Tag Archives: electrical

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! 🙂


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.  It.felt.like.it.would.never.end.  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!


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! 🙂



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

Loading up!


Thanksgiving Eve Update

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, friends!  I don’t know about you, but I have tons of food to begin prepping, so this is going to be short and sweet!  We have a 22 pound gobbler and 12 people eating, which means lots o’ slicin’ and dicin’ in my future!  I’m really looking forward to it though, so no complaining here!

Since the flooring demo finally finished up last week, Mr. Fixer and I have moved on to general clean up in preparation for replacing all the old electrical wiring in the house.  For Mrs. Fab, this means lots of vacuuming; and for Mr. Fixer, balancing between ceiling joists while he removes the old blown-in insulation in the attic (this will make it easier to run new wiring).  In between, there has only been a teensy bit of whining from yours truly — “Honey, are we DONE yet??”  Yes, I admit, it does happen from time to time!  But I digress…

Enjoy this wonderful holiday before us!  I hope everyone takes a few moments to reflect on and give thanks for all the gifts, blessings, and privileges that we are able to enjoy!

With Thanksgiving hugs,

Mrs. Fab

Leaky toilet

We bid adieu to the last remaining toilet (yes, it was leaking too!). Now my body likes to play tricks on me every time I go to the house — I walk in the door and immediately have to pee!!!

Nick de-nailing

Our friend Nick has been our most faithful helper through this huge project of ours. Many, many thanks Nick!


Our most generous house-mate, Gaurav, came to check the place out and give us a hand. We think he finally wants us to get out of his place ASAP! 😉

Another leak

Oh look — another leak! This is where the 1980’s addition is meeting the original portion of the house.

Mr. Fixer removing insulation

Mr. Fixer begins the process of bagging up insulation. Good thing our house is pretty small!

Bags of insulation in attic

These three bags of insulation are only the beginning! [The hole in the floor to the right is from the chimney we removed.]

Wrapping up Demo… Again

A couple weeks ago when I wrote Wrapping Up Demo, I thought Mr. Fixer and I were finally on the cusp of the rebuilding phase for our bare-bones house.  Goodness, was I wrong.  But now I can say that we truly are!  The flooring has been completely removed, and we are ready to begin replacing electrical and plumbing.  Yippee — one step closer in the process of fixer to fab! 🙂

Addition subfloor

Starbucks gift card to the first person who can tell me IN A COMMENT what is missing from this picture (other than the floor – duh!).

So what was the holdup, you might wonder?  Well, the [probably well-meaning] geniuses who put the beautiful yellow linoleum in the living room not only glued it on top of the hardwood, but they first glued down a layer of tar paper.  In addition, the way the hardwood was originally nailed down made it extremely difficult to pry up.  Mr. Fixer used his circular saw to cut the flooring into smaller pieces, which then made it easier to pull up, but also a bit more time-consuming.  We then had to painstakingly pull off both the layer of linoleum and the layer of tar paper from each individual piece of wood!  [Well, we didn’t have to, but we wanted to salvage what we could and reduce our waste at the dump.]  Talk about tedious work!  Combine this with an absent Mrs. Fab (yay for beach vacations!) and the cold-to-the-bones weather, and you’ve got a bit of a delay.  That is the way the construction game goes, though–it always takes longer than you think!

Hope everyone has been staying warm these last several days!  If you have it in your heart to donate some food or clothing to the Oregon Food Bank, there are lots of folks who could use the love!  Visit http://www.oregonfoodbank.org/ for more info!


Mrs. Fab

Mr. Fixer pulling up linoleum

As difficult as it was to remove, I sure am glad to see that linoleum go!

Removing tar paper

Mrs. Fab’s job was to remove the tar paper from each piece of wood and separate the pieces into a good pile and a bad pile. Super fun!

Hardwood flooring origin

One of my favorite things about this project so far — finding remnants of history beneath the rubble.

Mr. Fixer with large demo bar

Mr. Fixer bought a fancy pry bar to help with the rest of the flooring demo. It sure made quick work of it!

Mr. Fixer preparing to pull up floor

Ready to tackle the parquet flooring in the addition.

