Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cement Staining

With time ticking along, and bebe's due date fast approaching - we needed to get going with the flooring. The guest room was finished, the bathroom tiles were ordered so that just left the man cave and the mud room. Chris had free rein for the man cave so he decided to stain the cement rather than spend time and more money on installing/buying flooring. After quite a few hours trawling through you tube to find the best way to do it - he was ready to get started! It took him two weekends of hard graft, and a couple hundred dollars for materials but it turned out great! This was finished at the end of April!

The Man Cave before Chris started prepping. Covered in paint and dry wall plaster.
Chris spent many hours on his hands and knees scraping the paint and dry wall plaster off the cement!

Scrubbing the floor.
Ready for the stain.
My handy husband!

Beautiful, shiny stained cement floor  - finished!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Plywood floor

Chris spent last month priming and painting all the basement rooms. The next phase of the remodel and out major goal before Baby arrives is to install flooring in every room down there, so we are not traipsing dirt and drywall dust into the main part of the house. Having researched a variety of options, most of them were not in our budget. So with a little inspiration from Pinterest I decided a 'plywood floor' in the guest bedroom would be a great solution. Chris had to be convinced as he was the one that would need to do most of the work, but he soon came around to his pregnant wife's grand idea. (He's a keeper for sure!!). He stipulated one condition though - I had to go to Home Depot and get the plywood.

So off I toddled to Home Depot, looking pregnant and trying my hardest to speak with my best English accent (its fading fast). Two very helpful guys helped my choose plywood for the subfloor (to go over the cement slab) and plywood to be cut into 8 inch planks, which would eventually become the new flooring.  They even used their industrial cutter to make those 8 inch planks for me. Once I had all my wood (3 hours later) I called Chris and Cody to come collect it all for me in Cody's truck (Thanks Cody!!).

10 pieces of 4'x8' ready to be sliced into 8 inch planks
My two very helpful men, cutting the 10 sheets of plywood into 8" x 8' planks
Next job was to empty the guest room of clutter and prep for the sub floor. We needed to install a sub floor because it would have been impossible to nail or glue the plywood planks directly to the cement. Plus if we were to get any moisture down there, which is a possibility because it is below ground, then we needed to prevent water damage.

The guest room ready empty and ready for the sub floor
We laid 2 sheets of 6 mil plastic, just in case any water started to seep through the cement
Chris had to pre drill holes in the cement and then get the cement screws in place. Every screw was a battle and in total we went through about 15 drill bits because the cement was so dense. After a full day the 3/4 inch plywood sub floor was in place.

Meanwhile, I spent my time sanding all the plywood planks to get rid of any major splinters, smooth the coarse mill finish and remove any stamps or ink marks on the surface. It was a process. 

Eventually the planks were ready to be glued and nailed in place. We invested in a nail gun, which made the nailing go super quick. We used a random metal bracket as the spacer between the planks. We were going for the rustic, farmhouse cottage look, so some discrepancies in the spacing wasn't an issue for us. 
Installing the plywood planks took a day. 

We were pleased with the outcome, but needed to stain and polyurethane the wood in order for it to be a useable floor. The plywood is too soft to leave in 'au naturale'.
I decided to do a white wash stain over the plywood, so you could still see the grain, but without all the pink tinges of the plywood.  I mixed one part white primer with two parts water, and slopped it on using a paint roller. 

After 2 coats of stain, Chris covered the wood with 2 coats of polyurethane. We would have done another coat, just to further protect the wood, however the smell throughout the house was too much to deal with being pregnant, so we stopped at two.
I think it turned out pretty good. 

Semi-gloss finish

Nice wide planks, good spacing and the wood grain is still visible. 
Overall, we are super pleased with the outcome. Once the sub floor was in place, the planks went down really easily, especially once we figured out that the glue came out the gun with a lot less effort if it was warmed before hand. Cold glue is difficult to work with!! All up it probably came to around $3 a square foot. A little more expensive then we had anticipated, but the sub floor probably cost $2 a square foot to install. Considering the wide, planked flooring we had been looking at was over $10 a square foot, I think it was a great investment. Hopefully once we start using the room as a guest room, it holds up to the wear and tear. I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Basement update

Well, the basement was framed in March and progress came to a halt. Then, in September, we found out we were having a baby, and things quickly got moving again. Our 'guest room' upstairs will be a nursery in no time, and we need to have more space to host family and friends who are planning on visiting the new addition! Electric, plumbing, insulation and drywall were the big projects that needed to be completed. Today that was accomplished. Next up painting, tiling the bathroom, flooring, doors and trim. 15 weeks and counting...........
25 weeks pregnant. We have 15 weeks to get the basement finished.

