Friday, June 9, 2017

The PLAN

I guess I never really went over THE PLAN for the house with you guys! Like, what's getting done and all. Let's chat about that huh?!

OK Let's start at the front - our main door/entry area. It's a cute little room, full of windows and a screen door that has SEEN better days. The plan here is the paint the interior the same as the exterior, get the paint off the flooring and HOPEFULLY salvage that wood. New pendant light, and possibly a little bench seating area to casually read a book on.


Then you walk in and are greeted with our living room! Oh hi furniture!


Remember there used to be a door there? CRAZY (and not so functional)


So in here, we scraped the popcorn ceilings, skim coated the walls, painted errything (radiators, you are next!), and sanded the floors. This room just needs some styling tweaks that will happen like, later. 


The office! This room already got alot of work done as well. Painted walls, sanded floors etc.etc. We will get a new pendent light and a desk - right now i'm using what will be our dining room table LOL. BUT! The desk arrives this week AND I CAN'T WAIT.


Also, please excuse the box pile, leftovers from boxpocolypse that i've yet to tackle.


Turning around from the office you see this! Our dining room. OH HI BEAUTIFUL HUTCH.


The plan here is to just make it a nice functional dining room. We are refinishing the farmhouse style table for in here. Will get a new light and some chairs and VOILA.

 The kitchen, this room has a LONG way to go. The next few steps on the agenda are flooring (what? you don't have carpet on the floors in your kitchen?!) and drywall. We are getting a built in pantry built for around the fridge, and then we will order cabinet doors/countertops/backsplash etc.etc.etc.


Beyond the kitchen there was this little nook (8x10'). The previous owners had started a renovation in there about 30 years ago (and then...just stopped) to extend the kitchen. We noodled that...we also noodled a little breakfast nook area with seating...but what this house really needed? Another bathroom. Bonus points for a main floor laundry. 



Right now it's basically a tool storage area, but we have the plumbing and electrical work done in here. And that door leaning up to the windows in the last photo? That'll be the door into the room (we will frost the panes) so that light will still creep into the kitchen. This room will get done at the same time as the kitchen - flooring and drywall next! 

The upstairs bathroom is coming along! It's fully functional, which is a win. There used to be blue tile that ran up the walls halfway and left a not so cool glue effect. Since this is plaster, and we are sick of taking down plaster walls, we are going to install beadboard around the perimeter of the room to hide this. Also, that hole? Laundry chute. 



Other than that, this room will get a paint job post-beadboard, a mirror (hopefully this week!) and a new or updated light fixture and BAM it's done. Oh and don't worry about that ceiling issue, i'm going to magically become a pro at skim coating plaster and fix that all reallll niiice.

OH and the stair well. So first it was covered in carpet. We knew the landing was wood but had NO idea what lingered under those puppies.



No so great. A few broken treads, and all were covered in paint/glue/something unknown and gross. SO! We added new treads and risers to the growing to-do list. We knew this wouldn't be a 'phase 1' renovation project. Probably something we will try to tackle in the fall/winter time. We are going to try and match the stain to the window molding too, which will take mas trial & error rounds. SO! We decided to paint them for the time being. We used a porch paint which held up well (until the movers came in, a few touch ups will tie us over) and just color matched it to the walls on the main floor. 



The bedrooms upstairs are hosting a boxpocolypse convention, once those get sorted out i'll gettchaa an update there but OMG LOOK.


If you recall, when we bought the house it looked like:


I briefly mentioned this before, but we had to build the garage doors down 2'. The way the garage was built, there is a beam that goes across the center preventing garage door openers to be installed, which is a 21st century necessity. So, we built down the doors from 10' tall (LOL) to 8' which is a standard residential door height. Then, doors were installed and new siding was put up! It already looks 100 times better, but that'll double once the house gets painted.


OK what else? Um THE BASEMENT. This will likely be a next year project, but we want to make it functional. The ceiling height is semi-legit for a 100 year old farm house. There is enough space down there for a bedroom (maybe a bathroom if we are feeling extra crazy?) and a little sitting area or workout zone...noodling all the ideas. 

We also have about a decade of landscaping to do around here...since it hasn't been managed in a coons age. We've already started taking down some trees (that were literally growing INTO the garage roof) and brush etc. However, the previous owners have a mountain of concrete debris on the side of the house? Like broken concrete, but some strategically poured areas which makes me wonder WTF WERE YOU DOING BACK HERE GUYS? (and also omg what is UNDER that...) Here's hoping we don't uncover something gnarly in the process. 


