Putting up the banister… extremely difficult and tedious! Good thing Nate’s so skilled 🙂
As I sat here tonight watching the stink bugs surround me, plotting their final attack (or just trying to get near the lights), I realized it has (yet again) been a LONG time since I posted an update. So, here you go, some more pictures of our in-the-works, “shaping up”, completely-DIY kitchen remodel. Soon to come: the railing and banister!
Now that most of the house is up to par, we’re moving on to our first big remodeling project: opening up the kitchen and living room to make the kitchen feel bigger and to make the rooms more open. I am SO excited for this.
Here are the general plans: open up the living room wall between the stairs and the living room, making the kitchen wall into a half-wall complete with a breakfast bar, tiling the floor, tiling the counters, painting the cabinets, opening up the door between the kitchen and the dining room… and more!
Nate is really enjoying planning and carrying out the project and I am really enjoying dreaming about what it will look like while playing surgeon’s assistant. Last week Nate ripped down the drywall on the walls we were going to remove. This past weekend, Steve, Nate’s GCC friend, came to visit and they set out to remove the living room wall and put up the header, an OLD, weathered beam that washed up on shore by Dad’s hatchery. Nate and Steve worked and worked and worked… and then lifted the HUGE beam up against the ceiling. It’s great to have some strong men around to make our house look awesome! We are so thankful for Steve’s help; couldn’t have done it without him.
Here are some pictures of the process:
First things first, I know it has been way too long since I last posted and many of you have asked me about new pictures. Here’s the problem: in order to take the time to write a new post I have to stop working on the house long enough to write the post which means less work for me to write about!
Now that I’m finished with school until August and we’re home from relaxing in Jamaica I’ve made some time to write.
The next big job I’m going to post about is refinishing the hardwood floors in the living room, dining room, and the bedrooms. Basically, the ENTIRE house except for the kitchen and bathroom.
The day before we moved in Nate ripped up the ugly, stained, disgusting carpet that covered the floors. Under the terrible carpet and nasty carpet pad were oak hardwood floors (which we already knew). Some of the floors were stained and badly scratched. There were also 2 floorboards in the master bedroom that needed to be replaced. They looked like someone had stabbed at them repeatedly with a screwdriver. Now why would someone do that!? Therefore, after seeing the hardwood floors in their entirety for the first time we decided the floors needed to be refinished.
We talked to a few people that had refinished floors before, and they all pretty much terrified us with how difficult they said it was. Several people just said to pay to get it down… no thanks. Nate and I decided to go for it anyway… because, well, that’s what we like to do. We figured we’d try our best, and worst case scenario, we’d just cover it all with new carpet and no one but us would ever know how badly we screwed it up!
Nate replaced the 2 messed up boards and they looked great! It was a little scary to both us because in order to replace the boards you first have rip out the messed up boards. Nate was a little hesitant to drill into our oak hardwood floors! The new boards look great though. We challenge any future visitors to our house to try to find the 2 new boards in our room!
Nate did lots of research and I read the things he asked me to read and we set out to get started. After putting all of our belongings into the kitchen or the basement we were ready to sand. We went to trusty ol’ Home Depot and rented 2 sanders. One sander (which weighed about 200 lbs) was supposed to sand the finish and the stain off the main part of the floor. Sander #2 (which was much smaller but still quite heavy) was supposed to do the same but around the edges of the room. The plan was for Nate to use the big sander and for me to do the edges with the smaller sander.
We started in the smallest bedroom (because that’s where we start everything in case we majorly mess up our first attempt). The big sander (aka the gentle giant) was not tough enough to cut through all the finish and the stain so Nate decided to see what the edge sander was like. We realized very quickly that there was absolutely no way I was going to use the smaller sander (hereafter referred to as “the beast”) and there was no way we’d ever finish if we kept using the gentle giant for the main part of the floor.
Since the sanders were due back at the Depot at 8 am the next morning we had to make some quick decisions. Nate ended up using the beast to rip off the finish and the stain (and nearly killed himself) and then we would use the gentle giant to smooth everything out.
That’s what we did… but we didn’t finish in one night. We returned the beast after one night but kept the gentle giant another night. Those were two extremely tiring and long days, but we had finished sanding. Onto staining and poly-ing.
Staining was quick and painless. Putting on the polyurethane was not as easy. You have to keep everything really clean and be very careful not to get streaks or dirt in the poly because those flaws will dry into the surface and stay that way. I wish I didn’t have to admit that a bun and hairnet were no match for my mane and there is now a nice, long hair in the finish of our hardwood floors. Nate was less than excited when he first discovered it.
So that’s it, the story of our floors. A neighbor saw the finished floors and asked if we’d come do his. We said no. Nate said he won’t be doing it again for a long time. I said I’ll never be doing it again. It was definitely worth it, but I never want to have to do it again!
The pictures don’t quite do the floors justice so you’ll all have to come visit so you can properly admire them! 😉
More to come soon!
So, we own the house now!!! No more illegal work on a house we don’t own for Nate and Becky!
We spent our spring break week working on the house, with some help from Mom and Dad Barton. Days one and two were demolition days! On day 1 (Monday), after breaking into our own home because we forgot to bring both sets of keys, we tore down the dark wood paneling from the upstairs. Even though the walls were covered with glue, the place looked so much better without the panels. We then spent way too much scraping the glue off the walls to get them ready for painting.
Day 2 (Tuesday) was for tearing apart the basement. We ripped down even more dark, ugly paneling, and Nate knocked down some walls. Nate then tackled the tiles in the basement and has spent soooo many hours down there using his muscles to remove the nasty, old, nearly-invincible tiles from the cement floor. I went back to scraping and vacuuming up the disgusting bugs that love our bay window so much.
Wednesday consisted of more tile and glue scraping. We are now both expert scrapers in our respective fields unfortunately.
We had some help on Thursday and Friday from Nate’s parents. Some more scraping was involved. We emptied out the attic… apparently when you buy a foreclosure, lots of other people’s junk is included. We sorted and sorted and sorted, and found lots of junk and some trinkets and things that were worth keeping. Is any one interested in approximately 137 Christmas gift boxes or 107 old lady dresses and “jogging suits”? (Let’s just say we found some interesting things) Dad Barton and Nate fired up their chainsaws and cut up several fallen trees/branches. While they were busy being manly men, Mom Barton and I flattened all 137 Christmas boxes. Thank the Lord for Mom Barton’s cleaning skills because now our bathroom is almost usable!
Saturday and Saturday included my first attempt at spackling. Nate, again, had to scrape tiles. Monday… more of the same.
We’re almost ready to rip up the carpets upstairs and start painting! We have a lot of work ahead of us but we’re getting there!
(I promise not to write so much next time… if any one made it through reading all this, look at the pictures below!)