Some updates on my reno.

Foundation and drainage work is done, grading is complete. We no longer have any grass at all. Retaining walls are up and looking great.

Fancy blockwork steps

Wall out to the street (trees are now gone)

Other side of the driveway

Steve the tree guy from Montville taking care of the rest of the trees we weren’t brave enough to take down (26 or so in total at this point)

We have backyard now!

New windows (Full divided lights, sexy)

Modified window position and size in the kitchen to fit cabinetry and hood

Electrical work being done, we added 55 lighting fixtures

Main bath rough in electrical

Radiant heat in the main and master baths

Radiant heat in the kitchen

Sneak peak of the cabinetry waiting to be installed, silly amount of boxes, more than 45 feet of cabinetry, 12 foot island island

Sexy white inset cabinetry, exposed nickel hinges, seeded glass

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82 Responses to Progress!

  1. xroads says:

    ooh radiant heat

  2. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    You are contracting out this stuff…RIGHT?!!?

  3. grim says:

    You can see where one long row of cabinets are going along the wall (no tubing below) as well as where the island is running parallel to that. There is one more parallel row if cabinets on the opposite wall.

  4. This is the housing p0rn equivalent of a snuff movie.

  5. Looks great, grim! Just teasing you…:)

  6. NjescaPee says:

    Bob Villa would be proud.

  7. rather not say says:

    that radiant heated floor is going to be heaven!!!

  8. Bob Villa says:

    Very proud.

  9. gary says:


    Where are the f*cking unicorns?

  10. Mike says:

    Radiant heat is the most efficient, and feels good on the footsies.

  11. Mike says:

    Talking about heat when it’s 105 outside is weird though

  12. NJ Toast says:

    Looks great Grim. Your worksite looks very clean too – quite impressive. By the time the weather cools, you get to enjoy crisp fall weather in your beautifully renovated home – doesn’t get much better than that.

  13. Essex says:

    Terrific!!! Outside and inside are looking really, really nice.

  14. NJCoast says:

    Thanks for sharing. Brings back lots of memories of building.
    Looking good!

  15. gary says:

    – 137 days on the market (right!)
    – currently listed at 695K, down from 768K

    This one will ultimately sell for around 475K:

  16. NjescaPee says:

    Grim, How are you doing budgetwise? Is your spend close to what you expected?

  17. 3b says:

    Congrats grim!!! It looks great!!! I love the block work.

  18. 3b says:

    #15 gary Allendale does not have Unicorns. That being said, if it sells at 475K than there will be houses in Brig on Hack under 200K!!

  19. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Grim —

    That is nice work !! You are single-handedly contributing to the Tradesmen Full Employment in the area.

    Just be sure to choose the right interior paint colors…….the right color scheme can add $20K to the value of your house. It’s true — I heard it on HGTV !!

  20. calico1 says:

    Beautiful! Looks like lots of recessed lighting are being added.

  21. 3b says:

    #18 And a nice mailbox too. HGTV telles me that the right mail box can add $1,500.00 to the value of a house.

  22. POS Cape says:


    Here’s another from the same town. Built at the height of the bubble, last house before Waldwick border on busy Franklin Tpke, backs up to NJ Transit tracks. Originally asked 1.279 mil; in preforeclosure.

  23. Barbara says:

    I love a white kitchen. Talk to me about your counter tops, Grim. Also, nothing like a fresh driveway. I love reno…I’m totes jelz.

  24. grim says:

    Countertops are honed black granite with white veining.

  25. v23 says:

    Looking good Grim! Love how the radiant heating is coming along. Good Luck on the rest of the renovation.

  26. gary says:


    The description is difficult to read. I assume you know where this house is located?

  27. chicagofinance says:

    Abe Vigoda strikes again…..
    British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment this afternoon, Sky News reported today.

  28. chicagofinance says:

    Why do I get the feeling that stuff such as this only happens in China….a brand new high technology bullet train…hmmm.

    WENZHOU, China –At least 11 people were feared dead and dozens wounded after two coaches of a high-speed bullet train derailed and fell off a bridge in eastern China Saturday.

    State-run news agency Xinhua said the accident could have been caused by a lightning strike that knocked out power on the line in Zhejiang province.

    The passenger train was traveling from the provincial capital of Hangzhou to Wenzhou when it came off the rails at the Shuangyu Town section in the city of Wenzhou at around 8:34pm local time.

    Xinhua said at least 11 people were killed and 89 rushed to the hospital.

    AFP/Getty Images
    Chinese firefighters work to rescue survivors after a Chinese high-speed train derailed and two of its carriages fell off a bridge after a lightning strike knocked out power on the line.Photos of the accident site revealed one coach hanging vertically off the bridge.

    AFP said Chinese blog postings suggested one train stalled because of the power outage — only for another to slam into it from behind.