Parquet removal

Goodness, if only the rest of the flooring had been this easy to pull out! Mr. Fixer was awfully proud of himself! 😉




Bags of trash

Loads of garbage — tar paper and linoleum mostly. This doesn’t even include all the junk already in the truck!





Design Revisions

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I don’t know about you, but I am especially looking forward to this coming weekend.  I have a wonderful beach getaway planned with 10 awesome gals, and I can’t wait!  I feel a teensy bit guilty that I am leaving Mr. Fixer to work on the house all by himself, but quality time with girlfriends is so important for Mrs. Fab’s soul!  And maybe some of my gal pals’ hubbies will join Mr. Fixer and have their own manly-man time (hint, hint). 😉

For the last couple weeks, I have been meaning to update you all on a couple small changes to our design plan.  As Mr. Fixer and I were discussing the mechanical/electrical plan for the house, we decided that it would be less cumbersome to figure out a venting strategy for the range if it was on the exterior wall where the sink was originally planned.  Here’s an explanation for why this decision was made:

  • Every range needs to have a ventilation system to get grease, smoke, and moisture out of the air while one is cooking.  For ranges that are not against a wall, the ductwork has nowhere to hide except in the cabinetry and/or flooring below.  This creates a space issue, and when you are short on space like us, it just doesn’t make sense!
  • The ubiquitous microwave.  I am not a big microwave user, so it gets forgotten in my design programming much of the time.  Mr. Fixer, though, thoroughly enjoys zapping his food, so he was the one who pointed out the issue of where we were going to put it!  In a large kitchen with plenty of cabinetry, the days of the microwave being over the range are pretty long gone.  However, in a small kitchen like ours, that really is the best location for it. [Because, ugh! — who wants a microwave taking up their entire kitchen counter-space?!]

The second small change we made was simply flipping our built-in at the new back entrance to the opposite wall.  We chose to do this because of the future desire to have that back portion of the home a lovely master suite (instead of its current designation as a rental unit).  By locating the built-in on the other wall, therefore, that leaves room for future french doors to lead into the master.

Take a look, and please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!


Mrs. Fab

Changes are noted in red.

Changes are noted in red.

The new design, with the aforementioned changes.

The new design, with the aforementioned changes.

Demo with Friends

Not only has the rainy season begun, but so has the dreaded cold season.  I woke up this morning with my throat screaming at me and just daring for me to swallow.  Ouch!  But hopefully it is nothing a little TLC and a hot toddy (er, I mean, tea) won’t fix!  😉


These ladies rocked!

As expected, we had another great weekend with lots of progress.  And we had quite the crew to help us!  God has definitely gifted us with an amazing group of friends that don’t mind getting their hands dirty on our behalf; and for that, we are forever thankful!


Deanie and Samantha helped Mrs. Fab remove some U.G.L.Y. curtains.


Samantha’s other half, Guillaume, got a work out digging into some drywall.


Guess which goofy guy from last weekend this lovely lady belongs to? 😉


Tiffany was a pro at removing pesky nails from oak trim we hope to sell or donate.


Ty’s got some big guns! Come back any time, Ty! 🙂


That’s right, Mr. Fixer helped too!


These ladies were a great cleanup crew and awesome de-nailers!  Mike, who is hiding behind them, was a little camera shy! 😉

Our main project was getting the walls prepped for new windows, new electrical, and insulation. The ladies spent lots of time removing trim and de-nailing, and the guys got busy with the sledge hammer!  We got loads done and really enjoyed spending time with everyone.  What could be better?


Limin was excited to take the first swing at this wall!


And it’s a home run by her hubby, Nick!


Taking a break.


Our 1950’s house was never insulated, and it has old knob & tube wiring. The windows are all single-paned originals… brr!


Future master.


The wall on the left (where you can see the shower/tub peeking out) will have a new entrance for a master bath.


This little nook will become a new closet, and the existing closet will join with the other bedroom’s closet

As you can see, dust was flying all day!  Our windows arrive on Thursday, so that will be the next big project–and as I hinted at previously, I will soon be writing up a little tutorial on how to correctly pick out and order new windows.  Also stay tuned for some minor design revisions that I’ve been working on this last week!

Be well, wash your hands, and stay healthy! 🙂

Mrs. Fab