Rough in electric was completed in November, which allowed us to get the insulation installed in December.
Man Cave' insulated.

View from Mud Room (bottom of stairs) into 'Man Cave' 

This will be the shower in the guest bathroom.

Dry Wall was up in January and was finally completed today. View of Man Cave towards Guest Bathroom and Bedroom
View of Man Cave. Laundry Room is behind that wall. We kept the steel beam uncovered as a reminder of where we started 3 years ago!
View of Guest Bedroom with walk in closet to left and Mechanical Room through the door to the left.

View through bathroom door. Rough plumbing in place for sink on left and toilet to right. Shower is further to the right out of sight!

Dresser project

This past summer I decided we needed some new furniture in the house. I wanted to try my hand at 'furniture restoration' so I scrolled through some local Craig Lists listings and came across this dresser in East Vail. I decided it was going to be my new project.  I think it turned out pretty good!

Picked this beauty up for $50 on Craig's list

Sanded, stained the top, painted the base and spray painted the handles.

Found a new home in the guest room.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tiling Project

Our plan for the summer was to continue to focus on the basement (electric/plumbing/ insulation/drywall) and also to get the gross stone/plywood stairs outside the front door knocked down and a lovely new deck built! By now you would have thought we would have learnt that what we think something should cost, will actually cost three times that and then some!!! So that being said, and the fact Chris was down all summer recovering from back surgery (:-<) we did none of these things!!

What we did do though is pay a tiling expert (Specialized Tiling) to finish some of those nagging jobs we had outstanding in the upstairs of the house! The first being the kitchen backsplash! Both Chris and I agreed that we didn't think the kitchen looked bad prior to the backsplash - but looking at the before and after pictures it is very clear that we have been living in this house too long and are oblivious to how unfinished it really did look!! The lovely glossy grey subway tiles (from Lift Flooring Studio - Eagle Vail) really finish the kitchen off and go well with the grey cabinets, stainless steel appliances and dark granite countertop!

Kitchen sans backsplash

Lovely grey subway tiles with a contrasting white grout!
You can tell a pro did this - symmetrical tiles either side of the window frame!
The kitchen is now finished!

We also decided to get some of the other tiling jobs completed while we had pros here. You may remember I tiled the floor under the pellet stove, which was probably one of the first projects I did in the house! Almost two years later, Chris tiled the wall but was unsure of how to join the tiled wall, with the dry wall. Another year later, and the tiling is now finished!!

Finally, the step in the bathroom, with the lovely carpet edge from the bedroom hanging through!  While  I managed to tile the floor, shower and vanity in the bathroom - this step was too much! So happy with how it turned out! With only the vanity lighting left to do in the bathroom - we almost have 3 rooms upstairs completely finished! 


Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Basement

After a year long hiatus from anything involving a saw, nails or paint, it was time to get back on it and start the Basement Remodel!!!

We are pretty excited about this! Chris probably more so than me because his beloved Man Cave is becoming a reality not just a far fetched fantasy!! I'm happy because I get to declutter, sort and organise (throw out) a growing mountain of junk that is being stored in the basement! Plus I also get to design the second bathroom and guest bedroom!

Here's a preview of the before, very cluttered basement, and then some of the work in progress! First job is framing, then electric, insulation and drywall. Hopefully this will all be completed by late Spring!

BEFORE: Laundry Space
BEFORE: The man cave, with the ever increasing pile of junk!
BEFORE: The guest bathroom to the left and another pile of junk where the guest bedroom will eventually be!
AFTER: Framed Laundry Room
AFTER: Pile of junk and framed MAN CAVE
View from MAN CAVE of the eventual MUD ROOM, which will also be framed. Eduardo, the guy who basically built our house is back again helping out with the Basement remodel! He brought a couple of new guys to help with this project!
AFTER: Framed Bathroom. Low ceiling because of pipes above  - not ideal but will be 80 inches high which just passes code requirements!!
Framed partition/closet in the guest bedroom - looks a little weird but saw it on Pinterest and think it will look really cool when finished!! (Chris is not so sure - we will see!!)
View from the closet in the guest bedroom! To the left is the mechanical room. To the right is the doorway with the bathroom behind it.