Friday, July 22, 2016

Master Bedroom Renovation Challenge: [Stage 7] Threshold, Floor Sanding

Catch up on the renovation progress! 

Dudes, what a week it's been! I've been away staying with family until the dust literally settled with all the floor sanding and staining that's been going on. I'm home at last now and ready to catch y'all up on what's been going on, as there's been a ton of craziness and momentum. Get ready for pictures galore!

If you remember from the previous post with paint already making a huge difference, last week it was all about prepping our floors for the floor stainers coming the following Monday. This boiled down to needing to sand the floors and make a threshold in the new doorway. We started off with a high when we sanded the closet floor and it came out looking AWESOME.

Then we pulled the carpet up in the master bedroom Karl put it, a picture is worth more than a thousand words...and "this one has a lot of 4-letter ones".

As one can see, the original wood floor was a nightmarish mess, and Karl and I had an "oh crap" moment. Just like when the past owner showed no respect by bolting a pipe to the dining room floor and dripping paint on the baseboards, he struck again in this room. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

First, a section of the floor had been torn up and replaced with plywood.

Then, he also walked around the room with paint on his shoes.

Last but not least, he made huge patches with car body putty to even out some areas. Let me repeat that: CAR. PUTTY.

We do know that he was a car hobbyist, so I assume he used the car putty because it was on-hand. After all, driving a literal 5 minutes to the hardware store was apparently too much of an effort.

He wasn't too keen to even make it look nice, but just slathered it on.

These patches were solely from when they installed some very cheap and ugly track lights in the kitchen below. (note: if you like track lighting, you should probably live in a house built in the 1950's and up. No hate, just sayin').

Karl and I were baffled to say the least. And honestly, a bit ticked off...and not just because our work was now really cut out for us, but at how careless a person can be, especially when doing any kind of work in an old home (my fellow old house lovers, sorry if this post is making your blood pressure go up too).

Our plan became a bit different now than simply sanding the floor, but we were determined to at least try everything we could to salvage the floors before turning to a sad Plan B: re-carpeting the room.

Cue dramatic cinematic moment before diving in:

First Karl tackled the plywood. Taking some matching original planks from our attic, Karl patched them in where the plywood had been. So far so good.

Next, using a scraper and sometimes even a screwdriver, Karl scraped up as much of the putty as he could. A good bit of it came up and made the patches less noticeable already.

Now it was time for the true test: we brought in the sander. To our utter relief and joy, this is what the floors looked like after the first pass:

A little more scraping and a second pass:


Here's where the plywood had been that we patched in with wood flooring from the attic:


My peeps, let this be an example that no old wood floor is beyond saving!

Now that things were starting to go well with the master bedroom floors, of course something else had to go wrong, right? Saturday evening Karl was in the middle of sanding when suddenly the machine stopped. Upon investigation, the plug had completely burned out! More problematic, the place we had rented the sander from had just closed 30 minutes before! Argh. It was pure HGTV drama without being scripted, lol.

We were already on a tight deadline because our floor stainers were coming Monday; we had to get the sanding done! We weighed the option of renting an abused floor sander from Home Depot and run the risk of streaks like what had happened in our downstairs floor sanding sagas, but Karl decided a better option would be to try and find a plug to replace the bad one with.

I'm so glad he knows how to do stuff like that!

Lowes didn't have any, but Home Depot did (after some digging around, he nabbed the last one thanks to a helpful guy there. Whew). Soon Karl had it fixed and was back on track.

This is what it's supposed to look like:

In a last-minute decision, we also sanded our upstairs hallway. It is another area that has had planks pulled up when they were re-wiring stuff, so many were uneven and a few were also splintering. Thus, there has not been a day since moving in that we have been able to go shoe-less in the hallway, otherwise we had a few splinter mishaps happen to our feet when we did not (yes, that means putting on my slippers or sandals just to get my pregnant bladder to the bathroom 2-3 times a night, lol).

Here it is sanded:

It'll be beyond wonderful to be able to walk on this floor now! Not to mention I won't have to prevent baby from crawling in the hallway in the future. :)

Also on the "to-do" before staining the floors was framing in the new doorway and making a custom threshold for it. Previously there were floor gaps and uneven flooring that we had to give attention to. Karl cut some small pieces to go over the floor gaps:

Here is the doorway all framed in:

Then he made the threshold ramps:

He did a nice job, wouldn't y'all agree?

Karl did a LOT of work, the majority of it with the floor sanding this past weekend. He worked till the wee hours of Monday morning to make sure that things were ready for the floor stainers coming Monday. Give some major props to the guy, cause he was one tuckered out fella come Monday (this was him Monday morning when he woke up)!

