Heading Up?

Now that we have the top walkways of the cat walk done, we need a way for Triangle to get up to them!

After a lot of research and some Pinterest frustration, we settled on a zig zag slanted walkway design.

We used a narrower version of the same pre-made shelf boards that worked so well for the overhead shelves for the tracks. Since no angle bracket we could find had the angle we needed, we went with sturdy door hinges to create whatever angle we needed!


This build was surprisingly easy once we got into a rhythm with measuring, cutting, and fastening. It also looks really cool!


Triangle liked it, but between the steep angle and slippery surface, he couldn’t go up very well and mostly settled for sitting on the turning platforms.

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Despite the challenge, he did manage to get to the top to continue exploring the walkways!


To make climbing easy for him we decided to carpet the zig zag. It took every clamp we had available!

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You can see that we picked a semi-industrial ridged carpet for traction as well as a scratching post-type surface(Triangle is a front foot declaw who likes to scratch his toes on nubby things)


Once the carpet was on, there was no stopping him!


He successfully found Aaron for some much needed ear scratches after his long journey 😉


In the end, I think we all really like this addition to the house!


Warm and Cozy Once Again

Blech. I really don’t like handling insulation. I am sure most people don’t, since it can make you itchy, but I am short and putting up pieces that are taller than I am is not fun. I would have the piece almost all tucked into its space then suddenly it would decide NOT to sit in there and come tumbling down on my unsuspecting head! But, even with the unpleasantness, we got all of the insulation back into the walls!

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We actually did not have to get any new insulation, it was all able to be re-used, we even had a bag left over!

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We were also able to bring in the drywall for the bathroom, as that will be our next project:-) Now we just need to get the vapor barrier up on the walls and paneling can start going up too!

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Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

Woot! Plumbing gets started today! Aaron is getting some help from a local contractor, Jason King, and is getting the first drain run and planning the paths for the water lines.

First up? The hot water heater! We were lucky enough to have picked a cabinet set that had a large pantry unit that the water heater could fit in.

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All of the electrical lines have been run, so we already had a pretty good idea of where everything needed to go, but it was cool to see it all start to take shape even further.

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Aaron was also able to get the bathroom fan all wired in, meaning I could finish re-directing the HVAC vent to come out of the side of the small dropped ceiling we created to hold the vent. It took a LOT of tape and careful snips to get it all up there!

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We also got the floor of the shower put in place, including installing magnets under the front edge so the shower curtain will stick 🙂

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The last item of the day was hanging the double-duty door that either closes the bathroom or the neighboring closet. We decided on this little design quirk since there was enough leftover space next to the shower that we didn’t want to waste it, yet also didn’t want to deal with a deep, narrow cupboard and the wasted space from enclosing the planned-on pocket door. This was a happy and usable compromise!

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Playing with Flooring

When we were at the ReStore, we picked up a number of boxes of hardwood flooring that thought might be used in parts of the house. 2015-08-02 13.45.41 I laid out a few boxes worth, but there was not enough of any one kind of flooring to make it worthwhile to use as flooring. But! We will probably use it as decorative trim and other accent details. 20150802_194643549_iOS But, this means that we need some flooring! I had picked out a floating vinyl flooring a few months ago that would work for the whole house. We even found one box of it at the ReStore! 2015-07-20 18.39.38 We will use that box in the bathroom:-) But what for the rest of the house? We did not need the waterproof aspect of the vinyl flooring anywhere besides the bathroom and the kitchen, so we went with a laminate option: 2015-08-02 18.52.20 The kitchen also got the floating plank, but in a warmer hue, as it did not need a whole month to come into stock 😉 The colors work out well with the bathroom being a cool toned wood, the kitchen a warm tone, and the rest of the house a blend of the two. 2015-08-02 18.53.40

Buy ALL the Things!

Today was exciting! We are getting to the point where lots of things can get installed, we just have to pick where to start! This includes the shower(which was in 3 different boxes!), the bathroom vanity light and corresponding bulbs:


We also picked up all of the remaining flooring needed!


Lastly, we attempted to get a water heater, but it turns out the one we picked out was WAY to large for our needs, so we will need to go back for that at some point:-)


Am I Bugging You Yet?

I will be very happy when we have all of the windows and doors replaced, because then we won’t have so many buggy visitors!

bugsSpeaking of windows, the first big one is in now! We got a matched set of 6 foot wide windows that we chose to put in next to the door and opposite it in the kitchen. They are really HUGE!

2015-07-31 17.30.05Now that we are closing in on window replacements being done, Aaron has been able to start framing out the interior walls for the bathroom and the shared kitchen/bathroom wall.

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It is starting to truly feel like a house!

Windows and Doors and Floors, Oh My!

Whew…busy day! We got up early and hooked a small flatbed trailer to our car and headed into Saint Louis this morning so we could see if either of the ReStore locations had items that would work for our house!

Our first finds were a number of very large windows that would look great in our building:


Have you ever lifted a window that is almost as tall as you? They are heavy! And we needed 7 of them…better get a second cart!


We also found two matching exterior doors that should fit in the current framing. The windows are all larger than the existing ones, so they will require re-framing and the siding to be cut away in places to be installed. After checking out and loading everything into the trailer(5 windows, two doors, and a LOT of padding!) we headed over to the second ReStore location. Second jackpot of the day? Cabinets! There was a 12 piece  tongue-in-groove construction set that we thought we could use pieces from(no way we have room for all of it!) Since we will have wood flooring of some sort, the cabinetry will be painted to avoid wood overload.


Speaking of flooring, we also found a bunch of that! It is looking like we are going to change our plans a little and instead of buying flooring new so it is the same throughout the whole building, we will have lovely hardwood in a variety of finishes in the different areas of the house. It should be interesting!