Been there, done it my self but no more. Since retiring, I’ve contracted with a local high end design build team to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen of my 1955 hip roof ranch near the Norfolk Airport. These posts chronicle the journey.

  • 2021, The year of the snake (12/11/2021) - This is your boring holiday letter of interest to about 3 people in the whole world. If you're one of those, press onward. If not, don't feel bad. This article is a mash-up of this and that.
  • Dismal Manor Goes Electric (8/7/2021) - This is a post about carbon, reducing the amount of CO2 i produce traveling and heating and cooling the joint. High efficiency heat pumps will be coming to Dismal Manor for heating and eventually domestic hot water heating.
  • We’re finally there! (10/19/2015) - Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Yes, at last. It was an 8 week project, just like my contractor promised. What he didn’t tell me was that it would be 8 weeks every other week. As usual, weather, other projects, and waits for the cabinet shop to fabricate the cabinets got in the […]
  • 90 Percent and Holding (9/22/2015) - The kitchen project is nearly complete but we are at the 90 percent and stalled point. One big task and several small ones remain. Install gutters This requires fixing a goof in the roof deck Install back door dead bolt Install microwave trim kit Install closet rod in laundry area Stain the column Locate or […]
  • Kitchen is coming together (8/26/2015) - One box of Chemex filters later, the kitchen is almost finished. This is my contribution to the design, moving the carport door from the carport to the end wall and adding this Charleston style porch and step. My builder’s designer got the masses and sizes right. My project manager Evan found a use for some […]
  • Remodeling Known Unknowns (8/4/2015) - Remodeling projects are always an adventure. In planning a project you and your contractor make assumptions about the existing condition of the building that may or may not be true. Missing an educated guess can have a big effect on a project’s profitability or throw some change orders. The classic example is the finding of […]
  • The grand design emerges (7/30/2015) - The flooring crew is working Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Monday. They set the Schluter DITRA decoupling membrane and new wood flooring on Wednesday. On Thursday the tile crew is planning the layout and cutting tile as needed. On Friday, they’ll mix thin set mortar and actually lay the tile. On Monday, they’ll return to grout […]
  • Upstaged by a Houndy (7/25/2015) - Sam’s BellaBob has been putting me to shame with her regular posts. I’ve been slacking off but not for want of things to write about. In early July I took a road trip to visit the Watson Cousins Reunion and the remodel project has been gathering momentum. Since I last wrote, plaster has happened, painting […]
  • Visiting Tile Shops (7/8/2015) - In a large metropolitan area, such as the Virginia Tidewater, there are a number of tile stores, some manufacturer specific and some representing several manufacturers. You’d think tile shopping would be simple but it is not. Home Depot and Loews They have about everything including tile. The thing to watch about the big box stores […]
  • At the stone yard (6/4/2015) - On Tuesday, Nick, Missy, and I hopped in the GTI to test the new EZpass with a trip to Triton Stone in Portsmouth, Virginia. Triton Stone is our local stone supplier. Triton imports granite, marble, onyx, and quartzite from suppliers world wide. Being a natural product, each piece of stone is unique. The primary constituents […]