We'll be able to show you the newly stained floors early next week! Here's a carrot to dangle in front of y'all until then with the color choices we laid down.

If you haven't already, subscribe for email updates either below or on the top banner. Till next week! :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Master Bedroom Renovation Challenge: [Stage 6] Priming & Painting

Catch up on the renovation progress! 

Hello peeps! Our master bedroom is really beginning to take shape now with a paint color on the walls other than orange and yellow!

Here's a quick before of the bedroom with the drywall up and the former orange walls:

With primer:

Now with paint!

As mentioned in the previous post, we went with the same color as our living room, Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace in the Natura line (unlike many paint brands, a true low VOC paint - read our review of it here). Just as it worked marvelously to bring out the stained trimwork in the living room, it makes quite a difference in the bedroom as well, not to mention making the room look even larger.

The "spare oom" that we've been working to turn into the master's walk-in closet was also transformed from a yellowish green to the Chantilly White as we plan to eventually bring in dark wood built-ins for the clothing racks and storage.

You can also tell from the closet pix that we've been playing a lot of "musical rooms" with moving things from one room to another as we're able to, heh.

Next up is the tearing-up of the carpet and sanding, installing a threshold in the new doorway, and staining and finishing of the original hardwood floors. Big projects. But basically after that it's a matter of adding back the trim work we took off and...dare I type it...we're approaching the home stretch to being able to move into our master bedroom!

Now if only I could have some stroke of luck finding "THE bed" on Craigslist... ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Master Bedroom Renovation Challenge: [Stage 5] Electrical & Drywall

Catch up on the renovation progress! 

Goodness, why does summer go so fast?! How can it be the beginning of July already?!

...and will we really get this master bedroom done before baby girl comes?

Progress has been steady though. If you've been following via Instagram, you've seen that as of last week we hit the drywall and mudding/sanding stage in the project (woooo!), and this week we're into priming and painting!

Up until now we have been working off a list of things I haphazardly scrawled onto a piece of scrap paper that we need to do to finish the bedroom and the order in which to do them. However, this hasn't been working for both getting things done on a tight timeline and meeting the demands of my OCD "must plan all the details" brain.

Therefore this past week I sat down and mapped out an actual calendar schedule and timeline of what needs to get done each week so that we have everything finished by Aug 8th.

Yup. Gone is the "done in 6 weeks" goal, but now we have a concrete schedule for each week that will ensure we're still done in time. The things you learn while renovating, right?

I used Google calendar and shared it with Karl so that we're both able to see it, and we went over it together to make sure it was feasible.

Karl was onboard with having the schedule as well to plan his week, especially as he responds better to anything on a screen vs. paper, hehe. With this schedule now as a guide, so far we're making good progress.

The electrical got done last week; we're rigging up outlets to go on either side of the bed, and a socket for wall scounces to flank either side of the bed over top of our nightstands. Here's a setup similar to what we're doing:

I'm still in the process of picking out the scounces - the only criteria is that they have an on/off switch on the lamp itself. Here's a few of the ones I'm keeping tucked away as possibilities:

I'm not sure yet if I prefer the ones with swing arms or not...thoughts?

Two Fridays ago Karl and I got all our drywall supplies (date night at the hardware store ftw!), and last week Karl and his Dad hung the drywall!

For taping the seams we opted for this webbed tape - it's sticky on the one side, taking out the step to mud the seams and then lay the tape over, then mud again. With this we could tape and get right to mudding.

For our mud/joint compound we got quick set that needs mixing but goes up nicely and drys fast without shrinking.

Karl's Dad showed us how to mix it and get it to the correct consistency; you want it to be similar to cake icing with no lumps. Here's a video of Karl mixing up a batch that shows the consistency you want:
You have to work fast because it dries fast, so be sure to only mix as much as you can trowel onto the wall in a 15-minute period. 

Looks so much better already! It's really nice to have the room back to its original footprint without the added wall-to-wall closet taking up space.

Karl has since done a few rounds of mudding and then sanding smooth with the seams; letting the mudding dry each time takes awhile, but it fits well as Karl could do the next round each evening after work.

This past weekend priming and painting happened in the master, and this week we're doing the same in the master closet. I'm aiming to do a post next week to show the newly painted rooms, and another with the mood board for the rooms.

As it turned out so well before in the living room with setting off the beautiful wood trim, we're using BM's Chantilly White from the Natura line again for both the bedroom and closet. The light color will also help make the bedroom look bigger, which will be a benefit as it is still a bit on the small side as far as master bedrooms go.

Can't wait to share with y'all the progress as paint goes up! Be sure to follow on Instagram and/or subscribe to the newsletter to follow along!

Monday, June 13, 2016

When the Dishwasher Decided to Make a Moat in our Kitchen

Hi all - didja think I disappeared? Yeah can't blame ya, it's been a little bit since the last update with our master bedroom.

