Welcome to threenineohfive. Thanks for making the jump. I promise we will stay here awhile.
It has been a crazy couple of weeks at the Fulling house. My new floors are magnificent and I am so glad that we had them done, but a few words of reality…
This was a huge job. This was basically a move, but without a new floor plan at the end. We simply didn’t have the funds or the logistical flexibility to do this project before we moved into the house, but if you do, don’t think twice; do it!
Having to move everything out of the two main floors of the house (including all the kitchen appliances) and then having to move them all back two weeks later was super hard. And it was much harder to move back than to move out. When you move back you have to be more careful of the floors. That’s a no-brainer. What’s less obvious is how much time it will take you because you’ll be constantly fighting the urge to re-think every room as you put it back together. You’ll find yourself standing in a half-empty room with boxes and dust all around you thinking, “maybe the mirror should go on this wall…”
We started moving back in one week ago today and, despite putting in 2-4 hours after work for five days and a solid 10-12 hours on each weekend day, we still aren’t completely done. My desk area is a mess and there’s still a large box of clothes in my bedroom that I haven’t touched. Oh, and I’m exhausted in every sense of the word.
You see in addition to the floor undertaking, I have also started a new job. Now, instead of being gone from the house about 9 hours a day, I’m gone at least 11 and often 12 or 13. So my time to do “house things” has decreased about 10-12 hours a week as well. Not a great combo.
The good news is we are almost out of the woods with the floor project and that’s a major relief. By the end of the weekend our house will be put back as well as it can be and we can move on to other things, like the sun room…’memba him!
But it hasn’t been all moving and re-decorating. We have managed to do a couple of other small projects related to the yard and the sun room. I just haven’t managed to blog about them yet, but I promise I will soon.
So, dear reader, in conclusion I want to thank you for your patience during this busy time. Please know that I have missed writing to you and I look forward to making it a regular habit in the very near future!
With Love and Aloha,
Our floors are done y’all. The workers finished up about 5 p.m. last night and as of this morning, they were safe to walk on in stocking or bare feet. I grabbed some pics with my cell phone because I can’t find the camera in all the mess. Here’s the family room before.
This picture most accurately shows the new color of the floors and all the grain detail that you can see. The family room is really difficult to photograph most of the year because it doesn’t get any unfiltered light. Hopefully once all the leaves fall, I will get some better photos.
We really love the color and all the detail you can see in the wood grain. After sanding and staining the wood, it was sealed and then covered with three coats of Bona Traffic water-based polyurethane. We went with this option because it is a commercial grade finish that is supposed to last twice as long as their residential finish Bona Mega. We think that with our big dogs, the extra protection is worth the extra expense.
The company we used is called AG Floors and we were very happy with their work. We used Angie’s List to search for vendors and we thought they were the most professional. They weren’t the cheapest quote we got, but they weren’t the most expensive either. Here’s a budget breakdown:
Sand, stain, and seal approx. 770 sq. ft. of hardwood floor = $2,262 Sand stain, and seal 13 stairs = $390 Replace existing shoe mold throughout = $261 Install new red oak in kitchen (approx. 100 sq ft.) plus sand, stain and seal = $1,124 Angie’s List discount = -$100 New tools and materials = $210 Pet-friendly hotel for four nights = $369 Grand Total = $4,516
We had budgeted $4,500 for the project before we decided to add the kitchen floor as well so to come in only $16 over budget and get an extra 100 sq. ft. of finished product feels like a win to us.
We are back in the house as of today, but are going to wait until next weekend to put the furniture back to make sure the floors are good and hard. The weather has been really nice this past week and it is supposed to stay that way through the weekend so we are going to get some fall-related work done in the yard. Next week I will have a recap post that looks at how our spring front yard makeover is fairing 8 months later as well as a look at the changes we’re now making to the back yard.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Our house is empty on the two main floors. Well, empty minus the two flooring guys and their massive sanders.
