Archive | Home Improvement

Patio! Finally!

Do you guys remember wayyyyyy back when we first bought the house and wrote a couple big lists of all the projects we still wanted to tackle? Let’s take a moment to throw our heads back and laugh at those lists. Ha! Hahahaha! Most of that stuff never happened.

IMG_0812 copy BUT there is one thing that did happen. One BIG thing. We upgraded our patio y’all!

20151108_103834 You may remember our teeny patio of yore. It was about 10ft x 10ft and had sunk several inches into the ground over its 38 year lifespan (we’re prettttttty sure it’s original to the house. It was in that bad of shape). It was barely enough space for a grill and a couple fold out chairs.

IMG_0813 We naively thought that we would someday bust it up ourselves and lay a new patio like true DIY-ers. We even bought a sledgehammer for that very purpose and went as far as taking a practice swing. We should have listened to Evan’s mom in the clip below.

Thinking we had done enough work for that day, we hung up the sledgehammer. And the patio stayed as is for almost 3 years.

Along the way, my parents gave us their old fire pit and we squeezed that onto the small space. Then we scored 6 free curbside patio chairs a neighbor was getting rid of and things got really crowded. Like can’t-even-walk-back-there-without-banging-a-shin crowded. So-bad-we-never-took-a-photo crowded.

20150913_175341 We held off on upgrading the patio for years because we weren’t sure how much we would actually use it (Houston weather is humid 60% of the time, all the time). But for some reason, getting these free chairs spurred us into action. Probably because with their addition, it was really pretty impossible to get around, and our options were either get rid of them or finally commit to something we’ve kinda been wanting to do anyway for years. Commitment it is!

First we had to figure out what we wanted. We knew we wanted concrete instead of pavers since it’s quicker and cheaper, and we didn’t mind the clean look of it. But having concrete means you can’t pour over any important lines buried under your yard. (Pavers are different because they can be pulled up individually if necessary). So we called the utility companies to come out and mark where our lines were. They spray painted but it was hard to see so I photoshopped the lines in.

IMG_1361 copy We decided to expand away from the house as far as we could (up to the edge of the gas line), go almost the neighbors fence back there, and almost to where our gutter drains (didn’t want to deal with drainage issues) . This gave us a pretty solid working area.

We called a guy we found on Angie’s list, he met us the next morning to give us a quote, and by that afternoon we pulled the trigger and he and his team got started ripping the old patio up. Can you believe there was about 6 inches of concrete buried into the ground? That’s how much it had sunk over the years!

IMG_7873 He texted me pics throughout the day of the progress they were making. I don’t think I’ve ever stared at my phone so much waiting for a text (except maybe when Evan and I first started text-flirting back in the day).

New patio! evanandkatelyn.com Usually I have little pangs of doubt when we decide to hire out a job instead of DIY it ourselves. But look at all this stuff that was hauled out of our yard. No more doubt here.

IMG_7879 By the next day we had a finished patio!

New patio! evanandkatelyn.com Crazy to think that such a big change can happen in just a couple days!! We basically tripled our patio square footage!

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20151108_103834 We’ve since taken a few steps to pretty it up, but this post is already getting long so we’ll save those updates for another day! For now, please excuse us while we dance around our patio simply because we ACTUALLY HAVE THE SPACE TO DO SO! :D

New patio! evanandkatelyn.com Oh and what’s that ladder doing out there you ask? That’s news for another post! :)

7

How to Patch Siding

Some DIY fixes work like a charm. Some don’t work at all and you end up making things worse than they started. Others work just long enough for you to get comfortable and forget about them. I’m looking at you old siding patch.

You may remember a post from about a year ago when we noticed some holes in our siding and patched ’em up using this badass goopy stuff. If you don’t remember, click the link above :) Basically, our T1-11 siding (which is pretty much cardboard) had some weak spots at the bottom where rain had splashed up over the years. We patched it with Ready Patch (the aforementioned badass goop), let it dry, slapped on some paint, and called it good enough! It was pretty awesome for a year… and then the floodgates opened (literally, it flooded like crazy here in Houston) and our patches decided they had taken enough wear and tear.

