We haven't posted in a while because we're spending every waking minute trying to get the house habitable.
Our downstairs bathroom, the only one finished right now, is done and we can't wait to use it properly. The urinal got used right away (Jeremy was upset that Oslo beat him to it). The toilet we initially purchased, a Kohler dual flush, didn't fit in the rough plumbing opening. Ugh? Luckily, our plumber, feeling badly that it didn't fit, helped us return the toilet and found a Toto that we like even better, and he gave us the contractors price on it. I completed the tile in the shower. Wow, that was way more work than I anticipated. We used glass mosaic and it is unforgivable and very difficult to work with. It lays down quickly, but it also shows every irregularity on the surface and is tricky to cut. Jer and I designed the vanity/sink combination. The cabinet is maple and we found the legs online, which we stained to match. The countertop is a beautiful piece of remnant soapstone from Berkshire Stone in Winsted, CT and the backsplash is Vermont green slate.
The IKEA kitchen came together nicely. Those Scandinavians know how to design. We're very pleased with the quality of the cabinets and appliances. I chose the IKEA ovens (microwave and convection oven) from IKEA, manufactured by Whirlpool, because I wanted to make sure they would fit in the IKEA oven cabinets, plus they were cheaper than buying the same Whirlpool appliances at Sears. Our other appliances consist of a Kenmore Elite induction cooktop, Kenmore Elite fridge by LG, and Bosch dishwasher. It took a bit of work getting all the cabinets ordered, picked-up, and assembled (not recommended for the novice weekend warrior). We decided to use the oak butcher block countertop for the areas on either side of the sink. The island has a temporary countertop, until we decide on how we're going to finish the island and what material to use on the countertops. We just installed a 1/2" piece of veneer from the "seconds room" at IKEA. If you're creative, that's a good place to find some awesome deals.
Jeremy has been concentrating on the stairs, which have turned out great! The steel stringers are from Artistic Iron Works in Canada. Jeremy had a steel frame built for the landing and we used reclaimed barn beams for the treads and landing decking. We had a local sawmill remill the beams and we planed, sanded, and finished the wood. The posts are pine and the railing is galvanized hog wire fencing from Tractor Supply ($30 per 16 feet section!!) And the added bonus is that the inspector "passed" our stairs much to our surprise. We thought there would be lots of issues with the openings everywhere, but he just asked us to cover the risers and we concurred.
Now, all we need is hot water and we can move in!!