Lowe’s Shopping Trip! Vlog Episode 6

Another week of demo on The Heights House is in the books, and boy it feels like this past year went by in the blink of an eye and I’m right back at the Cottage House Flip again! Funny how the sound of saws and the smell of drywall dust never leaves your memory.

The week started off strong with fast progress on deconstructing the house—the kitchen being the biggest transformation:

Ahhh… so nice and open! And we said goodbye to the hallway and half bath—here’s the view from the sunroom/back door:

Now we have room for a huge dining table:

Here’s the view looking towards where the new dining table will be (you can see into the master closet and bathroom) and to the right is where the new third bedroom will be.

There was a step down into this room before, so they had to build up the subfloor to make it level with the rest of the house. Next they’ll add a wall to enclose it.

The view from the back wall of the kitchen, looking towards the dining room and the living room/front door on the left:

This was taken a few days ago from the front entrance, looking into the living room, dining room, and the kitchen on the right:

And a shot looking at the front door, which will be moved a few feet back to where the current screen porch door is, so we can create a small foyer/drop zone area:

The only big surprise is the floor, which has proven to be quite tricky to remove. It was a mix of tile and vinyl, with various underlayment that was haphazardly glued, nailed and screwed into the subfloor with approximately 2,391 stripped screws. Eventually they decided it was easier to just tear the entire subfloor out. Today they began that process, only to find that the joists are rotted (termite damage) in sections of the house.

These boards & subfloor will all need to be replaced, and will set us back thousands in labor and several days (at least) in our timeline. Fortunately, this is a house we are moving into and plan to keep long term, so the setbacks are slightly easier to swallow.

To decompress from the stress and take our minds off all the not-so-great stuff… we decided to have a little fun in this week’s vlog, with our first big shopping trip to Lowe’s! Click to watch:

This week’s episode shows a few clips of the demo progress, and also takes you down the Lowe’s aisles with me as I point out my favorite products and paint colors, and Lucas plays “Name that Object!” (he’s still learning about all this DIY stuff—I think it’s cute). We had fun with this one, and hope you enjoy watching! I’m still trying to convince Lucas to do another round at Target 😉

It has been over a year since I’ve shopped at Lowe’s, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a few new products in stock and some long-time favorites still standing. For those wanting more details, here’s a recap of some of the items I called out in the video:

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard): This material is super versatile and a great substitute for wood. It’s smooth and takes paint well, lightweight and great for building furniture. I’ve used it many times—remember this DIY paneled wall?

Or this DIY cabinet?

Brought to you by MDF, baby! You can buy it in strips or 4×8′ sheets and cut to size. It’s quite affordable and there’s no need to worry about warped wood or pesky knots like you do with pine!

Honorable mention: these 4×8′ sheets of thin hardboard for only $8 are perfect for covering up textured walls (this is what I did for my paneled wall). They’re super smooth and paintable, and would be great for craft projects, too!

Next up: Lowe’s has officially jumped on the shiplap bandwagon! They come in a variety of sizes, finishes and price points. It’s about time, guys! I think the selection is quite nice:

I’m not currently in the market for a tub, but this beauty sure caught my eye:

When it comes to lighting, it seems that Lowe’s has been stepping up their game. They still carry my all-time favorite bang for your buck indoor/outdoor sconce:

Remember them in my old laundry room?

Good to know they’re still alive and well. I’ve also fallen in love with their reasonably priced crystal chandeliers:

And of course, perhaps my favorite of all—the one I used in the Cottage House Flip! $169, what a bargain.

As for paint colors, I’ve used nothing but Valspar Signature for years. My go to colors are Valspar’s Cracked Pepper (rich black), Bistro White (neutral white) and Woodlawn Colonial Gray (pale gray) [UPDATE! I just found out that Woodlawn Colonial Gray is now called Soulful Gray]. These were the only colors I used for the Cottage House Flip, both interior and exterior:

I loved them so much that I’ll be using them again for The Heights House (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—right?) By the way, do yourself a favor and get this brush to paint crisp lines and save yourself hours of taping!

Lowe’s has introduced a few new types of tile since last year—this Epoch ceramic mosaic caught my eye:

I love that you can customize it with grout color—it would look really neat with black or gray (or green, tan or blue…)

And how cute is this hand-painted looking porcelain tile?!

It comes in two different colors, and look at that price! Less than a dollar a piece—Bravo, Lowe’s. Now, please start carrying more patterns and sizes!

Our original plan for the flooring in The Heights House was engineered hardwood throughout. That is, until we walked in and saw this Pergo laminate:

Honestly, it looked so much nicer than any of the real wood samples they had. I love the 7.5″ wide planks and the textured surface. Not to mention, it was half the price of anything comparable in wood! You may recall that I used Pergo laminate in the Cottage House Flip:

Unfortunately, they discontinued that color (Scottsdale Oak) but guess what—they have even more colors now! I was immediately drawn to the Wheaton Oak, but I also ordered a sample of the Brier Creek Oak, so we’ll be deciding between those in next week or so. It’s hard to find photos online, so if anyone has any experience with these, let me know!

