We are now at T minus 5 weeks before the big move-in deadline. The 10-12 hour days have continued, although we did sneek in a three-day trip to Michigan with the kiddos this week. I consider that the calm before the storm. Or maybe it would really be considered the eye of the hurricane. Either way, we are making big progress.
One quick note before we dive right into the pictures. For the past few weeks I have felt just like the Karate Kid. Do you remember how Mr. Miagi had Daniel wax the cars, paint the fence, and the sand deck as training for karate? Well, based on my practice regiment, I’m ready for the big tournament right now. Put me in! The non-stop repetitive motions of sanding, scraping, puttying, painting, spraying, and drilling have more than prepared me for some type of martial art. I’m sure of it.
Overall, the plaster repair took longer then I anticipated. It was also less fun and gratifying then I anticipated. Of course, it could just be because I had to do SIX rooms of plaster repair. I won’t bore you with the details. Here are some pics of the newly repaired and primed rooms…
Did you notice how clean the floors are??? I hope so, Because I have been on my hands and knees for the past couple days painstakingly pulling nails, carpet staples, and anything else that couple potentially hinder the sanding process…
Remember that mysterious, decomposing animal that had long-ago died in the dining room? It’s hard to believe, but today I found more remains. You would think that a year’s worth of renovations, sweeping, vacuuming, and general foot traffic would have removed any remnants of this unfortunate creature, but no….
Based on the color, I’m guessing it was a squirrel.
Here are some more pics of the floors, because seriously, cleaning them took forever.
After removing all the nails, staples, and tacks from the floors, I also removed all the shoe molding from the base boards. One last task remained, and it was not one I was looking forward to. Our floors are all tongue and groove, which means that they are fit together at the sides and are nailed at the sides. Despite this, there are still many nails on top of each board. These all need to set into the board about 1/8″ before we sand the floors. If we don’t do this, we will rip our sandpaper frequently, possibly cause damage to the sander, and maybe even encounter some apocalyptic scenario where a spark creates a fire and burns the whole house down. We don’t want that, so we can began the extremely tedious back-breaking (and knee-breaking) work of punching in each nail. Fortunately, Amy was able to help me with this and Lucy was happy playing in her new room. [Edit from Amy: Now that all the toxic stuff is finally out of the house we can get back to bringing the kids over while we work. You never know how long they will stay happy but at this point we’ll take whatever we can get.]
The hard part is actually locating the nails. They tend to blend right in. Lucy eventually decided she wanted in on the fun…
Edit from Amy: [I asked Lucy which color “clippy” she wanted in her hair this morning and she said, “All of them.” Allrighty then.]
By this point we have explored every crack and crevice of this old house. We assumed that meant that no more surprises or treasure. But Amy was surprised to find this little gem while re-organizing the built-in storage in the dining room…
Anyone in Cottage Home recognize these gentlemen???
So now comes one of the jobs we have been anticipating for more than a year – sanding and refinishing the floors. This job falls into one of those projects that some people think should be left to the professionals. [Edit from Amy: You don’t say?] In many cases, it’s probably true. But there are several reasons we have chose to do this ourselves.
1. Cost (duh!). Sanding and refinishing is very inexpensive on the materials, but very expensive on the labor. Sounds like a DIY job to me.
2. Our floors are NOT fancy. They are rough, beat up, and full of “character.” These floors are 100+ year-old pine and were originally meant to remain mostly covered by carpet. Nowadays we appreciate the look and feel of this wood, even in it’s damaged state. Yes, we are aware that we can still mess them up, but really… who is going to notice?
3. We have come this far, why stop now? In the end there will be a certain sense of satisfaction knowing that we did the floors ourselves.
Yes, I’m a little nervous, but I have done my homework (you know how I like to research) and I have a plan. What could go wrong?