The dogs are convinced we’re moving and have been especially concerned with being right under foot, which is tricky when you’re trying to carry a bunch of stuff up and down stairs. We keep re-assuring them that everything is fine and we’re not going to live in a van down by the river.
We bought a roll of new construction felt paper and put it down last Thursday. Then the floor guys came Friday morning and installed the new oak floor.
Isn’t she purdy? We can’t wait to see it all stained and sealed. It only took them about three hours to install and we could walk on it all weekend, we just obviously wanted to avoid getting it wet or overly dirty.
It was definitely a Goldilocks moment as we pondered which stain was “juuust riiiight” for us. We immediately ruled out English Chestnut as being too red. Soon after we agreed that Provincial was a little too red as well. That left Dark Walnut and Jacobean as our contenders. Mark has liked Jacobean from the beginning, but I wanted something a little warmer. To Mark, the Dark Walnut and the Jacobean looked about the same, but to me the Dark Walnut seems a bit warmer without compromising on depth of color and without any unwanted red tones. Since he couldn’t see this difference he said I could choose so Dark Walnut it is!
We are so excited to see our choice on the whole floor, but there’s quite a bit of sanding to do first. The floor guys said that the will most likely start staining tomorrow afternoon. Wahoo!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that my mind (and my mouth) are always going a million miles a minute. My ability to “be in the now” is pretty much nonexistent. I am so incredibly excited about what we’re doing in the sun room and I am thrilled that we’re finally refinishing our wood floors and running them into the kitchen.
Unfortunately, these two enormous projects are not enough for my unquiet mind. I’ve already spent a great deal of time thinking about what I have been calling our “winter” projects. I have set these aside for the winter because they are all indoor projects. I don’t go outside in winter. Period. Winter is mean.
The good news for Mark is that these projects are pretty much decoration only. No hard labor. Mark has worked so hard this spring and summer, he deserves a break and a chance to do other things like tinker with motorcycles or shoot skeet or whatever he wants.
But for me, I have big plans for our stairwell and upstairs. The stairwell currently looks like this. The walls are beige and that’s about all that’s going on. This is what you see right in front of you when you walk in the front door so I would like to make it more visually interesting. I am planning on doing a frame collage to start and want to also explore a board and batten detail. This part would most likely mean help from Mark so it may not happen this winter, but before I do anything, I am going to paint.
This beige color (Benjamin Moore’s “Berber White” in half tint) covers the walls in both bedrooms as well as the stair well. It’s a nice, neutral color but I am so in love with all the grey that I am seeing in homes lately, that I want to give it a try. Here’s what I am envisioning.
I would really like to do a burlap headboard so I am thinking of painting the walls a pale greyish green and adding this ruffle curtain to the window.
So that’s the plan for the winter. I am going to start with finding the right grey and painting the stairwell, upstairs hallway, and master bedroom. Then I am going to start on my frame collage project. From there I think I am going to head into the guest room since I am really close to “finishing” that room with some new paint and window treatments. Last, but not least I am hoping to start tackling the master bedroom. There’s a good chance that I don’t get to this as it’s a big project and I don’t know if I will have the time or the money before spring rolls around, but we’ll see.
As for the here and now, we’re going to use the two upcoming weekends of house disarray to do some outdoor projects. Mark is going to install the flashing and gutters to the outside of the sun room and I am going to dig up the garden beds that we are going to relocate and remove. Then we are going to do some lawn care before the leaves start dropping. But first, we’ve got some furniture to move!
Have a great rest of your week and weekend. I will be back next week with a recap of the kitchen floor install and our outdoor pursuits!
This weekend Mark and I started readying the house for our big floor face lift. The flooring guys arrived bright and early Saturday morning with our new red oak for the kitchen. They wanted to drop it off a week early so that the wood would have time to acclimate to our house before installation. This cuts down on the amount of swelling/shrinkage you’ll experience after the wood is installed and makes for a better floor.
This layer of vinyl tile flooring came right up with almost no issues, exposing this lovely yellow layer.
