Friday, June 25, 2010

Many projects


It seems like we have spent a lot of time working on the same projects over the last two weeks. I am happy to say that some of them are complete! The fireplace rock is DOWN! The plywood backing is down (the picture was taken before it was ripped out) and we can probably hang sheet rock soon.

Removing the closet has brightened up the rest of the room; You can see where the closet was before it was removed.

The nursery is coming along as well. We installed the sheet rock for the ceiling and now we can texture the bedroom ceilings. The completion of the nursery will allow us to work at the house for longer periods of time and give the kids a place to play. Mr. Ireland tore out a closet in his studio, and is replacing that section with a straight wall.

Before After

In an effort to speed up our transition from one house to the next, I laid vinyl tile squares in my new sewing room. I should be spending more time packing, but one car load of boxes a day is about all I can do. I will not be leaving it lavender, it is temporary.

We are closing in on the last major projects - the kitchen, which includes repairing the hardwood floor and restyling the cabinets, and then the heating system which, thankfully, is Mr. Ireland's profession! Replacing the heating ducts will go a long way toward improving the smell in our house! Keep checking back :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little more

We didn't get all that much done today. I pulled staples and nails off of the stairs, the boys helped upstairs by vacuuming and sweeping, and Mr. Ireland started breaking rocks off of the fireplace wall. Once he got started, he found that most of the rock wanted to come down with the chicken wire baselayer. He is confident that the rock will all be down by the end of the week and we can move forward with sheet rock. It will be really nice to have that corner of the living room usable!

Other than that, we walked thru the house, discussing our concerns and ideas and getting a plan together for the week. We are each tackling a job on our own and then one big project that we will accomplish together. My goal is to have the wallpaper down and the molding in the dining room stripped. Together we will finish the nursery. Things are coming along.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paint Sprinkles

The basement if painted. I set out thinking that this would be a very easy project. Day 1, wash the floor with concrete prep. Day 2, paint. Right? Wrong.
Washing was easy, right until the last 20 square feet, that started foaming when I went over it with the floor cleaner!! It needed to be scrubbed again, with good ol' bleach and water, and then the smell and the stain were both gone.

When it came time to paint, I had intended to do it all myself, but then I mentioned that we were going to put paint fleck "sprinkles", I had 3 volunteers! The sprinkles aren't exactly evenly distributed, but sometimes it's more important to let them help than to have it perfect!

Now that the basement is done, we can get going on those shelves for storage, bring in the washer and dryer, and start customizing Mr. Ireland's studio! Our reward to ourselves for renovating (other than getting a really nice house in the end ) is that we each get a fantastic space for ourselves! I get a fabulous bathroom, no sharing with little boys, and Mr. Ireland gets a music studio. The boys will get to have their room painted however the can agree to paint it, their reward for helping mom & dad get the house ready. Thankfully, mom & dad have the final say!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Living room update


All of the carpet and pad and subfloor is officially out of the living room! The bedrooms that had carpet are stripped as well. Now we are left with removing the vinyl from the floor of the second bedroom, which could have been used as a kennel? Yikes.

So far, renovations have gone fairly well. It has been a lot of hard work, but inexpensive overall. We are hoping to get all of our demolition done before the end of the month and then we can begin moving on to repairs and painting. I have volunteered to repair the hardwood in the kitchen, where it was damaged from a washer sitting on it (and then leaking, I would think!) I feel very blessed that yesterday, Mr. Ireland began tearing out the upstairs fireplace and bench surround and discovered that the bench was constructed of the VERY SAME tongue-and-groove flooring that is in the kitchen! Woohoo! That means that I don't have to try to find a match and we can save money! I give credit to the original builder of this house - he was a very good carpenter. The unusual but blatantly providential circumstances of buying, and now renovating, this house have kept our spirits high. I'm very grateful!

Today I will finish painting the basement floor, and then we will build storage shelves and start bringing things from the crawlspace at our rental house and giving them homes.

I would like to tackle the fireplace soon. It is rock and cement? There is no functional use for this, since it is on the third floor, which stays plenty warm, and we don't want a woodstove up there. If we ever put one in, it will be on a lower floor, where it will better heat the house. So out it must come. It looks like it is mounted on plywood, but we don't even know where to begin without destroying that corner of our house. We know, go slowly, take care. Any other tips?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Doors, Old Floors

We scored an awesome deal off Craigslist! A gentleman replaced the doors in his home, per his wife's request, and was selling off some very nice interior doors - 3 bedroom, one hall and one set of 24" bifold doors, all for the low price of $50!

All came in jams, with hardware, no holes and they are even the correct color! Considering they somehow match all our measurements for doors needed, and he delivered them to the new house, we think we got a pretty good bargain! They'll have to hang out in the dining room for a bit, putting my wallpaper project on hold, while Mr. Ireland finishes tearing out the old carpet and subfloor from upstairs.

You wouldn't believe the stench of the old carpet! It was soaked with dog urine and who knows what else. The task of tearing it all out has fallen to the husband (thank you!) and he has nearly finished removing all of the subfloor upstairs as well. If it weren't for the particle board subfloor, we would be looking at a very costly redo of the upstairs floor. Suprisingly, there isn't any mold, which is a relief! One more day of demo and we can probably start construction of the wall to separate the upstairs bedroom from the living room.

The very best part of the carpet removal has to be the last bit. Under the carpet on the stairs we found wonderful hardwood steps! I thought that there was a chance of them being simply plywood, but I'm very pleased that they are not. A little polishing up for now and we will have a very pretty staircase!

Wallpaper Removal

O the joys of scraping off wallpaper!

You wouldn't know it, but these kids, with their tiny fingers, are really good at picking off the soggy bits left behind! We don't call it child labor, it's "character building" and "family bonding"!
Really, we think they will get a sense of pride knowing that they each helped to make the house into our home. Don't worry, they had scrapers and a spray bottle with just water and vinegar in it.

The wallpaper is not off completely, as you can see, but we made a good start. After realizing that some of the paper was being left behind the chair rail molding, I removed the molding. To my surprise, the revealed that the last decorator had put the bead board up OVER what is probably the original wallpaper! Classy. Sure, it's time consuming, but it isn't exactly difficult to remove vinyl wallpaper!

Sadly, I don't think I have the time to remove all the panels from around the room to remove the wallpaper. I really like that feature and if I removed it, I would not want to put it back up. The rail is not such a big deal, since it was going to be replaced anyway (though I could save myself some time there if it comes down to it). So the panels will stay up, covering the wallpaper and I will finish stripping and preparing the walls to be painted. What color?
Well, you'll have to wait and see....