Installing our very own propane tank

Hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos! I hope you’ve had a diddly doodly great weekend. (Channeling my inner Ned Flanders there.)

As you probably know, because it’s all I’ve been able to talk about lately, we are wrapping up a big kitchen-turned-half-the-house renovation. One of the upgrades we did was install a big ol’ propane tank on our property so that we could bring in a gas range instead of the electric one we used to have.

I should seriously start a series about the differences between living in the suburbs vs living in the country. I feel like the Beverly Hillbillies out here, but in reverse. We are serious ‘burbs people, and watching us fumble our way through country life has been interesting to say the least. Installing a propane tank falls squarely into this category.

I didn’t really know what to expect, all I knew is that I wanted a gas range, and the fine folks at the propane company down the street told me they could hook me up. I blogged about Phase 1 here, so if you want to start from the very beginning go read that post first.

There is no way I’d ever DIY this myself because, hello, propane tanks can EXPLODE. If it involves gas, I’m calling the pros.

They initially installed all the pipe inside the house, but didn’t finish the work until the renovation was complete and the range was ready to be hooked up. FINALLY it was time to get the blasted kitchen put back together and get the range installed.

They started by digging a huge trench with a trench winch. I need to rent one of these. I’m not sure why I need to rent one, but I swear I will find a reason to dig a trench. They wouldn’t let me try theirs out. Just kidding, I didn’t ask. I’m not that annoying. I just watched and drooled and took pictures. It does look hella fun though, doesn’t it?! No? Just me? Never mind then.

The trench was dug to bury all the copper tubing that takes the gas from the tank into the house.

Here’s the tubing they used. They also put some metal tape that looked like that “Do Not Cross Police Tape” into the ditch with the pipe. I asked why and they said so metal detectors can locate the pipe in the future so we don’t accidentally cut into it. Smart. I would have never even thought of that. I guess the tubing they used doesn’t respond to a metal detecter? Well, whatever, I really don’t even care enough to google that right now, so ya, they laid metal tubing and metal tape into the hole.

They attached the metal tubing to this flexible tubing running up the side of the house into the attic.

That flex tubing running up the side of the house goes into the attic, then drops down the wall and comes out where the range goes. The on/off valve is tucked away behind the right cabinet. You can see a little white knob pocking out of the sheetrock in the bottom right section of wall. That is the gas line. We left the electric line as well, but shut the breaker off permanently. It seemed pointless to take it out. The regular plug outlet was added to plug the range in for the digital panel.

Once the trench was done they backed their truck up and plopped the empty tank into place. I may have considered hugging my new tank. That’s how excited I was to be getting a gas range. I really hated that electric one. Sorry to all you electric folks, but I seriously love cooking with gas.

We also had them run an extra line outside to the back of our house for our barbecue grill! We will never have to refill those little propane tanks ever again.

That line comes out right at our back deck, and our grill just hooks right into it. There’s an on/off valve there as well so we have to turn the gas on at the valve, then turn the grill on.

Oh, and as for our new range? We went with this little GE number:

It’s a GE Profile slide-in range with a double oven. I’m compiling a post right now that goes into more detail about what appliances we purchased and why, so sit tight. But as you can see, it is a gas range. It came prepped for natural gas, so in addition to all the other work the propane company did, they also had to install this beast for us (without scratching our floors! a feat in itself because this beast was freaking heavy) and they had to spend like an hour or more converting it to propane.

Who would have thought you’d ever be learning about propane while reading House of Hepworths? We are officially country people now. Oops, gotta run. Time to go out back and start burning a huge pile of brush. Country people love to burn brush!


The updated columns in the kitchen

Okay, so first off, holy moly you guys are seriously the best. I am blown away by all the comments I received on my post from yesterday. I am not speechless often, but right now, I am speechless. Thank you for just being you. I wasn’t expecting anything when I typed up that post last night. I just felt like I owed you guys an explanation. Comments across blogs are at an all time low, so I guess I just didn’t even think that anyone would comment. I woke up this morning to so much support in my comments section and on facebook. I was taken aback by all the love. I’ll admit, I did get choked up a little. Thank you thank you. Today reminded me that you guys are what’s important to me. Nothing else matters but you.

Okay, sappy time over and out.

We made a subtle change to the columns in the kitchen that just made the entire ensemble look so much more crisp and professional. Can you spot the differences? Keep in mind this “after” picture is before all the final painting of the walls and baseboards.

Do you see them? This is like one of those “spot the 10 differences” games in the back of People magazine. ;)

I’ll give you a hint…

Now do you see them?

We left the far left column alone but we built out the center column and right column so they are square to the counter instead of a weird triangle angle. Do you see it now?

The column on the far right now wraps around the sink wall and has a recess on the bottom right that used to not be there. It just looked strange before not having that column bump out, so we created a faux bump out. We also un-bumped the center column at the ceiling so it would match the section of wall on the left. I know, I know, so confusing!

I did all the bumping out and squaring off of the columns using various sized pieces of wood; mainly 2x6s, 2x4s, and 1/2x1s. It involved a lot of math and measuring and both hands, so I didn’t take any photos of the ordeal. Once the wood was in place the sheetrock guy finished everything off.

We had to wait until the counters went in before the final taping and floating and texturing could be finished, so once the counters were installed the sheetrock guy finished it all up.

Making progress… it’s starting to look like it’s original to the house.