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We decided ok… time to suck it up and pay to get this siding replaced. But while talking to the siding guy, he said if we didn’t want to replace the whole face of the siding, we could just patch the bottom of it with a protective board. He pointed to the board you see along the bottom of the siding in the photo above. See that? He said that was actually a patch that the previous owner had probably done. Basically, as long as there’s no moisture currently trapped, you can just patch over the bad stuff with a new board to protect it!

Since we didn’t want to pay $1000 for the whole face of siding to be replaced (after all, the rest of it was in good shape), we decided to try our hand at this new type of patch.

First things first, we had to rip off the old board patching the bottom. Evan used a utility knife to score the paint/caulk where the board met the siding. Then he used a tiny crowbar to pry it off. See below!

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Yep we are incorporating gifs now. But only sometimes. When we remember to :)

When Evan pulled off the board, it took off a good chunk of the old siding with it. Lots of damage, but all dry at least!

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Then it was time to put up the new boards. We needed about 10-1/2 feet of wood, so we picked up two 6-foot pieces of 1″x10″ because we couldn’t fit a 12-footer in either of our cars. We grabbed some bricks from our garage to support the boards and used a level to make sure everything was aligned correctly.

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan nailed it in and grabbed the second board. Halfway through nailing it in, we started noticing that at least one of these boards was not flat. Or maybe the side of our house was not flat. Either way, it was not good.

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It may not look like much in the photo, but every time we tried to hammer in whatever part of whatever board was gaping, it would pop out a different corner. With daylight fading, we decided not to waste any more time on dumb non-flat boards. We went back to Home Depot looking for other options. And what we found was even better than our original plan!

First off we found this roll of waterproofing tape called Protecto Wrap that’s typically used to seal off windows and doors. We decided since our wall isn’t totally flat/straight we might end up with gaps even if we buy new boards… so we should seal it with the wrap as extra protection.

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

We scraped off all the loose bits from the old siding before rolling out the wrap. It was definitely easier doing this with two people. Evan held the roll while I pressed it against the house. This stuff was SERIOUS. The adhesive was sorta tar-like and it molded to all the grooves in our siding.

The second thing we found at Home Depot was some hardiplank siding we could use instead of regular wood. This was awesome for three reasons- one: it’s waterproof, two: it’s flexible, and three: it’s cheaper!

It wouldn’t fit in our car so we had to borrow Evan’s dad’s truck. Worth it though! You can see how flexible it is in the photo below.

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We cut it down to size with a jigsaw. It was a little tricky to cut because the blade wanted to do its own thing, so Evan used our right angle (and some elbow grease) to keep it in line.

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

It did WAY better than the original wood boards. We did have some trouble finding places nails would stick on the left side (hence the bajillion nails you see in the photo below) but in the end we got it pretty secure. And to be honest, we weren’t tooooo worried about it because the real protection was coming from that wrap we used.

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

After securing it, I took over with my handy caulk gun to caulk over the gaps. We went up the sides of the window frames a bit as well where the paint was cracking.

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

OMG IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL

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That was sarcasm. It was pretty messy. But once we painted over it everything looked great!

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And now I know gifs make you looks like a crazy person. JUST PAINTING HERE I LOVE PAINT WANT SOME PAINT?!

Update - how to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

We are pretty confident about this fix! Guess we’ll check in again in a year and let you know how it’s holding up!

5

Fan vs Evan

Replacing the fan in the master bedroom seemed like a pretty dang easy project. After all, we had already removed a couple fans, so installing one couldn’t be that different right? Ha. Hahaha. We’ll take a moment of silence for Evan’s fingers and then we’ll get started on the post.

