Monday, November 16, 2009

Home Improvement Junkies

I swear that, if I ever give up jewelry making, I am going to become a handygirl. Goodness I love home improvement projects!! I could watch This Old House on PBS for hours on end and never get board. I am completely in tv-love with Norm, Rich, and Tom, seriously.

So you guessed it... we installed new hardwood floors in our big living room this weekend (and I finished knitting a pair of legwarmers for my sister that I started last Christmas, but whatever). In case you haven't noticed, we are "project people". We always have something we are working on to make our home more homie to us. There was the big kitchen remodel last year, the gardens this spring, the bathroom gutting this summer, and now the living room floors. And those are just the house projects, we have side projects too, ex: the medicine cabinet stripping project I am working on.

Doing something special to the floors in this room has been on our list since we first walked through the house in March of 2008. For those of you who have house hunted, you'll know what I mean. It is the "we could" list. You walk through a house for the first time and say "we could do this..." or "we could do that...". I didn't really think this was one that we would actually follow through on, but I am so glad we did.

Here is how the project went down... Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were "prep days". Ron came home early from work on Monday and we busted out the tile near the back door and then on Tuesday and Wednesday I pulled out the carpet and padding and the rest of the tile.


On Thursday evening, we set out some tar paper and started with the hard part... getting the pieces just right to go around the back door. My hubby is might handy with a saw... watch out!


Friday was the big day. Ron took off work and we tried to get the floor layed before the kids got home from school. I think this was a stroke of genius on my part. Why try to lay floor on the weekend while the kids are home and in our hair? Oh, and more about the flooring itself. It is a 3/4in pre-finished solid oak hardwood from Lowes. We bought 20 boxes of the flooring and ended up using about 18 1/2 of those. The room is 25ft x 17ft and we accounted for about 10% waste. It worked.

Here was how the day went...


We had to do a lot of furniture moving. We keep pushing stuff out of the way until we couldn't push it any further and then moved it to the finished side of the room. We were exhausted by 5pm on Friday and only about 75% done. So, we threw the kids in the car, went and got a cheesburger, refreshed our energy, and worked a little longer. We went to bed with the room about 80% done. And ended up having to pay to keep the stapler we rented for an extra day.

Saturday morning I woke up with a head cold. Which, considering the sickness that ran threw this house a few weeks ago, I figured was coming. At least it didn't hit me on Friday! We worked on the floor lazily through out the day on Saturday and was bale to finish it up by lunch time. Then came the fun part, trying to arrange furniture. I am still not happy with the layout yet, so I don't have any really good shots of the room, but once the baseboards are back up, I will be sure to share something.


Now onto Sunday, I hope you aren't too bored yet. I told you I love this stuff... feel free to click onto a different blog if you are starting to dooze off. Sunday, sunday, sunday... we went to Lowes. We needed to figure out what to do about the two stairs coming into the room from the hallway and the kitchen. They didn't have what we needed so we had to get creative with moulding. And that is what we will be working on later today (Monday). What we did finish up was covering up some badly damaged flooring in the old side of the house. Back when we did the bathroom, I went all psycho and ripped out carpeting in the hallway. Only to discover a place where we think there used to be a doorway and a "repair" job done with spackle. Not good. Rather than making the effort to get all that out, we decided to cover it up, and it looks fantastic now.


Okay... a side project update. I think I mentioned that we were doing something with out woodburning stove. Didn't I? Our old stove was very very pretty, but not big enough for the house. Our home is about 2400sq ft and the stove was only rated to heat about 1200sq ft. We found a new-to-us replacement stove on Craigs List that is much larger and is rated to heat closer to 2000sq ft. It is still a Vermont Castings stove, like the old one, and it is enameled, like the old one... and it has really cool dragons. We love it. The old hearth was n.a.s.t.y. It was about 8in off the ground and had 1/4in tile glued to it. Anytime you dropped a log, by accident, the tile broke into a million pieces. So after our first winter, there were at least a dozen tiles missing. We pulled that all out when we replaced the stove and dropped the hearth down to floor level. We bought some beautiful pieces of blue field stone that is 2inches thick and so much more durible. We. LOVE. It.


Okay, so the nitty gritty... the cost. Total for the flooring, the staple rental, the moulding... everything... we paid about $1500. Not too bad if you ask us, considering that is about how much we would have had to pay for carpet (if not more) and that only lasts a few years, this should last about 100 years.

Now I get to go thrifting for cool area rugs and won't have to move furniture again to put the Christmas tree up in a few weeks, HA! What fun!! Now, I need to go finish freshing up the paint on those baseboards so they can be put back on this afternoon, and we need to install those stair treads.

Thanks for sticking with me to the end of the project! LOTS more detailed photos with more descriptions on FLICKR!!


mairedodd said...

kerry, you guys are a great team and did a phenomenal job... i love 'this old house' too... and so many years ago bought martha stewart's book on older homes... the floor looks great, the woodstove looks great, the hallway, and on and on... what a wonderful HOME, not house... a place filled with love and life and imagination...

Kristen said...

Wow Kerry! You guys did a great job!! My husband and I are also those kind of people who are always finding projects to do around the house. I wish our living room was next on our "We Could" list but it's the basement. Thanks for sharing all your photos, they were so much fun to look at! Beautiful work, both of you! Enjoy it! :)

Ellen said...

You two did a great job and you're both still alive. Working together on a big project can go either way in the "homocide" department. Yea, you!

Patricia Wood said...

You did a phenomenal job, congrats! It is beautiful:)

Kathy said...

Wow that floor is beautiful!!! IT takes me back to2 years ago when we did ours. A nd now we are doing our bedrooms
THis spring my hubby did our stairs going up to the main floor and down to the lower level from the main landing. We did it in solid oak. It turned out fantastic. I know how you feel it gives you a good feeling knowing you can do it by yourself and then to look back and see the rewards are totally awesome.
Very nice stove too.

Jenn said...

Oh. Dear. Did you do that without kneepads?????? My dad and I did my floor (although it was a concrete subfloor and it might have made a difference) and did about 1 hour without kneepads and we immediately went out and got some.

Okay...I was just impressed...

And I LOVE the new floor! Gorgeous! I'm a home improvement junkie myself. I'm just too tired to do it, so I live with in my head most of the them...until I need to sell the house, then the next owners get the benefit of what was in my head. ;-)

Cambridge Self Build said...

"Home Improvement Junkies"

That is great

I love the wood floor

Alice said...

Gorgeous! I just love the wall color and the beautiful wood floor.

If you're needing a remodeling fix you can get it at my house. We're not very handy and things are needing attention.

Lynda said...

WOW!!! You two are SO Rockin'. All this looks fabulous. Congratulations on a job excellently done. And LOVE the stove.

Yvette said...

The floor looks fab and that woodburning stove!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When can I move in?

SueBeads said...


Lori G. said...

You. Are. Amazing.

I'll give you some of my "I can let go" if you give me some of your "I get it done!"

Shaiha said...

Wow!N Great job! And I just love the new stove!