion goes much deeper than that, though.  It is the day-in and day-out commitment to someone or something other than yourself, not a random gift or gesture here and there.  Now, that is not to say that I do not still want those things (I am like every woman longing for romance, after all), but they would certainly mean a lot less if the man behind them was not the kind of devoted man that I know Mr. Fixer to be.

With that thought, then, I encourage you to take a moment and say thank you to the ones in your life that are devoted to you.  Maybe it is a spouse like Mr. Fixer, but perhaps also it is a parent helping a child through school, or a daughter checking in on her mother.  Whatever the relationship, don’t ignore the everyday signs of love and devotion while you are pining away for fireworks and filet mignon.


Mrs. Fab

Update: Mr. Fixer has been busy working on framing lately.  I know these pictures may seem like a puzzle to some, so read the captions for a frame of reference (ha!).

Living room looking towards addition

Standing in the living room, looking towards the addition. The wall in the front is a new kitchen wall. To the right of that will be the new eating bar.

Half bathroom doorway

Standing in the living room, looking towards the bedrooms and bathroom. The framing to the left will be a closet and the doorway to the right is for the half bathroom. Beyond that is the “master” bedroom.

Kitchen looking towards bathroom

Another view towards the bedrooms, this time from the kitchen. There will eventually be two new walls here — one dividing the kitchen from the bathrooms, and another dividing the half bath from the master bath.

Garage entrance looking in

Standing near the garage entrance, looking into the kitchen and living room.

ADU bedroom doorway

Moving to the back of the house, this will be the ADU bedroom. This is looking out towards the ADU living area.

ADU closet doorway

Standing in the ADU bedroom, looking towards the new closet doorway. Beyond that will be the new laundry room/pantry.

ADU bathroom doorway

Again, standing in the ADU bedroom, looking towards the doorway to the adjoining bathroom.

ADU bathroom and closet doorways

A broader picture of the two previous doorways.

Doorway to laundry opposite

Standing in the ADU bathroom, looking towards the laundry room/pantry doorway. There will be a wall separating these spaces. Beyond the doorway will be a new entrance to the deck, and you can see a sliver of the kitchen through the doorway to the left.

Doorway to laundry

An opposite view — standing in the back entry looking towards the laundry room/pantry doorway. Again, there will be another wall here separating the laundry from the ADU bathroom.

Doorway to ADU opposite

Standing near the ADU entrance, looking towards the main house.


Doorway to ADU

An opposite view — standing in the main house near the kitchen, looking towards the doorway to the ADU/future master bedroom.


Quick Update & Flooring Options

Happy Thursday, friends!  I want to give a quick update (mostly with pics) on the house, and then I’ve got to scram!  Among other errands to run, I’ve got to go to Lowe’s and Home Depot to look at flooring options.  With our limited flooring budget, we don’t have hardwood in our sights, but we are really interested in the new faux hardwood flooring made out of porcelain tile.  Click here for an example of what I’m referring to.  Our main requirement for flooring is that it will hold up to our dog’s toe nails, and I think this will do the trick.  Otherwise, laminate flooring has definitely come along way over the years, so that is plan B.

I hope everyone is looking forward to this Valentine’s Day weekend!  Mr. Fixer and I have plans to–you guessed it–work at the house and then enjoy a relaxing dinner at home (Steak Diane — yumm!).  If you don’t have plans with a sweetheart, I say go splurge and do something nice for yourself!  You deserve it!  🙂


Mrs. Fab

Chris & Mike again

The day before Superbowl we had a siding removal party. Thanks for the help Chris and Mike!

Chris & Mike removing siding

They got so much done that by the time our other helpers arrived, there wasn’t much left to do! 🙂

Nick & Limin pulling nails

Nevertheless, Mr. Fixer put them to work pulling nails.

Tiffany collecting staples

Tiffany was on clean-up duty, helping to collect all the fallen staples from the siding. There were so many that it wasn’t long before her bucket was full!

Ty pulling nails

Ty was on nail-pulling duty too.

Jetta carrying lumber

During the week after work, Mr. Fixer has been working on the interior framing. That Jetta sure does a good job carrying lumber!

New framing

New pocket door framing, patched flooring, and a new opening for the half bath. He sure is a busy guy!


Windows, Tubs, & Doors

Hello, friends!  This week I feel like I have been wrestling with my ever-growing to-do list, and even though I planned on posting this Monday, here it is on Thursday!  Like most people I’m sure, I have a love/hate relationship with my to-do list.  Without it, I’d be lost; but with it, I can get so overwhelmed!  Sigh…

[Y.O.G.A. @ 2pm.  Breathe.]