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So here’s how the old fan looked in our bedroom. Not absolutely terrible- but we did feel that it really dated the room.

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It especially revealed it’s age when you took a closer look. Mmmm, dat glass…

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So Evan, with his height and all, got to work disassembling the fan. He started with the blades and light covers.

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After he removed the base and snipped the wires (don’t worry, the power was off!) we were pretty confident it was going to be smooth sailing. But then we saw these.

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A bunch of nails- NAILS- holding our fan into a ceiling joist. No mounting kit, no screws. This meant it was going to be WAY harder to remove this thing.

Evan finally managed to pry them out, but those five nails cost him about half an hour and the use of his index finger (it’s hard to simultaneously use a hammer and pliers above your head while on a ladder. Would not recommend).

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You can see by the multiple gouge marks on the nails (oh and the one that BROKE IN HALF) that this was quite a battle.

The good news is that after this, installing the new fan was a breeze (Ha! A breeze! I’ll see myself out…)

Evan installed the base and the down rod (so that it would hang lower than the ceiling, like our old one). Then I hopped up and spackled/painted around the edges of the base, where we had kinda beat up the ceiling trying to get the old fan out.

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Then it was on with the blades and the lights! :D

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Somehow after that we never took an after picture… so I went and took one today! (Psst, you can check out the details of how our room has evolved over the past year here).

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We feel like the new fan suits the room MUCH better. The brushed silver ties in with the lamps and bed frame, and overall the look is way more sleek and modern. Woohoo!

5

Prettier Pantry

We never really expected to upgrade our pantry in this house, but when I was hit with the sudden urge to clean it out and get rid of old stuff it was the perfect opportunity to beautify the pantry a bit. Mid-clean you can see that our pantry is nothing fancy but nothing terrible either.

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It’s not the biggest, but it’s plenty of room for our little family of two. The main problem we had with it was that the shelves were not so pretty. And not so functional. They look alright from far away, but when you get up close…

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You’ll notice that each shelf is made of two pieces. These two pieces were uneven and bowing, so when you tried to slide something to the back or pull something out it would catch. Also, these shelf-pieces were covered in layers of painted-over contact paper which tended to get beat up on the edges (and it’s kinda gross too).

So we thought it would be pretty easy to say goodbye to the old shelves and say hello to some pretty new ones. Hello pretty new ones.

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We went to home depot and picked up some nice plywood and trim pieces, and cut the plywood to the size we needed our shelves to be. Then Evan nailed the trim pieces to one edge of each shelf (the edge that would be facing out). You can sorta see the trim piece that is attached to the top of the shelf below. But I know, it’s hard to notice things like trim when you’re distracted by that dazzling smile.

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Here, now you can see the trim :P

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He also sunk the nails so that we could add wood filler and stain right over them (so that in the end it would look pretty seamless and you wouldn’t be able to tell there were nails).

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Evan then sanded the edges that we had cut when cutting the shelves to size. The cuts were a little rough but they sanded right out.

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While we were in the garage, Mochi was having a pantry party.

mochi pantry

Then Evan started the longer-than-expected staining and sealing process.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

The reason it took so long was because of the required wait time between multiple coats of sealant. We wanted to make sure our shelves had a nice solid seal to make them spill-proof and easily wipe-able (since they’d be around food) so we had to do a few coats of the stuff. And after each coat you had to let it completely dry, give it a light sand, and then reapply.

But its ok, we used the wait time to buy a few organizing baskets from Target so we could ditch the cardboard boxes that had been serving that purpose for way too long (scroll back up to earlier photos to see that sadness).

After much patient waiting, I was so excited to load everything back into the pantry with our new and improved shelves! The wood is so pretty and shiny and smooth. It looks great AND is super easy to clean.