  29. Barbara says:

    Nice. White subway tiles on the back splash? Soap stone floors? Just putting that out there.

  30. Kettle1^2 says:

    Thats going to leave a mark!!!!!!

    CNTV has released the first video of the horrific crash in which two bullet trains collided and 4 train cars fell from viaducts

  31. Kettle1^2 says:

    WENZHOU, July 23 (Xinhua) — At least 11 people were dead and 89 injured after two coaches of a bullet train fell off a bridge after derailing in east China’s Zhejiang Province late Saturday, local police, firefighters and hospital sources said.

    The train numbered D3115, running from the provincial capital Hangzhou to the southeastern city of Fuzhou, derailed at the section of Shuangyu Town in Wenzhou City of Zhejiang at 8:34 p.m.

    The accident occurred after the train was hit by lightning and lost drive, and then rear-ended by another bullet train, the official microblog of Hangzhou TV “News 60 minutes” program quoted a local railway official as saying.

    The Ministry of Railways confirmed at 11:20 p.m. that the D301 train from Beijing to Fuzhou rear-ended the D3115 train. The first four coaches of D301 and the 15th and 16th coaches of D3115 went off the line.

  32. grim says:

    Statuary marble subway with framed basketweave over the cooktop)

  33. Barbara says:

    marble subway, even better.

  34. Punch My Ticket says:

    Looking at the photo array, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t have been cheaper to start from scratch. What’s the budget on this project, Grim?

  35. Essex says:

    I loved the feeling that I had after the rehab we did on our fifties raised ranch. It feels great….cept for of course the current resale value. And for that we are just hangin’ no plans to yup-grade.

  36. Barbara says:

    1,200,000 for a drywall box? Is there a fountain of youth in the bidet?

  37. homeboken says:

    Grim, whats the square footage if you don’t mind? 50 Highhats throw a ton of light

  38. Barbara says:

    38. and Grim,
    Since you are not in the drywall phase, I’m going to suggest also that you rethink 50 highhats. I was just in a rehabbed house with a similar lighting layout and it looked like a space ship. Can’t really tell from your pics but just a word of caution since you are at a stage where you can make changes easy.

  39. Barbara says:


  40. cobbler says:

    Amazing job – all around and inside. Radiant heat is awesome, feels like the high-end villa in Italy (in Winter). I do have sort of radiant heat in the bathroom, though inadvertently – heating duct between the floors is poorly insulated, so the floor gets warm…

  41. grim says:

    There are 40 or so recessed, the rest are either sconces or hanging. Size is 2000 sq feet so it really isn’t excessive.

    No new build, we decided against it. We would need to build 4000 square feet for it to be cost effective. 2k is enough for us, quality is more important to me than size. Nevermind the taxes. If we need more we have a full 1000 square feet of finishable space with high ceilings in the basement.

    We are well within budget at this point.

  42. Fabius Maximus says:

    #27 Chi

    What a waste.
    FU Blakey!

  43. Fabius Maximus says:


    Cost comes down two ways.
    Is it a investment in the property? Are you doing this just for a flip, at which point Radiant heat makes no sense.
    Or are you doing this to make a home? If this will make your comfortable in the home, then it is worth the cost.

    I have a friend who rents a penthouse in Battery Park City. He had just paid $30K to have a painter put a Venitian finish on all the walls. While it looked good I had to ask the question why he put so much into a rental that he would never see back. His answer supprised me. He said he could never afford to buy the apartment as it would require so much cash up front, but (as a Vascular Surgeon,) he could quite happily make the rent. He planned to live in the place for the next 20+ years so why not pay to have the walls painted something he wanted to see as opposed to looking at the same white walls year after year.

    Congratulations and enjoy the floors, they will be worth every penny of your enjoyment

  44. Fabius Maximus says:

    Hat Tip to Captain Cheepo.

    Picked up a Nikon D3000 for $240. while its not the best DSLR in the world. Is is the best at that price point.

  45. Qwerty says:

    Very nice grim, hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

  46. Qwerty says:

    Are you happy with all the work so far? Most of the “skilled” labor today is godawful.

  47. Kettle1^2 says:

    Fabius 46

    who pays to clean up rhe broken windows and tear gas in the house? Oh and I’m sure thefront door and frame is need of a bit of repair?

  48. Confused In NJ says:

    If you use recessed lighting on the top floor, make sure they are using sealed cans, or you are creating doorways to the attic for all sorts of insects like firebrats, springtails, etc. Last time I had that situation I had to powder & fog entire attic. Never had a recessed upper level light in any house that didn’t allow bugs in.

  49. serenity now says:

    House work looks great Grim!
    Hope you have better luck than these guys.