Last week we didn't get very far with our electrical work in the master. We have all our supplies readied and we measured and drilled for where the new wall sockets would go, but haven't been able to get much further for three reasons:

1. it's summer, therefore to stay in the good graces of our neighbors, we've been trying to catch up on a lot of yardwork

2. it's summer, and our schedule is more packed on weekends (family reunion this past weekend)

3. it's summer...and though the season has nothing to do with it, our kitchen's LG dishwasher that we've never used sprung a leak

The dishwasher had leaked all night and we had a big puddle by morning all around the area. The water also seeped under the peel-n-stick laminate floor and into the wood floor underneath and was dripping into the basement. Not good.

Thinking we might have a clog in the piping, Karl checked the pipes under the sink and took apart the trap, but it was completely clear.

Next we prepared our noses for opening the dishwasher.

Why our noses?

The dishwasher has remained unused because from inspection day we discovered an awful, foul odor that would emit from it any time it was opened. We figured it was just because it hadn't been run in awhile. That first week after moving in I put a dishwasher capsule in it and some baking soda on the bottom tray and let it run and rinse. Twice. But the smell didn't go away even the tiniest bit.

We've checked it a few more times over the months when we're feeling stupid brave, but the stench has remained and therefore we never have used it since, which has been fine because it's just the two of us.

Now for some reason even in non-use it was leaking, so we decided to check it out.

the dishwasher of doom

Being pregnant and easily nauseated, I didn't stick around for this part, and poor Karl did. He donned an air mask, opened it, and found water sitting in the bottom of it. As he emptied it and the filter he came up with bucket after bucket of gross, moldy water. Ugh. I don't even like picturing it.

Now free of the moldy water, we put dishwasher soap again into it and gave it a whirl. However, the entire time it ran (which was a crazy 2 hours!), we could smell the really bad odor from before and it smelled up the entire main floor.

We opened and inspected it after it finished washing and draining, but the odor was still there.

We also remain clueless as to what caused the leak in the first place.

In summation, we have a still-smelly dishwasher, no idea why it leaked, and a bubbled tile floor.

But I can tell you this; that dishwasher is going bye-bye.

I was hoping to replace it with a dent-n-scratch Bosch before the baby came, so this is just the kick-in-the-butt needed to start seriously looking for one. But we'll also need to figure out if there's something wrong with the plumbing before hooking up a new one, as we wouldn't want a repeat showering of water.

Any plumbing advice or ideas on things we could check on for the problem?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Master Bedroom Renovation Challenge: [Stage 4] Finished Demo, Exposed Chimney, & Video of Things Being Tossed from 2nd Story Window

Catch up on the renovation progress! 

Week 4 already! Yipes.

Our original estimation was 4-6 weeks, but something tells me that at our current pace and weekend events happening a lot now that summer is here, we'll be lucky to make it in 8 weeks.

However, wall demo is done - wooo! With that stage of the process behind us, this past week Karl and I made a list of the rest of the things needing done and scheduled them out over the next four weeks. It's a daunting list that includes electrical and dry-walling, painting, and sanding and staining floors.

Can we do it...?

...we're gonna darn well try!

I must also say that one of Karl's qualities I admire and that is really showing itself in these renovations we've been doing since moving is his dedication and staying on task with one project until it's done. I know how some people tend to bounce between various house projects without finishing, and I'd go crazy with someone like that, so I'm very appreciative of Karl and his efforts to finish the master.

So enough talk, let's see some progress pix!

The other side of the drywall door was taken out, so we now have a fully opened doorway between the future master and walk-in closet.

Don't mind the odd wood beam supporting the clothes rod in the pic of the rods came to us missing and so to keep it from toppling, this is my "ingenious" Top Gear way of fixing it. Brilliant!

We do have a bit of floor leveling to do between rooms. We're thinking we could put in little ramps on either side, but if any of you have better ideas, please comment away!

Closet header is officially gone!

In fact, much of the header was thrown out the window...literally (and yes, I know I did the cel video all wrong...d'oh!)

It's Raining Debris from Draven on Vimeo.

It took a LOT of effort to get the header demo'd - apparently the previous owner did everything to insure that closet was STAYING, which meant an excess of screws and 2x4s. Karl was extra careful trying to get the screws out of the original wood floor without tearing them up further, and he succeeded pretty well.

The chimney is exposed now on the inside wall of where the closet had been (it was behind the weird shower wall material). Some of the original plaster is still hanging onto the bottom half, as well as some layers of wallpaper.

Not bad for a day of work, especially in 90-degree and humid weather!

This upcoming week will consist of electrical work, and then it'll be onto drywall. Wish us luck!

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