It was when we started to take up this layer that things started to get interesting. It appears that this yellow layer was glued right to the original layer of vinyl sheet which was red and green. (Christmas year round! I know.) Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of the original tile as the yellow layer was stuck so well it wouldn’t come off as a separate layer.
As we were trying to pry the two layers of vinyl up, we realized that they were glued to a layer of 5/8″ plywood.
Not only was this a surprise, but we also quickly realized that this plywood was original and ran under the kitchen cabinets. Ruh roh. We needed a way to cut the plywood out from around the bottom of the cabinets. I smell a new tool.
We were able to get most of the floor up that way, but obviously we ran into trouble as we got near the cabinets. Since you can’t use a circular saw in tight spaces, we headed off to Home Depot to pick up a cordless multi-tool. This tool is built precisely for what we needed. The little blade quivers back and forth ever so slightly so that you can cut down into the floor without harming the cabinet around it.
Mark has actually been wanting this tool for awhile and he was very impressed with the job that it did. Once he had cut around the cabinets and deep enough into the floor, he used a crow bar to release and remove each panel of flooring.
This was a pretty big job. On Saturday we were able to remove the top layer of vinyl and the two layers attached to the plywood from everywhere except near the cabinets. That took about four hours. Then on Sunday, it took another six hours to remove the area around the cabinets. Much of this was downtime while the battery for the tool re-charged since we were cheap and only bought one. The tool itself was $80.00, the battery was $50.00, and the battery charger was $60.00 so it wasn’t an inexpensive purchase, but we really didn’t have another choice. Once all the plywood was removed, we were left with this.
See the space in between each of these planks? That’s a clear view to the basement below. Hi basement! Apparently in 1948, standard building procedure was to install your flooring choice right over top of these paper covered diagonal planks. I know this because not only was the vinyl kitchen floor this way, but the hardwood floor as well. Once we got the layer of plywood up, the floor in the kitchen was exactly the level it needs to be to install the new hardwoods.
As you can see in the photo below when you put a piece of the new wood on top of the current floor it is the same height as the old floor. If we were to install a modern sub floor over the existing diagonal planks, the floor in the kitchen would be igher than the existing hardwoods. And that’s not what we want.
So we’re going to replace the old construction felt paper with new and pray that the flooring people will not blink at the lack of sub floor and be cool with installing our new wood floor right over what’s there now. If not, we will have to install the new floor ourselves next weekend.
They don’t make them like they used to I tell ya. In this instance I don’t know it that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I guess we will have to wait and see. Mark is going to nail down the diagonal planks where there are currently squeaks in the floor and hopefully it will feel just as solid under foot as the rest of the house. And hopefully the visual of being able to see into the basement from the kitchen above will fade away over time.
So that’s how our weekend went. This week we’re moving more stuff in preparation for the floors as well. With the kitchen out of commission, I am off cooks duty for a little while. I actually miss it!
My parents recently put their house on the market.
My parents were always willing to let us have friends over so I have alot of memories of playing and growing up in that house. This is the kitchen, isn’t it amazing? Alot of great food has been made in here.
However, as empty-nesters, my parents simply don’t need that much space anymore so it’s time for the house to be sold to someone who will fill it up with kids and fun again.
This was my bedroom growing up. Back in the day it was peach and seafoam green with wall paper. This is much better no?
Many of you have been to this house and have fond memories of it yourself. It is a great place for friends and family to gather and I firmly believe that all the good vibes that live in the walls will stay with the house when my parents leave.
Julia over at Hooked on Houses does a regular feature where she features reader’s houses who are currently for sale all over the world. I submitted my parent’s house to be included in her most-recent roundup and I was so happy to see that she did.
There’s alot of great houses in this roundup so check it out to see what your money can get you in different areas. And if you’re interested in more info on my parent’s pad, here’s a link to the redfin listing. Once my parents get their house sold, they are planning to buy a much smaller home in the same area and are looking forward to putting their stamp on a new space as well. I am excited for them and will definitely chronicle their adventures here on the blog as well.