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Maknig new pantry shelves - evanandkatelyn.com

Never thought I’d be so proud of our little pantry! It’s come a long way *tear*

8

OMG You Can Paint Grout

Y’all may know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our master bathroom. On one hand, we have an AMAZING big-ass shower (read that as “big ass-shower” and it’s extra funny). But on the other hand, our bathroom came without a door (weird right?), the pedestal sinks feel awkward, and the tile we inherited would not have been our first choice. Not to mention it was not the neatest tile job. After struggling with loose tiles and cracking caulk I was getting ready to give up on this tile ever looking nice.

But then the clouds parted and I discovered the $12 miracle that is Polyblend Grout Renew.

So let me back up a bit and explain why discovering this was so awesome. See, one of the reasons I think our tile looks sloppy is because the grout lines are super uneven. And before this project, the white grout lines against the dark tile made that unevenness very noticeable.

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It’s not absolutely terrible from far away. But when you get closer, you start noticing things like this:

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Hot mess am I right? So anyway, my theory was that if I painted the grout a darker color, the variation in grout lines would be way less noticeable. The recommended method is to clean your tile/grout really well and then apply the paint with either a toothbrush, paintbrush, or Q-tip. I chose to use 2 different size paint brushes, one for the itty bitty lines and one for the thick chunky lines.

We opted for the charcoal/black looking paint since it was closes to what we wanted. I just squirted a bit into the cap and kept that nearby as I meticulously painted each and every line in that dang bathroom.

OMG you can paint grout - evanandkatelyn.com

I started in the corner near the toilet (glamorous, I know) because if it turned out looking terrible, I wanted it to be in a more hidden spot.

OMG you can paint grout - evanandkatelyn.com

This is a good photo though because you can see the before and the after together in one shot. Already, the darker grout looks less jarring. It just kinda meshes with the darkness of the tile and makes any unevenness less noticeable.

It took several weeks to complete this project, mainly because I could only do it a couple hours at a time here or there. It was easy but boring and not super duper comfortable being on the bathroom floor.

We decided to do the shower surround, but we left the inside of the shower as is. It’s not as noticeable in there because of how the glass obscures things. Also, I was pretty tired of painting grout at this point. We also left the larger caulk seams around our tub as is (though we might paint over those too in the future, would be pretty quick! You’ll see the lines I’m talking about at the base of our tub later.)

OMG you can paint grout - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end it was worth the tedious work! To save you some scrolling here’s the “before” again…

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And after! (bonus new rugs and shelf items too!)

OMG you can paint grout - evanandkatelyn.com

And here’s another before shot of the other side of the room…

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And the after!

OMG you can paint grout - evanandkatelyn.com

It may not look like much, but that’s the point. Now you don’t notice the grout lines on the counter, backsplash, floor, bath surround, shower surround, baseboards… they just blend in with the tile, which is exactly what we wanted. Win!

2

Kitchen Updates are in Order

Hey guys! We have all these little changes we do to the house that we don’t really deem “blog-worthy” (picture the clouds parting and light shining down upon those words), especially these days when we are super busy and only seem to have time to post about the bigger stuff. But hey, these little updates deserve love too! Maybe not clouds-parting-light-shining-upon-them love, but a little love at least. Here is a compilation of a few kitchen-related updates that we realized we never shared.

First off, writing this has made me realize that we do not have ANY recent photos of our kitchen. What the heck. Here it is from wayyyyy back when we were first moving in. Notice the boxes in the background?! Seriously, I need to photograph our kitchen more often…

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The first update to share is the AMAZING new faucet we got. Yeah, until I owned a house I never thought I’d get this excited about a faucet. BUT IT IS SO AWESOME!!! Why you ask? Because it’s touch-controlled! Yeahhhhh living in future, yeah technology, yeah yeah yeah awesome home stuff! It’s the Delta Addison faucet and I love it.

The old faucet leaked a little and only worked on spray mode, not stream mode, which resulted in the whole area inevitably getting spray misted every time we cleaned something. “Y U ALWAYS SPRAY TINGS OLD FAUCET?!?!”

