Monday, April 29, 2013

Floor Work

So for a quick summary of where we're at: The drywall is up, taped and textured.  It's been a long, tedious process because we kept the original ceilings and they needed a lot of attention.  Now we are turning our attention to the floors.  We have red oak flooring in the bedrooms, hall and living rooms (really old photo, the floors are currently to covered with sheetrock dust to take a picture)

 The kitchen floors were a hodgepodge of hardwood, plywood and particle board covered by damaged laminate flooring.
 To improve the flow of the house and make all the floors the same level we have decided to replace the kitchen floor with hardwood.  After pulling up the laminate floors we could really see what a mess the floor was.

The hardwood on the right was covered in a thick layer of glue for vinyl flooring.  We stripped the room down to the subfloor but saved the hardwood in case we run short.  The shiplap subfloor was terrible squeaky so I screwed it down.  3 pounds of screws later the floor was squeak-free.  It says something about your floor when tar paper is an improvement. 

This winter we bought some red oak flooring salvaged out of the University of Montana ballroom in Missoula.  Installation was tedious and we still have a lot of sanding and planing to do but even in it's unfinished state the floor really make a difference in the room.

This is the transition between the kitchen and living room.  We have to plane down a small hump in the living room but the flooring height is actually a pretty good match.

After the kitchen was finished we turned our attention to the hallway.  The floor is a pieced together mess with hardwood and particle board floors, peel and stick tiles and a patch on the side where we widened the hallway

The hallway is L shaped.  The front section suffered water damage from the old bathroom which caused the floor to have a wavy profile.

We removed all the flooring from the back section and about 1/3 of the front hallway.

I'm still pretty new to installing hardwood floors.  This weekend was only the 3rd time we've put them down but I will share a little trick we learned.  Chalk lines to mark joists will wear off of the tar paper as you work.  Draw the lines in silver sharpie marker and they will last forever.

We wove new flooring in with the old.  This wood is #2 grade so it has a lot more coloring than the #1 we put in the kitchen.  It's a better match to the rest of the house and I prefer the more mixed look.  Plus it makes the hallway so much brighter and more attractive.

We ran out of flooring a little after ten last night.  Fortunately we have some old oak flooring that we can clean up and use to finish this small gap.

Luke and I each put in about 30 hours this weekend and we still have a lot of work to do before the floors are ready to be refinished.  I'll keep you posted but there won't be much to show for a white.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Look - We've Got Walls

It's been almost three weeks since we hung drywall in the living room, kitchen and hallway.  I finished the taping and texturing last week, but after wasting half of last weekend working on my truck and prepping the kitchen floor my walls remained unfinished.  So this week I finally  put on my respirator and started work on the walls.  I chose a neutral gray/beige that works well with our intended floor color.  If we were staying here I would choose something more dramatic but for the time being we are all about appealing to buyers.
So here is the product of a lot of work
Living room
Dining area
I was running low on paint so I didn't bother painting areas that will be covered by cabinets or crown molding.  This weekend we'll start installing the hardwood floors in the kitchen.  Hopefully this weekend will not be wasted working on the truck again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's Not Always A Clean Slate

We may have replaced all the drywall on the walls, but we're not starting with a clean slate.  We kept the original ceilings and they need some serious attention. 
The living room was already a mess because of the popcorn ceilings.  Then Luke collapsed the ceiling while working in the attic and left me with this hole to repair.
  I had to remove quite a bit of sheetrock and address some cracking that extended well beyond the hole.
After six coats of mud everything was looking pretty good.  I textured the ceiling and after a little primer and paint this patch is almost invisible.

 Patch #2 was in the kitchen.  We removed a chimney, several closets and the soffits over the laundry cabinets.
The finished product is much smoother and better lit.
Patch #3 was once a cabinet soffit over the kitchen counters.  There were several small pieces of drywall that had never been taped as well as holes for plumbing and electrical.
Nobody would ever guess the cabinets were there.
The walls are done also.  I painted them last night but couldn't get a good picture without daylight.  I'll try to post photo's tomorrow before we start work on the floors.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Work Party Weekend

After months of slow progress on the house we are finally moving at a fast pace.  Demo last weekend accomplished more than I expected so I took some time off this week to wire in the kitchen.  The old kitchen only had a few working outlets and only one of them was a three prong where I could plug in my laptop.  Now I've got so many outlets I won't know what to do.

After the inspection on Friday I insulated the walls for sound control and put up vapor barrier.  On Saturday Luke's brother came from Bozeman and my brother and his girlfriend drove over from Helena to help us hang drywall. Their help really paid off and by the end of the day the house was starting to look livable again.

Living Room and stairs
Living room
 We also tackled the big hole in the living room ceiling.  Luke collapsed the sheetrock while trying to run a wire and we've been living with this patch for 17 months.
 The patch is an improvement and by next week you'll never even guess it was there.

The blog will be pretty quiet for a week or so while I work on finishing the drywall.  Once everything is finished we can start on the floors and maybe even have a real kitchen someday.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Warming Up

This weekend we continued what we started last week, the total destruction of our home demo of the kitchen.  We ripped down the remaining sheetrock on two walls and removed the kitchen closet and linen closet.
Since we already had the truck filled and were going to have to make a trip to the dump Luke decided we should gut the living room as well.  So we filled the utility trailer with drywall and insulation and made it to the dump before they closed for the day.
With the walls open we replaced some outlets before installing new insulation.  The old single layer balsam-wool batts only had an R value of 2 - 3.  We replaced it with R-13 so the house should have lower utility bills next winter.
the next day Luke walled up the old doors to the hallway and linen closet
Then he decided to install plumbing for the kitchen sink.  While he was in the crawlspace I worked on our lighting situation.  The old kitchen only had one working light, a chandelier in the middle of a 15x20 room.  After we gutted the kitchen I temporarily replaced the chandelier with a spare light fixture so Luke wouldn't hit his head.
I wanted to add can lights but I am very picky about having them perfectly aligned to I snapped a chalk line to keep them straight.
I usually dread cutting holes in the ceiling because it is dirty, exhausting work but last summer Luke and I bought a Rotozip at a garage sale.  It was the deluxe kit with a special adapter for cutting holes.  It made cutting the holes easy and fun.  I cut locations for six cans plus a light over the sink.
The rest of my day was spent in a hot attic, wiring in all the new lights and moving the chandelier location.  I got them all in, but was too tired to actually power them up and put in bulbs.  I still have a little more electrical work to do and will be getting our inspection later this week if all goes well.