As for what’s going on at our house. We pulled up the kitchen floor over the weekend and found some interesting things. I will have a full recap on that tomorrow. Spoiler Alert: it involves the purchase of a new tool Mark is really loving. We’re getting really excited for our floor adventure!
As far as we can tell the wood floors in our house have never been refinished. There are nail holes in places which indicate that they were probably covered with carpet for a number of years. When we moved in, they still looked like they were in pretty good shape. Here’s a picture of the living/dining room from the real estate listing. After living in the house for almost three years with two big dogs, however, the shiny top layer of polyurethane is almost completely gone. In fact, there are places where the wood is completely bare so it was time to act before we did any damage that we couldn’t repair.
As I mentioned in my last post, we originally got a quote for just sanding, staining, and refinishing the existing hardwood floors which is about 775 sq. ft. and 13 stairs. The company we are going with came in at just shy of three grand for that work. We got one quote that was more and one quote that was less, but we liked these folks the best and they seemed to be the easiest to work with.
In addition to sanding and staining, the quote included a layer of sealant and three layers of polyurethane. Since we are hard on our floors, we opted to go with the top of the line poly called Bona Traffic. From what I have read, using the “Traffic” grade poly should make the floors last about three times as long than if we used their next grade down Bona Mega. I am hoping the extra cost is worth it.
Then we/I decided to see how much extra it would cost to install matching oak hardwood in the 10 x 10 kitchen. So I had the same company come back out and give me a quote for that. It came in at just over $1,100 for the wood and the work. So all told, we’re expecting the job to run just about $4,000 for about 875 sq. ft. of space.
We know our floor is oak, but there seems to be some uncertainty about whether it is white oak or red oak. We think it is red oak, but the flooring people thought it was white so they are coming out this weekend to test it to be sure. Then they will leave the new wood for the kitchen here with us so that it has a week to acclimate before they begin installing it a week from today.
Speaking of installation, we’ve got a bit of work to do this weekend to prepare for that. In order to save some money, Mark and I will be ripping up the old kitchen floor ourselves and installing sub floor so that the floor guys can just put down new wood floor without any extra work because as you know, work means time and time means money.
After the new wood floors in the kitchen are installed next Friday, Mark and I will then have the weekend to ready the rest of the house for sanding and staining. This basically means packing up almost everything and relocating it to the sun room, garage, or basement. We are even going to try and stick one particularly unwieldy armoire in the bathroom so we don’t have to bring it down the stairs.
Then on Monday, the floor guys will start sanding the floors down to their bare wood, which shouldn’t take too long in some spots, before staining and re-sealing it. It will take 5 days for the whole process and during that time we really can’t be in the house so we will be at a hotel. Then even once we move back in on Friday, we have to stay off the floors as much as possible for another week. That means no furniture or puppie paws so we will be relegated to the basement and the yard. Hopefully the weather is nice. Once two full weeks has passed, we can start to move our things back in. It’s going to be a rough two weeks, but I think it will be worth it.
Mark and I have been considering stain colors for about 8 months now. We’ve gotten samples of several minwax stains but we don’t love any of them with all our hearts so we’re hoping they can come up with a custom stain choice that will be juuust riiiight.
First we tried Minwax “Early American”, and we really liked it. We actually sanded Mark’s closet and put it down so we could see it on more than just one piece of wood. But after living with it for a month or so we decided that it wasn’t all that different from the color we have now and if we’re going to go through the effort to re-finish the floors we should choose something more dramatic.
Next we tried the much darker “Jacobean” and again, at first we thought it might be our winner, winner chicken dinner. But upon further examination, we began to think that while we liked the darker tone, the color read a little too cool/ash for us.
Here’s a picture of the current living/dining room mocked up to show what color we are hoping to achieve. There’s a little bit more red in this photos than we would ideally like, but you can see what we are leaning towards. Obviously we will show you where we really end up.
So that’s some more of the nitty gritty on our floor re-do. I will have photos next week of the kitchen floor excavation. Have a great weekend everyone!