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So yeah, got rid of him. With a little instruction-following and a husband up for the job, we got the new one installed right away. Was pretty straight forward, though we did have to call and get a new o-ring because the one it came with wasn’t creating a strong seal.

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And now look! Pretty touch-sensitive faucet!

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Oh what’s that you see hanging out above our new faucet? It’s our new pendant light! Before, we had a sad-looking recessed light. Not even a nice one, but literally a black hole with a regular light bulb screwed into it. So sad.

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But we got this pendant light for our wedding that literally screws right into the recessed light fixture so it was a super easy switch! You can’t tell in photos but we have an Edison bulb in it, which looks super cool :)

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Looks good with our new faucet. You know what else looks good? That little bit of fridge peeking into the photo from the right side.

Heck yeah we got a new fridge!!! It was our Christmas present to ourselves last year. Family was in town so we recruited Dad to help move the old one out.

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There was nothing functionally wrong with the old one, but it was the only bisque colored appliance in a sea of beautiful stainless steel so we decided to designate it as our secondary laundry room fridge and replace it with a pretty one. Now the old one houses the tons of beer leftover from the wedding. Come drink our beer people. No seriously, please… come drink our beer.

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It does jut out, but because of the doorway into the dining room to the right, a cabinet-depth fridge would  not be able to be opened fully, which would mean more difficult access to food, which would be very sad. Maybe one day we will build a nice built-in looking fridge casing for it. For now, we will just be very very thankful that it’s not bisque.

And there you have it, some much-overdue kitchen updates! I know all this sounds like extravagance upon extravagance, but trust me, we are not made of money. These updates span over the past year+ so we had time to save our pennies. Writing this reminds me of many more “little updates along the way” posts I want to write, so keep your eyes peeled! :)

8

Fireplace Facelift

Our fireplace is kind of a butterface. As in everything looks really good… but her face. (On a side note, I have never once before this post referred to our fireplace as a she. But now I feel like I have to run with it.) We love that she’s a floating fireplace. We love that her bricks go allll the way up to our ceiling. We love that she’s a sizable hefty focal point for the room. But we never really loved her face.

I guess old school brass with intricate cutouts is just not our biggest turn on.

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We weren’t sure we wanted to deal with (or spend money on) replacing the brass cover, and to be honest I wasn’t even sure if we could find the right size out there. But I had seen a few tutorials online that suggested painting the face for a quick and easy update. I was intrigued!

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I came across several different methods reading through the tutorials. Some people took the whole brass face off first and painted it outside. Some people built a big bubble/tent out of plastic sheeting to keep the spray paint in. Some people just brushed the paint on by hand. We didn’t really feel like doing any of the hard parts (building a bubble, taking the face off, or painting by hand) so we decided to leave it in place, mask off the edges, go to town on it with some spray paint, and hope we didn’t inhale too many fumes.

First we masked off the glass with frog tape and printer paper.

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

Then I remembered oh yeah, maybe I should sand this a bit. For the record, I’m not sure if sanding made too much difference. I sanded the outside lightly with 220 grit, but I forgot to sand the inside of the doors and I can’t really tell a difference.

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Then we protected the brick with more tape, more paper, and some plastic. (Our fireplace stayed this way for a few weeks because we were traveling and got super busy and took a while to finally paint it. It was super not attactive).

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

We picked up some Rustoleum high-heat matte black spray paint meant for painting the inside of your grill. Gotta play it safe if you plan on actually using your fireplace. If you never light it up, I guess you could paint with whatever you wanted though.

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

We went with matte black instead of gloss back in the hopes that it would make the intricate cut outs less noticeable by reflecting less light. You can see in the photo below that the cut outs almost disappear when painted.

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

When we were done with the outside, it was already looking way better. Mochi approved because it was black and had fuzzy edges just like her.