In the vlog I showed you the cabinet color & style we chose for the kitchen, but soon I’ll do an entire Kitchen Plan blog post so I’ll be sharing everything then! We’ve made a lot of decisions but still have few more to make, so hopefully in the next month it will all be finalized. I’m probably the most excited about the kitchen in this house—I think you’ll understand why after the Kitchen Plan is revealed 😉

And last but not least—did you catch the whole door debacle I posted about on Instagram? A few days ago I found this antique beauty at a local salvage yard:

It was love at first sight, and I thought it’d be perfect as a laundry room door (it needs to be cut down a few inches to fit) BUT it was listed at $245—more than we were hoping to spend. Feeling internally conflicted, I left the salvage yard and posted it on Instagram to get your feedback.

Within hours I was bombarded with hundreds of messages from you guys insisting I go back and buy the door. It was just the push I needed to make the call, and the next day, the door was all mine!

We even talked them down to $230 delivered! #SoWorthIt. Glad I didn’t pass this one up and live with the regret forever. This is the first official purchase for this house, so I think we’re starting on the right track!

I’d love to think that by this time next week, there will be a lot of new and exciting updates to show you, but now comes the phase of necessary but boring stuff like plumbing, electrical and HVAC. I’ll make sure to update you on our progress, but tell us what else you’d like to see! More shopping? More design/inspiration? More about Real Estate Investing? A video Q&A? We’re all ears over here.

Happy March, people!














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16 thoughts on “Lowe’s Shopping Trip! Vlog Episode 6

  1. I am so glad you bought that door! We just installed I think it’s the ash wood color laminate but it’s not waterproof! But it is still pretty & great price!

  2. Hey Jenna Sue! I’m loving that you moved to Tampa, because I’ve been following you for years, and have lived in Tampa most of my life! Welcome to town! I love that you’re renovating in Seminole Heights (or Tampa Heights?) – although I don’t live there, tons of our friends do, and so we spend a lot of time there. One thing I would love to see as you go are specific vendors, etc. that you like in town – like that salvage yard!

    1. Hi Kat, thanks so much for the welcome! We really do love it here, especially the evolving Heights neighborhoods. Still learning our way around the vendors… we’ve found a few good ones so far (just discovered Summer House in South Tampa! <3)

      1. Great! Would love to hear more! And if you need any tips on fun places to go and/or bars and restaurants, let me know! I’ve lived in Tampa most of my life, and there are a lot of really wonderful spots to check out!

  3. I love your posts from traveling to home remodeling. especially love that you like to shop at Lowe’s, its one of my favorite stores for shopping and just wondering around dreaming and just a mile from my house…so easy! keep up the fun you two.

  4. So glad the door is yours! The new tile at Lowes is yummy….I can’t wait to see your kitchen plans! I love seeing everything you want to share, even the not so glamorous stuff, lol. It is all the process and inspirational.😊

  5. Hi! I have followed you since you did the One Room Challenge and enjoyed your work and the changes you have embraced in your lives…congrats on seizing the day! ( not that you need my congrats or encouragement, of course) I am an interior designer at the other end of my career path and I also admire your willingness to just go for it! My background in design is especially focused on architecture, so I am super curious about your plans to open up the Heights House- are you having to do a great deal of support beam installations as you have been removing walls? I would be very interested in the structural details. I am also curious as to why you chose the Tampa area vs. other areas of Florida? Familiarity? Population demographics? Love to know more about that part of your decisions….I had a client on the other side of the state in Winter Park and loved that hidden gem so it is on my list of potential retirement areas ( but I love the gulf coast!) love watching your progress and I hope you get a chance to address some of my questions/curiousities, lol

    1. Thank you so much Meredith! We are removing only one load bearing wall (the original exterior wall of the home) so now that the flooring is open they are pouring footings for a new header and columns. It will go in the center of the house, in the living room. There was just one other wall in the kitchen where they had to reinforce the joists.

      Lucas went to university here in Tampa so he’s familiar with it, and I lived in Florida previously so this just seemed like a good fit. It’s also a good market for RE investing, which is our main focus right now. I explained more about our decision/plans in this post: http://blog.jennasuedesign.com/2018/01/day-1-of-our-new-lives/


  6. Hey Tracey,We do use it on the 2nd floor units but we make sure that the subfloor is solid first, and we only install in the common areas not the bedrooms. Matt

  7. The boring stuff is really as important to show as the eventual surface treatments and colors. It’s often where I am without prior knowledge and although the solution can change from contractor to contractor, it’s good to have some idea in my head going into a project. Thanks for sharing you two!

  8. Hi! Have you made a decision on the floors yet? I’ve been debating between Brier Creek Oak and Wheaton Oak for months now and would love feedback and/or pics. Wish the Scottsdale Oak was still available 🙁

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