WARNING – This is a long post where I talk about my feelings. Also, no photos.
I am so excited to tell you guys that we are finally going to have our hardwood floors re-finished! They need it man, but since the top two levels of the house are entirely hardwood (except the bathrooms and kitchen, more on that in a minute,) it is an expensive job. We’ve been saving our pennies for quite some time for both this and the sun room reno and last spring we decided that rather than finish the bar area in the sun room this fall, we would use that money to re-do the floors. The joke is on us really because it’s fall and we’re no where near ready to install the bar area even if our pockets were full of hundred dolla billz.
Originally, our plan was to just have our existing hardwood floors sanded, stained, and refinished. Unfortunately, there is no hardwood under the vinyl tiles in the kitchen so whatever we decide to do in the kitchen will require new materials.
When we started planning our sun room renovation. I envisioned the same tile floor running both in the sun room and in the kitchen. While they are separated by a door and a step down, I thought it would bring the two rooms together, help make the sun room feel less like an addition, and make the whole ground floor feel bigger.
Then Mark and I had a come to Jesus where he told me that it wasn’t practical given the state of our sun room’s floor joists and our bank account to tile the sun room floor. Since tile is out for the sun room, it’s likely we’ll end up with some type of wood out there as well (if we don’t just leave the painted sub floor until the end of time because we love it so much and/or are lazy.) So since I am already essentially relegated to a wood kitchen floor one way or another, I figure I might as well go with the same oak hardwood that’s on the rest of the level to which the kitchen is open.
I am personally not a huge fan of hardwood in the kitchen. Not for looks, mind you. I love the way warm hardwood floors look with light cabinets. But I don’t think it is as practical a choice as tile for someone who uses their kitchen alot like I do. My mom had oak hardwood in her kitchen when they first built their house and it didn’t hold up very well to four people and lots of dogs. She replaced it with a beautiful travertine tile a few years ago and I love the look and the practicality.
But despite my feelings, I’m going to have hardwood in my kitchen because it’s more important to me to have consistent flooring than to have tile in just the kitchen. Again, it’s not that I don’t like the way hardwood looks in a kitchen, I am just worried about wear and tear and upkeep. But a big key to making a small house look bigger is not to chop rooms up with different colors and flooring so in the end I think I am making the right choice.
The good news is my kitchen is and will always be 100 sq. ft. so it is not an astronomical expense if the hardwood need a little TLC in a few years or if/when we want to do something besides sub floor in the sun room, we could consider running it into to kitchen if I’m not in love with the hardwoods at that point.
So that’s how we’ve gotten to where we are. I could go on and on about our “big kid” floors including cost, timeline, stain choices, etc., but I think I’ve poured my heart out to you enough for one day.
One last thing before I go. Today is my mom’s birthday. She’s the best mom in the world. Ask anyone, they will tell you that. Happy Birthday Mom!
Mark has been wanting to have “movie night” in the back yard for a long time now. And with his sister and her boyfriend visiting from Hawaii, we decided to have it this past weekend. We sent out e-invites and asked people to vote for their choice of movies from these five selections: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Citizen Kane, Sunset Boulevard, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Psycho. In the end Psycho edged out The Treasure of Sierra Madre by a hair.
Saturday night felt like fall here with the lows dipping into the 50s. On the menu were The Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey BBQ Sliders, Spicy Chicken Legs, and a popcorn bar with your choice of kettle corn, butter and sea salt, and siracha lime sesame. I also made a large batch of my favorite sangria.
Once it got dark, we brought out some hot cider, desserts, and some movie candy and everyone settled in for the main event. I put a bunch of throw blankets in an old trunk so that people could bundle up if they were cold.
We had such a good time putting this event on. It had a little something for everyone and the weather could not have been better. Also Psycho was a good choice as it’s not very long and very old timey. The sheet screen worked great and we will definitely do it again!
Our house guests left this morning to go back to the islands so we’re free to start back up on the sun room. But we’ve got another big project just around the corner. I will be back tomorrow to tell you about it!