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

At this point we got super excited because it was looking way better, and we thought we were done. Then we realize dang… it looks great with the doors closed, but as soon as we open them, more brass reveals itself!

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

We still needed to spray the hinges and top and bottom sliding track as you can see in the photo above- but we also still had to paint the inside of the door frames. Which meant trying to tape off the glass from the inside. It was kind of a pain and required getting our arms tangled at some weird angles but we got her done!

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Again, after this point a couple weeks went by. Looking back, this project took way longer than expected because it just kept getting put on the back burner. Eventually the plastic around the fireplace came untaped, but we didn’t bother putting it back up since we were done painting the outside.

Painting the inside required some even more awkward angles than taping did. It helps to have a husband who is willing to stick his head into a fireplace to reach those tricky spots. As Evan spray painted, I held a couple sheets of paper on the outside of the door to block over-spray.

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

Almost time for the big reveal…

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

Taking off those last pieces of tape and paper was so satisfying!

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

Ta-da! No more brassy scrolls! No more scrolly brass! No more brassy brassy scrolly scroll brass! We love it!

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

We like that it no longer automatically dates the room like it used to. It kinda balances out some of the other black objects in the room. Can’t wait to see how it looks with a fire going this winter!

How to paint your fireplace from brassy to black - evanandkatelyn.com

0

Patch Em Up

**Edit: This patch held strong for about a year. We’ve since replaced it with something we hope is better! Check it out here**

What you’re about to read is not the most glamorous of home updates. There aren’t any beautiful “Afters,” or photos with great lighting that make you want to drop your hot pocket, put on your DIY pants, and get at it. But if you’ve been getting rain like we have down in Houston, this post could be very helpful!

Our 1978 house has T1-11 siding, which is basically cardboard. I knew pretty much nothing about siding until I started doing the research, but basically this stuff is not the best over time and if it’s not sealed by a nice paint job, water damage is gonna happen eventually. Hence the two big holes you see before you.

IMG_6152 How to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Most of the time these holes don’t even show from the front of the house since they’re hidden behind a couple unruly bushes. (Dang, that is one hot mess of a photo. Crooked light and all. Eeek!)

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But hidden or not, these guys were getting splashed with water and I’m sure all the humidity wasn’t helping either. We got quotes from a couple siding replacement companies that were crazy high (thousands!), then found a handyman who said he could do it for less, but he ended up being booked for the next couple months. So we did a little research and found a way we could put a little patch on our problem.

This badass stuff.

How to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Basically, it’s safe for outdoor use, it’s waterproof, it goes on like spackle, and it dries rock hard. Exactly what we needed.

I waited til we had a sunny day, and before I started I wiped the whole surface down with a mixture of dawn soap and vinegar to get off all the dirt and stuff that had splashed up there. Then I scooped out a bit of the patching compound on the corner of my putty knife and went to town.

How to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Unlike normal spackle, this stuff is more sticky and less crumbly, kinda like marshmallow fluff. So you can more easily pack it into large holes like this one.

How to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

There you go, all patched! Just to be safe, I did wait the appropriate drying time and give it one more passover just in case.

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I filled the other hole too, which was even easier because it was a lot smaller.

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We let it dry and after a quick coat of paint it was looking good as new!

How to patch siding - evanandkatelyn.com

Now we know this is definitely not a permanent fix, but it will help keep all the rain these days out of our house. And it cost a total of $5!

2

Hammer Time

So we thought we had a water hammer. Basically, a water hammer is when the sudden stop or start of water running through your pipes causes them to bang around. Every time we would quickly turn off the water at our bathroom sinks we heard this chukka chukka chukka sound that we couldn’t quite place. We checked up in the attic, but it didn’t seem like anything was moving, so we called our favorite plumber (aka my best friend after going through this situation) and he did some investigating and it turns out it wasn’t a water hammer after all, it was a loose piston behind our shower making all the racket!