Friday, June 2, 2017

that two week push

OH HEY GUYS! So I left you in the (saw) dust (floor sanding jokes FTW) after we sanded the floors. After that weekend it was basically two crazy busy weeks and then, WE MOVED IN. Yes, last Friday we moved in. We are still KNEE deep in boxes, my roommate is trying to sell everything I've ever owned, and we both have bruises up our arms #goodtimes #nevermovingabasementfridgeagain.

SO, let's catch you up with some items we tackled pre-move! MY PARENTS. OMG. Parent award recipients. My dad hooked up our appliances - we have a stove! and a dishwasher! a water heater that doesn't leak everywhere! And my mom painted our bedroom and started tackling boxpocolypse on moving day. Also, they kept us fed/sane SO THANK YOU OMG.

OK so, we sanded the floors and then we were like peace out MN (me for work to ATL and Dan for fun to NY). The break was great/needed, and when I returned it was time to, IDK, get a working bathroom before we moved in a week later?! LOL.

So, we fixed the floor boards and the tub was installed, so we needed ALL THE TILE. And guess what this beekeeper chose?!



HEX! and BLACK! I promised myself after my last house to not have white grout in a bathroom again because omg how can you keep that ish CLEAN people?! I LOVE THESE FLOORS. They feel modern, but like not too much where a 100 year old house would reject them. You can see in the above photo I tried using those professional leveling do-hickeys and NEVER AGAIN. They didn't work (like big gaps below, because hi old unlevel house) AND the plastic doesn't just "break off super easy when you kick it with your foot." NO. You have you dremel them out one by one without damaging the tiles. SO ANYWAYS. don't use those. Laying the tile was super quick once I got going - we invested (finally!) in a sliding tile saw AND IT CHANGED MY LIFE.


Oh hi vanity! At this point, the floors were tiled but the shower still had cement board (aka we can't shower/the plumber cannot finish). I said uncle and called to get a tile guy to come finish the shower tile off ASAP. SO glad I did that, I mean it kills me (as you know) to hire out something I can/want to do, but time was not our friend in this game. BUT IT TURNED OUT SO GOOD, so we good.


See that little nugget in the wall? THE SHOWER NICHE? Gave me all the headaches...allow me to divulge. SO, instead of crafting my own box, I went to buy one of those pre-fab ones to screw into the cement board. I measured the stud and ordered one. HOWEVER, the measurement wasn't for the rough opening, it was the interior measurement WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. So, then I had to order a special size online which OBVIOUSLY came after we installed the cement board which meant that I got to spend 4 hours cutting a hole into cement, and adding blocking supports behind it...BUT I'M SO GLAD I DID. I love not having bottles on the cliff edges of the tub. #thelittlethings. 

SO, LOL, moving day came and I spent the morning grouting the shower. Talk about taking things down to the wire. 


Still haze that needs to be cleaned off but OMG CUTE RIGHT?

OK, so remember this bedroom?


The wall is gone! The walls are skim coated! The walls are painted!


You might be thinking, "Jenn what happened to the baseboards over there? Is that a new trend??" Unfortunately, no. The previous owners added outlets ABOVE the plaster in this area with like a raceway, which was very industrial/office/not cool. So we took out the baseboards to bury the wiring then we will drywall patch it and reinstall the baseboards...just FYI because I know you all care.


SO, TWO awesome (read: not) things happened on moving day. So our staircase is like, big, and makes a right angle from the first to the second floor with high ceilings so it NEVER occurred to us that there would be a possibility that a box spring wouldn't fit up the stairs and OMG LOL they don't. So we had to take down this bed frame and re-assess our bedding situation which included an emergency trip to IKEA until we can make adult decisions like that.

The other item: our sewer main backed up (in unison: GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS) The basement was flooding which was awesome because we just moved a bunch of boxes down there. SO I went and grabbed a snake from the hardware store (aka my second home) and we couldn't get through to anything so at 9pm on Friday night we had a guy come over to solve all our smelly problems. Since our house is 100 years old, we have clay pipes from our house to the city pipe (130' away....turns out it's twice the charge after 100' COOL!). Clay, although beautiful for pottery, not so functional for sewer lines. Tree roots are ALL up in their business. They put a camera down the line (add that to a list of things I can't unsee) and showed me all the million locations that tree roots are getting in, and a crack in the pipe (OMG GROSSER). The crack is small, and they could drill through the roots to clear the way to the street (technology, guys). Then he was like, we should eventually fix the crack ($5,000) and reline the pipe ($20,000) and I was like, that sounds like a later issue. So we good, but they'll need to come back every year to drill us out...FUN TIMES! Also, I love the oak trees out front so IDcare that they are ruining our pipes. 





SO, what else did we do the week before move in? Well I knew i'd want some semblance of a kitchen to house things, so those needed to get painted. So each night after working on the house I slapped a quick coat on them before heading out. 2 coats of primer 2 coats of paint (Benjamin Moore Advanced Line FTW). We don't have doors yet, but beggers can't be choosers.