  50. Painhrtz - Cat of God says:

    Gim nice work, by your contractors. the wall is a bit much for me but to each his own

  51. Juice Box says:

    I’m down in LBI this weekend staying at a relatives investment property. It Does not see too busy compared to years past. Several rentals seem vacant, although they are the older homes that aren’t rented. Very litle building and renovations going on. The ice cream truck guy said his business is slower than seasons past, slow but steady. The restaurants are busy but Fantasy island was no wait for the kiddie rides.

    The house I am staying in is rented except for this week, nice 5 br property that was sold discounted at 460 sq ft. It’s definitely not The end of the world for this place yet some properties are selling at a 15% discount, if they can keep the tourists coming it won’t dry up completely down here.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (120) (prior thread) ket

    Barbara agreed with me????????? Isn’t that the first sign of the apocalypse??

  53. Shore Guy says:

    Super low ball. Texas edition:

    Flower Mound, TX — Can you imagine paying $16 to live in a $330,000 house? That’s the case for a man in Texas.

    Television station WFAA reported Kenneth Robinson is living in the house after he filed paperwork at the courthouse for $16 that says he claims ownership of the abandoned house.

    The house was in foreclosure, the owner abandoned it, and the mortgage company went under. That’s when Robinson swooped in after looking into a law called adverse possession.

    Now the owner would have to pay his mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a lawsuit to get Robinson out.

    After three years of staying in the house, Texas law says he can petition the court for the deed.

    “I want to be owner of record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner,” said Robinson.

  54. onthebrink says:

    Nice going Grim!! Thanks for the update. Love the kitchen. Am with Barbara- totally jelus!

  55. relo says:

    18: 3b,

    It’s true Allendale no longer has unicorns, the Pagasus startled them away.

    Grim, looking good (the homestead, of course).

  56. Shore Guy says:

    “Sexy white inset cabinetry”


    You gotta get out more. The cabinets are nice but, c’mon, sexy?

    Sela Ward , sexy.

    Cabinet door, not so much.

  57. Shore Guy says:


    You have mail.

  58. Kettle1^2 says:


    Is the following anything serious or just hot air?

    WASHINGTON — Debt ceiling negotiators think they’ve hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public’s unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress.

    This “Super Congress,” composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers — six from each chamber and six from each party.

  59. Shore Guy says:


    I believe it will be known as the Central Committee.

  60. Shore Guy says:

    Or, perhaps, the Politburo.

  61. Shore Guy says:

    Works for me:

    Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables


  62. Any sort of “Superclowngress” headed by the inbreeds McConnell and Reid reeks of the apocalypse.

    The stench of death is on everything, everywhere. Smoke ’em while you got ’em, folks. It’s about to get nasty.

  63. Libtard at home says:

    Lookin’ good Grim. Now where’s all this money coming from? :P

    Fabius…enjoy the cam.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [63] kettle

    serious in that I am not sure that Congress can delegate authority in this way.

  65. Shore Guy says:


    The only analogs that come to mind are where congress has allowed certain leaders to receive Executive Branch notification with respect to clandestine operations, where the Executive is obliged to notify congress but general notice would compromise the operation. With respect to legislation? I don’t see the 9 folks in robes in the building between first and second streets going for it.

  66. Shore Guy says:

    “Now where’s all this money coming from?”

    It has to be coming from one of the two sources for all money: China or a computer in the Fed basement.

  67. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] shore

    Legislative delegation to the executive branch is common enough in rulemaking, but this is delegation within the Congress itself. While Congress has a lot of latitude with respect to its own operations, this would, in effect, give authority to pass legislation to a subset of the Congress. It doesn’t pass the smell test.

    BTW, you have mail.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] shore redux

    Okay, I read the huffpost piece (amazingly short on snark—just Huffpost post merger is trying to sound journalistic), and there is an argument that it is legal since the entire Congress must vote on measures.

  69. cb says:

    grim, looks great, its take time and is stressfull but you will enjoy the outcome. let me know you thoughts on, we are almost there, we have over 600,000 listings nationwide, about 35,000 in NJ 38000 in NYC . Weactually giving realtors our CRM package in the real estate tabs for free right now as a trial,

  70. Shore Guy says:

    “this would, in effect, give authority to pass legislation to a subset of the Congress. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”

    Yup. I would love to hear Scalia’s take on this nonesense.

  71. cobbler says:

    As long as both houses get to vote up or down, there is nothing unconstitutional. FWIW, the whole current legislative process (committees, hold rules, filibuster, etc.) is a creation of the Congress itself, they could as well change it.

  72. Shore Guy says:

    “As long as both houses get to vote up or down”

    As long as, the key modifier.

  73. Shore Guy says:


    Thanks for the links. I will look over the materials while quaffing some coffee in the morning.

  74. cobbler says:

    Dare I recommend buying some Aug calls on SDS and FAZ?

  75. Essex says:

    Might want to reference this before you buy. Kind of makes ‘prestigious’ places look less so if it means you have a cancer cluster for a neighbor:

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