Monday, August 27, 2012

New Floors

Did you notice our horrible floors when I posted the pictures of our back bedrooms?
 The floors in this part of the house are 5/8" ply with 5/8" particle board on top.  The particle board is not structural and has been badly damaged by water and the PO's kids.  We will be removing the particle board, but the 5/8" plywood is too thin for subfloor and actually deflects a little under Luke's weight.  In order to strengthen the floor and help these rooms blend with the original part of the house we will be installing 3/4" oak floors.
We bought the flooring this spring from a 40's house in Missoula that was being remodeled.  For $300 we brought home over 300 sq.ft. of narrow strip oak that is a close match to what we already have in the house.  We've been storing it in the kitchen for months
Originally I had planned to use it in the kitchen, but I really just want to be finished with these bedrooms.  I laid out a few test pieces to determine that it looked fine with my freshly painted walls
Once Luke and I had agreed that we would be installing floors over the weekend we started pricing flooring nailer rentals and quickly discovered that we could buy a nailer for the cost of renting one for 3.5 days.  I bought one on Amazon and had it overnighted so we could start work right away.  While we were waiting we laid the tar paper.
Despite running errands and getting a slow start we were able to lay the entire disco room on Saturday.
And the pee room on Sunday
The floor color is a little lighter than we prefer but since it is pre-finished we will probably leave it alone.  In a few days my family will be here to help replace the roof so we've got to get the windows trimmed and put a door on the pee room.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Almost There

When I last posted about the back bedrooms we had hung drywall in the north bedroom

And patched the many, many holes in the south bedroom

After what seemed like an eternity we finally finished taping the sheetrock on Saturday

I get excited when we can finally texture and paint the walls.  It means I don't have to sand any more.  After sanding corners my shoulder sounds like a rock tumbler.
I hate to admit it but we purchased our paint at Walmart.  The nearest Lowes is 65 miles away and the local paint stores are all closed by 6 pm.  I wanted to buy my paint from a store that would still be open if I still needed one gallon after running out at 9 pm (not that I've ever experienced such a thing first hand).  It was a good price and the quality wasn't bad.
The color is "Two Doves" by Colorplace.  It's a grey-green shade that changes a lot depending on the light.  Last night it looked sage green under our incandescent lights but this morning it looks like a pale grey.
Luke ate dinner while waiting for me to finish painting.  The dogs were fascinated by the frozen pizza.

We've also made progress in the back hallway although we won't be able to finish it for a few more months.  Still, we've come a long way since last summer.  
This is the 32" hallway we started with:
  Wall moved and widened to 40"
Lights installed and partially finished.  At least we got rid of some of the pink and purple color scheme they used in the hall.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Year In Review

One year ago today we said goodbye to Washington and arrived at our "new" home in Montana.  We moved into a house with no water and no heat.

At times it seems like we have not made much progress but looking back we've:
Installed a radiant heating system
  Installed all new electrical service and wiring
Replaced burst copper pipes with all new plumbing and a tankless water heater
 Framed the basement walls
 Relocated the laundry from the dining room to the basement
 Rebuilt our dilapidated garage
Started rebuilding the back two bedrooms
Replaced our front door and half our windows

In addition to the progress on the house we have also seen God provide for us in so many areas:
  • A new job for me that allows me to carpool with Luke and have weekends off
  • A second job for Luke that will pay for his thesis research
  • A "new" car when our Intrepid died unexpectedly
  • Interviews from prospective employers even though Luke is months away from graduation.
We are also so grateful for all the help we have received from family.  They have helped with cleaning, plumbing, our garage overhaul and have volunteered to help with our impending roof replacement.  Thank you guys.  I think we need to throw you an awesome "thank you" party when the house is finished.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Back Room Progress

After a week of guests and fighting sickness brought by our guests Luke and I are finally back to work on the back bedrooms.  Before his family arrived last week we were able to get the back two bedrooms framed in and most of the drywall hung.  We had to go with all new sheetrock in the north bedroom 
While scraping the ceiling I also discovered all these wonderful holes.  We suspect someone used to lay in bed and throw a knife into the ceiling over and over again to see if it would stick.  There are hundreds of these knife-marks to fix. 
In the South bedroom we were able to keep the drywall on three of the walls and only had to hang new sheetrock on the new wall and closet.  

 I have a lot of holes to patch.

The old bedroom window was 5' wide but only 2' tall.

The new windows are still 5' wide but are now 3' tall which not only meets fire code but also lets in a lot more light.  We had to cut the sheetrock and framing to allow space for the new window.
Please ignore the clutter; we're using the patio for materials storage.  You can see the new window on the left and the old style window in Luke's office on the right.
I've been working on mud and tape by myself since Luke is sick.  It's slow going and there's a lot to be done.  We've got to tape all the new sheetrock and the old stuff needs a lot of work to patch around the windows, holes and damaged areas from the old baseboards.
I'm hoping to get the walls finished this week.  We'll see how motivated I am in the evenings.

Friday, August 03, 2012

The (Almost) Finished Garage

I'm finally ready to post some before and after pictures of the garage even though it isn't quite done.  We finished with the structural and cosmetic work, but we still don't have our workbench or storage cabinets because they are currently installed in the kitchen.  We will be gutting the kitchen in a few months and then I can finally have my garage cabinets.  But even without the additional storage the garage is looking better and is more functional than it has ever been.  Just a reminder of what we had when we closed on the house a year ago:
 And what it's looking like now
The back has gone from this:
To This: 

The weather-beaten west side
 Looks more like a guest house than a garage
 And on the inside it's gone from this mess:
To a fully finished interior:
The color scheme isn't what I had envisioned.  We grabbed off-white paint by mistake and the green accent color was a $5 mistint from Lowes.  So the color scheme is a little more English cottage than masculine garage but I'm sick of painting so we'll stick with it.

The future work bench and cabinets will next to the wire shelving where we are currently storing windows.  Right now the work bench and cabinets are installed in the kitchen so we'll have to wait a few more months before they can move to the garage.
  The goal is to keep the left side of the garage clear so we can park the highlander during the winter and use the right side of the garage as our shop.  We'll see if it actually works out that way.