...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Remember our dilemma with the floor registers?

In case you missed it, the gist of story goes somewhat like this:

We gutted the perimeter walls down to the cinder blocks to add insulation. In doing so, the new walls stick out a few inches further than they used to. This left us with floor registers that opened up right along the baseboards. A standard register cover wouldn’t fit without some tweaking. So while the kids and I were out of town for a few days, HH got down to the tedious task of notching out grooves along the bottom of the baseboards to slip the register covers into. Then he caulked around the registers.

At a glance, you can hardly tell anything is amiss.

Only when you get up close is the caulk line visible. This reminds me of my handy grandpa’s favorite motto. Do your best and caulk the rest.

We went with steel registers in an oil-rubbed bronze finish with a geometric pattern for all the rooms that have engineered hardwood on the floor. The thought was we didn’t want the registers to stand out so choosing a color similar to the wood floors was key.

In the tiled mudroom, we opted for the brushed nickel version of the same register to more closely match the travertine floor.

If we were able to find the correct size for our registers {which we couldn’t}, we could have gone with a baseboard register that sits up along the baseboard. But we didn’t want to interrupt the lines of the baseboards. We like them too much and thought the upright registers would have made things look choppy. HH’s solution wasn’t conventional but, then, nothing we do seems to be. It’s a good thing we got the ductwork covered, too, because only a few days later lil’ Miss Mabrey decided it was time to start rolling.

You might be a redneck hopeless renovator if your idea of baby-proofing includes installing floor registers.

Another biggie on our to-do list is hanging interior doors. I’m happy to announce that we now have a bathroom door! {…and a few bedroom doors} Thank goodness. I was a little worried when I exited the shower one morning and was promptly met by Everett asking, ‘Hey. Where’s your penis?’

I was so tired from being up at night with a certain adorable baby girl that my immediate thought may or may not have been, ‘Holy crap! What did happen to my penis?!’

We have some doors but no handles. I still can’t lock the bathroom door but a closed door is a sign of occupancy. {This all reminds me of a recent Dooce post that you must read if you are a parent to a little one.} We’re going with matte black hinges and hardware. For now, we’re using designer masking tape handles. We’ve officially taken ‘downsizing’ to a whole new level.

You might be a redneck hopeless renovator if going to the bathroom involves masking tape.

Any redneck tactics finding their way into your home improvements?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

58 Comments

16.August.2012

I’ve been away from your blog for awhile, but: Lordy! Is Mabry starting college next week?!
She’s so grown!

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16.August.2012

I noticed you haven’t put handles on your ikea vanity. Are you going to, or leave them without? We installed the same cabinet (gloss white) and I haven’t decided yet. I like the look without, but the kids have pinched their fingers a few times!

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replied on August 16th, 2012

No pinched fingers yet but I think we may add handles down the road. You know, after we have doors on all the rooms! Not sure what style we would go with.

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16.August.2012

This is hilarious. We overheard our boys talking one night. We heard one say to the other, “No, mom does have a butt. She just doesn’t have a penis.”

Seriously, every time you mention your kids, it sounds like a scene from my home.

Doors look awesome so far!

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16.August.2012

OH MY GOSH i love these! :)
And Mabry has gotten so big! :) She is so stinkin’ gorgeous.

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Oh my gosh, Everett cracked me up!!!! Your baby girl is just too cute.

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16.August.2012

Oh my! I can’t believe how big Mabrey is! Hang in there, my two still don’t sleep through the night every night!

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16.August.2012

oh man!! This post cracked me up!!! Little ones are a hoot!

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16.August.2012

I literally just burst out laughing!! Life is never boring or dull with little munchkins!
The registers look great!

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16.August.2012

It’s been quite a while, but before we moved into our home we ripped all the flooring up from our first floor. Which included the kitchen. After deciding not to install the hardwood floors in there we were left with a delema, no flooring in the kitchen and no flooring to put in the kitchen. So we taped some of the boxes that our wood floors came in together and lived with our “soft wood floors” for about a year. If you’re not aware, cardboard isn’t really cleanable, nor does it hide stains at all! I’m just so glad that time of my life has passed!

Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

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16.August.2012

SO FUNNY! Thanks for the laugh : )

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16.August.2012

This post made me laugh out loud at least twice :)

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16.August.2012

Hah! This was definitely a good post… great laugh. I totally remember what that feels like to be up all night with a baby- I don’t blame ya!

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16.August.2012

Did you find any good method for installing the hinges? We are installing 7 new doors in our house (just the slabs, not the frames) and it’s been months and so far I have…exactly 2 up. And one has no door hardware because I’m waiting to paint it. I just really, really, really hate chiseling out for the hinges and I always seem to do it very sloppy. Sigh.

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replied on August 16th, 2012

Go buy something called a “hinge jig” and use a router instead of a chisel! So easy!