Once all the rounded corners were finished as well as the taping and floating, he finished it all off with texture. In case you are going to be texturing your walls any time soon, the tool he is using is called a hopper. You hook it up to an air compressor.

Ah, looking so much better!

The final step was adding the baseboards, which need to be painted white. Spoiler alert: I already painted them and showing you guys is on my immediate to-do list.

We also cut the bar height counter down to counter height to open the kitchen up more and make it feel more open to the family room. Oh, and one more thing before I forget, the entry into the kitchen on the far right used to be an arched tunnel that we ripped out and squared off.

And now, faux columns that look like they’ve been there this house’s entire life.

Like I said, very subtle but it just finishes off the space and makes it look a whole lot crisper and more professional.



New kitchen hardware. Oh, and I’m back!

Tap.Tap.Tap. Is this thing on?

I’m back! I am here, it’s a new year, and I’m ready to connect with earth again. It’s been a long few months and I apologize profusely for the unexpected disappearance. I don’t want to get into a lot of bummer reasons why I disappeared from the face of the earth (or at least the internet) for a few months because this blog is my happy place and is meant to inspire people. However. Having said that, I do feel like I owe some type of explanation because abruptly leaving for several months with zero notice is just downright rude. I am sorry.

I’m coming up on my blogging 5 year anniversary, and for the last year or so I just haven’t been feeling it as much. Most of this is due to insecurities on my part, but another huge factor that has bummed me out about blogging is the direction that blogging has gone the past few years. Blogging used to be really fun. Bloggers were friends with each other. The community was relatively small and felt pretty inclusive, except for maybe a small elitist acting group that I tried to just ignore. The world of blogging has grown so rapidly that now there are literally thousands of niche blogs in the DIY/home/craft area alone, and it has left me feeling like there is no point in me having a voice online because everything has already been said by someone else. That coupled with the growing need to promote your blog like a crazy person which includes taking magazine quality photos and staging your house like a museum, left me totally discouraged and wondering what the point was anymore. Yes, I threw a huge year-long pity party for myself.

These negative thoughts of feeling like I just wasn’t good enough and couldn’t cut it in the dog-eat-dog blog world PLUS the over-saturation of promotional and sponsored posts on every single freaking blog I was reading just had me pretty much over it. I tried for a long time to be authentic and treat my blog like I did back in the early days before sponsors and pinterest. I dropped all but one sponsor from my blog, and tried to just get back to the shack (Weezer reference there!), back to a place where I loved what I was doing. Doing this helped me feel more authentic, but it also made me feel extremely alienated from the blogging community.

So I took a break. I just unplugged my computer and only logged in long enough to approve a few comments every couple of weeks. I allowed enough time to pass without eating, sleeping, and breathing all things blog to clear my head and figure out what I really want. I’ve thought a lot about the blog. I’ve considered just quitting blogging, but I really don’t want to do that.

I want to continue to write content from my heart that hopefully helps and inspires you. I want to keep blogging and just quit worrying about stats. I want to take normal pictures of my normal house and not have to worry about maximum reach on pinterest. I want to not have to worry about how I worded a title for the best SEO, or how to trick facebook into showing my content to more people. I want to be able to say whatever I want to say and not worry that it will offend a current or potential sponsor. I want to not post ads, and sponsored content, and promotional posts constantly. Plowing though dozens of promotional posts in my RSS reader every day pisses me off as a reader. Why on earth would I think my readers would feel any different? I also want to just feel good in my own skin and not so darn insecure about fitting in. Blogging is not high school. I should not worry so much about fitting in, or schmoozing the right people, or rubbing elbows in some private facebook group with the right bloggers.

So I’m quitting all that extra crap. I’m quitting the private facebook groups where we scheme to link and post each others content for maximum exposure. I’m quitting taking magazine quality photos for pinterest. I am not a magazine. I’m quitting worrying about staging my house like a freakin’ museum. A family lives here. We are messy. We run off a budget. I can’t constantly be doing renovations or buying new furniture. And honestly, I have no desire to be constantly neck deep in a renovation. I’m quitting worrying about stats, and reach, and SEO, and analytics.

Will this hurt my blog popularity? Probably. It’s okay though because if quitting all the extra stuff will allow me to focus on what I really love, then it will all be worth it.

I am going to continue to blog because I love DIYing and I love writing. I love interacting with you. I love the friendships I’ve made with a few bloggers, and I want to continue those friendships. As long as you guys are there reading and still getting value from my posts, I will continue to blog.

And now, because it’s just mean to have a Home/DIY blog and not share any photos at all… here are my new kitchen cabinets with shiny new hardware!

I searched for months for the *perfect* hardware for my cabinets. I literally lost sleep over this. I agonized and fretted. Yes, I fretted. It was ridiculous. I may be able to pick out paint, and cabinets, and countertops, and do all sorts of other awesome things, but when it comes to hardware, nope. I just can’t make up my mind.

Finally I saw these basic knobs at Walmart of all places, and they are “Allison” knobs, which is my name with the correct spelling and everything. I took this as a sign and just went with it. Basic boring knobs. And you know what? I love them.

The cabinet maker came back over and installed them for me. He made a mess, but I would have made an even bigger one. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to install them!

He made a template so each knob would be in the exact same spot. It was pretty cool. He even let me keep it afterward in case I want to add knobs in my bathrooms.

So, yup, that is the story of how I finally settled on the most boring hardware in history after months of searching for the perfect knob.

Thanks for taking me back after I was so rude and ditched the internet. Hugs and love to everyone!

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