First off, how ’bout that new blog header, eh?!  My wonderful friend Aubrey whipped that up for me this last week (literally, she’s so talented I think she just wiggled her nose and it was done), and I adore it!  I’d love to hear your feedback on the design, too, so please leave your comments and let me know what you think!  Also, if you need your own graphic design services, let me know and I will get you in touch with this dear friend of mine.

Now, on to a house update!  With the nice(-ish) weather that we had last weekend, Mr. Fixer started putting in more windows at the back of the house.  These windows were a little more time-consuming because they weren’t just replacement windows — we (cough, cough, I mean, he) actually had to pull off the siding and cut new openings.  Saturday he was on his own while I hung out with sneaky surprise visitors (thanks again, Mom and Mike!), but on Sunday we had some great help thanks to our friends Jamie and Caleb.  What troopers, too — Jamie was coming off night shift as a nurse at the hospital and hadn’t even napped before she came over to dig in!

Meanwhile, I feel like I have been all over town looking for one piece shower-tub units that do not cost an arm and a leg.  One piece units are not commonly found at your run-of-the-mill hardware store (like Home Depot or Lowe’s) because those types of stores mostly cater to remodels, not new construction.  In a remodel, for instance, it is almost impossible to get the one piece units inside your home.  For us, though, since we have exterior wall openings that are moving (and a one-level home), we have a good opportunity to drag them through the house. In the end, the search will have been worth the trouble — no ugly caulking lines and mold/mildew build-up at the seams.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Fixer and I have also been discussing doors.  Yes, friends, doors. Fascinating stuff, really (ha!).  Seriously, though, do not pass over this design detail and make hasty decisions, because an annoying door can be, that’s right — annoying!  Consider the way it swings, what it will be running into, whether a pocket door/barn door/bi-fold door/double door/etc. might be a better option, and so forth.  Cost, of course, comes into play, too.  Who knew doors could be so expensive?!  Our initial quote from Home Depot was over $4000! We’ve since found less expensive (and better) vendors, but it has been a process.

Well, that’s about it for now!  I have to get a move on with the rest of my to-do list, so I hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday! 🙂


Mrs. Fab

New bedroom window

Mr. Fixer enjoying a smoothie break.

Pile of siding

Guess who got to clean up this pile?! 😉


Future kitchen & bathroom

Walls are opening up! Our future kitchen and bathroom space.

Jamie on bucket

Post night-shift worker bee. You rock, Jamie!




You too, Caleb! 😉




Eeek, blood! Caleb’s battle wound.



Mr. Fixer framing new window

Mr. Fixer is framing our new tiny bathroom window.



Lumber difference

The age difference in this lumber is amazing! The piece on the left is from the original 1950s house, and the piece on the right was just purchased.



I worked on removing old insulation from the addition done in the 80s. We will update this with warmer, up-to-code insulation.


A yucky surprise that I found in one of the walls!



Corroded pipe

More corroded pipe. Seriously!

Jamie and Caleb

They made amazing progress and were such a huge help! Many, many, thanks!





Odds & Ends with Friends

Hello, friends!  Happy Wednesday!  I am still playing catch-up with my photos, so these are from two weekends ago.  This last weekend was Mr. Fixer’s birthday, plus it poured outside, so we didn’t do a lot at the house.  Birthday breakfastBut we sure did have a nice day celebrating Mr. Fixer and eating lots of yummy food!

Have I mentioned how wonderful our friends are?  Truly, I cannot keep saying it enough — we have the best of friends!  Whether they are helping us at the house or doing something entirely different, we simply have incredible friendships that I am so grateful for.  Okay, I’ll stop gushing… 🙂

Enjoy this quick update!  I hope everyone is having a great week and getting an opportunity to enjoy the sun that’s been peaking out the last couple of days.  I hear that it is supposed to be 60 degrees on Monday! (Can anyone say beach trip?!)


Mrs. Fab

Attic view of new beams

This is an attic view of the two big beams we put in.


Nick & Limin removing electrical

This fantastic duo is helping to remove old knob and tube wiring.


Samantha removing window

This lovely lady can do anything, whether it is helping to remove electrical or knocking out old windows!

Guillaume removing window

Guillaume should be a pro window guy by now! 🙂


Nick & Limin removing nails

Our deck has to be removed so we can replace a bad sewer line. Great…

Deck screws

Helpful hint: leave your screws in until you are finished so you know where you’ve been!


Mr. Fixer holding rotten pipe

And this would explain why EVERY fixture in the house has a leak.

Guillaume & Nick holding header

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