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replied on August 16th, 2012

notsoblond’s right. I was searching for a good hinge template and on the verge of buying one, but found a local tool rental store that carried the one I was looking for. $18/day vs $250. Not too bad. I used the Bosch 83038 Hinge Template kit and I highly recommend it. It lets you transfer the hinge locations between the jam and door. One thing to be aware of, it requires a template guide for your router. Depending on your router, you may need to buy a template guide and matching router plate to make use of the hinge kit. I found this out the hard way. Luckily I was able to find the pieces I needed at a local wood working store. They’re not parts you’ll find readily at Lowes or Home Depot.

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16.August.2012

So I’m a faithful reader and silent lurker. My busy job doesn’t leave much time for commenting but sometimes I just gotta do it! I nearly peed my pants after reading about “the lost penis episode” and quickly stifled a laughter snort from my coworkers. I enjoyed this post so much I just needed to let you know. I love your open honest writing and look forward every day to sneaking your blog at work. And that picture of Mabrey, adorable! Keep the good words coming.

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16.August.2012

I love those floor registers and I have to say I’m kind of sad that our AC vents are on the ceiling so I can’t use those! It is all looking so fantastic – and, um, the penis thing had me cracking up!

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16.August.2012

LOVE this whole post! Mabry’s great smile, your boys, your progress, and most of all- “you know you are a redneck/hopeless renovator when…. ” that could be a flip book with great illustrations ! We could all contribute…

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16.August.2012

Such a hoot! When my now-in-college daughter was 4, we stopped by someone’s home office so I could transact some business. My daughter sat quietly, studying a large family photo of the mom, dad, and 2 boys. Then she pointed at the photo and announced, “Too many penises!” The mom and I laughed so hard we choked. Enjoy this family time, despite the fatigue. It truly does zoom by. (Like Sarah U, I sneak in visits to your blog. Love the intelligence, the humor, the REAL-ness.)

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replied on August 17th, 2012

LOL!! Who knew I’d get so many laughs today reading this blog!

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16.August.2012

The registers and the doors/hinges look fantastic. I can’t believe Mabrey is rolling already! And I LMAO @ Everett’s where’s your penis! You sure have your hands full Dana. :)

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16.August.2012

Ha Ha! And she’s adorable! House is looking good… hang in there!

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16.August.2012

Thank you for that much needed laugh {and eye candy…love those registers and that adorable baby of yours}!

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16.August.2012

Rigging never ends no matter how mature one is (redneck or not). Maybe if one is super rich then they always fix things right away, but is that ever possible?

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16.August.2012

Lmao. I just love your blog. I really like the design of your vents. They seem so modern and stylish.

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16.August.2012

Oh my gosh. That was so funny (penis thing & your sleep deprived reaction). Love your blog, but always to lazy to comment. But THAT was hysterical!

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replied on August 17th, 2012

yes yes yes!! that story was hilarious!!

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16.August.2012

Too funny, my son is absolutely convinced that I pee out of my but! Ntce registers, they look great!

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17.August.2012

you might be a (redneck) renovator if when you open the front door of your house you see industrial shelving filled with pantry items and pots/pans…for 1 1/2 years… finally going to IKEA (tomorrow!!) to order the cabinets to finally finish my kitchen reno circa 3/2011
last year my mom was visiting and asked what I was looking forward to most about finshing my kitchen reno… i said having a counter! It really is the little things (or in my case a BIG thing ;))
Loved your stories, I too laughed out loud, and not in the LOL sense…like a real belly laugh. thanks!

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Hahahaha! I love your reaction to Everett’s question. Hilarious! :)

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17.August.2012

I too loved this post. I’m glad you finally got a door for the bathroom! And Mabrey is beautiful:)

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17.August.2012

Hilarious! And the registers are nice, too. :)

Mabrey is absolutely beautiful. Are her eyes that blue in person?

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replied on August 17th, 2012

Yes! Her eyes are the most amazing blue. A deep, denim blue. They were my inspiration for the wall color in her room.

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17.August.2012

Hello! I read your blog all the time but have never commented. Today’s post made me laugh so hard- you really brightened up my day. I was having one of those “‘Holy crap! What did happen to my penis?!’” kind of mornings. Thank you for the much appreciated laugh!

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17.August.2012

Joining all the other long time lurkers, first time commenters to say holy crap that was LOL hilarious!!

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17.August.2012

Can’t believe I forgot to say how great the floor registers look – they are just beautiful This underdog is quickly moving up to top dog status!

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17.August.2012

I got “caught” coming out of the shower when my youngest was about 4. He asked where my penis was and just couldn’t accept that mommies just don’t have one. He was convinced that I had one but it fell off and repeatedly asked me why it fell off. He also took to announcing to EVERYONE that his mommy had a penis but it fell off. Oh the joys of boys!