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I couldn’t give you all the details on it because I don’t remember… but moral of the story is, even if it sounds like a water hammer don’t rule out other scenarios!

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Basically he removed our shower handle, replaced the little piston doo dad and popped the handle back on (all for free! This guy is the best!), but I realized later that I should probably caulk around it so that when guests come over we don’t have to worry about water leaking in.

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I talk a big game about my caulk skills after caulking the kitchen, but really Frog Tape is the true hero and I would be no where without him. Which led me to cutting about 100 little pieces of Frog Tape to go around our circular shower handle plate thingy.

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Of course, Mochi halped. Because she is a strange strange cat who likes to be in bathtubs as much as humanly (catly?) possible.

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Putting up all the little pieces of tape was a pain but it made caulking a breeze. I taped about 1/8-1/4 inch away from the edge to give me a nice just-thick-enough-but-not-too-thick line. We just bought one of those little squeeze tubes so that we didn’t have to bust out the caulk gun, which also made it easy. Then I just peeled it off and ta-da!

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Super easy, super fast, but also super important (because we don’t want water behind our tile!) caulk job. And I got to work with my favorite bathtub cat.

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2

Light Love

Feels weeeeeeirrrrrd jumping back into house projects after being in wedding mode for so long (and neglecting the house. Sorry house) but we have been trying to do at least one house project each weekend, even if it’s a little one. Before we get into those updates, we have to catch y’all up on some projects we tackled over the last few months, starting with our dining room light!

You may remember me complaining about this light. I was not a fan. First off, it’s a lame boob light. Boring. Totally does not take advantage of of the fact that it’s over a dining table and can therefore be a really cool statement piece. But also, do you see how off-center that is??? How was that a good idea?

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We’ve been eyeballing the West Elm hanging capiz chandelier since before we even had the house. The price always held us back, but then my mom got it for us as an early Christmas present and we couldn’t wait to get it installed before my family flew in for the holidays at our house!

First thing we did was turn off the power and start removing the hardware and shade of our ol’ boob light. Left behind a lovely ring of old ceiling paint.

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

While Evan was on light removal duty, I trekked back up into the attic to try and locate the fixture from above. Was a little tricky because of our insulation, so I had to go back downstairs and measure the distance from the nearest vents to the dining room light so that I could use the measuring tape in the attic to find it. But finally, success!

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We then marked the center of the dining room so we knew where to cut the hole for the new light. Evan drilled a hole to use as a starting point for the circle we needed to cut out.

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

We traced a circle of the correct size onto the ceiling and Evan used a little saw to cut it out. It’s a dusty job but somebody’s gotta do it! Unfortunately, as Evan started sawing we hit a beam in the ceiling. Whoops. So we had to adjust our circle and move it over a couple of inches. So I guess technically it’s still not centered… but hey, it’s MUCH better!

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan went up into the attic to install the new fixture and we couldn’t help it, had to take this pic!

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Then I went up and joined so I could snap pictures of the process (and be the “tool girl”). I carry tools in my boots because the pockets in girl jeans are a joke.

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There wasn’t much space to work in, but Evan got everything in place. We attached it with an L bracket along a ceiling beam.

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Success! Now to attach a billion little capiz shells

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

It was tedious but it looks awesome! Except for that old hole in the ceiling…

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

So we got one of those 6-inch metal mesh patches and covered it with spackle. By this time my family was in town and Dad managed to make the spackle mimic the ceiling texture. Then we used leftover ceiling paint from our laundry room paint job to finish the job.

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We somehow never took another picture after patching the hole, so I took one today! Which actually shows me how much our dining room has changed since Christmas.

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

Kinda interesting how subtle changes make a big difference! I’ll save you some scrolling and post the dining room progression pics all right here.

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It definitely feels a lot more “us” now! And it was a pretty easy update!

DIY light fixture swap - evanandkatelyn.com

(PS- some of the new decor is actually left over from our wedding DIY projects! We’ll post about those soon!)

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