Apr 23, 2017

Playing Catch Up - and Floors!

Renovations are a feat of endurance. They are a balancing act between client and contractor. A sweet couple who opened their home to us to view our contractor's work before our project started, said something awesome that stuck with me. They basically said, "This is the most money we'll spend on anything at once, probably ever, so we decided to just have fun with it." I couldn't agree more! When I start to sweat the details or get aggravated, I remind myself what a dream it is to be able to make my ideal house. I LOVE choosing all the little pieces of the puzzle that will make our space perfectly suited to us, and have been gleefully planning this for four years since we first moved to this sweet spot.

Converting the kids' playroom into a multi-purpose space (kitchen, office, tv room, play area) has definitely had its challenges (why do we have so much STUFF??), but it's an adventure and something none of us will forget!

For a quick rundown, here's what's happened so far:

1. Demolition - two walls torn down, doors widened, carpets ripped up (hallelujah!!), kitchen removed and trashed (unfortunately our cabinets were too old to donate as I'd planned). This step took a little longer than expected because we needed to add a huge steel support beam, but now we're nice and secure!

Here's a pic of the initial demo - standing from the entry hall, this looks at what used to be a separate formal dining room and kitchen. Both were too small, so voila! One big space now! We widened both doorways going into the family room, but worked around our brick wall. I wanted a more open, airy space, but not totally wide open. A little separation keeps rooms feeling cozy, I think.

2. Electrical, plumbing, bringing in gas for our cooktop.

3. Drywall

4. Floors!!! These have been our biggest bump in the road thus far. Our existing subfloors were basically unusable, so there was lots of extra time and expense put into redoing them. But now our hardwoods are IN. We went with a character (or Euro) grade 4" white oak. Locally sourced which makes me happy. They are glorious. Once painting and trim carpentry are done, the crew will be back to sand and stain. Choosing a stain color will be my next challenge, but I really like them light! Maybe a very pale brown, just so it's not impossible to keep them looking clean.

Next steps will be installing the actual kitchen, new front doors, white mortar rub on the brick, then building our new bookshelves and drop zone. Phew - little by little, we are getting there!!

Oh, and lest you worry Ben and I have given up our DIY ways - here's what we've been working on this weekend. More paneling painting and painting the last remaining wood stained doors. It's brutal work, but it's saving us thousands of dollars. We spent the hours painting fantasizing about how lovely this will all be when it's done. And drinking beers of course. The kids kindly entertained themselves for several hours by collecting worms on the back patio!

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