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17.August.2012

Love this post! Mabrey is so adorable with her big smile! Glad to hear you finally got a door for the bathroom!

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17.August.2012

“Where’s your penis” made me laugh.

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Love the new register covers! A while ago (okay a few months ago, such is life) I had the brilliant idea of switching out our boring late 60′s door knobs with a fun mix of old colored glass and porcelain knobs that I’ve been collecting for years (yeah, hardware obsession here at afunhouse) but didn’t realize until I had all the knobs off (leaving just the mechanics intact) and was ready to just slide the new posts/knobs in place that I realized that the beautiful older knobs install and screw into the door in a completely different way. To make a very long story super short- we now have makeup brushes and pencils at every door incase someone accidentally closes the door tight (several times daily with 4 pre-teen and teenage girls, of course) and I still hear the girls call out to each other frequently for help! Needless to say we will celebrate when I finally figure out the last couple of steps to finishing up this project! It will be well worth the wait, I’m sure :)

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17.August.2012

I’m so excited about the step in our house renovation that just got completed. We had honey bees living in the house for years (did you know that a bee can smell an abandoned hive even through caulk and spray foam) and we finely tore into the wall and got them all out huge mess that caused. As far as redneck we had to use an outside potty for a month while we were digging our basement under our existing house all went well until our amish construction crew decided to show up at 6:00am one morning while I’m using the potty in my PJ’s. I reciently had to put my foot down we were drying our clothes in the garage with the garage door open and the dryer sitting in the middle of the overhead door so we didn’t get the vent air in the garage. It was much more redneck than it sounds.

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17.August.2012

Registers look great but Mabrey stole the post. She’s is SO cute!

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17.August.2012

This post is punch-drunk hilarious! And oh, that photo of Mabrey. Just amazing!!

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I agree with Stacey. Mabrey definitely stole this one! She is just so darn cute and that dress (?) is darling! Does she look like your boys when they were little? Or she her own little person?

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replied on August 19th, 2012

At first, Mabrey really reminded me of Everett but she has changed so much! She has beautiful blue eyes and long eyelashes like the boys but seems to be taking on a look and personality of her own. Lately, she has started resembling one of my younger sisters when she was a baby…a good thing…my sister is gorgeous and crazy smart!

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18.August.2012

Ahahahaha! I laughed out loud at the “holy crap! What DID happen to my penis?” part! Thanks for the laugh. :)

PS: CUTE baby!

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18.August.2012

Love the pics and stories of your kiddos! Also really appreciate the honest description of the slow process of renovating. We have an ongoing “to do” list for our home that never seems to be less than 20-30 items long. With a 14-month-old, the method of choosing “what’s next” on the list is usually “what is Betsy getting into now?” A DIY upholstered (cushioned!) headboard was the most recent project since she discovered jumping on the bed!

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18.August.2012

Love the new registers and your baseboards. Where did you get the baseboards and how tall are they? We will be replacing our floors this fall and need new baseboards, too.

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19.August.2012

Funny post. Especially love the title. I laughed out loud. Nice one!

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just saw your post and started laughing. We’re installing the same travertine tile in our entrance hallway! I wonder how do you like yours and if you used a sealer on it (or if you’re planning to?)

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replied on August 20th, 2012

Love, love, LOVE our travertine in the mudroom. It hides dirt and cleans up so easily. It’s very durable as well. We did use a sealer on it. Since it’s natural stone, we actually sealed it once before grouting and once after the grout had cured. Good luck!

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20.August.2012

That is so funny! Things our children say:)

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20.August.2012

I lol’d at the penis comment!! I am loving your house! I think it’s amazing what you have done so far!

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22.August.2012

I love the honesty in children but I do not miss the newborn exhaustion that can actually make you question whether or not you have/had at one point a penis. We have those same registers and love the way they look. My toddler must agree as he thinks it’s great fun to pull them all out of the floor. After he started throwing Legos down the vents, we figured we need to find a way to secure the registers to the floor. I like the caulk idea…Aaaaand your daughter is adorable :)

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10.September.2012

Oh my gosh- I just cried from laughing so hard! The penis convo was the best!!! Glad you have some doors now:)
Adrianne

Dream Book Design

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26.October.2012

i noticed that you didn’t install quarter-round molding on your baseboards– is there a reason?

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replied on October 26th, 2012

Since we completely gutted the house {i.e., ripped out the old carpet and baseboards, etc.} we were able to install the wood floors first THEN the baseboards. So, the baseboards sit on top of the flooring and cover the uneven edges. I can’t tell you how much this pleases HH. He has negative feelings towards quarter-round. Must be an engineer thing. Typically, quarter-round is used to cover the uneven gap and cut edges of flooring where it meets an existing baseboard.

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