SEE THOSE CAN LIGHTS? Finally getting the electrical work done too! Remember, before we had this super low pendant thing:



AND GUESS WHAT ELSE?



THE ROOF! Remember when it was raining in MN for 40 days and 40 nights without end? Well the inside of our garage was basically a waterfall, and the house was leaking in areas too (like our bedroom! Which was getting re-plastered at the same time! Cool!). SO FINALLY the rain let up and the roof went up. Clearly it was a little damaged. The crew did a GREAT job and got it all up in about a weekish.

OK that's alot of updating. But tomorrow - WE GET GARAGE DOORS. This garage NEVER had doors on it. You can see 2 photos up that blue tarp - garage doors are under those. They just let them sit FOR OVER 30 YEARS. Anyways, we built down the openings 2' so we could have garage door openers (long story) and took off the siding because it was basically not there anyways.

OH, also I hooked up the washer and dryer without calling my dad EVEN ONCE. I thought the internet should know. However it did take me 30 minutes to realize the water was shut off in the basement which was why it wasn't working right away because I did EVERYTHING right, but WHATEVER.

SO much has changed - things are moving so fast! I'll shoot some photos and have a 'lived in' update for ya ASAPies :)


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Raw fingers and broken backs: A journey to finished floors

Hey guys! It feels like we FINALLY turned a corner into a more habitable space last weekend! Dan and I sanded ALLLLLLL the floors. That's over 1,100 square feet of floors and OMG. Thankfully it wasn't my first rodeo - if you recall from sanding my last house's floor. I knew it'd be tough, but for some reason I kept forgetting that this house has twice the amount of wood floors that needed sanding. And MAN were they in bad shape! Layers of gunk, and all un-level which makes for some time consuming sanding!

SO! Let's get into how we did it! Ya know, in case you are insane enough to do the same. So, upstairs we had 3 bedrooms (4 closets) and one hallway to sand. These were maple floors, and we used 24 grit - 36 grit - 60 grit - 100 grit to sand them. YUP, we sanded those puppies FOUR TIMES (shopvac-in between each pass). We edged 3 times (skipped the 36 grit #rebels). Downstairs we have 3 rooms with oak floors and used the same grit pattern as upstairs. We also had 8 radiators to sander under (LOLOL fun times) and used 24-100 grit patterns for those.

Here's some BEFORE shots for ya:





Most of those photos are pre-floor wash because #thedustlife. So first, we moved everything out of the way, and put plastic over the bathroom door, to semi-contain the dust (which wasn't so bad). We shop-vaced the floors, and wiped them down with water and a swiffer. We just wanted to make sure all the big chunks were out of the way so they didn't fall under the sander and scratch the floors...more than they already were.

The upstairs floors were MUCH worst than the main floors, but the main floor has alot more black spots (and maybe fire burn in one area?!). So we started sanding upstairs first on Thursday after work. I sanded the 'field' and dan sanded the edges (bless his heart) and under the radiators. We were rounding the last lap of grits when I went to grab some water and check the time and LOL IT WAS ONE IN THE MORNING. So, we called it.





Of course i'm a psycho and can't sleep when a fun (LOL) project is looming so I woke up at 7am and went back to the house to finish up the edges and corners upstairs. I used a dremel for the corners and a hand sander for any boards that were too low to be caught by the sander.

After that, we wiped down the floors with a microfiber cloth and some water to get any remaining dust from the floor before we sealed them.

We repeated the process the next day on the main floor..sand-vac-sand-vac-sand-vac-sand-vac-wipe...THEN seal.

We sealed the floors with a water based Bona sealer and OMG I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. I used Dura-seal in my last house which was oil based - I used that because I wanted the floors to darken a bit to match up with the kitchen faux-wood floors. But BONA! The house didn't smell when we put it on, clean up was a BREEZE, and I am obsessed with how the coloring turned out.

After the sealer, we had to wait 12 hours before the next coat. After the sealer (BonaSeal) we lightly sanded the floors and wiped them down with water and a microfiber cloth again. Then we applied two coats waiting 4 hours between, then we waited 24 hours before walking on them.

OK READY TO SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE?!







Shoutout to my mom who painted the office!! 




So much paint and gunk and IDK even what on those floor before


Yeah, there's marks and spots and imperfections but WHATEVER they are over 100 years old and look SOOO much better than before. So we are happy. But like, not sanding floors again for a REAL long time. Next up - finishing up the walls, the bathroom and hey hopefully getting a roof on there soon because omg MN stop raining it's starting to leak into the house which ISN'T coo.